Downtown or riverfront?

Sep 15th, 2005, 02:04 PM
Original Poster
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Downtown or riverfront?

I highly respect the seasoned travellers on this forum. I read your posts every single day! It's so addictive, plus it's great for trip planning and just learning about new places. I need your help with the following:

1)I understand that most of you prefer to stay at the river. I'm torn between doing this and staying in the shopping district close to MBK, restaurants, etc. -- these things provide our evening activities since we don't do the nightclub/bar thing. We'll be in bkk for 5 nights. Staying at the river, however, sounds so peaceful and romantic, though far from all the action at night. And I've read that it's hard to come back at night. We were thinking Menam Riverside since this is the cheapest and website photos don't look too shabby.

2)If we stay in the shopping district, which hotel would you choose in terms of location and overall package? Novotel Siam, Pathumwan Princess or Holiday Inn? I think these are all in the same area but I might be wrong.

Thank you so much for your help! Our 2nd trip to Thailand will be so much more memorable and special, thanks to all the wonderful people in this forum.
paigeTN is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 02:46 PM
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We are also taking our 2nd trip to Bangkok in February. We are actually splitting our time between the two locations for exactly the same reasons you are giving. In the shopping/dining area we will be staying at the Plaza Athenee which has not been a popular hotel on this board but is a great value and very luxurious though not to the standards of the Penn where we will also be staying.
Craig is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Your instincts are correct! Go riverside for all the reasons you mentioned. You can always take taxi or better yet, the Skytrain to other locations. In fact, there is a Skytrain station right on the river at Saphan Taksin. So, you can take a boat from your hotel right to the Skytrain for a few pennies.

Kenstee is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 03:02 PM
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For downtown hotel options check out the 4 Seasons and the Intercontinetal.
The Intercontinetal will be less expensive than the 4 Seasons and its right on the skytrain.
BillT is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 03:20 PM
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From the river, it's really not far to restaurants (many are along the river area) even those in "downtown." Taxis are cheap and plentiful.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 03:24 PM
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Can we go shopping, dining in the evening and be able to get back to the river pretty easily around 11:00 or 12:00 pm? Thanks.
paigeTN is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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You shouldn't have a problem. Even when the skytrain closes down, I've never had a problem getting a taxi.
laurieco is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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I'm definitely a downtown person. I vacation in BK regularly...just came back...and I tried the Oriental for a night which I'm glad I gave it a try, but I'm not a river person. I've also done the Pen and the Royal Orchid Sheraton, but as far as I'm concerned it's the 4 Seasons hands home-away-from-home hotel. Ask for a room in the very newly renovated section if you decide on it. Although the non-renovated section is great really nice,too. The Rajadamri skytrain station is right across the street and you only have to go one stop to Siam station...the main station...where there are two malls and one more(Paragon...the talk of the town) which is scheduled to be completed this December. Plus, from the Four Seasons you can walk to Amarin Plaza Mall, Gaysorn Mall, World Trade Center...renamed Central World Plaza Mall...and Naryaphand the Thai craft center with everything Thai under one roof...and you can walk to Central Mall down at the Chitlom skytrain stop. And if you get on the sky train at Siam, you can go a few stops to the Phrom Phong(sp?) stop and go to Emporium Mall where there's usually a bazaar of individual stalls/vendors selling Thai crafts and clothing and the Jim Thompson store in that mall is very favorite one. There's a grocery store in the basement of the mall and a great cake cafe at the top level of the mall.Plus Greyhound Cafe is there,too and Lemongrass restaurant a nearby walk. So, I'm for downtown and then just visit the river area...because as far as shopping goes, the action is in town. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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paige....taxis are so cheap that you can and should use them all the is never a problem getting anyplace, especially late at nite...if you are leaving a tourist area you might have trouble getting the driver to use the meter...just walk away from him and walk 1/2 block and you will get one fine....or as i do go to a hotel and have them get you a taxi and there will be no problem...don't give other areas or from a restaurant you will not have a problem...ask restaurants to get you a taxi...
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 08:18 PM
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Why don't you split your time say 2 days at the Menam Riverside and 3 at the Princess. The Menam is a nice 3* star hotel which are presently redoing their rooms and other areas (should be finished by end of september). Nothing of interest around the hotel bur they have a boat every 2 hours to the skytrain station or the public ferry dock is close by.
The Pathumwan (4*) is in a great location, right by the skytrain station and direct access to MBK. Walking distance to siam square with all its shops and 2 train stops from the stores mentioned by Guenmai post above.
Both these places are under $100 and if you want to go higher then consider the Marriott Riverside and the Intercontinental. The four seasons is great but runs around $200.
Scotters is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 09:40 PM
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page what your hotel budget.

lol your post you interested in Menam and holiday inn. and your getting suggestions too stay at four seasons

I'd say just stay downtown, Menam is way out there..On one of your days you can spend all day at the river checking out the sites, river cruise etc.

orgy7 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 03:17 AM
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The river location is not at all remote if you stay at the Oriental, Shangri-la, Penn or Royal Orchid. Marriott is more removed and the Menam is also. Taxis however are very cheap and easily available. I much prefer the river. However I would NOT stay at the menam if you can avoid it.It's not up to other bangkok hotels.
glorialf is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 04:23 AM
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Someone on a hotel booking site (I think I saw it on posted this month and said the Pathumwan Princess is currently under construction and that it was a difficult stay as a result. You may want to check it out before you book. Others have recommneded Arnoma for the same price and location.

- Pam
pamdamage is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 06:22 AM
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I agree with orgy on this one. Stay in the "city" and then you can and SHOULD spend a day along the river, taking a klong tour, seeing the sights, dining, etc.

I don't think you would go wrong with the Novotel. The location is handy to shopping. I have not stayed at this hotel, but have stayed at Novotel in Sydney and was very pleased with the place.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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Thank you for all the great tips everyone! All the different inputs have helped us decide.

We'll stay by the river 3 nights, Chiang Mai 3, Samui 3, then back to bkk at the Novotel Siam Square for 2 nights before flying home. The last 2 days in bkk will give us time to shop and get last minute gifts. We won't have to deal with the shopping, lugging everything with us (therefore domestic luggage limit) until the end of the trip!

Thank you everyone! You guys are wonderful!
paigeTN is offline  

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