Thailand trip report

Old Dec 17th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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Thailand trip report

have just returned from Thailand Friday. I thought I'd share all the good and bad things I experienced since everyone here was so helpful in my trip planning. I was fortunate enough to have 29 days to spend there, and was glad I did. I was sick for nearly a whole week, and still had plenty of time to enjoy myself.

One thing that I found I enjoy is staying in guest houses. They are so much friendlier than hotels, and you meet more people from all over the world(that's one of the reasons I travel). We stayed at guest houses everywhere except BKK. There we splurged and stayed at the Grand China Princess and it's got a great location. It's in China town which was a fascinating experience all in itself, and it's located very close to the Chao Praya River. River travel is definately one of the things everyone should do in BKK.

The first time I visited BKK years ago, I decided that I needed to get out of there as soon as possible. We spent two hot, tiring days there and then got out of there as fast as we could. This time I took several Fodorites advice and tried BKK again, and thoroughly fell in love. If you plan ahead and do things out of the heat, there is lots to do.

We arrived in BKK Friday evening after flying Thai Airlines nonstop for 17 hrs. It doesn't seem nearly as long going to Thailand as it does coming back home.

We got a taxi and headed to Chinatown(which by the way-cab drivers hate driving into Chinatown). We spent the evening relaxing and unpacking. Next morning we woke up ready to go. Chinatown is at least a full day adventure. We came back to our hotel in mid afternoon, rested, cleaned up and then headed out again. Chinatown is a whole different experience at night with different markets and even the food changes. It's a busy, congested, and noisy area, but it was so much fun. The food was really good. That was probably the only area that we ate at little streetside places. We took someone's advice about making sure the places were full of locals, and watched to see if the food sat too long. We found lots of great eating places along the street that Thais frequent. Thais sure love to eat, and there are all kinds of things to try. I found this to be one of the most fun parts of our trip.

Second day: visiting the malls. My husband was immediately overwelmed by MBK and wanted out of there. I would have enjoyed exploring it a little more, but that's the price you pay for taking your husband on the trip with you(less shopping time). He did like the Paragon mall and we checked out the aquarium. Then back to our hotel where we rested, cleaned up and headed out to dinner. We ate at the Vientainne Kitchen which was a great little place even if it was a little hard to find.

Third day: We took the river ferry just to get out on the water. We stopped at one of the piers, and ate at Ton Po(which has the best yellow crab curry). We returned to our hotel and rested. That evening it was off to the Suan Lum night Bazaar.The night bazaar has a food court with pretty good food. They also have live music. The worst part of the evening is getting a cab back to Chinatown. Nove of the drivers want to use their meters. We asked if they'd use the meter. If they said no-we'd try another cab. Sometimes it took asking 3 or 4 before we'd get someone to take us home.

forth day: Went to the old Siam Mall in the Chinatown area. We searched the area known as little India trying to find a tailor, but weren't real happy with what was available so we checked out the mall. While we were there, we watched a music teacher giving a student a lesson on an instrument called a Kim. It's a stringed instrument that uses hand held devices to make the sounds. It really sounds pretty. My husband checked out several music shops because he's interested in Thai instruments. We bought several things from shops along alleyways, and especially in one little shop that had lots of chinese lanterns and decorations. Then back to our hotel where resting in the afternoon heat had become habit. Caught the overnight train to Chiang Mai which was a new experience for my husband as he had never riden on a train before. The train was pleasant(I agree that it's best to purchase food to take on board as train food isn't very good). More to come later as I am having trouble staying awake. Still struggling with a little jet lag.
evangelina is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2006, 05:44 PM
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Great start! I'm looking forward to reading more of your report, especially about the train to Chiang Mai.
Rest well, and come back soon to continue!
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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Nice to see someone exploring Chinatown. For future reference: you would have been much better off taking the subway to Hualompong station and then haggling with a tuk-tuk to make the short trip from there to the hotel.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Yes, Chinatown is really an interesting part of the city. I'm looking forward to more...
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 06:37 PM
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Love the start. Look forward to more. We also went to the Old Siam Mall. We loved it. WE ate some coconut pancakes there that were delicious.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 06:50 PM
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I, too, have tried Vientainne Kitchen and enjoyed it.

Good start to your report. Looking forward to more.

Carol
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 08:43 PM
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looking forward to reading more...thanks
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 04:02 AM
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evangelina - I too, did not care for BKK at all on my first visit. It took a second trip to fall in love with the city.
thanks for the info on Chinatown- i plan to explore that area during my visit next week.
glad you had a great time.
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