Taxi for a day in/around Bangkok

Nov 11th, 2005, 07:43 AM
  #1  
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Taxi for a day in/around Bangkok

I'm probably going to book Julie's Taxi for a day and am looking for advice on how to use the car. (Yes, I've seen the other threads on this subject, but I think my question is slightly different.) I'd like to use the morning to do the floating market (Damnoen Saduak), but don't want to go to River Kwai or an orchid farm or any of the other stops in that direction. Instead, I'd like to just see the market and be back in Bangkok around lunchtime. Then I'd like to use the taxi to see sites that aren't easily accessible by boat or skytrain (not Grand Palace, for instance). So... what would you recommend? My original plans called for the Chinatown area and Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit). The other possibility is Wat Ben (although as I mentioned in my earlier post about my BKK plans, I'd like to get there early in the day to see the monks) and the Vimanmek Teak Mansion. I had planned on doing Jim Thompson's on our first afternoon - is it easy walking distance from the Skytrain? It looks like it on the map. Does the Golden Buddha and Chinatown make sense? How long would it take to see the Wat and then get a good feel for Chinatown? Can we do that after lunch and then be back to our hotel (Centre Point Silom) by say, 5 p.m. to rest before dinner?
Thanks,
Karen
althom1122 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 07:50 AM
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jim thompson house is a 5 minute walk from the national stadium skytrain stop---longer if you take the wrong exit from the station...look at the overhead small signs...

if you are interested in the JT outlet on soi 93, sukhumvit, this would be a good use for the car...

golden mount might be a good use also, but i would skip it....china town is better for just walking around...take a taxi there and then just walk...

are you interested in the prasart museum? that would be a very good use of the car...

v-mark palace and suan packard are also good uses for the car...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 08:04 AM
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I agree with Bob. Using a taxi for Chinatown is a waste. You can easily get there by river ferry and wandering aimlessly is part of the charm. We used Nancy Chandler's Map to provide some guidance, but mostly just meandered.
Gpanda is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Maybe what I should do is just book Julie's for half a day and have them drop me off at Chinatown on the way back. And then for other sites that require a taxi, just get a taxi at the time (are they easy to get on the street?).
althom1122 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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Yes, taxis are easy to hail from the street.
Kathie is online now  
Nov 11th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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Agree with others that using the taxi for chinatown is a waste. Places that make sense are Prasart Musuem, Vinamanek Mansion, Jim Thompson outlet if you want to go there.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 08:55 AM
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Great - thanks. Maybe I'll have them drop us off at Vinanmek. It looks like on the map that the Golden Buddha isn't convenient to get to and so I thought that might be a good place to be dropped off by the taxi. Is it an easy walk from a boat stop? Otherwise, how would you get there? Also, what's the best strolling street in Chinatown? I'm a little confused by the map I'm looking at as to where the center of it is. And is it an easy walk from the Golden Buddha?
althom1122 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 09:10 AM
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don't get too excited about chinatown...its not all that great...not like HK or other, even american chinatowns....tons of restaurant and uninteresting gold shops...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 09:51 AM
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Chinatown is great. There is one street/alley (I've forgotten the name, but any guide book will have it) that has a food market that is wonderful to stroll down. It runs at a right angle to the alley with a clotyh market. At the end is a minor temple that is fun to visit. The Golden Buddha is at the South end of Chinatown.
Gpanda is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 09:59 AM
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Let me offer a contraian view to this thread. I for one am of the opinion that you hire Julie for the day(s)- as your personal driver/guide. Have her take you all around. Yes you can get to many of the places of interest by other means- boats, skytrain- but one BIG advantage of having your own personal driver/guide is that you are more rested and do not waste a lot of time/energy getting to these venues via public transportation. You will have to trek up those stairs at the skytrain- in the heat and humidity of BKK after a while this can wear you down.
BillT is offline  
Nov 11th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Bill- as you know I completely agree with you but karen is only using Julie for one day and half of that is taken up with the floating market. So she only has a half day left.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 03:45 AM
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We'll be in BKK on Sunday afternoon (11/27), Monday and Tuesday (our second trip - saw all the main things last time)I've booked Julie's taxi for Monday because I want to go back to the Jim T. outlet and have been trying to think about what else to use her for so it was great to have this thread. I've thought about the floating market in the past but I've heard such mixed things about it - - any more guidance? We will have just gotten back from Siem Reap and Luang Prabang. Thought we'd use skytrain for shopping on our second day.
FromDC is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 03:56 AM
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Prasart Museum. It's fabulous but you need to make an appointment to go there.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 04:20 AM
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I've seen the Prasart mentioned repeatedly on Fodor's but don't know much about it. Is it just an art museum? (I don't mean that in a derogatory way - I LOVE art and museums.)But what's special about it? It only gets one line in Frommer's guidebook, whereas the National Museum get a whole writeup and strong recommendation - yet is not particularly popular here on Fodor's. Is the Prasart all about porcelain? I was planning on skipping it. Doesn't appeal to me all that much. Am I missing something?
Karen
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Nov 12th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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I'm also interested in knowing more about the Prasart museum. I've heard it's really great. Where is it in town? How long does it take to get there? Is it a half or full day trip? Did you go by private car or public transportation? Thanks.
Mealea is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 05:07 AM
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The National Museum is very good -- just not on a par with some of the great museums of the world, Prasart is actually a complex with lovely gardens and a series of buildings that reflect different aspects of asian culture and history. It's a private collection so it reflects the owner's taste. Yes, there is porcelain but there is also statuary, tapestries and other types of art and crafts. He's trying to preserve some of the ancient crafts. Calling it a museum is very misleading.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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Re: prasart. You need a car to get there. It's in the outskirts of the city. Took me about 45 minutes from the Oriental.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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gloria has given you an overview of prasart...i think the only way to get there is probably via private car/taxi that would wait for you...it takes 1-2 hours to do the guided tour...only guided tours are offered...you cannot do it alone...the museum is located on a rural road about 25 minutes from downtown via highway...

i did see busses at the end of the road but i have no idea where they come from, or go to..

you need to make a reservation to go...you can call or e mail to do this...they only accomodate 12-15 people per day we were told and no bus tours....mr prasart has a shop on the 3rd floor of the peninsula plaza, near to the four seasons hotel...i went in there to pick up a pamphlet which has a map to the museum to give to my driver...the shop has antiques and the many reproductions which mr prasart sells to help fund his life's work--the museum...you will meet him while visiting the museum by the way...he has a ten year old book which is a catelog of the museum, which is a beautiful bound book...

lets put it this way, the collection is ecclectic...he has ancient things as well as things that are "post-prasart" as the guide puts it...all are beautifully displayed on his property..there are ponds and lots of foliage on this charming site...the buildings are arranged in such a way that you have a very nice viewing experience and there are many photo ops there...we had the male guide who is very friendly and wishes to please the visitor while having you understand the overall mission of the museum as well as the importance of individual pieces in the collection..

the buildings, of which there must be 20-30, are of different asian styles and one, the largest, is of european style....it contains many of the small pieces in the collection...

any visitor to this collection comes away feeling that they have trully experienced something unique...i highly reccomend a visit here....i guess you have to set aside 1/2 day for this excursion...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 12th, 2005, 05:15 PM
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i think the fee is 400 B per person...high for bkk, but it keeps the riff raff like gpanda away....
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Nov 13th, 2005, 02:32 PM
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I have just recently returned from my first trip to Bangkok, and I found it unbearable to get to places in a taxi: the trafic is awful, and it takes forever!

It is much faster to use the BKK transportation system. The Skytrain and the Underground are easy to get to, cheap, and very reliable. I only had problems with the boats, but mainly because I did not ask around enough and got in the wrong one...The only way back to my hotel was by "taxi boat" - a small canoe-like boat with a motor!
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