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Solo business woman in Bangkok for the weekend - recommendations please

Solo business woman in Bangkok for the weekend - recommendations please

Nov 21st, 2010, 08:23 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 207
Solo business woman in Bangkok for the weekend - recommendations please

Hi ~

Would like to get some advice from frequent travelers. I will have a weekend stop over in Bangkok mid January. I arrive on Friday about midnight and depart on Sunday at 7pm. Would like recommendations on how to spend the weekend. I would like to focus on highlights of the city. Maybe the temples, palace, etc.

Do you know any good english speaking guides that could get me to all the sights quickly, so I don't loose time navigating? Or a good tour company to use?

What part of town would you recommend my hotel be in?

Is is safe to catch a taxi at the airport? Anything I need to watch out for?

Appreciate your suggestions on hotels, itinerary, etc.
Thanks
JackieSun is offline  
Nov 21st, 2010, 11:46 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Catching a taxi at the aiport is perfectly fine. It should be a meter taxi. The cost will be around 300 baht, plus tolls of about 70-75 baht, which the driver will expect you to pay. Make sure you get some baht at the airport, and in smaller denominations, for the taxi.

I always stay in the Sukhumvit area. It is very close to the shopping and restaurants and friends I enjoy seeing. My current favorite place is a serviced apartment hotel, Adelphi Suites, on Sukhumvit soi 8. It is very convenient to the sky train, which I use to get around the city's major spots.

The weekend market (Chatuchak... also call JJ Market) will be happening on the weekend. If you enjoy this sort of thing, I can recommend it highly. It's the largest one in the world, if I'm not mistaken. It gets very crowded and can be very hot. The aisles are narrow and are filled with people and often motorbikes going through.

You probably will want to go to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, and maybe Wat Arun. It is very possible to do them on your own, and they are close together, along the river. If you go down to the river, there are tour operators who have stands at the skytrain station, just before you go down the stairs to the river. And if not there, then surely you could find a tour right along the boat docks. Or arrange your own private tour by longtail boat. Not too hard to do.

I have never had a guide take me around Bangkok in my 21 trips there; but that said, I do have a good friend (a Thai woman) who has taken me to places I might not have thought about on my own.

Enjoy your visit. Bangkok is an amazing city.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 07:21 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,943
taxi no problem...

stay on the river...: marriott resort and spa... peninsula, sheraton or shangri-la or hilton...

4 seasons or hyatt or plaza anthanee (meridien) or intercontinental, jw marriott, courtyard, sheraton grande if in town

hire tong for touring---www.tourwithtong.com
can tour on own, but with limited time guide is most efficient

shopping: siam paragon 4th floor
jim thompson main store or outlet--soi 93, sukhumvit
platinum fashion mall
gaysorn plaza among many others
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2010, 05:47 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
My thoughts and suggestions are below:

1. As you only have about 1.5 days, you will need to pick your priorities. You are there on a weekend, which will help with traffic, but in any event you have quite a short time. If you could be more specific about your interests, we may be able to give better advice. If you have a midnight flight arrival, that means you will be at your hotel around 1:30 am or so. Not sure if you are an early riser, and not sure if you are coming off a long-haul international flight. But your first day could be hard to fit everything in if you are working on little sleep and possibly jet lag. And the heat and esp humidity of Bangkok can only add to that. So bear that in mind when planning.

However, for a first-time visitor, I would suggest:

--Grand Palace/Emerald Buddha
--Trip up/down the river by long tail boat, including a visit to the royal barges and Wat Arun and taking in some of the side canals
-Trip to a working temple, perhaps Wat Po (near to Grand Palace)
--Visit to the Jim Thompson house and then his shop (many outlets in town, but his main shop on Sukumvit is enormous; see www.jimthompsonhouse.com)
--If you like museums, the National Museum is excellent, but watch your time
--If you don’t stay at a river side hotel (see below), then breakfast or lunch at the outdoor cafes of one of them (i.e. Mandarin, Hilton or Peninsula) is a good idea
--if Sat night is clear, a drink or meal up on top of one of the towers, like Sirocco, for the fantastic views.

The Grand Palace takes several hours to see, you can hire a guide or just go yourself (but bring a guidebook with a map). I have gone to the Grand Palace dozens of times, sometimes with a guide, sometimes without. Both have their advantages. With a short time, you may prefer a guide to give you an overview, and then you can always stay longer to see more yourself.

Many people, including myself, enjoy taking cooking lessons, and there are options like the Blue Elephant and I believe the Jim Thompson house offers them. The Mandarin offers famous cooking classes. However, these will take time and you may not want to sacrifice other things for a cooking lesson. But if you like to cook (and go to local markets)then a cooking lesson may be a good use of your time.

2. A budget for hotels would be helpful in getting more directed reccos. I always prefer to stay on the river, and have been known to move from my business hotel where I stay downtown during the week to a river hotel on the weekend. The river is the lifeblood of the country, and watching it pass before you is one of my favourite things to do in Thailand. Therefore, if you can splurge and go for something like the Peninsula, Shangri-La or the wonderful Mandarin, these would be good choices. The Hilton is also close by. Many people like the Sheraton, I am not a huge fan, but the location is good. I like the Marriott Riverside a lot, which is mentioned above, but with that short a time it may be a bit too isolated. It is down river from the other hotels, and not near the sky train like the above hotels are.

3. If you love to shop, then the weekend market is for you; however, that would mean sacrificing many other sights, as you have a limited time. You need to set aside about 4-5 hours or more for the market, including travel there and back. So again, you have to weigh your priorities.

4. I would recommend you buy a map called "Nancy Chandler's Guide to Bangkok" . This is a very colourful and useful map of the city and an info guide on shopping for just about every item you can imagine, as well as a guide to specific streets and areas of Bangkok. Her map comes with a little booklet chock full of other very interesting info on Bangkok (her website is quite interesting too). You can it buy it on the web from her website, and in Bangkok virtually all hotels, bookshops and the airport bookshop also sell it. However, if you have time, I would order a copy before you leave so you have time to review it, it’s quite extensive. Order it from her, she will mail it to you, see http://www.nancychandler.net/; you need the latest edition IMO to make sure you have all the updates, for US$9 or so including postage it's worth it.

You might also consider getting the Luxe Guide for Bangkok. Like Nancy Chandler, this is not a guide book in the traditional sense, as there is no history or information on specific tourist spots, but it is quite good for eating and shopping. Because it is so short (about 4 pages), they can update it 4 times a year so it is very current. It only costs like US$8. (Go to http://www.luxecityguides.com/) It is tiny and can fold into your pocket. For a traditional guidebook, I would probably recco the DK Eyewitness guide, as it has very useful maps and cutaways of particular sights.
Cicerone is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 02:26 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 19
For me..i don't like to use guide..so everywhere i go, i go alone..
for area of staying..i still prefer staying at Sukhumvit area.. its is very centralize and sukhumvit area has BTS stations..so its very convenient.

Taxi is a good choice to travel around though. but since you are alone, you can take BTS to save cost. if you want to take Airport link you also can, for taxi it will cost you 400THB from Airport to Sukhumvit area.

As you are alone, you can stay at Sukhumvit soi 11 onwards.. It is very tourist friendly. i used to stay at Soi 11 @ Grand President serviced apartment. it was good and value for money.

if you don't need any facilities you can look at On8. it is just right infront of BTS NANA. the hotel is quite nice yet new. try to check it out.

there is the other one as well which is more budget and also safe, Legacy Express just 5 minutes to BTS ploenchit and Nana.

the other area will be Pratunam.. There is one quite nice yet budget hotel. Citin Pratunam, just walking distance to the Platinum shopping Mall and also the pratunam wholesale market. this area is good for those who love shopping.
Joliefish is offline  
Nov 24th, 2010, 02:28 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 783
Wine & dine at the Skybar at Sirocco,State tower Bangkok.
inquest is offline  
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