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Favorite Tourist Sites in Bangkok after the "First String" Majors?

Favorite Tourist Sites in Bangkok after the "First String" Majors?

Old Jun 20th, 2001, 11:40 AM
  #1  
lynn
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Favorite Tourist Sites in Bangkok after the "First String" Majors?

Hi -

We're on our way to Thailand again this November and I'm looking for a few things to go see. We saw the main sites on our first trip (Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun & Kanchanaburi) but didn't do any "touristy" sites last year.

This year I'm thinking of checking out the National Museum, Vinnemeak Palace, Jim Thompson's House and/or the Royal Barges.

Any opinions?

Good, bad, waste of time, whatever?

Thanks in advance,

Lynn
 
Old Jun 20th, 2001, 02:13 PM
  #2  
Meg
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Hey, Lynn - thanks for the info on the jade. I finally got around to reading it today.

Hubby has decided he wants to go see kick-boxing in Bangkok - that will be something different! We're also going to Jim Thompson' s this time and back to Grand Palace to see the Royal Jewels, which we missed last time (they are upstairs and we didn't bother going upstairs). I thought the jewels might interest you!
 
Old Jun 20th, 2001, 02:50 PM
  #3  
lynn
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Hi Meg -

They sure would! I didn't know they were at the GP. I thought they were at the National Museum which is half the reason I thought about going there.

Thanks for the tip!

Lynn
 
Old Jun 20th, 2001, 03:28 PM
  #4  
Meg
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I can't find where I read it, but I remember there's a coin or weapon museum right near the entrance to the Palace. We roamed around in there awhile b/c it was air conditioned and then left. I read some place after we got home that the jewels are upstairs.

We're also going to the Forensic Museum in Thonburi, which will be quite different. Gory might be a better word!
 
Old Jun 20th, 2001, 04:48 PM
  #5  
lynn
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A Forensic Museum? That does sound interesting.

I always try to catch that Medical Detectives show on TLC when I'm home. I find that kind of stuff fascinating. I'm glad you mentioned it. If I'm not too busy buying jewelry I'll check into it.

Thanks,
 
Old Jun 20th, 2001, 08:05 PM
  #6  
Andrea
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Lynn,

Am I reading this right? That there are places in BKK that you haven't been??? I'm shocked! Dismayed!

Only teasing. I'm just surprized that I've been ONE place in BKK that our resident expert hasn't.

We LOVED the Jim Thompson house. First of all, it's just a lovely, interesting place, but more importantly, it's a FASCINATING story. The story of Jim's life would have been interesting enough even WITHOUT the big, mysterious disappearance!!

The house will give you more ideas for decor at home than you could ever use. Do plan on enough time for a drink at the bar, which is VERY relaxing. Also note that it's a bit hard to find (poor to no signage, in a back alley off of a very small street, etc), so be sure to get good instructions from the concierge or in your tourist book. It also closes fairly early (5??), and is closed on some days, so be sure to call ahead.

Andrea
 
Old Jun 20th, 2001, 08:10 PM
  #7  
Andrea
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Lynn,

Forgot one more thing - if you haven't already, it's best to read the book "The Jim Thompson Mystery" (I think that's the title) before you go. Also, they have great coffee table books of his house in the gift shop (well, also at the airport book stores).


Andrea
 
Old Jun 20th, 2001, 09:26 PM
  #8  
lynn
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Thanks Andrea.

That's what I was hoping to hear. When I read non-fiction I often reach for a spy novel so I'm sure I'd find his story in interesting; even without the dramatic ending.

And I'm glad to know they have a nice bar area. I'll find out the hours and plan on a late afternoon visit so we can have before dinner cocktails there. Excellent!

Thanks again,

Lynn
 
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 06:17 AM
  #9  
craig
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Lynn,

Definitely do the Jim Thompson house as the poster above recommended . We took the skytrain to get there. There is a stop nearby. It IS difficult to find--beware of the locals nearby telling you that it is closed.

The National Museum is very worthwhile if you take the tour in English which is only given 1 or 2 mornings each week. I think we went on a Wednesday. Be forewarned: the tour takes about 3 hours and the museum is not air conditioned. That being said, we learned more about Thai/Buddhist culture and history on this one tour than on the rest of our two-week trip.

We did not get to Vinnemeak Palace but I have heard it is worth visiting.

I don't recall from your trip reports if you went on the Oriental Hotel's all-day tour to Ayuthaya and the Bang Pa-in Summer Palace. This is a must do. There are actually two tours offered. You want tour #2 going out by bus and returning by air-conditioned boat (the Oriental Queen). The approx. $50pp cost includes a good buffet lunch served on the boat. The other tour goes out by boat and returns by bus--not as good since you are out in the afternoon heat. You will see ruins at two locations in Ayuttya (Thailand's second capital) and continue on to the Summer Palace, which is totally impressive and different from anything else you have seen in Thailand. As you head down the river to return to Bangkok, you will pass the Royal Barges. I don't believe they are worth a separate trip.

Have fun--I'm jealous of you. We're shooting to go back in 2002.

Craig
 
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 07:44 AM
  #10  
pat
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Sawasdee Lynn,
Unbeleivable that expert like you are asking for help! Beleive it or not, Bangkok Post today just has one half page story about what you are talking about!! What attractions or anything that may suit the business or tourists who're not the first timers.
In addition of your lists, besides of the Forensic museum (In Siriraj Hospital, West bank of the river, Thonburi side of bkk) which has been listed as a must for japanese tourists for years. I would like to suggest M.R. Krukrit Pramote's House, a famous politician house and open to the public, unfortunately, cannot find which days it will open or close, so you have to check this. About more wats, Have you? for Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing, just off the city Hall. Wat Trimitr, near chinatown, and a Gate for HM the King's 72nd celebration.
An old Fort, Phra Sumane, on Pra Athit Rd, near Bang Lam-poo, a cheap shopping district, is suitable to enjoy the evening, sunset, and see how Thonburi side is different from the east bank, you can join the aerobic dance there!
What's about the Ancient city, good for a day trip, every important attractions nationwide are imitated and scaled down, and grouped together in the land that looks like the country map.
The Bangkok tourist bureau is trying to promote Bangkok noi (thonburi side) to trap more tourists, but not that easy job, because of bad public transport set back.
Hope that helps.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 07:45 AM
  #11  
lynn
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Craig -

The museum tour sounds like a good thing to do in the morning. Not much is happening then and we certainly don't want to be walking through there at 2 in the afternoon.

I'm also glad you mentioned the Oriental Cruise. We looked into that last year but got lazy and didn't do it. I've heard from several people that it is very worthwhile. That will be a definate must do for us this year.

One question regarding the National Museum. Meg mentioned seeing that there where royal jewels somewhere at the Grand Palace and I thought there were some at the National Museum, did you see any there? Last year we were going to go over to see (I thought) a jewelry collection but now I'm not sure where it is. This year I definately want to see it.

Thanks,

Lynn
 
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 08:30 AM
  #12  
Craig
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Lynn,

We did not see any jewelry at the National Museum. However, at the Grand Palace, on the right just outside of the entrance to the temple complex where they take your tickets, there is a small museum where they have the jewelry collection. I'm pretty sure it's on the second floor. There are weapons and coins on display in the same museum. We actually found it by accident when we went in to get out of the rain.

Craig
 
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 12:15 PM
  #13  
Mary Anne Cook
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Had my first trip to Bangkok in Jan. of last year-returning about the same time again. The Jim Thompson house is interesting,but I found the Vinnemeak Place even more so because of the Thai history connection to it. Thanks to all the people who made the other suggestions of things to do and see. A friend of mine suggested the train as a way to go to Ayuthaya. Plan to make that trip this year. I enjoyed Bangkok,but then went on to Vietnam which I loved. Will also go there and Laos on this trip. Any suggestions concerning Laos.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2001, 02:30 PM
  #14  
lynn
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Hey Pat, you posted your message right before my last one so I didn't see it until now. Thanks for the other suggestions. My husband and I have been talking about going over the Thonburi side to wander around a little. Just something different.

Craig - That's what Meg said about the jewels. They were in the same place as the weapons. Good to have confirmation. Thanks.

I'm getting so excited I can't stand it! I've already started looking over 1999 and 2000 pictures and rereading my trip reports. I'm so looking forward to going back.

Lynn
 
Old Jun 22nd, 2001, 03:26 AM
  #15  
AnnaC
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Definitely don't miss Jim Thompson's house. It was fascinating and there are many beautiful items of furniture and art that benefit from being shown in a house environment rather than in a stuffy museum. I also agree that it is worth stopping for a drink at the cafe or bar - very relaxing and a truly friendly atmosphere. We didn't actually find it difficult to locate - perhaps we were lucky enough to spot the only signpost? You do begin to wonder whether you are going the right way, though, as it is down an alley that really doesn't look like it could be the right place. Keep going, though - it is there, towards the end, on the left!

 
Old Jun 22nd, 2001, 04:01 AM
  #16  
pat
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Lynn
Forget to mention about the National Theatre, it is just next door to the national museum, Just drop by and have a look, you may be lucky that there may be some performances to watch.
When you are leaving from the museum, walk towards the theatre, and continue a bit more, you will arrive at the Bangkok Tourist Bureau which is under a bridge crossing the river. You can get more valueable advice from them. If you continue walking more, you will finally arrive at the Phra Sumane Fort.
At the Vimanmek Trek Palace museum, you can watch the performances there as well, but i don't remember the time for it.
 
Old Jun 22nd, 2001, 11:58 AM
  #17  
lynn
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Well, I think Jim's house has hit the absolute list along with the Ancient capital (I'm not going to try and spell it!), I've read many comments about the cruise/lunch on the Oriental Queen and it sounds like a decent deal.

I also found the location of the forensic museum. It's across the river from the Grand Palace and slightly more north. That's a high probability.

I have one other question; what's the name of the park area on the river where you can watch the sun go down behind Wat Arun? I keep wanting to go there and try to get a couple of pictures but we have never done it yet. This trip I really want to. Do you know Pat?

Thanks,

Lynn
 
Old Jun 23rd, 2001, 02:40 PM
  #18  
Steve
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I love Jim Thompson's house, even after 5 visits. Makes me fantasize of the house I'd like to build there when I retire.

The Forensic museum is BIZARRE...and that from a doc who ran the ER in San Francisco for while, and spent yesterday at Riker's Island (the jail scenes of Law and Order spot).

The barges are hard to find, but a delight, and near the Forensic museum.

SPEND AN AFTERNOON WITH A TWO HOUR MASSAGE, WITH SIMULTANEOUS FOOT REFLEXOLOGY AT Marble House massage, legit, near Patpong off Suriwongse. If you decide to go, let me know and I'll send you a pic of us. We go often enuf that the folks there will giggle and treat you especially well.

Climb Wat Arun. Spend two days on the beach in Hua Hin, an easy train ride.

And eat some sticky rice with mango for me!

Steve
 
Old Jun 24th, 2001, 07:46 PM
  #19  
pat
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Lynn
I absolutely don't know the name of the park you have mentioned, however, I would suggest you get the bus or express river boat to King Rama I bridge (Sapan-Put in thai), the only green one, and walk a little bit north, you will be on the opposite site of the temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). After finishing your photo, you can enjoy the flower market, a very huge one.
 
Old Jun 25th, 2001, 02:09 PM
  #20  
lynn
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Pat -

Thanks for the info. We talked about going to that flower market on our first visit but never made it. Your idea sounds great.

Thanks,

Lynn
 

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