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  1. #1
    The cold, wet one
    November Rain's Avatar
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    Woman travelling alone to BKK for first time. Where to stay & what to see?

    A friend is making a short trip to Thailand (her first, though she has been to other parts of Asia before) in late May. She is collecting 3 of our dogs & taking them back to the US & Canada to their new homes. She wants to spend a couple of nights in Bangkok, though.

    Here is part of an email she sent me:

    A friend of mine who lives in Melbourne does a lot of business in Bangkok and recommended the following two hotels. Clearly there are a number of areas where one can stay in the city and since sightseeing Mon-Tuesday before I head down to you (is 2 days too much???) is my goal, wondered what you thought. At the end of the day, I just want to be in a area where I feel comfortable and it's convenient to get transportation. (not as intrepid as I was in my 20s :-).
    Here's what he suggested.
    "I usually stay at the Sofitel Central Plaza Bangkok - it's between the
    airport and the city centre and well located for easy access to the
    monorail which services the city area (about a 10- 20minute journey). Email
    contact details are centelI love you Jesuschr.co.th <
    mailto:centelI love you Jesuschr.co.th> At times I
    have stayed a the Rama Garden Hotel which is also nearby and is a little
    less costly than the Sofitel. Unfortunately I don't have any contact
    details but I'm sure if you Google Rama Garden Hotel Bangkok you will be
    able to see what they offer. Both hotels are of good quality but the Sofitel is probably 4 stars and Rama Garden 3 stars. Of course there are
    many hotels on offer right in the centre of town and the main tourist areas
    scattered around Sukhumvit Road but for my business purposes they are not
    convenient. If you plan to travel south then best not to stay in town and I
    would definitely recommend the Sofitel option."
    I figure the Sofitel is high but the Rama Garden has pretty good prices (e.g., $80-$100 US). Any thoughts on the location relative to sightseeing convenience and getting to you. Though I'm assuming the bus terminal is in the center of the city anyway.
    Otherwise, hope you don't mind, I copied the page of hotels Frommer recommends to see if are familiarl with any or would recommend best area to stay relative to sightseeing. It's attached.
    Also, are cabs safe at night when you get in - since I'm coming in around 11:00 p.m?

    Personally, if I ever stay in BKK I stay around Sukhumvit, but that's because it's the only place I'm familiar with, not because it's necessarily the best location.

    So, where would you guys recommend? Bearing in mind safety for a woman on her own & a central location & decent facilities?
    Also, it's her first time in Thailand. Any must sees in BKK? Wat Arun? Emerald Buddha? Any ideas? Only there for 2 days, though.

    No stupid replies (girly bars etc), please. I'd really like my friend to have a good time in Bangers before she heads down here & I'll email her the link to this thread. Cheers, guys.

  2. #2
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    jizzybloke's Avatar
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    Tui Travel Asia - Australia hotels,Singapore hotels,Thailand hotels and Japan hotels with instant confirmation - check hotel availability book your hotel room

    these are pretty good

    First time i came to Bkk i done a couple of touristy type things Grand Palace was one, can't remember what else?

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
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    The Sofitel Central Plaza is a great hotel, but it is not very conveniently located. Having said that, the underground is within walking distance (although quite an obstacle course), so it may be OK. But I think you should point out to your friend that the hotel is halfway between the city and Don Muang (old airport), so if she is coming/leaving through Suvannapom (or however it is spelled) it is no better (or worse, probably) than staying in, say, the Sukhumvit area.

    Also, I believe buses to HH are leaving from the southern, not Chatuchak/Northern bus station, but I may be wrong on this.

    Sightseeing - I normally take first-time visitors by skytrain to Thaksin bridge, catch a riverboat to the Grand Palace/Wat Po, then have lunch followed by a visit to Jim Thomsons house. Kao San Road or Patpong in the evening for shopping and/or drinking. Not because I think any of them are particularly good, but in my experience most visitors who are here for the first time want to see places they have heard about. Suan Lum Night Plaza near Lumpini is also good for evening shopping/dining/drinking, with the added benefit of being adjacent to the subway, so going back to Sofitel should be a breeze (Although a taxi should only be 100 baht or so, plus 40 for tollway).
    Any error in tact, fact or spelling is purely due to transmissional errors...

  4. #4
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    good2bhappy's Avatar
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    Good luck for the trip

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat

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    I need to go back and remember when I was first in BKK. She'll only be there a couple of nights? OK, the big ones -
    The Grand Palace - go in the morning
    Wat Arun and Wat Po - take the 2 baht boat ride across. Both are well worth it.
    If she wants something nice to do at night, how about a dinner cruise up the Chao Praya?
    Erawan Shrine - go in the afternoon

    I can't think of more right now.

  6. #6
    Tiger Bay
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    This and the Palace are must see.

    And a trip on the river.

    Would recommend hiring a taxi exclusively for each day, that can take you here there and everywhere, without any hassles of BTS and tuk tuks etc.

    I have a nice friendly reliable english speaking relative who does this for a living. he is not a taxi driver, but a private hire.

    Details ( PM ) if you are interested.
    "The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive."

  7. #7
    nid aur yw popeth melyn
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    Floating market or perhaps a day trip to Ayuthaya

  8. #8
    bkkandrew
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    ^And the floating market is not a day trip???

  9. #9
    The cold, wet one
    November Rain's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I'll email her the link.

    CharleyFarley, could you pm me the details of the driver, please. I don't know what she'll want to do, but it'll be an option for her. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Obviously, tell her to go nowhere near Patpong.
    if she must do some sleaze, I'd say Soi Cowboy.

  11. #11
    nid aur yw popeth melyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew View Post
    ^And the floating market is not a day trip???
    More like half day.

  12. #12
    bkkandrew
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    ^Its 2 hours travel from central BKK, thats 4 hours and I would assume you would want to spend some time actually at the market...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew
    Its 2 hours travel from central BKK, thats 4 hours and I would assume you would want to spend some time actually at the market..
    Most trips there leave at the crack of dawn, so you'll be back in time for lunch.

  14. #14
    bkkandrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew
    Its 2 hours travel from central BKK, thats 4 hours and I would assume you would want to spend some time actually at the market..
    Most trips there leave at the crack of dawn, so you'll be back in time for lunch.
    All of them do (about 05.30), but I am sure that noone feels up to too much once they arrive back around 3pm....

  15. #15
    I am in Jail

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    buy a lonely planet

  16. #16
    bkkandrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by obsidian View Post
    buy a lonely planet
    Pluto?, Neptune?

  17. #17
    I am in Jail

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    uranus

    (or hers maybe)

  18. #18
    The cold, wet one
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    Obs, considering most guidebooks like Lonely Planet are hopelessly out of date & worse than useless, I'd hoped for some help from people that actually know BKK well & can give suggestions not found in a book.

    With the exception of your usual pointless & uncalled for crap, that's what we (she is checking this thread as a guest) have received. So, thanks a lot, guys & gal.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    If she's in on a weekend, Chatuchuk Market is always fun. And she can pick up a giant bag of rawhide doggie chew toys (about 75) for 150 baht.

    They're 40 baht in Tesco's for a package of 4.

  20. #20
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Can't go wrong with the Nana Hotel.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat View Post
    If she's in on a weekend, Chatuchuk Market is always fun. And she can pick up a giant bag of rawhide doggie chew toys (about 75) for 150 baht.
    In the OP:
    sightseeing Mon-Tuesday
    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Obviously, tell her to go nowhere near Patpong.
    if she must do some sleaze, I'd say Soi Cowboy.
    There is more to the Patpong area than sleaze, Sabang..... But the reason I mentioned PP is that many of my visitors over the years have asked to see it, mainly for the night market. I think it is overpriced and boring, but most visitors seem to enjoy it - so if it is her first time in Bangkok and she only have one night in town, it may be worth a visit.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteshiva
    There is more to the Patpong area than sleaze, Sabang..... But the reason I mentioned PP is that many of my visitors over the years have asked to see it, mainly for the night market. I think it is overpriced and boring, but most visitors seem to enjoy it - so if it is her first time in Bangkok and she only have one night in town, it may be worth a visit.
    I agree with that.

  23. #23
    My kind of town
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bkkandrew
    Its 2 hours travel from central BKK, thats 4 hours and I would assume you would want to spend some time actually at the market..
    Most trips there leave at the crack of dawn, so you'll be back in time for lunch.
    Many include lunch and then they drag you around to some gold shops hoping to get a commission.

  24. #24
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    I just remembered Jim Thompson House. I highly recommend it. Another good site is the Suan Pakkard Palace. I've messed around with my Toolbars and now I can't see the links to copy.
    Last edited by natalie8; 30-04-2008 at 03:25 PM.

  25. #25
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    Fabian's Avatar
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    Two days is not too much of course.
    If she is considering Sofitel (which of the three in Bangkok?) then maybe the Pathumwan princess would be a better choice for its location at about the same price: Pathumwan Princess hotel Bangkok Pathumwan Princess Siam Square hotels

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