We are an older, though fit couple visiting a relative in hospital in Bangkok. If possible we would like to have a few days out of the city for a bit of R & R. We don't want to fly having had long haul flights to get there - any recommendations?
#1 Tesrod has been a member since 22/12/2012. Posts: 1
Many options. To the NW of Bangkok are Kanchanaburi and Sangkhlaburi . Both very nice spots with plenty to do in each. Kanchanaburi can be reached by bus (about 1 1/2 hours) or train (much nicer way to go, but slightly longer ... around 2 1/2 hours), and Sangkhlaburi is reached by bus (around 4 hours or more) or minivan (around 3 hours) from Kanchanaburi.
About 5 hours south, along the Gulf coast, is Prachuap Khiri Khan, a very nice seaside town that is also reachable by train, as well as by bus. It's pretty easy-going and doesn't attract hoards of tourists.
SW of Bangkok, and a very short way away, are the towns of Mahachai, Samut Songkhram, and Amphawa. You can get there by bus from the southern bus terminal in Bangkok, or by a very inexpensive, rickety and fun railway.
East and south you can find the town of Sri Racha and the island off of its coast, Koh Si Chang. It's not a great beach island, but is still nice and interesting. Further south is Koh Samet, which is a very popular, well-developed, and very beautiful island.
Further east and a little south is the town of Trat , which is a very pleasant place that is not far from the ferries that carry people over to islands such as Koh Chang, Koh Wai, and Koh Mak. All very nice spots.
North of Bangkok are Ayuthaya and Lopburi . Ayuthaya has a lot to see and do, and both are easily reached by train.
FYI, most of these places are going to be packed to the rafters during the holiday season, though Trat would likely be fairly quiet as most who head that way are going to the islands. I'd be surprised if Lopburi was busy, too.
Another place, slightly further north, that's good for a few days is Sukhothai.
Hope things go well for your relative.
Hi my tip would be to catch the local train down to Mahachai as Tilapia suggested. My wife and did this day trip last June and had a great day. Train trip only takes an hour or so. Leave about 10 have a look around a great seafood market as the main trawlers from the gulf are here. Then a fantastic seafood lunch overlooking the water. Very authentic very few tourists. There are a couple of threads here that detail this. Hope this helps. Also recommend Kanchanburi for an overnight stay eat at the night market etc.
Great suggestions from Tilapia and swag above, and any of those destinations would be great. My personal favorites from that list are Kanchanaburi, for the WWII history, museums, and military cemeteries, and Ayutthaya, for the ancient Thai history and ruins.
I haven't done the Mahachai trip, but it sounds like a real winner too.
If you are looking for an adventure a bit closer to Bangkok, Pakkret can be reached by city bus. It's an island in the river north of Bangkok that has maintained much of the charm of times past and is well set to accommodate folks on a day trip. Cheers.
You didn't mention how much money you wanted to spend or exactly what you were looking for in terms of experience. My mother, who is also fit but almost 80 years old, had a wonderful time in Pattaya when she stayed at a very high end hotel in North Pattaya. Everything was first class and she enjoyed a daily swim in the infinity pool, a foot message, and fine dining at the hotel restraunt. Pattaya is crowded and dirty, but it does have a lot of excellent restaraunts, as well as golfing, water sports, etc. It really depends on what you want to do - what kind of experience you are seeking and what your budget is. BTW we booked via Agoda with me, my wife, our daughter and my mother. For two outstanding connecting rooms we paid 75 USD a night using agoda (or close to that price).