Thailand report

May 19th, 2004, 05:53 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 29
Thailand report

Just came back from Thailand. I fell in love with the place. Contrary to the weather forecasts, there was no rain in all three days that I spent in BKK and the heat was very much bearable due to a plesant breeze from the ocean (esp. if you are close to the Chao Phraya river).

I stayed in the Sukhumwit area, but getting to the river was no problem - the Skytrain will take you to Saphan Thaksin station on the river where you can take the boat (for a very reasonable 6 Baht) and go up to see Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, the Wat Arun. I recommend taking a tuk-tuk to Wat Saket from the Grand Palace and climbing the stairs at Wat Saket - great panorama on the city. Try the tuk-tuk at least once - it's a memorable experience and the whole trip (from Grand Palace to Wat Saket, he waited for me while I went up, and then took me back to the river) cost me 40 Baht (incl. a 10 baht tip)!

Also see Wat Traimit further down in Chinatown - medium-size statue made out of pure gold. Navigating Chinatown is hard - IMHO the worst area in the city - smells the worst, the hottest, the dirtiest, and the poorest.

Go to Lumphini Park and sit down with a bottle of Singha beer. You'll love it.

Take a tour up to Ayuthaya (65 km north). I took the trip through Viator and River Sun Cruise - you will see the summer palace of the King as well as the ancient ruins of Ayuthaya. Very beautiful. On the way back to Bangkok, you will get there on a three-hour cruise on the Chao Phraya river - unforgettable experience!

Those are the highlights. Bangkok is safe, smelly, dirty, hot, and a great place to visit. I fell in love with it. Also, DON'T exchange your money before you come to Thailand - the BKK airport has an excellent f/x rate that will beat anything in your country - they give you as close to the market rate as possible.

I also went down to Koh Samui - beautiful island. Sunscreen essential!!!!!!!!!! Still recovering from sunburns.

Let me know if you have any questions, I will try my best to help.

P.S. When buying items at a market, the seller will try to rip you off. When presented with a price, knock off 75-80% and offer the new, significantly lower price. When the seller refuses, go up a tiny little bit, and if he refuses to budge, kindly thank him and walk away. Five seconds later, once he sees you're leaving, he will chase you and take your price. I had to learn all this the hard way.

marc_rich is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 06:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 29
P.S. I almost forgot - don't listen to the folks neatly dressed in uniforms approaching you (and approach you they will - at the airport offering a taxi for 600 Baht when it cost me only 200 Baht, at the temples saying the are closed, anywhere else telling you about great discounts that only last 1 more hour so you have to go there fast, etc.).

Also, carry toilet paper with you as very few toilets in BKK have toilet paper - even the Central Shopping Plaza in Silom where I went for a preview had great facilities but no toilet paper! Only at hotels and airports do they have toilet paper so be warned. Also, towels to wipe your hands after washing your hands are readily available - for two Baht!! So it might be a good idea to bring a toilet roll with you, or tissues...
marc_rich is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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nice you know why we all love it so much....i leave for bkk on saturday so your weather messages are welcome...
rhkkmk is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 06:45 PM
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Thanks, rhkmkk. Enjoy your trip! Bangkok weather was gorgeous last week. The only time it rained was my very last day in Thailand, in Koh Samui, but the downpour lasted for about an hour, so no worries, really.

Now I certainly know why you love BKK!
marc_rich is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Thanks for the report. We return to Bkk in November and you evoked many fond memories. The minor annoyances are just an integral part of the expeience. What was your favorite part?
Gpanda is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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I guess my favorite part was the vibrant nature of the city. The temples, the night life, the ever-present rythm of the city is really refreshing.

Sure, it's noisy and dirty, but it's most definitely not boring.

I loved pretty much everything.

The minor annoyances...I get enough of those in my hometown, so BKK was pretty pacifiying in many ways.

I felt safer in BKK than in my Canadian enclave.
marc_rich is offline  
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