Day with BKK Guide-Rare activity

Aug 30th, 2006, 09:49 AM
  #1  
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Day with BKK Guide-Rare activity

In November, Bob and I and our wives have engaged the services of Tong for a day. We are interested in suggestions for a day's activity that would be new and exciting as well as advanced by the services of a guide. We have done almost all of the normal BKK activities. We are looking for suggestions about off-the-beaten-path things. Your wildest thoughts are appreciated.
Gpanda is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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Monk for a day? I saw it on some travel/reality type show. A 20'something guy spent a day at a monestary, even going to collect alms/offerings in the morning. Although I do recall he had to be silent for a large part of the day, which might be difficult for you and rhkkmk (I'm guessing).
cruisinred is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 10:26 AM
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Interesting, cruisin, my thoughts are along a similar line. I've thought about engaging Tong for a day to do some of the merit-making activities that Laurieco talked about. I'd start with an early morning trip to Wat Ben, equipped with rice and fruits to give to the monks and move on from there (buying caskets for unclaimed bodies, perhaps visiting an orphanage, etc.) I'm sure Tong would have some ideas about this.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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cruisinred - I think I saw that episode! It was a group of 5 or 6 20-somethings and one decided he wanted to be a monk, even spent the night at the monastery and helped work on some building the monks were fixing up. Some of the others went to Muay Thai boxing school and to watch the parade of boats (I can't think of what it's called). Very interesting show.
pebbles13 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 05:34 PM
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i'm thinking that maybe we could buy one of those caskets and put gpanda in it (he probably would have to be restrained, but he m9ight like that---its bkk after all) and try to float it on the river like a loy krathang vessel.....including lighting it on fire...now that is india i believe...

and yes it would be a nosiy group probably....
rhkkmk is online now  
Aug 30th, 2006, 05:56 PM
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oh,I have one.... have Gpanda and rhkkmk take Muay Thai boxing lessons while Tong takes the wives to the Face Spa to have a three hour spa session and lunch while waiting for their studly men to return. lol

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 06:42 AM
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HT - I love it!
Kathie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 06:47 AM
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I am trying to decide which would be a more amusing photo for Fodorites: Panda and Bob in silk boxing shorts or in saffron robes.....
cruisinred is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 08:43 AM
  #9  
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Actually, we will dress as Sumo wrestlers.

Now, back on track. We do need suggestions. We are considering the early morning monk activities, but need suggestions about later day experiences. Perhaps, someone who has done something completely out of the norm can share their thoughts.
Gpanda is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 08:59 AM
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If flowers or nature are your cup of tea, perhaps you could try the Saraburi sunflower fields? Apparently, the sunflowers bloom in November and the fields are extremely beautiful. I'm sure there are other interesting places or small Thai towns to stop enroute or back.

I've never been there but my Thai friend has always wanted to bring me. However, we've never got the energy to drive to Saraburi as it is about 150km (2hrs?) from Bangkok apparently.

A couple of links I found:
http://www.bangkoksite.com/Lopburi/Sunflower.htm
http://www.khaosanroad.com/anne_merr...&c=1&tb=1&pb=1


ps: After looking at the pics in the above links, I'm tempted to make the journey on my next trip to Bangkok as well.
JannaG is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Doesn't Tong have a slew of organized tours that you can do? I know you want to do it on your own but her itineraries could give you ideas also. I remember seeing a list put up by someone previously. I tried to research this site but couldn't come up with it as usual. Some bright fodorite will come up with something.
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 11:08 AM
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What about a bicycle tour? Some of the 1/2 day or full day ones go to the more rural areas surrounding Bangkok. Perhaps you wouldn't be as familiar with them?
lovesadventure is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 11:48 AM
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found a list of things ratt suggest doing. You may have done all of them but then again maybe not

A. at 8:00 AM to The Grand Palace see the emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew, take long tail boat to see the Royal Barge and canal life, then get off at Wat Arun, to Wat Po see the Reclining Buddha, Lunch at Methavalai near by the Democracy Monument, to Teak Wood Mansion (Vimanmek Mansion) see some building there (the ticket of the Grand Palace can take see here), then Jim Thomsonís House
A-1) at 8:00 AM to the Grand Palace, take Long tail boat to see the Royal Barge, canal life and feed fishes, Wat Po, then lunch at Methavalai, Vimanmek, to Jim Thomsonís house, flower market, then dinner while see Sun Set at Wat Arun, shopping at night market, back home.


A-2) At 8:00 AM the Grand Palace, Long tail boat (Royal Barge and canal life), Wat Po, lunch, Vimanmek and Jim Thomson House

B-1) at 5:30 AM to Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak on the way see salt farm, Wat Satthathum (the teak wood temple with mother of peal), Don hoy log (if you are lucky you can see how to pick up warm shell), Wat Bang-Kaa-Noy, Khai (the 3 dimension craving teak wood temple), Bang Kung (historical camp against Burmese army), Benjarong Factory, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Royal Thai Handicraft, The elephant show and crocodiles show, the culture shows at Rose Garden
B-2) at 6:30AM to floating market, on the way see salt farm, Wat Sathathum (the craving teak wood with mother of pearl, wat Bang Kae Noi (carving three dimension temple), Kai Bang Khung (where King Tang Sin had taken to be the fort to flight with Burma, Dumnuen Sadok Floating market, Royal Thai Handicraft, Rattana Ko Sin Porcelain, The elephant riding, The Benjarong factory Dinner beside the river waiting time to get dark, take a boat pass by floating night market to see fire fly (floating night market have only Saturday and Sunday only).

B-3) at 7:30 AM hotel->floating market->Royal Thai Handicraft->elephants show & crocodile show->Rose Garden->Hotel


B.-4) at 6:30AM to floating market, on the way see salt farm, Wat Sathathum (the craving teak wood with mother of pearl), wat Bang Kae Noi (carving three dimension temple), Kai Bang Khung (where King Tang Sin had taken to be the fort to flight with Burma), The Benjarong factory, Dumnuen Sadok Floating market, Royal Thai Handicraft, lunch at the elephant show and Crocodiles shows.

B-5) at 6:30 AM to Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak on the way see salt farm, Benjarong Factory, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Royal Thai Handicraft, The elephant show and crocodiles show, the culture shows at Rose Garden,



B-6) at 6:30 AM to Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak on the way see salt farm, Benjarong Factory, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Royal Thai Handicraft, the Sanam Chan Palace the king Rama 6 Palace, see Thai Dance here and Pha- Patom- Chedi at Nakorn Pathom. Then back to Bangkok to eat Pad-Thai Noodle, see the Grand Palace, Wat Po, and the flower market at night.

B-7) at 7:30AM to Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak on the way see salt farm, Benjarong Factory, Wat Satthathum (the teak wood temple with mother of peal), Don hoy log (if you are lucky you can see how to pick up warm shell), Wat Bang-Kaa-Noy, Khai (the 3 dimension craving teak wood temple), Bang Kung (historical camp against Burmese army), Damnoen Saduak Floating, riding elephant, stay one night at home stay, in the evening take a boat to see night floating market and fire fly(they are a lot like Christmas tree), in the morning monk will lowing a boat a long the canal take food from you, Then to MarketBenjarong Factory, see the Royal Thai Handicraft straight to Kanchanaburi.

C. at 7:00 AM to Kanchanaburi see the museum of war take long tail boat along the River Kwai to the Bridge Over River Qwai, To Sing City, the dead railway (you can walk along the dead railway), have lunch here, riding elephant, take picture with tiger at tiger temper.

C-1) at 7:30 AM to the Bridge Over River Qwai to see the museum of war, take a long tail boat on River Qwai to the Bridge if you want to take The train (around 10:30-11:30) on the dead real way to water fall I will pick you up here then see, the tiger temper then back home

C-2) At 6:30 AM the Museum war of war, the Bridge Over River Qwai, Sing City, Dead Real Way, Lunch here, Riding elephant, the Tiger temple.


C-3) at 6:30 AM to the Museum war of war, the Bridge Over River Qwai, Sing City, Dead Real Way, Lunch here, to The Erawan National Park take you to drive to National Park

CD at 6:30 AM to floating market, Royal Thai Handicraft, the Bridge Over River Qwai, lunch here, museum of war, Sing City, Dead Real way, more than10 hours

E. pick you up at the airport (please look for the one who show you name at the right side of left way out) then by some fast food eat in my car, straight to Ayutthaya will be check in the hotel late afternoon. I can phone to hotel let them keep the room for you.


E-1) At 7:30 to Bang-Pa-in Palace, lunch at Krung Sri Hotel in Ayutthaya, Wat Yai Chai Mong Kol, Wat Chai Wanaram, The elephant Kraal, Wat Pha Mahathat,
And Wat Rach Burana



hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 12:19 PM
  #14  
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HT-therein lies the problem. We've done all the things on Ratt's suggested initeraries. We need off-beat suggestions.

The thought of Bob on a bike is hilarious. BKK traffic would never be the same.
Gpanda is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 01:57 PM
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Andy have you asked Tong for suggestions?

For sure let her take you to some of her favorite eating establishments. You could spend a day just eating.

I suggest full Buddhist immersion. Making merit and understanding the Buddhist rituals is very enlightening.

I would also recommend some food other than cashew chicken & a couple of Cafe Yens for Bob with lots of ice.
offwego is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 06:16 PM
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I would suggest asking Tong to bring you to a wedding or funeral, not something most tourists get to see. However, Tong may have trouble scheduling this ahead of time, but she can probably find someone who is having either of these events while you are there.
tnnc is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 06:46 PM
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I am sorry, but do NOT ask a guide to bring you to a wedding or a funeral of a stranger. IMO that is the absolute height of rudeness. Especially to impose on someone's grief at a funeral so you can observe what is to you, an "odd ritual" and so you can tell the story of your adventure at a dinner party. Would you bring a camera? That event is not for your tourist entertainment, it is an actual meaningful ceremony to the attendees. If you want to understand Buddhist funeral ritual, then read about it, do not attend one unless you know the deceased or a family member. Even a wedding, while a joyous occasion, is certainly private, and to attend one (what would you wear? you have no gift, they have not planned to feed you) raises all sorts of embarrassing issues for the hosts. Asians are polite in the extreme and would never say anything so you would never know what they are thinking about you, but please do not do this.

Can you imagine if a bunch of Thai tourists in shorts and sandals walked into YOUR wedding or the funeral of your relative? Really I just get more angry reading that suggestion. It is bad enough IMO when people take pictures of worshippers in temples, they just aren't thinking; if someone walked into their church at home and took a photo of them kneeling in prayer, they would slug the photographer...honestly.

If you want to see some Thai "real life" that you have not seen, here are some suggestions:

1. Go to a local school, preferably a local public school and not a private international one. I'd like to see what type of facilities a typical school has, how long their day is, what subjects they study, etc. I assume you would find English one of the subjects and would find children to talk to. I have done this in Malaysia with Malay friends and found it to be a fascinating experience.

2. Go to Parliament/National Assembly and watch it in action (or lack of action). I think Korea might be more exciting for this because fist fights can break out, but Thailand could be interesting, albeit a big language barrier.

3. Go to a court, preferably a trial court rather than an appeals court or supreme court. I am a lawyer so this may not be as interesting to you as it is to me, but even if you don't understand the language, you can see what the judges wear (the best is Singapore or Hong Kong with old Chinese men in white wigs), what the lawyers wear (my favorite of all is Bermuda where they actually wear Bermuda shorts and knee socks!!) I like watching court procedure both in and outside the courtroom. (India is fantastic, really something right out of Bleak House with clerks rushing around with huge folders tied with string and plaintiffs weeping in the hallways and then outside itinerant lawyers sitting on the ground typing up briefs on battered old typewriters).


Cicerone is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 07:32 PM
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oh, wow,now i am laughing....

couple of comments....we have asked tong and she is not real forthcoming with suggestions although today something has appeared of interest..

beth tried bikes and we won't be doing that....nor will i, the fat boy...

HI---thanks for the laugh!!

and yes we have done most of that long list of suggestions, but not all....

lastly...on the funeral item....its bkk afterall, you could just hire someone to die and then participate in the observances...quite unique....maybe ratt/tong/cherry and the others could make this into a business venture...
rhkkmk is online now  
Aug 31st, 2006, 11:30 PM
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Hang out at Hua Lamphong Railway Station. It is quite a scene. You could take a 3rd class train ride, too, maybe out to BKK.

Have you been to the zoo on a weekend afternoon?

I've gone to racetracks all over the world (including Suffolk Downs and Rockingham) and enjoy seeing the similarities and differences in the pace of the place, the mood of the people, etc. Unfortunately, I was unable to take in the Thai racetrack ambience when I was in Bangkok.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 05:03 AM
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Arrrggghhhh... again, Lori (offwego) has beaten me to the punch! I think the idea of having Tong taking you to make merit is a good idea, as well as having her just stroll around with you so that you can "safely" try the unbelievable street food/local restaurants... That part was the highlight of our time with her. The next time we go back to Bangkok, I think we're going to hire her just to hang out for a couple of days wandering around eating!!! hahaha....
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