First time to Bangkok - advice???

Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:41 AM
  #1  
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First time to Bangkok - advice???

We are taking our 3 boys (23,19,17) to Bangkok in mid-June. This is the only time all 5 of us could get away to travel. We have an apartment for a week in Bangkok and then have 4 additional days to visit someplace else - possibly Phuket??? or China?? My husband and the boys are adventurous eaters and love an unique experience with food. So far they have said they want to visit the floating market, tiger temple, ride elephants and see the temples. I would love some input on what we should do, see, how to deal with the heat and where we should spend out extra 4 days.
Sandeak is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 07:20 AM
  #2  
 
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If you want to go somewhere else from Bangkok, choose a place you can enjoy in 4 days. Going to China for 4 days makes no sense at all. Think for a moment about the cost of visa for all 5 of you to China. The only CHina option that makes any sense at all would be Hong Kong - great city, no visa required.

But for such a short trip it makes more sense to stay somewhere in Thailand. If your boys want to ride elephants, take them to Chiang Mai. It's a one-hour flight form Bangkok. Go to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. You can spend a day or, if they are really into it, stay for the three day manhout training. (Warning if you are staying over night, facilities are quite basic.) There are other activities you can access from Chiang Mai as well... hiking, river rafting, etc.

I expect your apartment in Bangkok will have a swimming pool. Take advantage of it - take a break in the middle of the day for a rest and a swim. And when you are out sightseeing, take breaks that will put you in air-conditioned comfort for a while. Visit the places where you'll be outdoors all the time in the early morning or late afternoon. Wear sunscreen and a hat. Remember that bare skin will make you feel hotter in the sun than wearing, light, covering clothing.

Use public transport in Bangkok - the skytrain and the water taxis.

There is so much to do and see in Bangkok. Do you have a guidebook yet? Start with that. ALso, read some of the hundreds of posts here about Bangkok.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 07:39 AM
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the boys will love the wild nightime scenes in bkk.... just have a small talk with them about medical issues...

i have a restaurant listing for bkk if you would find it helpful ask for it at [email protected]...

we don't eat street food and i suggest that you do not do that either...many disagree, but it is best to be safe.

you might want to hire a guide for a day or two outside of bkk...i favor Tong: www.tourwithtong.com
her trips to the floating market, the fishing village and others are very pleasant and days well spent...

other than phuket, which is not my favorite, i like krabi, khoa lak and samui a lot for a few days....air asia flights there are very affordable... the new jw marriott in khoa lak has very favorable rates this year... the sheraton in krabi is also a great place...

you can drive to hua hin from bkk and it is a nice seaside place with sheraton, marriott and hyatt hotels among many others... i favor the hyatt...

you could also consider a few days in either luang prabang, laos or siem reap, cambodia (angkor wat ruins)..

you will have no difficulty filling your days in bkk...

when you have your plans more solidified, come back here and we will help you fine tune things...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 08:46 AM
  #4  
 
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There is lots to do in Chiang Mai for the family. Lots of treks, elephants, shopping, temples. Slower pace of life and different than BKK. Since the love of food is involved, take a fun and easy cooking class in CM. Lots of fun, inexpensive and we always have younger people there too.
stitchintime is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:07 AM
  #5  
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I will definitely check out Chiang Mai and look into cooking classes. I did send an inquiry e-mail to Tong in regards to touring outside Bangkok. Thank you for the restaurant guide link! This is our first trip to Asia and so your input is much appreciated. My family loves to do things off the beaten path too, that are less touristy. Which temples do you feel are not to be missed? Have any of you had clothing made in Bangkok? If so, was it good experience? We have a couple of guide books and I'm just now going through them and highlighting items that have been mentioned on the board here.
Sandeak is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:24 AM
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I've had clothing made in Bangkok many times over the years. The best predictor of satisfaction with a garment is have enough fittings. So getting clothing made can be time consuming. Consider whether you want to spend a chunk of your vacation time getting fittings. If you decide to have clothing made, we can give you lots more info about the process so you can have a good experience.

Must-visit wats (IMO) Temple of the Emerald Buddha/Grand Palace, Wat Po (these are next to each other, near the river, take a water taxi there and plan to get there when it opens at 8:30; Wat Arun, across the river from the previous two (you take a foot ferry). There are many dozens of wats to choose from, I've been going to Bangkok for about 25 years and I try to visit a new wat or two every year. I find that as soon as we get away from the few most visited, we're usually the only non-Thais there.

In Chiang Mai, you'll want to visit Doi Suthep.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 03:43 PM
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Yeh I agree with Kathy forget China,its an expensive visa for 4 days.
Next best choice,and my favorite,with no visa fee is Macao,its safe,its interesting,and even if you dont gamble,the Casinos are tourist sights just in themselves.
And dont forget the great buffets at the casinos,and a must try are the famous Macao custard tart from the bakeries.
The Portaguese influence is still everywhere,and the old downtown area where we stay at the East Asia hotel,is in the thick of it,and its a budget hotel.This hotel has a very interesting traditional chinese eatery underneath,where the locals drink their tea, take dim sum etc.Its as noisy as hell,and finishes before noon.Great atmosphere,and no tourists.Hotel rooms are clean and comfortable,staff are OK.
There is a excellent clean large open air swimming pool at Cheoc Van beach,with all the amenities ,a short bus ride,and we take a supply of chinese roast pork ,roast duck etc,steamed buns and a few bottles on Mateus rose,and chill in the sun.
Oh if you want to get Hong Kong in for a day,its a only a fast ferry ride away.
Yeh I Love Macao!
nomad4u is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2011, 07:58 PM
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we have clothes made every time...kathie has the key to a good experience---many fittings... and that is not in a 2 day period either... a cheap price means a cheap quality usually: i.e. 3 suits, two ties, 4 pants and 2 shirts= US$199. but 5 shirts for $100. is a good price... a real quality suit for $300. will be an amazing suit...

wats: wat arun, wat pho, marble wat, emerald buddha at the GP....
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 08:33 AM
  #9  
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Thank you for your responses. I have made an itinerary out of the suggestions here.
The boys have voted that rather than travel to Chiang Mai or Phuket they would like to go to either Hong Kong, Shanghai or Cambodia. I am doing some research now to decide which one will best suit our interests.
Sandeak is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 09:08 AM
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hong kong for sure
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 09:27 AM
  #11  
 
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The cost of a visa for China($140.x4) may help you eliminate Shanghai although it's a great city to visit.Love,love Hong Kong and no visa required.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 05:53 AM
  #12  
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I really wanted to visit Hong Kong but was out voted by the boys to go to Shanghai. Thank you for your helpful responses. We are all looking forward to visiting Bangkok and the long list of sights and experiences suggested on this board.
Sandeak is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 05:54 AM
  #13  
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I meant to type Singapore (above), not Shanghai.
Sandeak is offline  
Apr 26th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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good move, you will love singapore.... choosing the right hotel is important for location and ease of getting around...
rhkkmk is offline  

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