Off the Shiny Path: Bangkok

Mar 17th, 2012, 08:16 PM
  #1  
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Off the Shiny Path: Bangkok

I would like to see all the previous great postings of Bangkok recommendations that aren't in downtown Bangkok.

Please share your links.
Curt1591 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2012, 08:36 PM
  #2  
 
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Define "downtown". Lyndie's Roof View Place says on its website that it's in downtown (looks a lot like KSR to me). I thought you were complaining about Sukhumvit.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 17th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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food, hotels, entertainment???
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 17th, 2012, 09:39 PM
  #4  
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@thursdaysd

Sukhumvit, Silom, and such. The shiny path in other words. Something that isn't pounded by the tourist mob.

Although I consider KSR part of the shiny path, the mention of Khaosan Road (Thanon Khaosan for the monkey god), will bring ridicule from many of the regulars. Personally, although I don't frequent either downtown, or KSR, I find Banglamphu less annoying. And no, I'm not a gap year backpacker.

@rhkkmk

Exactly; I'm just looking for previous posts where something off the path was recommended.

I am sure many people have had many adventures. But, rarely is anything new mentioned in Bangkok.

Yes, my statement did sound like an indictment of all Fodorians. I was getting a little tired of Hanuman's pedantic catfish BS. I snapped!

But, that said, I really can't recall any Bangkok recs that were a bit outside the path. It was more of an observation, possibly erroneous.

Time may tell ...
Curt1591 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2012, 10:23 PM
  #5  
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@thursdaysd

I read some and searched your blogs. Although you do seem well traveled, I didn't come across anything really off the path in Bangkok. Much of it - guess where - Sukhumvit ;-)

My statement addresses posts on these forums.
Curt1591 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2012, 11:40 PM
  #6  
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BTW, as far as posting a list of "local" places goes, been there, done that.

For over 5 years, I maintained an advertisement free website, at my own cost, with many local along with some better know eateries and sites. Because I had to renew the account, and my credit card address wouldn't fit into the service provider's format, I finally said screw it.

For a year or so, we continued with a Facebook page, with the same info. But, as Facebook became less secure, they began requiring more personal information, information I didn't feel they needed. That site is now gone. I still maintain a Google map. With Google's new policies, the map's days could be numbered.

My site wasn't intended to show off my knowledge. As its introduction stated, it was intended to get the uninitiated out of the hotels and other "western" eateries. It was well received, and we miss doing it.
Curt1591 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2012, 06:06 AM
  #7  
 
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@curt - I don't particularly care for Bangkok, so I seldom post here about it (but see http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...-riverside.cfm ), as there are plenty of fans to do so. However, it's such a transport hub that I've been there, for at least one night, 12 times over the last 15 years.

I have stayed once on Silom Rd - to be close to the Myanmar Embassy - which is how I found Taling Pling.

I have stayed once on Sukhumvit Rd - to take a look at an area I don't visit very often. That happened to be my last hotel on my last trip, but you seem to have missed the fact that the blog post you read mentioned three other hotels, none of them on Silom or Sukhumvit.

I do think there's little point in going to Bangkok and eating western food, and I don't do it, but some people (super-tasters, perhaps) just can't handle spicy food.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 18th, 2012, 12:18 PM
  #8  
 
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So Curt, you HAVE a list of local places, in fact have been curating said list for over five years. But now you can't figure out how to pay for your web site and you feel FB is asking for "too much information (weird, I've never given facebook anything but my name, gender and age since I registered for facebook 7 years ago).

Do you want us to re-create a list for you here? Or do you just want to insult our choices?
lcuy is offline  
Mar 18th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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"Hanuman's pedantic catfish BS"? You were advising people to only use the name "cat fish" or "pla dook" when ordering the "crispy spicy cat fish salad" or "yum pla dook foo" and I just said that it was not right. Sort of like going to a fish and chip and ordering "cod"!

Cranky fellow!
Hanuman is offline  
Mar 18th, 2012, 05:23 PM
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I hate to seem to side with curt, but going into a UK chippy and ordering "cod" will get you fried cod in batter and chips. Although I'd recommend adding "please".
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 18th, 2012, 05:29 PM
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Probably right thursdaysd but I've always use the proper name for it.
Hanuman is offline  
Mar 19th, 2012, 03:59 AM
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I am always keen to get off the beaten path and find somewhere new. On our last trip this was achieved in trying to seek out the "Monks Bowl Village" near Chinatown. Not having a great sense of direction this proved harder than anticipated but resulted in us spending hours wandering the streets and markets of Chinatown which, proved to be one of the more enjoyable days spent in BKK in recent years. We rarely saw another foreigner so whather this counts as "off the shiny path" I am not sure.

Here is brief extract from my recent post:

"The next day, I am keen to purchase a monks alms bowl directly from the makers on the periphery of Chinatown so we jump on the MRT to Huamlampong station and walk right across Chinatown getting off the main roads where we can and wandering through the amazing markets. Never seeing a western face, for me, this is what Bangkok is all about. We get lost of course, but by using a combination of Nancy Chandler and BlackBerry GPS we eventually locate the street where the bowls are still handmade by three families. A couple of people are hammering away at sheets of steel to make the bowls which are fashioned out of a flat sheet of steel, cut into a sort of flower shapes, hammered into a bowl shape and then the edges are soldered with copper wire. We get chatting to an old man and his wife who seem delighted that we can converse in Thai and he shows us how the bowls are made. The wife, clearly the business woman in the partnerships starts the sales process! I do what every good husband does in these circumstances and leave the negotiation to Carolyn. Eventually, Mrs. Bowlmaker and my wife agree a price on which they are both happy and we start to walk back through Chinatown passing the incredible number or gun shops along the way selling everything from Colt 45s to Sig Sauer sniper and assault rifles!!! Deciding that we it might be a little difficult to get these through security at the airport we stop at a restaurant in back in Chinatown for a lunch of Roast Duck over rice and Dim Sum."
crellston is offline  
Mar 19th, 2012, 06:10 AM
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"...We rarely saw another foreigner so whather this counts as "off the shiny path" I am not sure...."

Please don't take this personally but I just don't get the obsession with being the only "foreigner" or possibly just "white person" in an Asian country. To put it in perspective, think about if a Japanese or Chinese tourist went to Europe and wrote home that he was the only Asian face, as if it were a badge of honor.

I just don't see how anyone would be able to know in a place like Bangkok if the people they see are even foreigners themselves or tourists that just happen to be Asian? Thailand has millions of Asian tourists visiting from Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Korea, Singapore, and so on. Sure, they may or may not be speaking Thai, but if Western-faced people can learn Thai, so can Asians from other countries! And there are lots of Asian expats living long-term in Bangkok as well.

What I'm saying is, you can't just tell from the outside where people are from, what their nationality is, or much else.
You can jump on me for saying this, but I just had to get it off my back.... But thanks for reading with an open mind.
kuluk is offline  
Mar 19th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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Curt,

I have read most of the recommendations on your previous web site and would dearly like to see it recreated here. I had it bookmarked for our upcoming trip to Bangkok and it is a shame that it is no longer readily available.

I can emphathise with your point of view and I also dont always agree with some of the regular posters, BUT I have come to an understanding that there is plenty to be learned from many of the members here and I am better off just adding my input when I think it may be appreciated instead of continually contesting the viewpoint of those that I will never see eye-to-eye with.

You obviously have a wealth of knowledge on Bangkok that would be of great use to any traveller, in particularly those on a tighter budget and ones that want to stray from mainstream tourist Bangkok. It also seems clear that you are wanting to share this knowledge with others.

If I may be so bold, I would like to suggest that you would be better served by starting a new thread with some of your suggestions of the "hidden gems" of Bangkok, rather than getting more people off-side through challenging the legitimacy of their own travel experience.

This Forum could really use your input and I think it would be widely appreciated if it was given in a less combatitive manner. Please dont take that as criticism... I live in a glass house and should be the last person to give advice on a softer way to throw stones... I would just like to see you impart your knowledge here in a less argumentative way.
shanek is offline  
Mar 19th, 2012, 08:31 PM
  #15  
 
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Never seeing a western face, for me, this is what Bangkok is all about.

Crellston: Thank you for clarification, and I appreciate your civil reply. I read your posts and enjoy them! Even Thai people get confused when they meet me and I am not Thai, and my Balinese partner frequently finds Thai people repeatedly speaking to him in Thai and getting upset when he isn't able to answer. You mentioned not seeing a western face as a wonderful part of the Bangkok experience, so that is where I got the possibly erroneous assumption that you were talking about non-asians as "western."

I apologise if I seem to be back-biting or snide, really.
kuluk is offline  
Mar 19th, 2012, 09:22 PM
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Roof View Place is about 10 minutes walk from KSR, however it's in a very Thai area with lots of old shop houses and older locals and their families living close to the river and enjoying their wet market in the mornings and food carts in the late afternoon. The proximity to KSR is good and bad, for me. However very few of those who stay in KSR/Soi Rambutri area would bother coming over the bridge and getting away from the noisy, boozing place that KSR has become. Having said that KSR is amazing at night for a beer and view of how the other half parties!! Just don't hang around too late. It's a jungle out there! I so love some of these threads! And Roti Mataba in Phra Arthit is worth a walk on the wildside! The Orange River boat from near the ShangriLa will drop you off on the Phra Artit pier and it's only a short walk to Roti Mataba!
Lyndie is offline  
Mar 19th, 2012, 09:44 PM
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I used to find KSR useful for exchanging second hand guidebooks. It was a big disappointment my last trip, as it turned out I could no longer do that. Still, I got to check out the latest twenty-something dress code.

I did stay at New World GH one time, on the Roof View side of Klong Banglamphu, which was indeed quieter.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 02:45 AM
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Roof View is owned by a very well informed Thai lady. She's travelled lots, and not just in Asia. She knows most bus routes and how to get to anywhere in Bangkok. I have an ulterior motive in staying there, mostly because of her knowledge. The food at breakfast is fabulous and included in the rate. And free tea and coffee all day...well it's just too good. All air cond rooms, fridge, cable t.v. and for around US25 a double! I miss use of a pool, however I'll leave the swimming until I get to a beach! Have fun thursdaysd!
Lyndie is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 07:59 AM
  #19  
 
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I just "got" what you said rhkkmk.......took me awhile.

Aloha!
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