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Need advice on BKK planning

Posted by amz155 on 11/11/2006 at 21:29

We'll be travelling through BKK in Feb/March at the start and end of our trip through BKK/Laos/Cambodia. Planning to stay in the KSR area (Soi Rambuttri?) on our first 4 days in BKK as the area seems to be close to many wats we'd like to visit.

How close is the KSR area to the following?

Wat Phra Kaew/Grand Palace
Wat Pho
Wat Arun
Wat Suthat/Giant Swing
Wat Saket/Golden Mount
Wat Mahathat or Wat Ratchanatdaram

Would seeing all these different wats be overload? They seem to all have something different to offer. Two of the four days that we'll be in BKK are Sat/Sun so I'm not sure if the wats are open on weekends. On one of the weekend days we'll go to Chatuchak. Is all this too ambitious for four days? Could anyone suggest an itinerary for the above wats and Chatuchak? KSR is obviously nowhere near Chatuchak but we figure its close enough to the wats we'd like to see to justify us staying in the area.

On our return to BKK we'd like to visit Chinatown, Wat Traimit and do some shopping (maybe night market, a mall or two). Thinking of staying at Suk11. Would this be feasible?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!

#1 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111

Posted by exacto on 12/11/2006 at 09:56

hey amz155,

most of the places you mention above are in the KSR area and are a reasonable walk or a short ride from where you'll be staying, with the exception of wat arun, which is across the river in thonburi but still a short trip on a ferry. overload or not depends on your own interests, but it is certainly possible to visit all these within a few days, even with the chatuchak trip. if you get burned out, you can always cut back. as far as i can remember, the places you mention are all open on weekends.

i don't really have an itin suggestion for those days either, although you could hit phra kaew, pho, and arun first (and in that order), then see if you had time for the others. if you were looking to add something, the national museum is within walking distance from KSR and very much worth a look.

great idea to stay in the sukhumvit road area (suk11 or similar) on the way out. you'll get to see an entirely different part of town. plus, it is smart to save your shopping until the end of your trip. not only will you know how much you have left to spend, but you'll have a better idea of what a fair price is, and the logistics of getting your purchases back home will be much easier too. i hope this helps. have a great trip.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,759
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Posted by somtam2000 on 12/11/2006 at 09:57 admin

Hi amz155,

First the wats:
1) Wat Phra Kaew/Grand Palace - Around 20-30 minutes, pleasant walk across Sanam Luang
2) Wat Pho - 10 minutes from (1)
3) Wat Arun - boat ride straight across river from (1)
4) Wat Suthat/Giant Swing - about 30 minutes from Khao San but in a more southeasterly direction
5) Wat Saket/Golden Mount - 10 minutes - sunset is spactacular
6) Wat Mahathat - 10-15 minutes
7) Wat Ratchanatdaram - near (6)

Would seeing all these different wats be overload?
Probably. If you were going to reduce the list, I'd knock off 6 and 7. Wats are open every day, so you shouldn't be restricted by sat/sun

If you've got four days, I'd suggest something like:
day 1)Wat Phra Kaew/Grand Palace, Wat Pho - lunch - Wat Arun
day 2) Giant Swing - lunch - something non-wattish
day 3) Chatuchak (go early!) - lunch - get over chatuchak - Golden Mount
day 4) Perhaps a museum, Jim Thompson's House (my fave thing in all of Bangkok)

Wat Traimit is a good one, plus it lands you in Chinatown which can be terrific for streetside seafood eateries. There's also a few other minor sites in Chinatown worth a peak -- see the Chinatown section for more details.

Suk11 is a good, very popular spot, short walk from Skytrain which brings most of the citry within your reach.

All that said, there's a lot more to Bangkok than wats -- look into doing a cycle ride in Phra Padaeng -- I did that trip years ago and it remains one of my great afternoons in the city. Do a khlong trip, and explore the city's legion range of malls and shopping outlets...

Be sure to fit in an evening dinner by the river, and noodles for breakfast on a street corner.

Four days, four months, four years, one never runs out of things to see here!

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,932
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Posted by amz155 on 12/11/2006 at 22:14

Wow, thanks for the great advice!

somtam, i have just a few questions base don your advice...

1)Wats mahathat and Ratchanatdaram both have amulet markets, if I remember correctly. and i thought it would be interesting to visit either of these wats so we could also see the amulet market(s). granted, i don't really know how interesting an amulet market is. have any info on these?

2) I read somewhere that the Grand Palace halls are closed on weekends and thus the palace can't be seen in its entirety on Sat/Sun. Is this correct?

3) Could you suggest a place to have a nice relaxing, perhaps romantic dinner by the river?

Thanks again!

#4 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111

Posted by somtam2000 on 13/11/2006 at 06:02 admin

No problem!

1) An amulet market is just a bunch of street stalls selling, well, amulets! Most casual visitors find it of passing interest only. It is worth a peak, but I wouldn't travel across the country to check it out.

2) News to me -- I'll check that out today and let you know.

3) Supatra River House is an easy and popular spot. It is a tad touristy, but that doesn't detract. I don't have their contact details handy, but it is opposite the Grand Palace -- stunning position.

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