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Bangkok Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Bangkok vacation


Marc888
Long distance bus options 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Undeterred, I looked at the possibility for land travel, which essentially entails a very long, 16 hour bus trip along the entire length of Thailand to the far south and then crossing the border for another long trip which would take me over half the length of Malaysia. Having already endured a number of 12 hour bus journeys in the past, I already knew that this nearly 26 hour marathon would be far too much to bear. In addition the prices were actually quite high as well. With a one way ticket costing around 2000 baht it was not much cheaper than the flight to Singapore. With this plan also unworkable I returned to the internet to see if I could find another flight option.

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_Gleam_
Commuting in Bangkok 4 stars
I’m sure you’ve been warned about the traffic in Bangkok. I know I was. I made sure I had ample time for traveling, and considered the possibility of being stuck in a jam. I guess it speaks a lot about my paranoia because I found myself often early for my appointments. But you still might want to try Bangkok’s skytrain, they’re a great alternative and experience to get around the city. It’s convenient and comfortable, from my experience. Ask your hotel reception for the nearest stations and where to alight.

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Marc888
The Iriya Spa and Fitness Centre, Bangkok 4 stars
The Iriya spa and fitness centre is a huge place that sits on the second floor of Palm Street in Bangkok’s Ladprao area. This place is truly enormous, and is fitted out with no expense spared. The fitness equipment comprised a wide range of the latest machines. I chose to spend my first session testing myself on the step machine which had all of the electronic add-ons including a heart rate monitor and K joules counter.

Having climbed 36 flights of stairs in reality, I knew full well that this would be a challenge, but the variable traction facility made it possible to control the climb so that a longer workout was possible. The spa and other facilities were also of very high quality. This entire centre remains a place that has yet to be bettered.


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Marc888
Phra Kanong Market 4 stars
The Phra Kanong market is situated around Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 71 road and is deceptively large. The main parts that are visible are the outer parts that consist of vendors selling their wares on the main road. However, I was able to venture further inside and what opened up in front of me was a maze of small streets covering a wide area. This market is mainly famous as a fresh fruit market and I was able to buy some of the very popular sweet oranges and mangos that were offered on large tables. The oranges were piled height into perfectly formed pyramids and the vendors seemed to have an everlasting supply, at least whilst I was there. The back streets contained mainly clothes vendors selling jeans and shirts for both men and women, whilst the vendors on Soi 71 proper dealt in small electrical items. This popular market can be reached very easily by taking a BTS train to Phra Kanong station.

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Marc888
Phattawigorn and Klong Tom Markets on the same day 4 stars
I finally managed to work out the best way to enjoy two of Bangkok’s largest out door markets on the same day. The Pattawigorn market is located near on Nawamin Road, yet the Klong Tom market lies some 20km away close to Bangkok’s China town. The former starts at around 4pm and finishes at 8pm and is open on both weekend days, whilst the Klong Tom market is active from 6pm until late on a Saturday, and 9am until 3pm on a Sunday. I tried a transfer by taxi which took around 1 hour and cost 260 baht. The high expense was due to the fact that I took the toll way for the entire route. This trip was quite a success and I was able to visit both markets on the same day.

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Marc888
Little Mamas, Bangkok 4 stars
Little Mamas in Bangkok’s Chong Nonsi area is a very quiet restaurant that provides an all day menu. It is located right underneath the BTS station and I found it to be quite a good choice especially for early in the morning as their breakfast menu included such tasty delights as a full English breakfast complete with fluffy pancakes and maple syrup. There are quite a few mainline coffee shops and even a McDonalds close by, all of which seem to be quite busy, however Little Mamas is a place where you can get away from the crowds. That said, at lunch time this quiet restaurant gets over full, so apparently they have a stronghold on the market for that time of day!

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Marc888
Coffee Society 4 stars
Coffee Society is a very stylish coffee shop in Bangkok’s downtown Silom area and is located just below the very busy Sala Daeng BTS station. I was able to enjoy free wi-fi and a very nice selection of coffee and cakes. The seating area outside provides a definite street side experience, but it is a little close to the traffic for me, so I decided to take a comfortable seat in the main ground floor part of the coffee shop. There is also a second floor in this establishment but it is not always open as it depends how busy the place is. Coffee Society can be found a few doors down from the Bug and Bee which has a large sign on the building.

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Marc888
Bangkok's Reversible Lanes 4 stars
Here’s a very valuable tip if you are walking around Bangkok and looking to cross a busy street. Traffic in the city, whilst often slow, is quite relentless. Although it isn’t difficult to cross the street there is one special thing to be aware of, and that is that, at times, some lanes are reversible. It means that for 3 or 4 lane highways, after crossing the first half it is important to still look both ways when crossing the second carriageway as there is no guarantee that all the lanes of traffic will be moving in the opposite direction. I unfortunately saw a person knocked down after stepping on to the second half of a dual carriageway because he only looked in the expected direction. Fortunately he was not hurt too badly. What I tend to do on the busier roads is t be very mindful of reversible lanes and also to use a footbridge wherever possible.

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Marc888
Shabu Yaki, Ari 4 stars
Shabu Yaki Ari is a Japanese Shabu Shabu Restaurant located in Bangkok’s Ari Mall which can be found right next to the Ari BTS station. This unimposing place is set back on the second floor and I had a hard time locating it, but I was keen to try it out as it looked as though they had a very good handle on what a traditional Shabu style restaurant should provide. Sure enough my perseverance had paid off. The food was excellent and since it was quite quiet I virtually had 2 waitresses at my beck and call. The best way to reach this place is to take the elevator to the second floor and then turn right towards the rear of the balcony area.

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Marc888
The Coffee Seat, Bangkok 5 stars
The Coffee Seat is a real gem of a coffee shop located in a small Soi in Bangkok’s Ladprao District and provides a garden setting together with a peaceful air-conditioned indoor seating area. This classy looking retreat offers free wi-fi and also a range of specialist coffees that make it a perfect place to sit and surf. Yet, it was not that busy on my last visit. I was able to spend an afternoon there and took a seat in the air conditioned area as, although the garden looked inviting, it was too hot to sit outside. I was able to enjoy a very quiet time and was afforded great service from the staff. Water features adorn the entrance as does plenty of greenery and this combination gave a nice backdrop to what is a very serene place to spend some time at.

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Marc888
Departure... 4 stars
My plan was coming together nicely and so I confirmed the ticket with Thai Airways. I was to depart the following morning at around lunch time and so packed a small bag. As a fan of carry on luggage I felt that I could get away without taking a suitcase or any checked bags. Hopefully this would speed things up at the airport, as I wouldn’t have to wait for my bags at the carousel. The following morning I took a taxi to Bangkok International Airport and arrived at the check-in desk for the flight in good time.

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Marc888
An ETF Electronic Visa 4 stars
With the flight that I had my eye on departing the following day, I was keen not to have to do this and so felt quite happy about the electronic system helping me to skip that step. However, I was a little curious as I felt that I had nothing to show to prove to anyone that I had an Australian Vias. When I asked the Bangkok Embassy to fax me a receipt or to give me a reference number over the phone, they insisted that it was already in the computer and that there was no number or receipt to give me. I accepted their system and put the phone down. Actually it was the easiest and most convenient visa application I have made and so I was pretty happy with the call!

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Marc888
Getting an Australian Visa in Bangkok 4 stars
I also called the Australian Embassy in Bangkok to obtain an Australian Visa. As a UK citizen, I already knew that the application can be done over the phone, and indeed after checking my passport during the phone call, the Embassy clerk confirmed that they had issued me with an ETF electronic visa during the course of my telephone call! I asked the opening times of the Australian Embassy in Bangkok so that I could pick my Australian visa from their office, however the person I spoke to said that it was simply not necessary to pick up any paperwork or to have my Passport updated with a sticker or visa stamp.

Apparently the computer system already had details of the visa and immigration staff in my airport of entry in Australia would also have this information too. Although it was possible to go to the Embassy to get something in my Passport I was told that it could require a lengthy wait and that it really was unnecessary.


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Marc888
Double checking with the Thai Consulate in Perth 4 stars
Other options included flying with Malaysia Airlines via Kuala Lumpur or with Royal Brunei Airlines, however the stopovers looked to be longer in duration. In the end I chose the direct route as it would be much less hassle and the cost was only slightly higher. Before booking the flight and confirming it, I called the Thai Consulate in Perth and explained that I was hoping to renew my Thai Visa. The lady I spoke to there was very helpful and gave me the opening times for the office and the days on which they operated.

Usually the visa process takes a day or two, but she suggested that I may well be able to pick up my new Thai Visa on the same day, even on a while-I-wait basis. This would be perfect as it would give me more freedom to explore Perth.


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Marc888
The Bel Aire Princess, Bangkok 4 stars
Located close to the heart of the Down Town area, the Bel Aire Princess hotel in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 5 provided me with a very nice stay. This medium sized establishment had very nice rooms which have been recently refitted to a high standard and had good facilities including a very nice restaurant and coffee shop. There was also a large swimming pool that was quite a nice touch as most of hotels in this area of a similar size don’t offer a pool. It is getting harder to find good hotels in the Soi 3,4 and 5 areas close to Nana BTS station and so this was a place that I was very pleased to have stumbled across.

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Marc888
Returning home... 4 stars
To top off the evening, we took a ride on the big wheel, which instead of having a central spindle had two wheels moving around each other, one fixed and one that held the cars. The views from the top of the big wheel were truly stunning and this made for a nice end to the day. Next time I am in the area I will try to find Safari World and report on that, but overall the dinner at the golf club and the eerie but quite excellent Wonder World provided us with much more than we could have hoped for that day. It was another surprise outing since at the start of our mystery trip we did not have this on our plan at all. Indeed we just didn’t have a plan, dot!

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Marc888
The Forrest 4 stars
It was tucked away on the second floor of Bangkok’s Ari mall, but it looked inviting nonetheless. The Forest Restaurant had a nice selection of Thai and western food as well as gourmet coffee, but yet seemed to be quite quiet… which was a bonus for me as I was looking to have a peaceful lunch. The outside seating hugged the main balcony that formed the Ari Malls atrium and since this is an open air mall it was nice to get some fresh air. I ordered some Thai Tom Yam Soup and a side salad both of which were nicely presented. This was a pleasant place which provided a perfect lunch.

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Marc888
Moom Muumy Park 5 stars
Well this was quite a find. The newly opened Moom Muumy Park Restaurant (spellt with two u's!) is set in the very front part of the Grand Crystal Mall in Bangkok’ Ladprao area. As I walked over to take a closer look I noticed that it had striking black and white leather sofas set underneath wide circular candelabra style lights, and all of this was just the outside seating area! Moom Muumy’s served excellent Thai and Italian food, with some Japanese dishes also available on the menu. Inside the restaurant was just as chic,. But I decided to eat outside as it was a very pleasant afternoon. Service was good and the food absolutely delicious!

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Marc888
The attractions 4 stars
As we walked further around the park there were some really great attractions, all of them open. These included a reverse bungee jump, a range of hi powered petrol driven go karts on a substantial track that wound its way underneath the rollercoaster, the big wheel itself which was, frankly, a huge structure, and a number of smaller attractions. The smaller attractions further included a fierce looking mechanical bull riding machine and a vertical drop zone which assured you of several G’s of free fall force and probably a nice adrenaline rush too.

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Marc888
Walking around at night 4 stars
There was no charge or tickets required to enter the main gate, but i did find a small office that sold tickets to the various attractions. We decided to walk around a bit,. A large rollercoaster seemed to wind around the entire site on about 6 different levels, however I couldn’t see any cars running on it. The staff in the office told me that it was a new attraction and wasn’t yet open. Indeed I found out that the entire park was quite new, but it had been open for about 6 months, and so I still couldn’t understand why it was so quiet.

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