Bangkok in April..suggestions?

Mar 3rd, 2003, 11:11 AM
  #1  
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Bangkok in April..suggestions?

I will be in Bangkok from April 11-16, I am aware this is during Songkran Festival, but is there anything in particular to do during this festival for tourists? Also, is there any dinner cruise that is a good value and worth the experience?
Baryton is offline  
Mar 6th, 2003, 07:23 AM
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There are usually fireworks and other activities on the river during Songkran. Check the website for the Thai tourist authority at "tat.or.th". Your hotel could also provide information. If you re already booked into a hotel, you could contact them now and ask for an itinerary of events.

For dinner cruises, there are several large cruise boats with dinner for a few hundred people with disco music blaring. I haven't been on those, as they don't interest me, but your hotel could book you onto one. There is a much smaller boat (maybe 10 tables) operated by the Marriott Riverside called the Manhora. The boat is an old wooden rice barge that has been nicely restored. It is a nice (if quiet) evening going up the river and having a delicious Thai meal. Contact the Marriott Riverside Hotel for details. (Phone: 66-2-4760022 Fax: 66-2-4761120, or go to Marriott.com and look up the hotel.) I have always gotten on the boat at the hotel, but they may also pick you up at other points along the river. They also do a lunch cruise and a sunset cruise (cocktails only) that might be a nice option. The Oriental Hotel runs a similar dinner cruise on its own rice barge, but I have not been on it so can't comment. My guess is that it would be very good.

A popular non-cruise dinner choice is the dinner and Thai dancing evening at the Sala Rim Naan Restaurant, run by the Oriental Hotel. Call the restaurant (66-2-437-6211) or the Oriental Hotel (66-2-236-0400 ext 3133) or check the Hotel's website at "mandarin-oriental.com/Bangkok" Reservations are essential. It is touristy, but in a nice way, and besides, you are a tourist. I have been 4 times over the last 10 years with different groups of friend and have always enjoyed it.

Another great boat trip is the Oriental Queen, which is run by the Oriental Hotel as well. This is basically a full-day trip that takes you out by bus in the morning to Ayyuthia (ancient capital) and the Summer Palace of the current King. You then board the boat for a nice lunch and a great leisurely ride down the river to Bangkok, passing temple after temple and a bird sanctuary. You can book through your hotel or the Oriental Hotel, check their website or cal the hotel. You would have the option of taking the boat up the river in the morning and the bus back; but I would recommend you do the bus first and take the boat back in the afternoon. Traffic is bad all day, but better in the morning, plus you really get to relax on the way back. This same boat may also do a dinner cruise.

Finally, you should consider hiring a long-tail boat and taking a tour of the klongs of Bangkok, stopping at the Temple of the Dawn and the Royal Barges. These are wooden flat bottom boats that can take up to maybe 8 passengers (some are larger.) A 2-3 hour trip is sufficient, and you may be able to time it to be on the river at sunset. (Note that some of the klongs seem to lower their canal locks around sunset, so you may get stuck waiting for a lock to open, which is fine unless you are on a tight time schedule.) Your hotel can help you hire one. If you are not staying on the river (please try stay on the river, search this site for recommendations), go to the "Oriental" water taxi stop on the river and hire one yourself. (The pier is near the Oriental Hotel but not the one actually in front of the hotel. That is a private pier, the one I am referring to is a public pier down the street from the driveway of the Oriental Hotel.) The boatman's English is limited but probably sufficient. Your hotel might be able to write a brief itinerary for you in Thai and you can then haggle over the price with the boatman.

Cicerone is offline  
Mar 6th, 2003, 07:25 AM
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Sorry, the Marriott Riverside changed its name about a year ago and I keep forgetting to use the new name. The correct name of the hotel is the Bangkok Marriott Resort and Spa. This is the hotel on the river, as opposed to the JW Marriott Bangkok hotel which is located in the business district.
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Mar 6th, 2003, 11:18 AM
  #4  
Peep
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Hello! Just today a Thai friend told me that April is the hotest month there, so beware! We took the Loy Nava (sp?) dinner cruise last year. The boat was cool and it was a fun experience but we didn't think the food was that good. But I'd probably recommend it just for the fun of it.
 
Mar 6th, 2003, 11:40 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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durring the songkran there are things going on everyday.. last year thhey hosed the biggest peratde in the world...

NOTE. be carefull as you would durring our (USA) new years lots of people get drunk and thier are usually a couple of hundred deaths durring the season.. but the authoraties are cutting down on some of the wilder parties..

I'll be out there as well.. don't get too wet.. actually the wet part is not that bad it's the red dye and salt that kind of sucks if your not into getting too dirty..

another note.. meny shops close down since the locals tend too go back too theri home towns and villages.. .
orgy7 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 10:47 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the information. I am aware its the hottest time of the year, but will bear it out I guess

I will be staying off Silom Rd., near Lamphini park. Should be an interesting area and time.

It was mentioned that many of the shops close to go back to their home towns and villages. Do the larger tourist sites like the Grand Palace, the wats, Jim Thompson house, etc..., close down during that time also?

And lastly, what is the best way to visit Attuthaya? should it be bus up there in the morning and boat back in the afternoon/evening? or ????

Again, thanks for all the information, its really appreciated.
Baryton is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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FYI, the Oriental Hotel discontinued this service. They recommended "the Shangri-La Hotel who offers same type
of tour."

Shangri-La emailed ([email protected]) me with the following information:

Price aht 1,600 net/person
Arranging Day aily
Payment :Upon arrival
Trip Detail:

08:00am Coach or mini-bus departing from Shangri-La lobby
09:00am Arrival at the legendary Ayutthaya former capital of
Siam (Thailand) for tour and visits to temples,
amazing ruins and delightful palaces.
12:15am Depart to join the Shangri-La Horizon Criuse at
Bang-Sai's Pier.
01:00pm Western & Thai Buffet Lunch on Board
03.15pm Complimentary Coffee Break
04:30pm Arrival at Shangri-La Hotel's pier

monica_pileggi is offline  
Mar 11th, 2003, 12:49 PM
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Oops, I should have clarified the Oriental Hotel discontinued the day cruise to Ayutthaya.
monica_pileggi is offline  

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