First Day in Bangkok for First Time

May 8th, 2008, 09:17 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Neither the floating market or the fishing village appeal to me, personally, but I'm an outlier. If I were you (and I'm not), I'd do the floating market/fishing village one day if I wanted a day outside of Bangkok. Otherwise, I'd do all three days in Bangkok. You could certainly use Tong for a day in Bangkok if you wanted to - have her take you to some of the wats, make merit. But you don't need her for your shopping, etc.
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May 8th, 2008, 11:40 PM
  #22  
jgg
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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If you only want one day outside of the city I would definitely do the Floating Market and fishing village in that one day. I would skip the Tiger Temple because it is further out and the other too are much more interesting and fascinating experiences. The fishing village would probably be my top choice. You just don't always have the opportunity to have an experience like that when you travel!!

Then I would do Grand Palace and the major temples with Tong. This won't take a full day either. I recall we started about 8:30am and were done about 2:00pm. Definitely time to fit in some shopping or a massage.

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May 9th, 2008, 02:34 AM
  #23  
 
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I think you should use Tong, one day in BKK and one day outside. On the outside day, the Floating Market and the Fishing Village would be a wonderful day. On the day in BKK, you could see many sights, but you might also want to make merit in the morning. If you're interested, Tong could take you to an orphanage i the afternoon. This is amazing as well.

You can call the Wat Pho Massage School. They will know whether the Pen will allow you to use your room.
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May 9th, 2008, 04:50 AM
  #24  
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Thanks. I think we will use Tong for one day in the City for sure. (Maybe even just 1/2 day to see the sites), and then use her for 1 day to go to the fishing village and floating market, because those do look cool, and then we would still have 1 and 1/2 days on our own to see some other sites we could see on our own and get in some shopping, a massage, and my husband's fittings for his custom suits that he wants made. What specific sites do you think we should see on our own versus with Tong. The Jim Thompson House seems like something we could do on our own because somebody said you got an English guide there, but is there anything else you'd recommend we do on our own versus with a guide. Also, are there any other massage places you would recommend besides the Wat Pho, because if all they do is Thai massage, and my husband wants something else (based on what Kathie said about the pain, he's already said he doesn't want one), I want to go somewhere where he has that option. Thanks!!
Angie525 is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 06:46 AM
  #25  
 
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Face spa is one of my favorites. We've been using them since they opened. There are lots of other Fodorites who have also used Face at our recommendation and were very happy. You can find comments on it by searching the forum (use the search box at the top of the Fodors page). here is the website: www.facebars.com click on Bangkok. As you will see, there is a restaurant there as well. We usually schedule 2 hours of spa at 11, then have lunch afterwards. This is a real Thai spa experience, the treatment rooms are old teak houses plumbed for modern conveniences.

While many people like the Wat Po massages, I really like having a spa ambiance, which you certainly don't get at Wat Po nor in your room if you have them come to your hotel room.

There are zillions of spas in Bangkok. If you try one that hasn't been reported on here, please do a review for us. Many of us love doing spa in Bangkok.
Kathie is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 07:57 AM
  #26  
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Thanks Kathie! I think we will have to check out Face, as I have seen it mentioned in other places on this forum, but I could not find it when I searched for it online. A couple of questions about Face. 1) Can you schedule an appointment online with them via email, or will I have to call; 2) how far in advance do you think I need to make appointments; 3) Can I get to Face using public transportation?; and finally 4) which treatments have you tried/do you recommend for somebody who doesn't want anything too rough. Thanks so much!! (BTW, I know it's more than a few questions).
Angie525 is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 08:35 AM
  #27  
 
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I don't know whether Face's email is working now or not. In the past we always scheduled for our first day in Bangkok via email. But last trip, we got no response to our email, and it turned out they were having email problems. So you can try the email. Otherwise, just call when you get to Bangkok, They don't book up far in advance. We've always been able to get an appointment within a day.

You can get to Face easily via public transport. Take the Skytrain and get off at Thong Lor.

We've tried most of the spa treatments. We usually do the Rejuvenation package our first day - body scrub and massage. Thai scented oil is my favorite, but the herbal compress is nice as well. The others are too rough for my back. We've also done the Wat Pho Healer package and the Facial refresh... You choose your scents once you get there.
Kathie is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 09:14 AM
  #28  
jgg
 
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When we were planning our visit to Face Spa for March I had no problem communicating via e-mail so it must be working now. They were always very quick to respond.
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May 9th, 2008, 09:53 AM
  #29  
 
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Thanks for that info, jgg, we'll use email again to schedule our spa appointments this year.
Kathie is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 04:48 PM
  #30  
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Thanks Guys! I got my confirmation from Tong yesterday to tour with her on the 2nd and 3rd day we will be in Bangkok. She is asking me to send her what I want to do. She suggested the first day we should go around Bangkok, and the second day do the fishing village/floating market tour. So, not surprisingly, I have a couple of questions. (1) Do you think we should leave the city to go to the floating market/fishing village when we only have 3 days in the city, or should we spend all our time in the city, in other words, is the fishing village/floating markets worth it?, (2) How should we spend the time we have in Bangkok with Tong? and (3) I want to see the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, do a canal tour, and have time for some shopping, for my husband to go to a suit fititng and eat yummy food, is all that possible in (1) day? would we just be pushing it?

Again, thanks so much for all your help!!! I really appreciate it.
Angie525 is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 07:34 PM
  #31  
jgg
 
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(1) Absolutely!! These two were our favorite things that we did while staying in BKK (even though they were outside of BKK!!) Definitely a unique experience.

(2) Do the things you listed in #3 minus the shopping and suit fitting. You could also do the canal tour on your own.

(3) It is possible, all depends on how much shopping you want to do- you could definitely spend a whole day doing that. Consider going to one of the night markets so you don't have to spend as much time during the day shopping. I don't know about the suit fittings but I think most people recommend multiple fittings- will you be returning to BKK at the end of the trip to have another fitting?
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May 14th, 2008, 03:06 AM
  #32  
 
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Definitely do the Floating Market/Fishing Village tour. It is a wonderful day.

Don't waste your time with tong doing a klong tour. You can arrange this on your own.

For a suit fitting, you're going to need several visits to the tailor. With only three days in BKK, you will have to do the first visit right away.
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May 14th, 2008, 05:28 AM
  #33  
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As for the suit fitting, we are planning on doing the first one on our first day there, and then will go back for the other one on the second day. We were hoping that somebody could do it with just two fittings. On the first day, we wanted to do the first suit fitting, get massages, and try to get over jet lag. Maybe we can also do a klong tour on that day depending on how we feel. Then, the second day with Tong, I wanted to try to squeeze in the second suit fitting. My husband really wants to get some suits made, and since this is the only thing he really wants, I want to try to squeeze it in. I was then wondering if we will be able to squeeze in a third fitting if we end up going to the floating market/fishing village all day on the last day. Hmmm. . . I'm not really sure how to work that in. As for the shopping, thanks for the idea of the night market. Can you suggest a good not-so touristy one to go to? Is there a market we can get to using public transportation?

Thanks so much!!
Angie525 is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 06:34 AM
  #34  
 
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Three fittings is a minimum for a well-tailored suit. And if you only have three days in Bangkok, I doubt you can get a well-tailored suit. If you can get two or three fittings up front, then return to Bangkok for at least a day, you could get a final fitting at the end as long as you have a day for any changes to be made and the final try-on. You will find plenty of tailors who will tell you they can make suits in less than 24 hours - but they will look like they were made in less than 24 hours.

By the way, has your husband had suits custom-made for him before? If not, he needs to know exactly what he wants (he has to make decisions on everything) and needs to give exact feedback to the tailor about the fit.
Kathie is offline  
May 14th, 2008, 09:17 AM
  #35  
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He has never had custom-suits made before. Can you give me an idea about what you mean by he needs to know exactly what he wants? What does he need to know specifically?

Thanks for all your help with this. We are novices at all this stuff, and I really appreciate it.
Angie525 is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 06:15 AM
  #36  
 
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Angie,

The Pennisula is a great hotel, and their concierge can be trusted to suggest a reputable tailor and make arrangements for almost anything you desire. Many of the long tail boat and klong tours leave from that area of the river. The Pennisula has their own barge that crosses the Chao Prahya and drops you at the Skytrain. Face is a great massage experience, I believe there is an outlet on Silom, close to the Sala Deng Skytrain stop.

Regardless of what you read, stay away from those tailors around Sumkumvit area e.g. Raj etc, they cannot make you a quality suit in 24 hours. If you are buying silk, be sure to conduct a burn test with a lighter, there are many cases of first timers being take to the cleaners on this old scam(no pun intended!)

Chok Dee on your first time in the City of Angels !
jazzrpc is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 06:23 AM
  #37  
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Thanks Jazz. What do you mean by a "burn" test? Also, can you tell me the types of things/information my husband has to know before he goes to the tailor. We want to be prepared and not get "taken to the cleaners."

Thank you so much!!! I appreciate yuor help with all this.
Angie525 is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 06:35 AM
  #38  
 
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There is only one Face in Bangkok. Jazz must be referring to a different spa.

There are many tailor recommendations here on the board, do a search for tailors in Bangkok. Personally, I'd do that rather than rely on the Pen. Craig has a favorite, Bob (rhkkmk) has a favorite, rizzuto has a favorite. Any reputable tailor's fabrics will be as labeled. The only place where you might conduct a burn test would be in an open air market where goods are often not as advertised. (burning a small piece of "silk" or "wool" to see if it burns or merely melts - melting is a sign of synthetics)

Your husband need to know exactly what he wants in a suit - he will make decisions about every detail. Have him bring a photo of the style he wants, or he can bring a suit he likes and have the tailor copy it. If he is looking for heavy fabrics (a winter-weight wool, for instance) he'll need to bring his own. Otherwise, tailors have (or have access to a huge variety of Italian and English tropical weight wools and wool/cashmere blends.

Having an adequate number of fitting is especially important - no less than 3. And your husband must give specific feedback about what he want changed. This is not a time to be shy. The tailor wants you to be happy.

There have been a number of posts about preparing to visit a tailor. I think I've covered most of the high points.
Kathie is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 07:08 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Dont be afraid to take a cab - I was on my 1st day and regretted it later, when I realised that to get right across town in a air con cab only costs about $1.50! You have to be firm though and insist the meter is running and that the driver doesnt negotiate a rate other than what is on the meter. If you take a cab from outside a hotel or at a taxi rank this wont happen.
A massage at Wat Pho is perfect for jetlagged bodies. Or a drink on the cool terrace of the Oriental Hotel (or even better, a trip to the hotel's own spa - heavenly!) followed by a boat ride and lunch at the Jim Thompson House.
Im envious!
traveller2007 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 09:12 PM
  #40  
 
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Hi, I've been reading this thread (and quite a few others) with interest, due to the fact that a friend and I will be in BKK in February. We will be on a tour--I know that everyone says Thailand is easy to do on one's own, but we opted to have the security of the tour and there is enough free time to do things we want to do.

I am thinking of booking a day with Tong--she sounds interesting as a guide. Nowhere in the posts I've read,( I haven't read every single one, tho.) have I seen an indication of the cost for her guiding. I know that prices change but some idea of what will be charged would be helpful for budgeting purposes. Is she paid in cash or CC?? Tip??

The same question can be asked for the FACE massage spa. We want to do this and FACE sounds popular. What kind of cost are we looking at? What about tips?

I have found more information than I will ever use, on this Forum. I appreciate the fact that many people do take the time to do a trip report AFTER they return. My husband and I went to Croatia last September and I was surprized at the number of questions/replies I got after I wrote a trip report. It does take time, but it seems to be appreciated. Thanks to all. Ciao! mhm

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