Plan B/Bangkok - just in case

Old Dec 28th, 2013, 07:27 AM
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Plan B/Bangkok - just in case

Hi, all,
With the uncertainty in Bangkok and the start of our trip less than 3-weeks away, I thought I'd develop a "Plan B" just in case the situation has become too unsettled to stay. We are still planning on our visit; however, things are changing daily, so I would like to have some options. I have a few thoughts but I'd also love some suggestions here. We arrive in Bangkok on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 19, and fly to Chiang Mai late afternoon on Thurs, Jan. 23 from Bangkok.

1) Beach stay -- Krabi/vicinity (or other recommended beach?)
I like the idea generally, but don't want to break the bank at an expensive resort or purchase airline tickets that I'm hoping I won't have to use. Some of the recommended places are already booked up. I also don't want to hop on yet another plane after traveling umpteen hours from NYC. I do like the idea of something that is very different from the rest of the trip (Chiang Mai, Chaing Rai, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap), but don't want to make a financial commitment that will cost a lot that I won't end up using.

2) Ayuthaya/vicinity - a trip (train?) outside of Bangkok, visiting Ayuthaya and then on to another site in the region. While we are ending in Siem Reap, I think we'd enjoy seeing both sites, as hubby is especially interested in history & architecture. This isn't currently in my itinerary. However, this isn't enough for 3 days so need some other ideas.

3) Any other thoughts? I really am hoping that this isn't going to be needed as I'm very much looking forward to visiting Bangkok for the first time. However, I do think a backup plan is good to have "just in case".

Thanks much for feedback and suggestions!

Paule
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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I would definitely hang in there for the bkk stay. stay on the river to avoid any problems..

#2 is not an alternative in my mind..

Vietnam (Hanoi) is a good reserve destination.
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 07:47 AM
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Thanks Bob. We are staying by the river (Centre Point Silom) so good access to local transport. Will consider the possibility of Vietnam, tho 3 days seems a bit rushed.
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 07:53 AM
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progol-I can't speak from experience but I would hang in there for Bangkok and just avoid the areas of protests. This will be our first trip to Bangkok also. I have the web site for Richard Barrow in Bangkok that I have been following.

www.richardbarrow.com

We arrive in Bangkok on January 29 and have 1 stay planned for 1/29-2/1 and 3 separate stays in March and April. So far I am not planning to change my itinerary. We are staying at the Bossotel which is by the river close to Central Pier and a sort walk to BTS Taksin station. I think your hotel could help advise you what areas to avoid. Also I'm planning to do a day trip with Tong to Ayutthaya if I can make contact with her via phone as she hasn't responded to my e-mails or FB request. I've read so much from others about Bangkok that it would be a shame to miss it. In the end the decision is yours and you have to do what's best for you.

Have a great trip!
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 08:03 AM
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We also stayed at the center point silom and thought it was a great choice. I have not been keeping up with the political situation currently, but I know from the past that if you keep to the riverside highlights for a few days, you should be fine. A day trip out to the floating market should be fun too, especially if you can get a guide like tong or ratt. As for ayutthaya, I have to disagree with bob. We took a day and went to the summer palace (bang pa inn) by train and then headed to ayutthaya which was one of the highlights of our trip, despite the fact hat we also did Siem reap in the same 3 week trip. Our regret was not having time to spend in sukho Thai which may also be an option for you for a few days. You can proceed by train to sukho Thai and then directly to Chiangmai from there, never returning for your flight. Hopefully though, you can spend your time in Bangkok which is one of my favorite cities.
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 08:06 AM
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Thanks, Chris,
I really am planning on staying in Bangkok- just trying to identify some options should the situation escalate and be less safe. I'm being prudent, I think, to have some backup plans. Not planning on making any reservations that require major financial outlay, as I'm hopeful that this plan won't be necessary.

Paule
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 08:10 AM
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Thanks, dgunbug, that's very helpful, and a great, low stress, backup. I'll probably not end up there but good to get your impressions. I've loved your take on things (studied your trip to India very closely when planning my trip last year).
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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Like others, I expect you will be fine. And you are staying by the river far from the protest areas. But I agree it makes sense to have a plan B.

1. Sukhothai certainly could be an option. Bangkok Air flies there, or you could take the train. Lodging there is inexpensive. Take a look at hotels on www.sawasdee.com I would think you could make reservations very late - or even show up without reservations and be ok. Ayutthaya could be an overnight stop.

2. Hua Hin if you'd like some beach time. It's normally about 2.5 hour drive from bangkok, but I notice a post from someone who just did it and it took 4 hours driving.

VN isn't really a good option as you need a visa in advance or a pre-arranged visa, which takes time.
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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Thanks, Kathie,
Just the info I wanted. Nice to have some good options, though I'm going on the assumption that I won't need to use them.

Yes, I was wondering about the Vietnam visas. I hope to go there in a couple of years, but not necessarily the best backup option.
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 04:47 PM
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Hua Hin is a viable option IMO. In holiday traffic the drive can be much longer than 2.5 hours. You should not encounter that situation, given your travel dates. It's a last minute sort of destination that requires no flight. Taxi or van or bus or train will get you there.

We leave for Phuket tomorrow for 3 nights, and will then have a couple of days in Bangkok before heading home. According to hanuman, we may be seeing protests during those two days. We will stay at Centre Point at Terminal 21, which is in the heart of Sukhumvit.
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for the info, Carol. This is very helpful to know. Hopefully, Plan B won't be needed, but at least there are choices, if needed.

Enjoy the rest of your trip! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip, too.
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 06:08 PM
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Wise to have plan b I reckon.
We are due into BKK on 2/2 Election Day.
The ex opposition leader is talking about mass protests after new years. What will the airlines do if Bangkok is effectively locked down?
I'm assuming they will have some contingency plan, but what ?
Has a city wide lock down happened before (Hanuman maybe).?

For Progol, Ayutthaya is a good bet, you can get a boat from Bangkok, perhaps even stay a night, then pick up the 9.00 pm train overnight to Chiang Mai.

For us (assuming we get to BKK) plan b is taxi to Pattaya. Fairly horrible, but we have some friends there.

Let's all hope that plan bs are redundant !
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 08:00 PM
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I was thinking that if things looked bad I would just take a taxi from the airport directly to Ayutthaya, even if it is expensive.
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Old Dec 29th, 2013, 03:47 AM
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Ayutthaya and perhaps Sukothai has definitely become "Plan B". No need to make any decisions at this point, and like mwgreen12 said, we could take a taxi directly from the airport.

Truly, I hope that this is not necessary, and that the political turmoil resolves quickly and peacefully. Like sartoric says, I hope that these plans are unnecessary!
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Old Dec 29th, 2013, 04:32 AM
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progol:
Give Ratt a try as she is the original driver - she trained Tong!
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Old Dec 29th, 2013, 05:56 AM
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Hua Hin would be a very good option. As Kathie has said it is a 2.5-3hr taxi ride that can be arranged at the last min. Thus no capital out lay of air fare. Make a hotel reservation that can be cancelled, and you are good to go. What are you going to do in Ayuthaya after you have looked at the ruins, which would take a few hours at the most?

Hopefully things will come to a head soon and you can proceed as normal. AS the kids say...go with the flow.
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Old Dec 29th, 2013, 07:14 AM
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Well, I have Plan A, B, & C! Plan A is 'A for Bangkok', of course, and am still planning on visiting, unless the situation is truly not safe.

Plan B/C (order can change depending upon mood) will be Ayutthaya or Hua Hin. I'll look into reservations that can be cancelled and will leave it to a (much) later date to make any decisions, one way or another.

Many thanks for all your help and suggestions!
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