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Thailand forum

Things to do in Bangkok

Posted by clarissjavier on 14/9/2012 at 01:30

What are the things that one should definitely not pass up when visiting Bangkok or Thailand in general?

One thing that should be experienced by any tourist in Thailand is riding the tuk-tuk.

Please add to my list. Thanks!

#1 clarissjavier has been a member since 12/9/2012. Posts: 3
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Posted by MADMAC on 14/9/2012 at 02:58

That really depends on the individual. Because we are all so different.

From a tourist perspective, if I only went to see one thing, it would be the Jim Thompson House. I loved it, and have been twice. Got the tour once in English, and once in Thai. Great experience. But for some, going to Thailand means temples, and obviously the Jim Thompson house isn't a temple.

From a social experience stand point, it would be to go dancing at La Rueda. But I'm a dancer. For non-dancers... probably not so much.

From a sex tourist stand point, it would be Soi 33. Doesn't have the raunchy vibe of Nana or Patpong (although obviously if you ar elookin for the raunchy vibe then maybe Nana is your place).

So it really depends on what your interests are.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


Posted by chinarocks on 14/9/2012 at 03:08

MADMAC once again managing to squeeze a sex related response into, what appears to be, a sex-free question from the OP...

#3 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by RiniRabbit on 14/9/2012 at 05:08

it's up what would you like to see and don't want to see or do,
For not pass up and one thing that should be experienced?
I will take boat at Chopaya river to Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace,Wat Pho (no taxi or bus) if it's too hot you can take Tuk-Tuk to drive for visit temples around there.
- Wat Arun
- Jatujak market (Shopping)
- Chinatown (Food)
- Dinner at Red Sky (centara Grand Central World)

#4 RiniRabbit has been a member since 31/7/2012. Posts: 78

Posted by MADMAC on 14/9/2012 at 08:42

I didn't think it was a question China. It looked like the start of a "favorites" list.

As for sex, just keeping it real. This is Thailand after all.

#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by chinarocks on 14/9/2012 at 10:19

You're right, I'm such a prude...

#6 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by Gaston on 14/9/2012 at 11:01

I will be spending a few days in Bangkok at the end of November. Never heard of the Jim Thompson House before but it seems like an interesting place to visit. Thanks for the suggestion MADMAC.

Gaston

#7 Gaston has been a member since 13/3/2012. Location: Canada. Posts: 11

Posted by exacto on 15/9/2012 at 18:28

Jim Thompson is a good suggestion, and while you are in the area, check out MBK and the other nearby shopping centers. It is unabashed capitalism and unashamed materialism. And great food courts.

The Sanam Luang area is pretty much ground zero when it comes to tourist stuff. Wat Phra Kaeo is good but maybe a bit over-rated. Wat Pho is good fun. My personal favorite is Wat Arun on the Thonburi side of the river. Best of all you can get there by boat, and then work that into the boat service along the river.

If you are dressed halfway decent, you can have a wander through the Oriental Hotel and some of the other top-end hotels along the river for a glimpse at lifestyles of the rich and famous.

The National Museum is also in the Sanam Luang area (right near Khao San Road) and a good starting point for gaining a appreciation for Thai history, culture, art, and architecture.

There are a few other spots in this general area too, like Democracy Monument and the Giant Swing and a few others wats that are worth a look. Apart from that, with just a stroll through the back streets you can discover good food spots and interesting shops, like the row of shops that specializes in Buddhist monk supplies.

I never liked Patpong and Nana Plaza always seemed too crowded and a fire trap to me, so if you are interested in that sort of thing I always thought Soi Cowboy was more relaxed and less sleezy. It is right off both the subway and skytrain, so it is easy to reach too. But I didn't so much as stop by on my last visit, so that information may be dated.

What I did instead was hang out in the Victory Monument area where lots of 20-somethings and middle class Thais hang out and drink beer and listen to music. I liked it because it was fun to hang out with everyday folks in Bangkok. Hope that helps. Regards.

#8 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,632
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 16/9/2012 at 07:00

Mr Thompson's house is a waste of time. Go to the National Museum - you can spend 2 hours there looking around. Far more things to see than some lame house put on for tourists.

Wat Arun is good because you can kill a few birds with one stone. Good trip along the river in a ferry plus the views of the temple and from near the top of the temple are good. Can take many photos. The thai food there is also cheap and good.

#9 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by LannaCountryBoy on 16/9/2012 at 10:13

For Bangkok, I suggest you hop on the Chao Phaya Express boat from any pier downtown along the river and go all the way to the last stop at Pakkret and visit the island and any other interesting places along the route. Other places, I suggest a trip to Chiang Rai, visit the Golden Triangle and cross over to Laos or Myanmar for a brief visit.

#10 LannaCountryBoy has been a member since 16/9/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by tinoh on 17/9/2012 at 04:21

My first advise would be to ride a tuk tuk outside of bangkok and not in Bangkok. Take a metered cab instead. A tuk tuk in Bangkok is expensive, hot and the air is poluted.

My other tips would be:
- China town
- MBK for shopping
- Have a few drinks at a table around Khao San Road for some people watching
- Take a biking tour to see the green side of Bangkok

#11 tinoh has been a member since 13/2/2010. Posts: 40

Posted by MADMAC on 17/9/2012 at 09:37

Leonard, you are still struggling with the idea that everyone is not you.

As for Wat Arun, that is a good suggestion, and number two on my list. My daughter got a big kick riding the boat and we saw a crock the second time I went there (been to Wat Arun twice as well).

National Museum was OK. I wouldn't do it a second time though.

#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by chinarocks on 17/9/2012 at 10:28

Whatever happened to longbeach - he was another angry individual.

#13 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 17/9/2012 at 12:04

"Leonard, you are still struggling with the idea that everyone is not you"

Just posting an opinion - that's what forums are for. You fail to realise that. I would consider JT's house a tourist trap while you like it. Just two different opinions.

#14 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 17/9/2012 at 12:06

"we saw a crock"

You mean a crocodile in the river?

#15 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by MADMAC on 18/9/2012 at 07:59

Yep, a crocodile. It was only about three feet long and it was dead. The guy driving the boat says the river has a few - not many. I wondered about that, because even with a few, I would be loathe to swim in the river, which people do. I've read they are indigenous, but I've also read they are part of the great croc escape from the last flood. I suppose both are probably true.

As for opinion, you might say that since you are posting it, it is your opinion. And that's fair enough. Most people do preface with that statement though (as in IMHO). I have no problem with difference of opinion though. Like I said, different strokes for different folks. Some people think KSR is a can't miss. Others think that Issan is crap.

#16 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 18/9/2012 at 18:15

IMHO isn't needed. Posts are all about opinions unless you are giving specific factual info for opening hours, rooms, transport etc The quality of attractions is always subjective.

I think Suan Pakkad is much more interesting and Vimanmek Mansion is worth doing as well. http://www.suanpakkad.com/main_eng.php
http://www.palaces.thai.net/index_vm.htm

#17 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by swag on 18/9/2012 at 18:21

Something a little bit different.Recently did a 3 hour food walking tour with thai guide and headset. Visited 5 different eateries learnt a hell of a lot had some great food, really enjoyable.

#18 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331

Posted by MADMAC on 19/9/2012 at 05:24

Well the Jim Thompson House, as an extension of the Jim Thompson story, have always appealed to me. I also liked the house itself, and am using it as a model for the house I am building in Yaso. My wife too liked the tour and found the story very interesting.

#19 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 19/9/2012 at 09:57

The average Thai doesn't care about Jim Thompson and the name Jim draws a few laughs. Teak houses are a dime a dozen in Thailand. Some real nice ones along the River Kwai and up north.

#20 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by MADMAC on 19/9/2012 at 11:05

True enough. My wife is definitely not the average Thai. She's brutally honest. Her favorite foods are not Thai. And she doesn't have racist bone in her body (well, maybe she does, because sometimes when we drive she will drone on about how stupid Thais are - true driving isn't their strength). She loved the Jim Thompson House, but when we took the Thai language tour we were the only ones on it (my wife, my daughter and I).

#21 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by exacto on 19/9/2012 at 17:26

I took the Thai language tour at Jim Thompson's and really enjoyed it too. The guides were able to give much more detail and seemed more relaxed than the English tours. Either way though, I still like that house and same as MADMAC am fascinated by the Jim Thompson story, right up to the disappearance in the Cameron Highlands of what is now Malaysia.

Funny thing is I took the Thai language tour at Vimanmek as well and had a similarly wonderful experience. The two always seemed a lovely view into that era of Thai history. It isn't how most folks lived, but the folks who did live that way lived very well.

@MADMAC - are you really building that style of home in Yaso? Sounds fantastic!

#22 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,632
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 19/9/2012 at 19:04

The most fascinating thing about Jim Thompson is the mystery surrounding his death. Was he murdered? Did he get lost or just fall off an edge and die.

#23 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by MADMAC on 19/9/2012 at 23:05

Exacto
I am not copying it - but the fundamental concept of taking seperate buildings and linking them (as oppossed to one large strcuture) is what w are doing. So the entire house is elevated on stilts. Each room is a free standing house and they are connected by elevated walkways. I have a large piece of land we are doing this on. And we use that land for farming. So the house is essentially elevated above the farm. It's cool, but it will be years before I am finished because my son is in university and that's costing me.

#24 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by exacto on 19/9/2012 at 23:23

Okay, we've officially hijacked this thread now but since the OP never responded I guess it isn't a big problem.

In any case, more power to you MADMAC. I've seen a few similar designs and I love the concept. It's functional and stylish. I'd love to see the finished building one day.

Is your son still at Khon Kaen University? It is a good school. What is he studying?

On the Jim Thompson thing, have you read the biography of Thompson by William Warren? I've actually got a copy signed by the author that I've had since the late 90's. I always thought Thompson's history with the OSS was interesting, as was his role in helping to revive the Thai silk industry. His disappearance in Malaysia in 1967 is fascinating because of context. This wasn't just some random tourist, but a person deeply involved in the region.

As for the house, apart from the architecture and the furnishings, I love how it sits right on the klong and often wonder how charming life would have been like there in the 50's and 60's. Regards.

#25 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,632
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Posted by MADMAC on 20/9/2012 at 04:15

Well, as you know, he was oppossed to the war in Vietnam. But so were tons of people then. I find it hard to swallow that men who place such a value on loyalty would kill their own. We don't work that way - movies notwithstanding.

But yeah, his story is an interesting one.

When the house is done I'll drop you a line you can come and check it out.

#26 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by elizabethnoelle on 1/10/2012 at 05:55

I recommend checking out Chatuchak for sure (if you like shopping, eating or people watching) a lovely day relaxing in Lumpini park, an afternoon on Koh Kret and a fun night out on Soi 4 or Patpong in Silom. I wrote about some other things to do in Bangkok for free on my blog. I also highly recommend taking a day trip to Ayutthaya or Kanchanburi. Happy Trails!

#27 elizabethnoelle has been a member since 23/9/2011. Location: United States. Posts: 14
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Posted by zinbads123 on 4/10/2012 at 08:22

Try Thai Massage therapy, quite different from body massage. Visiting original massage school in Wat Po and Grand Palace is recommended attraction when you visit Bangkok.

#28 zinbads123 has been a member since 19/5/2012. Location: Thailand. Posts: 3
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Posted by neosho on 5/10/2012 at 20:39

For a nice evening try Saxophone's. It's a stone's throw from Victory Monument. Great food(western and thai) and live music every night. Friday and Saturday is for blues. There used to be a group called the "Little Big Band" that played there. The singer would take requests from the audience and sing most anything. Great at Sinatra. NO bar girls and mostly Thai's or farang with their girlfriends. Not extremely cheap but still affordable.

#29 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by MADMAC on 6/10/2012 at 06:54

Good friend of mine loves that place Neosho!

#30 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 6/10/2012 at 08:50

Saxophone's is ok but beers are expensive and food is average. It attracts a big farang crowd. Raintree Pub nearby is more of a Thai bar with a focus on folk music and the food is excellent and drinks a bit cheaper.

#31 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by friendlyfarang on 19/9/2014 at 06:51

If you like to see something more local, check out the JJ Green market just behind the Chatuchak weekend market. It's a very cool night market with bars, live music and street vendors selling retro & vintage items.

#32 friendlyfarang has been a member since 19/9/2014. Posts: 1


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