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Bangkok Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Bangkok vacation


Marc888
The ticket.... 4 stars
My ticket from Bangkok to New York was actually 5 tickets in one with stops in Tokyo, Hawaii, San Francisco, and Detroit too. After getting to New York my plan was to book a one way ticket to cross the Atlantic to get to London, a ticket that can quite easily be picked up at a discount shop. Unfortunately my main ticket was confirmed at the very last moment and so I had very little time to pack and get my self to the airport. Anyway it didn’t matter as I was planning to return and so didn’t need to pack that much. In addition I had some savings in cash in US Dollars, and so my plan was to buy some travelers checks and just buy whatever I needed en route so that I could travel as light as possible.

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Marc888
Bangkok’s Hulampong area 4 stars
Bangkok’s Hulampong area is a place that you will likely become familiar with if you are staying in Bangkok. I have passed through the area many times but often for different reasons. Hulampong main line railway station is the most famous building in this area and it is an imposing building set at the end of a very wide highway that forms the end of Rama 4 road. Hulampong area is also the gateway to China town and the Chao Prayo river and it provides direct access to the downtown areas. The best way to reach this area is to take an MTR train on the recently built underground as it is often the case traffic can come to a standstill at peak hours. This is especially so if you are looking to catch a train out of the city from the main Hulampong station

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Marc888
Armon, Thailand 4 stars
I have spent many an afternoon pottering around a branch of Armon. It is the name of a chain of shops that have a good foothold in Thailand, and that specialize in all things electronic. They have a nice range of items from high end audio right the way down to the tiniest spare spring that you might need to replace in your DVD player. Whilst not all their branches hold the same stock, they are nonetheless one of the few places that hold a substantial range of electronic spare parts. I managed to buy a microphone cover, a battery for my camcorder, and a kitchen hot-plate all on the same visit! One of their larger stores is located in Bangkok's Ladprao Road.

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Marc888
True! Bangkok 4 stars
True internet is a name that you will soon become familiar with if you are in Bangkok. I have seen it grow in size and this confident company now provides internet services and cable TV services to a growing share of the market. However it is the true coffee shops that are most likely to impress. They have a number of them dotted around the capital city, and not only do they serve great coffee but they provide internet services utilizing their very fast connections. I spent time in their coffee shop in the fortune centre and found that one other thing that made my stay comfortable was their investment in large Dell LCD screens. these gave a nice touch to a place that has just about got it perfect!

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Marc888
The plan.... 4 stars
It was confirmed! My travel agent rang me and said that my ticket from Bangkok to New York was ready for pickup and all sectors were confirmed. I think it was my best bargain as regard airfares, as I managed to get a one way ticket with Northwest airlines. Actually I wanted to go to London, but decided to go the other way around the world to achieve this as I had some time on my hands. The reason why I was so pleased with the routing is that Northwest has its hub in Tokyo and also allowed stop offs at various points on this long journey, all at no extra cost and all with maximum flexibility.

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Marc888
Bangkok's Ice Bar 4 stars
The Ice Bar in Bangkok’s Thong Lo Road is billed as a cool place to go and it was indeed busy on the night that tried it out. It is a bright white disco and bar, and of quite a good size. The décor inside was minimalist, but it suited the aim of the place. Once inside I enjoyed a cool beer, and found that I was just in time to watch some live music. Unfortunately the Thai-heavy –rock style was not really my taste, but the crowd of regulars seemed to be quite into it. This then was trendy Thai disco, and it soon became apparent that there weren’t any other westerners there!. I ordered a second beer and then decided that it was time to move on. The ice bar is indeed a cool spot if you happen to be Thai or are with some Thai friends.

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Marc888
Silom City Coffee Shop, Bangkok 4 stars
I was recently in Bangkok’s Silom area and whilst there are a number of coffee shops to choose from I found myself drawn to a somewhat unique place for my mid morning fix. Its located in the City Building on the corner of Sathorn and Chong Nonsi Roads. This coffee shop occupies the entire lobby on the ground floor of the building It is quite a spacious lobby area with large windows in all directions, and trees growing in the middle of it - all inside the building! It was a nice experience because they appeared to have some slightly different variants of coffee on offer compared to other places including a caramel special, which I couldn’t help but order … and it tasted great!

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Marc888
Thai Chili Restaurant, Bangkok 4 stars
The Thai Chili Restaurant in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 3 is a relatively new place and I had the opportunity to eat there only a few weeks after its opening day. This is a privately owned restaurant and I managed to talk with the owner, as she was still tending to some finishing touches. The restaurant employed traditional Thai décor with a modern touch, and there were some unique pieces of art on the walls which gave it a classy feel. The food was very good and I enjoyed a Thai Tom Kah Gai soup, fried rice with fresh crab and a main course of chicken and cashew nuts. The house red-wine was a nicely chosen 2005 bottle from Chile. Prices were modest, and all in all the evening was relaxing and satisfying.

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Marc888
Return from Klong Tom 4 stars
I had another trip to Bangkok’s Klong Tom market this weekend, but found myself a bit stuck when returning. The central market area is insanely busy, and I could not find any motorcycle taxis around. You see, the thought of getting into a normal taxi in such dense traffic was highly unappealing. I figured that it would be quicker to walk… and my solution was to do just this. I walked about 1 kilometer out of the Klong Tom area even though I honestly didn’t know which direction I was going! However, I found that the roads freed up such that I was able to get a taxi with ease and without gridlocked traffic too! There were also more motorcycle taxis around and less people. My taxi took me directly to the train station - the entire jorney, including the walk, took only 20 minutes!

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Marc888
Ekkamai, Bangkok 5 stars
Ekkamai (actually pronounced "Ahg-a-my") is a place name that you will likely become familiar with in Bangkok as it is a main travel hub. I have been to the area many times and although you might only find yourself there because it is home to one of the 3 large long-distance bus stations in Bangkok, there is more to see in the area. Of note is the large Thai-style coffee shop which is set in a large traditional Thai building just opposite the main bus station. They serve mainly (very strong) Thai Coffee, which comes in tall glasses with a filter built in. Just next to the coffee shop is a mall and Cineplex which has 3 floors of shopping and eateries, as well as 7 Movie theatres. Ekkamai is also becoming popular as a place for developers to build new condos, so you can expect more from this area in the future!

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Marc888
Thai Tuk Tuks. 5 stars
Tuk Tuks remain a part of Bangkok life, though sometimes I find that it is hard to see why they still exist. That’s because, even though they are slightly smaller than a standard taxi, they can’t really cut through the traffic any quicker and so don’t offer a faster trip than a normal air-conditioned taxi, plus they are open air and thus I find myself exposed to all the pollution of surrounding traffic. So why do they still exist? Well for visitors to Thailand the tuk tuk is quite a tourist attraction, and it is a traditional mode of transport in many Thai cities. You will find Tuk Tuks working from ranks in tourist areas, or just plying the streets. The fares are not cheaper than a normal taxi and should be agreed upon before setting off. It’s a fun way to travel for the sake of enjoying the experience, but for me it is not really a practical alternative to a normal cab!

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Marc888
The O Reilly's Special 4 stars
I do like to have a Full English Breakfast wherever I am in the world, and I see no reason to miss out on that whilst in Bangkok. Fortunately I found myself last week in O Reilly’s Irish free house in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 20 area. The great thing about O Reilly's was that I was able to choose from a great menu of choice English dishes, including a full breakfast or a half English breakfast, (their smaller variety). Furthermore their menu also included a make-your-own breakfast section where I was able to order all of the elements separately. I promptly ordered 4 eggs, 2 rounds of bacon, mushrooms, hash browns, tomatoes, sautéed potatoes, sausages, toast and a pot of Tea. There were about 20 other possible items available too. Because the individual portions were very generous, the breakfast arrived at my table looking like a mini mountain!. Not that I didn’t eat all of it!

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Marc888
Pratunam Market, Bangkok 4 stars
Pratunam Market is quite an institution in Bangkok. This is fashion central, but no high fashion with the expensive price tags… oh no, Pratunam is the place to go to get the best deal on the new styles. It is in fact a place where independent shop holders come to get their stock, but it is not strictly a wholesale market… just a discount center where you can get the best for less. I find that everytime I go there, it is quite claustrophobic, and the building is showing its age. Inside 3 floors play host to hundreds of cubicle size shop-lets which sell everything from shoes to clothes to fashion jewelry. Alas, there is not as much for men as there is for the ladies, but there are a couple of coffee shops there, and the Pantip Computer Center is conveniently located just 5 minutes walk away making this a great place for a couple to go to, to enjoy separately!

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Marc888
Ramkamheng Bangkok. 4 stars
I have been to Bangkok's Ramkamheng district many times, but it is not that well known to westerners compared to other parts of the city. One thing the area is famous for is its huge university. Ramkamheng is not served by either an underground train or BTS sky train, but it is easily reached by taxi or bus from Sukhumvit road at around the soi 71 route area. Once in Ramkamheng you will notice how busy it is… there are thousands of students at the university and many businesses to cater for them. The well known Ramkamheng Mall is a huge 4 building affair that straddles the 6 lane high way complete with a 2 level sky walk, and this attracts people from surrounding areas with its large selection of shops and department stores. The mall also has a multiplex cinema and a wide choice of eateries. This area is well worth a visit if you are looking to go slightly off the beaten track.

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Marc888
Bangkok Taxis 4 stars
Bangkok Taxis are very colourful, but beneath all of this chaos lies a system, and this helps me when I am looking to take a taxi around Bangkok. First and foremost, taxis that are green, or two-tone green and yellow, are driver-owner taxis. Orange, pink and blue taxis are rented out from a company. Now since almost anyone can become a taxi driver by simply renting a car on a daily basis, you may consider it safer to find a green taxi which indicates that the driver owns the car. All well and good, but in reality, after traveling in thousands of taxis in Bangkok, I have never encountered a villainous taxi driver anyway! The other deciding factor for me is that since you are paying a fixed fare for all taxis, it is best to try to stop a new one. As it is hard to see the condition of an approaching taxi I go by the following rule… the non-green ones tend to be newer as they are company owned and leased.

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Marc888
S&P at Ekkamai. 5 stars
I recently took a drive along Bangkok’s Ekkamai Road from the main BTS Station, and on the way I passed a quiet but still sizeable mall on the right hand side just 750 meters or so along the route. This mall has a Big-C supermarket, and also an Index furniture store as its 2 main tenants, but on the lower left is an S&P restaurant. Now S&P is quite a well known brand in Thailand, but normally I find they have smaller coffee shops some of which don’t offer much in the way of cooked food. This branch was different, a modern and quite large branch furnished in a way that I haven’t seen S&P do in its other locations. The food was good, and the beverages came in individual filter pots – a nice touch. I found this to be a very pleasant place to dine, especially for lunch, and the price of the food was very modest at only 5 Euros a head.


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Marc888
Queen's Park, Bangkok 5 stars
I had a great time recently at Bangkok’s Queen's Park. This is a small place as compared to almost all of Bangkok’s other parks, but it is ideally located in Sukhumvit road, a busy down town area, and it is pleasant to see some open space here. I had a nice time wandering through the main entrance gate down towards the edge of the moderately sized lake that forms the centerpiece of this recreational space. The park is surrounded by a number of tall buildings, including the Queen's Park Hotel, which allows you to enjoy some shade from the afternoon sun. There were also some refreshment sellers near to the gates which allowed me to have a cool, relaxing afternoon!

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Marc888
Bangkok Micro Buses 4 stars
I find that getting around Bangkok is quite easy, but most visitors don’t use public transport as there are a few unwritten rules which can make it difficult for newcomers to grasp. One form of transport seldom used by westerners, but which I frequently take advantage of, is the micro-bus. These are very small pickups, usually Honda micro vans, which have been out-fitted with a canopy and typically seat around 8 people, maybe 10 at a squeeze. There are truly tiny. They compete for business with normal buses and the medium sized minibuses, and I find that it is easy to stop them whether at a bus stop, or on some occasions when I am lucky, between bus stops. Fares are around 6 baht (that’s 0.10 Euros) and the destination is posted in Thai, but normally when I am just looking to go 1 or 2 kilometers down the road then I find that micro-buses can be a great way to save a walk!

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Marc888
6 degrees in Bangkok… 4 stars
No, its not the temperature in Bangkok!... but rather the name of a special Thai-Italian fusion restaurant located in Bangkok's Silom Area. I had a great lunch at this two story restaurant which is adorned with very large windows that make the building look almost entirely like a glass-house. The food is excellent, but of particular note was my 5 course lunch which cost just 5 euros. I wasn’t quite sure how they could pull of this feat but nonetheless I was keen to try it. And yes indeed 5 very tasty courses of lunch commenced with fresh fruit entrée, followed by Thai Tom Yam Soup, a selection of fish or chicken main courses presented in a delicious cream sauce, and a desert selection of cakes and/or ice cream. Coffee and cheese and biscuits to finish with.. A bargain and a satisfying lunch all in one!

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Marc888
Getting there 4 stars
It is one reason why I tried to recommend an alternative place for my friend, however in the end it was me who was battling through the traffic to try to get there to meet him! Once I arrived it was already starting to get dark… and was most definitely busy. Indeed, evenings are the busiest times in Koh San Road because the market stall holders know full well that most foreigners will likely wake up late and hit the bars in the evening. Since this is the busiest time for tourists, truck loads more market stall holders also turn up to sell stuff to them. I battled through the crowds as the meeting place that we had agreed on was right tin the middle of this half-mile long street...

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