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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    MeMock's Avatar
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    36 hours in BKK as a tour guide - please help!

    In December I will fly into Bangkok to meet with some very good friends of mine. I am taking them to Karnchanupburi, Ubon and then southern Laos. All that part of the trip I am fine with but I always struggle to show people what Bangkok is all about when I have such a small time frame.

    Friends consist of Mum and Dad in their 50's and three kids aged 18 - 23. All are fit apart from Mum who while happy to tackle anything and is relatively fit would tire after a few laps around Lumpini for example.

    They don't drink, do drugs or have any interest in the flesh pits. They also don't particularly like shopping either. They do like to explore though.

    So, my plan so far was:

    Touch down Monday at 1pm. Arrive hotel (close to Chong Nonsi) at 3pm. Out to exchange money and pick up a few supplies they need (take passport pics etc) then walk the length of Silom road to Lumpini park to watch the action. Dinner around the park somewhere - would love some suggestions on this. Would love to do some good old street food but perhaps don't want to scare them too much on the first day so perhaps an old shop house that is half way decent???

    Day 2: Tuesday. Walk to Chong nonsi BTS and ride to Saphan Taksin. Take a normal commuter boat up to Tha Tian - or should it be Tha Chang? It has been years since I have been here and what would you suggest is the best place to take them? The grand palace? Emerald Buddha? Both? Something else?

    If they aren't templed out would consider a trip across to War Arun, is it worth it?

    From there though I am stuck for the rest of the afternoon / evening. We could boat it back or take 2 taxis back to the hotel and freshen up - or do we push on for something else that you can suggest? Leaving bright and early the next morning so not chasing a too late a night.

    Appreciate any suggestions - cheers.
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  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    I just saw this link on my twitter feed - rather good timing. Would love to do this but scared of falling in and taking a few mouthfuls.

    Kayak on the Chap Praya | The Australian

  3. #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Tour itinerary:


    06.15-07:15 - Pick up from various hotels in Bangkok, depending upon the hotel location and transfer to the River Shopping Complex for the Air-Conditioned Coach.

    08:00 - Depart Bangkok to Ayuthaya, passing through many main parts of the Angel City. Along the way, you will see an agricultural country

    09:30 - Arrive at the Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, built during the Ayuthaya era. The palace is beautifully decorated in both traditional Chinese and European style. See the beautiful Aisawanthipaya- Art Pavillion, the unique Chinese-style hall with a vast collection of Thai, Chinese, and European artifacts, as well as many other outstanding monuments. The palace itself is a pretty garden with plenty of rare flowers.

    10:30 - Arrive at the Ayutthaya, the Ancient city, which was the former Thai capital for over 400 years. The prosperous city used to dominate trade in Asia as well as being the center of trade between Thailand and many European countries, including Britain, France and Holland.

    Nowadays the glory and the beauty of the grand palace and Temples in the past vanished leaving merely a glimpse of ruins, despite this it is a good reflection of the past. River sun brings you a combination of both the ruins and the remaining historical attractions.

    - Wat Maha That. Over 600 years old, Wat Maha That was the heart and soul of the Ayuthaya people. It was almost completely destroyed by the Burmese during Thai-Burmese war.

    - Wat Na Phra Men: Remains in perfect conditions, as it was used as the Burmese headquarters. The splendid Golden Buddha, dressed in regal attire, was place in the temple a long with the three thousand year old green stone carved Buddha. Both are considered as extremely valuable national relics.

    - Wat Lokayasutharam has a mysterious past, hereby its origins are unknown. The temple enshrines a Largest Reclining Buddha Image which was built during the Early period of the Ayuthaya Region. The other two ancient temple, as well as the ruined site also surround the compound area.

    12:30 - Depart Wat Lokayasutharam for the River Sun Cruise, at the river sun Traditional Thai style pier at Wat Chong Lom.

    Buffet Lunch: "Delicious meals served in the luxurious surroundings of the cruise boat".

    - A full menu of Thai and European cuisines, desserts, seasonal fruits, coffee, and tea

    - Coffee Break

    - Throughout the journey you are able to watch the Chao Phraya River banks scenery from the River Sun Cruise, either on deck in the fresh cool tropical air or from the refreshing air-conditioned passenger room. Either view you get an amazing clear view of the life of the inhabitants that dwell along the river, and the unforgettable scenery of children as they great the visitors going by, making it an altogether worthwhile experience.

    - Arrive at the city, the atmosphere and scenery shifts dramatically from the Thai-Style housed decorated with colorful flowers to the modern structures of downtown Bangkok.

    - Pass the Royal Grand Palace. The golden gild reflects the shimmering light from the Chao Phraya River, giving a unique impression unobtainable from land.

    - Pass by Wat Arun (The temple of Dawn). The glorious Wat Arun stands with serenity and charm, the light reflecting off the Chinese porcelain creates an astonishing view from the river. The temple was the former palace when the Thai capital of Ayuthaya was replaced by Thonburi.

    15:30 - Arrive Bangkok and disembark at the RIVER CITY SHOPPING COMPLEX, and transfer you back to your hotel.

    Ayutthaya Day Trip by River Sun Cruise

    I have taken several visitors on this trip. All enjoyed.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    MeMock's Avatar
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    That is a good idea for sure - but most admit I was thinking more of just exploring Bangkok itself.

  5. #5
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    I always booked the evening before tour at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers down on the river. Nice place for dinner as well.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Thai3's Avatar
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    JIm Thompson house National Staduim BTS stop, everyone seems to really like that

  7. #7
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock View Post
    but most admit I was thinking more of just exploring Bangkok itself.
    Your call but as you are aware, getting around the city is painful and the usual tourist attractions are very crowded.

    In any case the best way to see Bangkok is from the river.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thai3 View Post
    JIm Thompson house
    Yep. Good.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    Yes I guess a taxi from the temples to Jim's house might be a good idea. Then can show them a bit of down town action with a walk to erawan shrine etc.

    What is the evening before tour all about Norton?

  9. #9
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    The morning after?

    Ok, sorry not much help there. A pic thread sounds in order though. I recall you did a stunner flying across your homeland.

    If in Pakse I'd recommend a stay at the Mekong Paradise Hotel. Nice place and good folks. It would be real quiet as it's a bit south of the town and off the beaten trail.

  10. #10
    Custom Title Changer
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    The palace, Wat Phra Gaew and the cremation pyre thingy (if it's still there) would be a cool thing to see as well and are all close together.

    Crackerjack did a river tour when he was here last, maybe he can chime in about that.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Luigi's Avatar
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    Koh Kret, motosai around the island, followed by a longtail boat around the island. Followed by lunch on the river.


    Dusit Zoo can be fun for people used to Western zoos with their restrictive Health and Safety practices.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    ^
    Thanks fish locker. been a while since I did a photo thread. Might be time though like you said....

    Thanks also for the Pakse hint. It has been 6 years since I have been there and still need to book accommodation.

    Thanks also CSSFan. I never know what to show people in that area and try and keep it to a few hours only.

  13. #13
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    My mate runs 2 companies in BKK. One does bike tours and the other is a Thai cooking school. Both are located in the same building so the younger ones might like to do a bike tour through the back streets of China Town while the older ones learn to cook a Thai dish or two.... https://www.gobangkoktours.com/ https://gothaicookingschool.com/

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Add a hotel rooftop like Lebuah State Tower. Take them round Chinatown too.

    The Sheraton that Norton mentions is good for dinner by the river and you can get on their posh free boat for free from Saphan Taksin bts. The place is on eatigo too so if you time it right you can share a nice Aussie Chateubriand for half price whilst watching the sun go down.

    Asiatique is nearby for the rest of the evening

  15. #15
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    If early riser on water is good

    1 Public boat Spahan Taksin to Saphan Pinkloa walk or cab to Royal Barge Museum seldom crowded i think c100 bath
    ????????

    2 Walk or Ferry back to Phra Arthit see White Fort add on rathe dull Sanam lunag Palaces if you wish
    3 Khao San Wat Po Denocracy Moument Golden Mount
    4 Excelent King Prajidipok Museum to Rama 7 at end of Klong San Saeb , Coin,gun and correction museums are all adjacent or across canal on Ratana Koisin Island

    5 Klong San Seab public ferry to Pratunam Watergate about 12 baht coins pay on board
    6 If too hot or rainy the many vaste Malls Zen etc Erwaan Monument
    7 Shopping.Dining in Sukhumvit use BTS
    8 One of the many fish buffets half a mile down Sukhumvit Soi 24 good BTS Phrom Phom and Emporium Mall
    http://www.seafood.co.th/
    easy skytrain back to Silom

    Can do the trip in reverse of course bit I'd prefer evening in Suk as more dining options

    My advice for whats it worth avoid smokey loud tuktuks buses
    Travel on canals or BTS is faster the traffic is intense all day and gridlocked a rush hours.
    You can buy an all day BTS card c 140 baht may have gone up, saves queuing at machines

    PS Good money changers in Airport cellar behind Train station suerior rates to banks at arrival gates

    If landing can take up to an hour at immigration and same again to get downtown. You may prefer cab but faster on train via Phaya Thai or at least take airport link then a cab from Phaya thai if lots of bags to the hotel

    Enjoy your trip
    a cocktail on the terrace of the Oriental or one of the skyscrapers bars never disappoints or a MeMocktail enjoy

    If you love seafood the naval museum at the estaury has some good places on the river front at sensible prices
    Take BTS to last stop then short ride, station outside to open once complete

    http://www.rtna.ac.th/

    Again a great an almost empty of tourists museums with ancient wooden stuff up to subs , you have to sign in with guard at the gate
    Last edited by david44; 08-11-2017 at 11:38 AM.
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  16. #16
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    Chico's Avatar
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    Hire a Mini bus for the day,can drop you off and pick you up anywhere and can be guide to, top price 3K with parking, highways.

  17. #17
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock View Post
    What is the evening before tour all about Norton?
    Do dinner on the river and book the boat tour ticket in the hotel lobby.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat Luigi's Avatar
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    Post-breakfast trip to Star of Light will bring a smile to Dad's face.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    SO many great ideas everyone - thanks.

    Asiatique - I havent been for 4 years. Is it still Chatachuck stuff at 4 times the price and too many people for the amount of food - or should I give it another chance?

    I'm not even going to google that Luigi!

    Hadn't thought about the KSR area with Democracy Monument and the mountain look out etc. I normally avoid KSR like the plague but can do those other places without getting too close to the smell.

    Perhaps we could catch the KLong Saeb canal boat from the golden mount to Jim Thompsons place - that might work, although I don't know how the Mother of the group would handle getting on and off the boat.

    Thanks David44 for the money tip but I have always found super rich to offer the best rates. I have a fair bit to transfer this time around for me as well so it is worth the trip to see them.

    Considered the skytrain from airport but you end up at Payai Thai and then have to swap to Siam and then I am guessing swap again to Chong Nonsi? Taxi will be easier I think.

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...general advice: don't overdo the touring...allow rest periods for folks to better adjust to the local climate...a half-hour of a/c in the tropics can be wonderfully refreshing...

    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock View Post
    Would love to do some good old street food but perhaps don't want to scare them too much on the first day so perhaps an old shop house that is half way decent???
    EaThai on the Central Embassy ground floor has all the street food you could want plus beer/wine in a/c comfort...good for folks just getting used to the local cuisine (Ploenchit bts)
    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock View Post
    If they aren't templed out would consider a trip across to War Arun, is it worth it?
    I would put Wat Arun at the top of the list and then continue up the river to Nonthaburi Pier (about an hour). Have lunch at any of the local eateries around the pier (nice river views) and boat back to Saphan Taksin. The Oriental Hotel is worth a stop while on the river for a bit of history. A ride on the hotel boat from Saphan Taksin to get there is a good idea.

    I would further avoid Asiatique unless your party is desperate for a Katoey show. I would also avoid taxis and use the bts (better views) as much as possible.
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  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
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    Thanks TC. They are from far north WA where 2 days ago it peaked at 46 degrees but today is a way cooler 41 so no problems with the weather coming up. They actually said they are looking forward to some winter weather! Good advice though for most other people.

    Was hoping for some good street food within walking distance from Lumpini park.

    Thanks for the feedback on What Arun. I had forgotten about the good food available riverside at Nothaburi as well. Cheers.

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chico View Post
    Hire a Mini bus for the day,can drop you off and pick you up anywhere and can be guide to, top price 3K with parking, highways.
    https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic..._campaign=news

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock View Post
    Asiatique - I havent been for 4 years. Is it still Chatachuck stuff at 4 times the price and too many people for the amount of food - or should I give it another chance?
    Theres a couple of restaurant/bars there on the riverside to sit outside and enough to stave the 3 young adults boredom for a while . Ive never seen a katoey show there, ive seen live music, maybe i wasnt looking hard enough
    Siam Square/KSR/RCA will also suit that age group. go-karting will be something fun you can all do together or maybe a water park.
    I know they could probably do that at home but i bet theyll be bored shitless looking at temples all the time.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
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    haha yes they will be but we only have 36 hours in Bangkok so not long enough to really bore them of anything. Chilling at a riverside restaurant though does sound good - especially if I order a tower of beer pretending to forget that the rest of them don't drink!!

  25. #25
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    Forget the water park suggestion now i think of it. I took my daughter in the week, it was freezing

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