In this episode: The boys and I explore the other side of the Thai capital, featuring vertical mega-malls and dentists that don't hesitate (Recorded 7/28/23 in Bangkok)
Get a foot massage. Get many.
I would recommend visiting the early morning market on the water. It is fascinating and interesting.
Are you looking to stay within bangkok? Or a day trip? Ayuthaya is a short train ride north, along the river. Ruins a few centuries old. A longer day trip if you want truly bizarre - is Lop buri. The town is overrun with monkeys. Like the movie Willard (dating myself), just not rats. It smells like monkey p**p the moment you step off the train lol
Within bangkok, the chatuchak market - weekends only. Walk through chinatown. Take a longtail boat tour on the river and canals. Do a sky bar at night - my fav is the cooling tower at the Carlson on sukhumvit. Massages - your feet will love you. Soi cowboy or soi 11 for people watching lol
If you have time I would recommend you take a look at Bumrungrad International Hospital while you are in Bangkok. Bumrungrad International Hospital is the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia. The hospital complex is huge and a cross between a shopping mall and a luxury hotel. Pick up some souvenirs and get a CAT scan.
Glad to hear you are enjoying Bangkok and looking forward to hearing about Chang Mai.
If you have any interest in martial arts, Friday nite muay thai fights at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium is a must see.
Guess you're not coming to Chiangmai. Maybe next time?
Agree with Ayuthaya; wat Arun; reclining Buddha; gold Buddha; king’s barges; floating market; is there still a weekend market in Lumpini Park?
Here is a shortlist of magical places and experiences in Bangkok, the City of Angels.
Wat Pho (temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Thai Massage School on the same grounds. Go directly to the massage school at the temple first and get scheduled for a massage. Sometimes the wait is long and it’s better to know ahead of time. Take in the temple either before or after your massage which ever works out on your visit.
There’s a great place for lunch or dinner opposite the Wat Pho temple down a little Soi called The Deck, a fab place right on the river that serves great food.
Take a trip on the ferry up and down the Chao Phraya River. Don’t fall for the tourist ferries.
Visit the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun) across the river from Wat Pho early in the morning or at sunset.
Take a ferry ride on the Klongs (typically, only Thais use this form of transportation) The waterways are the fastest way around the city.
Check out Yaowrat (chinatown) the little alleyways and markets are fun. There’s a great old family spice shop there you should visit
Jatuchak (Saturday and Sunday, weekend Market), take the BTS to MoChit or MRT to Kamphaeng Phet. This is a great market for shopping and food. There is a really great specialty food market across the street from the Kamphaeng Phet MRT station for lunch.
Pak Klong Talat (Flower Market), take the Chao Phraya Express Ferry to Saphan Phut Pier and get off and walk left a block or two and you’ll be in the middle of the market. Lots of yummy things to taste. Great place for photos and there’s a fried chicken vendor (mother and son) frying chicken on the street in the middle of the market. Must try.
Dinner on the Chao Phraya river is really special. Both the Oriental and Shangrila are equally great.
If you want to see a really neat handicraft community up close and personal, check out Baan Bat where the centuries old tradition of making alms bowls is still trying to compete with the plastic alternatives. It’s located on Bamrung Mueang road. Best to ask a concierge for directions as it’s not easy to find. We were fortunate to get a whole tour of the process and came back with a monks bowl for our alter.
Go for a tour of the Jim Thompson house
Visit one of the last silk weavers near Jim Thomason’s home on the other side of the klhong. Ask at the Jim Thompson House for directions.
Drinks at the Vertigo Bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel on South Sathon Road
The traffic in BKK can be overwhelming and we’ve learned over the years as it becomes more and more congested, one of the best ways to get around is on the water.
What has happened to the Oriental hotel? It was the original standard setter.
Finally have a chance to catch up on your podcasts. Thailand, for me, is an absolute bucket list destination. What I would have liked to hear about are less fancy hotels. I was once told by a former Thai resident, that you could book a nice hotel in Bangkok for around $20/nite. Assuming this type of facility probably would eliminate all the hotel workers on top of you, looking out for your every need. I'd like to know more about vacationing there on a budget. Also would have loved to hear some specifics regarding the cost of a dental visit. I don't know if that's taboo to talk about or not, but I'm curious.
Don't miss the weekend Chatachuk market. Skytrain takes you right to it. It is huge, can find anything, and always my favorite place to shop
I lived on a soi along Sukhumvit from the end of 2004 through 2011. Recently I visited for a week to complete some business. Westerners are usually bright eyed and bushy tailed re their experience in Thailand. Soon I will find out if I have been scammed out of a million dollars by a Thai women. It is a common scam executed by Thai women. They will romance the westerner in ways no western women can duplicate and completely mesmerized marriage seems like a good idea. They expect all the thing a westerner would and the husband buys a house and all the required necessities and then leave him. This is an easy play for the Thai do to Thai laws. Needless to say I not longer live there. My take away from Thailand on Thais is as follows: smiled, sweet lips and black hearts. An American friend who I met in Thailand recommended Cambodia for multiple reasons, and I followed his advice. My 9 years in Cambodia have be exceptional and I love the people here and the ambience they create. The government here treats expats much, much, much better than Thailand. In Thailand any interface with the government, even the most mundane is fraught with disrespect for the visitor. In Cambodia I have experienced nothing but respect and kindness from government employees. Also, during covid, Cambodia had among the lowest death rates in the world because of the competency of the government. Oh, I have an on point comment regarding why Thai food in America is different than that in Thailand. For a number of years the Thai government offered a training program for citizens on how to start a Thai restaurant in a foreign country and how to adapt the Thai food to that country. Lots more to say on this topic, but busy enjoy another beautiful and peaceful afternoon in Cambodia. Keep up your good work. I am a big fan.
And a city food tour via tuck tuk
Our time in Bangkok was just a few days - and I agree with Susan - every morning started with a wonderful foot & leg massage! So easy with a walk-in and comfy chair, and so inexpensive.
re. great 5 star hotels in Thailand: the Four Seasons Chaingmai is unique and it's my favorite https://www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai
re. plant-based/vegan restaurants in BKK, Khun Churn is an excellent choice; buffet and menu https://www.facebook.com/KhunChurninwhite
BTW, I'm a retired dentist