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Maxine19147 Dec 3rd, 2006 01:09 PM

traveling to Bangkok in Jan. .help
Joining a surgical team to help children in Bangkok. Will take 3 extra days to explore a bit. On my itinerary so far...floating market and Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha Temple,Ayuthya,Summer Palace, and an elephant park. What do I have to see that I have not listed??? Also traveling alone to Phuket after Bangkok. Do not know where to stay. Want to end this at a resort. I scuba dive and would like to add that in. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Maxine [email protected]

Kathie Dec 3rd, 2006 01:47 PM

Three days is not a lot of time to explore Bangkok. If it were me, I'd cut out the floating market (very touristy). The day trip to Ayutthya (includes the summer palace) is a full day, leaving just two days in Bangkok. The Grand Palace/Emerald Buddha are must sees, and do go next door to Wat Po as well. I also consider the Jim Thompson House to be a must-see. There are no elephant parks I would consider in the Bangkok area, really you need to go to northern Thailand for that. What else you do depends on your interests.

Do a search on this board for Phuket and diving and you'll find lots of recommendations. Also, it helps if you give a price range for what you are looking for.

Maxine19147 Dec 3rd, 2006 07:31 PM

Thank you so much Kathie. The surgical part of my trip is 6 days but my work will average 10 -12 hour days. I am not certain how far the hospital is from the city, but if I have the strength I might have time to see some of Bangkok in the evenings. Thanks again...Max

Kathie Dec 3rd, 2006 08:29 PM

I expect you will be exhausted after your long days. Do consider a stop at a spa or for massage on your days off. And if you are staying in Bangkok, you could certainly get a massage in the eveings.

Maxine19147 Dec 3rd, 2006 08:40 PM

Our group is staying at the Amari Airport Hotel, located by the Bangkok Int. airport. Can you reccomend a spa or massage facility? Again thank you for your help, I am most appreciative, Max

LeighTravelClub Dec 3rd, 2006 08:46 PM

I think three days is loads of time to explore Bangkok. You can easily do everything that you have listed. Yes you can visit a very good elephant park without going to the north. You could also fit in a trip to the River Kwai. My wife and I did all of that on one of our Bangkok visits in three days. After all, you are heading down south after all that and then you can chill out somewhat.
I do not hesitate to recommend Phi Phi for your diving base. Check out our site
and feel free to e'mail if you want any more info

LeighTravelClub Dec 3rd, 2006 08:53 PM

Amari Airport hotel is next to the OLD Bangkok airport and I have stayed there many times. Rather tired old hotel and not near anything other than the airport and the expressway.

Kathie Dec 3rd, 2006 09:29 PM

I'm sure you got a real deal on the Amari, as the old airport is closed. Frankly, it's a terrible hotel. It's at least 45 minutes from anything you would want to do in the city. Are you going to stay elsewhere after your surgical work is finished? I would strongly advise it.

I'm really a city person, have been to Bangkok 20+ times on my way in and out of SE Asia, always find new things to do there. So for me, three days isn't enough to scratch the surface of Bangkok. Leigh apparently isn't as much of a city person. It all deoends on what you enjoy doing.

Phi Phi is a good suggestion, though the travel time to and from may make it not as practical as somewhere on Phuket with a day trip to PhiPhi. It depends on how much time you have for that part of your trip.

LeighTravelClub Dec 3rd, 2006 10:01 PM

Yes Kathie is right.It is a terrible hotel!! We only ever used it as a one night stop-over on our way home to the UK after wherever else we had been visiting and for that purpose it was fine. We learned many years ago the benefit of getting to Bangkok,taking a nights rest before that awful flight home. Isn't it funny how it's so easy on the way out but coming back is such tough going. We have been travelling to the far east for many years and this is one of our golden rules. BRAKE UP THE RETURN JOURNEY.

dogster Dec 3rd, 2006 11:54 PM

Poor Maxine:
yes, the AMARI is indeed a pit. And now the airport has moved it's entirely useless. Deals only with conventions now - it's also about a $30 [if not more]cab ride into town, each way.
You should kill whoever booked it - as you're about to discover. You're going to be trapped a long,long way from anywhere.

ABSOLUTELY grab another hotel for your 3 free days. Forget going out at night on your working days - by the time you've got there it'll be time to come back.

I'm sorry to be so negative - you deserve absolutely the best time you can possibly have given the wonderful reason for your trip. Bravo.

JamesA Dec 4th, 2006 12:43 AM

The Amari at the old airport is only about USD 45 a night now.
It might be that it is 'that part' of town that you will be in, possible I guess.

JamesA Dec 4th, 2006 01:14 AM

Maxine, look at the post near this ' Islands Phuket' as another poster asking about scuba trips and I have gievn some links, there 'are' day trips, emphasise you must have your certifictae with you to scuba!
Snorkeling trips though are plentiful.

Before suggesting anywhere on Phuket do you want lively and busy with walking to lots of shops, street stalls, restaurants and entertainment or do you just want to lay back, relax, beach and spa, and perhaps 'some' nearby restaurants/bars.

Also time of year ( as rates vary a great deal! ) or roughly what you want to spend, there are many others can also suggest but we need time of year/budget and what sort of place you want.

Kathie Dec 4th, 2006 08:04 AM

A correction to dogster who posted that it is a $30 cab ride into town from the Amari. A cab will be in the 300 baht range, less than US$10.

Maxine19147 Dec 4th, 2006 05:29 PM

Thank you all for your help. To answer some questions... The organization booked the Amari. They foot the bill for the 50 member surgical team as we have volunteered our time. The other hotel they have chosen in Bangkok for the following 3 days is the Arnoma Hotel. I hope it too is not a hole in the wall!! As far as Phuket, I will be there for 3 days and going alone. I would like to be able to get a real feel for Phuket. So I am not sure but, in a lively yet safe area with my hotel being a resort/ spa on the beach. This is Jan. 23-26. I am not one to frequent bars. Price???? not sure..this one is on me so it has to be nice!!

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