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Old 24-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Stuck In Bangkok.

My mother in law is on her deathbed, been sent home from hospital to die at home, so my wife and I are presently sequestered in bangkok, the old dear is close to death, mostly confused, semi comatose, doubly incontinent, bed bound, cannot move and barely eats or drinks. There is a full time carer helping out, her dedication to her duties is remarkable, and there is always a family member around, usually my wife.

I cannot do much, and thankfully I am spared the messy stuff due to her shyness when uncovered and wont allow me in the room when cleaning up duties are necessary.

She is a lovely lady, we have always got on, but now her time has come and it sad to see her linger on like this. Distressful for her family and a grim reminder of our own mortality. Its secondary cancer by the way, she had breast cancer six years ago and it returned about a year ago, bones and lung.

I am staying in the family home, which is a double shophouse, dusty ma and pa shop on the ground floor and living accommodation above, in khlong toey, between rama four and sukhumvit. The house is as it was when they moved into it in the seventies, timewarp stuff, jam packed with stuff from floor to ceiling in the thai way, and I am bored and I am hot.

I could bugger off back to hua hin and the condo, the fresh breezes, the pool, the gym, the sauna, the space, theclean air........ the life, but I wont, i will stay here with the family.

Question is, what the helll is there to do in bangkok during the day and early evening. The place is a furnace, the place is choked with traffic, thd place is expensive.

On my forays out of the house, even the fifteen minute walk to the skytrain or the tube is torture in this heat, taxis these days seem even pickier than usual about picking up fares and I can be left standing for as long as it would take me to walk.

Ive done sll the tourist sights, the markets, even the execrable shopping malls have been explored to death, alghough I must say, the lunchtime minge on parade around the food court in terminal 21 at asoke takes some beating.

So, what exactly is there to do in bangkok during the day, museums, libraries, theatre, opera, any hidden gems worth making the effort for. Any suggestion, helpul or otherwise, would be appreciated.
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You could always go to the cinema that's what I do when I'm bored to death.
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Flow House is pretty cool!

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Old 24-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If I want to watch a film i'll most likely download it and watch it at home. Im not a big fan of thai cinemas or the audiences they attract.

Thanks for the suggestion though.
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Find a hotel with a decent pool that has a daily use fee. I used to do pool/book during the day. Some hotels will let you use their gym as well as they are always practically empty. Before you ask, I can't think of a specific hotel at the moment, but I do know such options are generally available in many hotels. Best of luck; Bangkok during the day offers limited options.
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Flowrider looks good, do they get many over fifties there, one has ones dignity to consider?
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Old 24-03-2013, 11:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This would be a day trip. 300 baht cab fair.

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Old 24-03-2013, 11:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The jesada car museum is great, done it a few times, worth a thread of its own.
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Old 24-03-2013, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tax, sorry to hear about your news.

The Siam Society, on the left side of Asoke just 200 metres from the junction, has a library open to non members. It's air - conditioned, peaceful and a mine of information going back several hundred years worthy of exploration.

The Scala/Apex cinema chain adjacent to Siam BTS hasn't changed in 40 years and still charges 100bt for all seats and features from time to time decent films not shown for the dreary masses in the malls. Folk who go there are film buffs and intelligent educated Thai.

An easy trip out of the horror that this part of Suk'vit has become is the two sois adjacent to Banchak BTS - seems cooler, the folk there are the nearest to a cosmopolitan village within the city and features a market and myriad shophouses many of which have been refurbished. It's almost a typical French quartier of 40 years ago if you squint a bit and use your imagination. Worth a lazy amble.

The alfresco but shaded terrace adjacent to the " canal " restaurants on the lower ground of Siam Paragon directly opposite the Siam Kempinski Hotel is an oasis among trees and a pond and during the early - mid afternoon in the week it's peaceful. You can play a little game if you wish by betting how many Mercs pass as opposed to BMWs. The uni whoopsies who arrive late afternoon are gorgeous but may have the typical nerdy chickenhead attached. Can't have everything.

The arts centre by the cinema in the Emporium has the odd exhibition and a good library which may give you temp membership. The Emporium suites has a separate swimming club on the 10th(?) floor which offers temp. membership from monthly onwards - damn good value, beautiful pool amid swaying palms and somehow insulated from the noise of Suk below. Rarely, if ever, gets busy during the day. I recommend this for a daily sojourn to escape from the heat and is very much affordable luxury.Their fitness rooms are always empty.

Pop down to the FCCT in Maneeya Plaza, Chid Lom. They may well give you temp membership if you explain your circs. It has a great bar, excellent pub food at reasonable prices and the opportunity for decent converstaion.

Take up drinking in the late afternoon.

When the heat really becomes oppressive just nip down to the river and get the orange flag boat to Nonthaburi which takes about 50 minutes - great little restaurant there by the pier for some kung and cold beer just watching the river traffic pootling up and down.
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Old 24-03-2013, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What should you do under the circumstances?

Be there for your wife as she is just about to lose her mum under terrible conditions.

Probably only days until the inevitable happens so those few days supporting her she will remember forever.

I hope your mother-in-law last days are peaceful and without pain.
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Old 24-03-2013, 12:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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A nice list thegent.

According the the FCCT website you can get temp membership for 1,000 baht a month for up to 3 months.

I am assuming you need membership to be able to eat at the restaurant? The menu looks pretty decent!
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Old 24-03-2013, 12:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The Siam Society, on the left side of Asoke just 200 metres from the junction
Wow! I never saw that. Must have walked past it a hundred times. I'm in Bangkok on Tuesday and will certainly avail myself to this new venue for me. thanks Gent. Green on the way.

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When the heat really becomes oppressive just nip down to the river
I was thinking the same. I used to go down to the Cho Praya and just catch boats and travel as far as they would take me. Great adventure and pretty interesting new sights and sounds. Lots to eat along the way, terrific sights and great people watching.
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Old 24-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks, that looks like the perfect place to spend a few hours, monthly membership 1000b.



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Quote:
Be there for your wife as she is just about to lose her mum under terrible conditions.
The family have been expecting this for quite a while now, and they have a remarkably matter of fact attitude to death. The atmosphere, although not exactly happy, is relaxed and relatively normal. The shop is open every day from 6am until 10pm, there is a lot of everyday activity around the place,There is no wailing and gnashing of teeth, the m.i.l. has been prescribed excellent pain relief and is not in any distress. So far it is all very peaceful and she is well looked after. The docs estimate from one to two months. If my end is as peaceful as this I will have no fears. But all those involved with her care need some time away from it in order to relax and re-invigorate and as they say, life must go on.

What is surprising is that there is no system here for home visits from a doctor or nurse, if something critical occurs, an ambulance will have to be called to take her to hospital, and given her fragile state, would probably finish her, which in the cold light of day, would I suppose be a blessing.

A couple of months ago we looked at nursing homes and hospices in bangkok, we looked st three places and found them to be horrendous, around 40000b a month, they were very grim indeed.

She is much better off at home. How people manage these situations out in the sticks, or with no money to pay for help and medication is beyond me. The callousness of some of the doctors we have encountered has been alarming also. Without the help and connections of a family member who is a doctor at chulalongkorn hospital things would be much harder to manage, and harder for my m.i.l. also.

An all encompassing health care system should be the first priority of any government.
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Old 24-03-2013, 01:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by thegent View Post

An easy trip out of the horror that this part of Suk'vit has become is the two sois adjacent to Banchak BTS - seems cooler, the folk there are the nearest to a cosmopolitan village within the city and features a market and myriad shophouses many of which have been refurbished. It's almost a typical French quartier of 40 years ago if you squint a bit and use your imagination. Worth a lazy amble.
Are these the "covered ones" on the odd numbered side of the street? I sometimes go for a walk/run
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
Find a hotel with a decent pool that has a daily use fee.
Or just bluff your way past reception to the rooms and see how they are numbered ...................

then armed with that knowledge off to the pool like you own the place .
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #16 (permalink)
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jump on the river bus boat and go up and down, nice and cool and very cheap!
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Old 25-03-2013, 02:15 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear of your mother in law. Know full well what it is like to watch someone die like that. Just a thing to remember though, she will more than likely go blind at some point. Most importantly though, the last sense she will have is her hearing. Be careful of what you might say while around her. They can really hear until right down to the end. Might inform the other family members and care givers of this. She needs support in her time of passing on.

Take care.
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Old 25-03-2013, 03:25 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mid View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
Find a hotel with a decent pool that has a daily use fee.
Or just bluff your way past reception to the rooms and see how they are numbered ...................

then armed with that knowledge off to the pool like you own the place .
And dont forget to charge your drinks and snacks to that room
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Old 25-03-2013, 06:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Have you considered using the time to improve your Thai language skills?

Whatever level you are at, it is always possible to improve.

Plenty of schools in the area, especially in the Times Square building at Asoke, or you could simply sit in a coffee shop with a book. Personally I would go with Loy Toy on this. Sometimes when Thais say they don't want your help it is only because they don't want you to feel any obligation.
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Old 25-03-2013, 08:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegent
Pop down to the FCCT in Maneeya Plaza, Chid Lom. They may well give you temp membership if you explain your circs. It has a great bar, excellent pub food at reasonable prices and the opportunity for decent converstaion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxexile
Thanks, that looks like the perfect place to spend a few hours, monthly membership 1000b.
you don't need to pay membership to stay at the Clubhouse, it's free, and you have access to the bar, you will pay non-member price, which is only 20thb higher for most things.

The membership is only needed if you want to participate for free to evening events. Even for that you don't need membership since you can pay a fee of 150 THB for each event as a non-member.

They will put you on their email list for free for those events, and it's a bit quiet these days in terms of events, so pay per event at 150 THB might be a better alternative.
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Old 25-03-2013, 09:04 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:26 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxexile
Flowrider looks good, do they get many over fifties there, one has ones dignity to consider?
I love their directions...

Quote:
Flow House Bangkok is located downtown in Sukhumvit Soi 26, just a short distance from BTS Phrom Phong and the Emporium shopping mall.
If anyone has ever walked the entire length of Suk Soi 24 or 26, they know it's not a 'short distance'. Looks like fun though.
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:28 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Have you considered using the time to improve your Thai language skills?

Whatever level you are at, it is always possible to improve.

Plenty of schools in the area, especially in the Times Square building at Asoke, or you could simply sit in a coffee shop with a book. Personally I would go with Loy Toy on this. Sometimes when Thais say they don't want your help it is only because they don't want you to feel any obligation.
Not a bad idea. These guys are a good bunch.

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Old 25-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #24 (permalink)
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just had a look at their site and had a peruse of their Menu seems good value with a 150oz Beef Burger for 260Bt and a 150oz Chicken Burger for 240Bt
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Old 25-03-2013, 10:28 PM   #25 (permalink)
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just had a look at their site and had a peruse of their Menu seems good value with a 150oz Beef Burger for 260Bt and a 150oz Chicken Burger for 240Bt
Can you really eat a 150 oz. burger or chick sandwich? Over 9 pounds of meat. LOL. Of course, $8-9 USD for a sandwich is way more than I would like to pay. A good burger here , and I do mean good, is around $4-5 USD.
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