How many days in Bangkok?

Old Dec 15th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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How many days in Bangkok?

In January we will be stopping in Bangkok on our way to India. I have read several tour books and can not decide if we will be able to see much of city's attractions in 3 days. We may be able to add another day and I would appreciate information on what major sites to see in that time period. Thanks
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 12:28 PM
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i never have too many days in bkk...i just spent 12 days there and this was my 13th trip....

the main in town sites can easily be seen in 2 full days... i like to suggest that people with limited time hire a driver/guide for the day....well worth the money... tong and rat are two favorites here... the cost is usually less than $100 for a full day...

they get you right to the door of places, have an a/c car (which is necessary in that heat) waiting for you when you exit, have cool water in the car, etc... there is no time spent with public transport or taxis and making mistakes about where to go....its the best....i still use them for repeat visits to some sites and when i am showing friends around...

the main sites are:

grand palace
wat pho
wat arun
jim thompson house
golden buddha
teak palace

a ride on the river and perhaps a klong (canal) tour
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 12:29 PM
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if you are coming from europe, america or canada, do not underestimate your jet lague....day one is usually a total waste
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Thanks for the fast reply on Bangkok's major sites. If I wanted to take a day trip from Bangkok, would you suggest Ayuthata or ?
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Well I suspect you will be jet lagged for the first day or so.
Try to add another day to Bangkok if you can. You can get the most out of your stay if you hire a driver. Search this forum for a few of the drivers available that regulars on this forum have and are using. Rat is one that we have used on all of our trips to Bangkok. By using a driver ( they are not expensive by the way) you can maximize your time and the sights you will be able to visit. Yes its true you don't need a driver - and in my opinion you don't need a guide- but it helps you see and do more especially in the Bangkok heat.
Major must see sights include - Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Jim Thompson House, Weekend Market, Marble Temple, shopping in Siam Square area, silver shopping on the street behind the Oriental Hotel, and for evening entertainment- the Calypso Cabaret at the Asia hotel- a classy ladyboy show! Others will chime in here on sights I have missed but with a driver you can do all of this in 3-4 days.
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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If you can add another day to Bangkok, do so. There is so much to see and do.

Personally, I've never used a guide in Bangkok. I prefer to go on my own and use public transport. For instance, a number of the most important wats are along the river, and a water taxi is the most efficient way to get there (as well as being a quinessential Bangkok experience). So The Grand Palace/Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Po (Reclining Buddha) Wat Arun are right along the river.

I agree that Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha) and the Jim Thompson House are also must-see places. (I'm not as enamoured of the Teak Palace, but some people love it.)

Depending on the amount of time you have and your interests, consider the Erawan Shrine (easy access from the Skytrain), the Prasart Museum (must have reservations in advance), perhaps the Suan Pakkard Palace and some other Wats. Of course, there is also shopping and eating - favorite passtimes of many visitors to Bangkok.

With the limited time you have, I'm not sure I'd recommend a day trip outside the city.

You will have both jet lag to consider as well as the heat. Both depend on your individual reactions. I find I can do most of a day of sightseeing, etc my first day in Bangkok, though I'm ready to sleep by about 7 pm (I get it at midnight after 20+ hours of travel time). The next day, I'm pretty much in the Bangkok time zone. Others are hit harder by the jet lag.

Even in the "cool" season (Nov - Feb) Bangkok is hot. In April, as one of our posters says "it's hell hot." So make sure you allow for time to cool off - perhaps at your hotel pool, or a lunch in an airconditioned restaurtant or a trip on the skytrain. You will find you can't do as much sightseeing in a day in Bangkok as you can, say, in an European city because of the heat.
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 02:09 PM
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We went to Ayuthaaya 2 days after we arrived in BKK, and unfortunately got hooked up with a teen-aged (Govt Authorized!!!) guide who spoke no English and was on her mobile phone all day. We missed so much. Our fault for not following up, but we were so jet-lagged that we just wanted to get back to the hotel and sleep. I would suggest staying in BKK, there is plenty to do and see. Save out-of-town trips for later.
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 02:21 PM
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I'll chime in and agree with the others. There is plenty to see and do in Bangkok to take up your limited time.

If you are there on a weekend, the Weekend Market (called JJ Market or Chatuchak) is an incredible experience. It is the largest one in the world. It gets very hot and crowded, but worth wandering for at least a couple of hours! You will want a map of the market, so you don't get completely lost, which is quite easy to do!

There are upscale malls in Bangkok and then there is the one true Thai mall... MBK. It is also worth an hour or two, if you are into shopping and bargaining.

Rhkkmk mentioned a klong tour. This is always such a fun thing to do. I've done it at least 3-4 times now, and each time is just as much fun as the one before. You get an interesting glimpse into life along the canal... from huts to wats to large expensive homes. You may be able to get a tour at a kiosk at the Saphan Taksin skytrain station, which is located at the river. The tour might include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, a klong tour... which can be done easily in a 1/2 day or maybe slightly longer.

I am heading to Bangkok tomorrow, for a 19-night stay in the city (except for a couple of beach days for the new year) and will not be bored at all spending that much time in the city. This will be my 22nd trip to Bangkok since 2001. Needless to say, I really love it there.

Enjoy your trip!

Carol
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 04:04 PM
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Carol- Why don't you buy a condo there? You can get one dirt cheap now. We're going to buy a house there shortly.

Btw, you may want to try this nice river restaurant near rama 8 bridge called khinlum phom sa phan (im sure hanuman knows this one). Go when the sun Is setting..
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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i personally find Ayuthata a total bore and time consuming and sort of a waste of time...

for outside the city i would prefer the floating market and tiger temple, but only with my own driver...
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 08:10 PM
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the reason i suggest a guide/driver is that your time is so short....while public transport, including the river boats, is efficient, it often is difficult to know just where to go to get to each site... plus "helpful" locals often lie to you and tell you places are closed and offer to take you to "more interesting" places... if you had the lux. of time, i would see no need to hire anyone to help you.... but you want to see as much as possible in a short time and the driver/guide is the only way to do that, imo.

taxis from the major sites often present a problem as well as they will seldom use their meters and charge high flat rates to unsuspecting tourists...
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Old Dec 16th, 2010, 05:17 AM
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I appreciate all this information. One more question - should we stay down by the river at Aurum Riverside or at Nai Lert Park hotel? I like a small place and my husband would like a pool; neither of us want a large 5 star place - any other hotels we should consider? Is there an e mail address for guides Tong and Rat?
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Old Dec 16th, 2010, 11:24 AM
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Here are emails for Rat.

[email protected] or
[email protected]
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Old Dec 16th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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nei lert is at least a 4* hotel and is quite large, but well located...

a find a pool necessary...

take a look at chatrium on the river....i just stayed there and it was very nice, but a hi-rise
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Old Dec 16th, 2010, 03:41 PM
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Nai Lert has a nice pool and is in the middle of everything. Lots of Chinese tourists tho', and, Keith Carradine expired there. Taxi drivers sometimes aren't sure of where it is. Good luck..
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Old Dec 17th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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We're just back from Thailand last month, our first visit. I would say if you can squeeze four, that's about perfect. We used Rat for our first day in BKK, and one of her associates Mana to go to the floating market and train market later on. I have mixed feelings about guides in general, but it does make it easier to have someone to drive you around if you're only there for a short period of time, and they were good. BKK is easy once you get the hang of it, but it's not a bad idea to think of a guide for one day maybe.

We did most if not all the sights mentioned above, I think they've captured the best/can't miss experiences. Highlights for me were the train market, our cooking class at Mai Kaidee, and the reclining Buddha. Don't miss Harmonique for lunch or dinner, it was our favorite restaurant in BKK.
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Old Dec 17th, 2010, 05:58 PM
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seal---ain't harmonique great!!
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Old Dec 17th, 2010, 09:43 PM
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Four days with no side trips.
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