I am planning to visit Bangkok for 4-5 days in mid May 04. I will be travelling after a break in India. What do experienced travellers think- would I have enough time to check out Bangkok and also some nearby places in these days?
Any hints on must-visit places in and around Bangkok will be much appreciated.
Also I know that budget airlines are making their presence in this part of the world now (e.g. Tiger etc). Does any of these fly to Singapore/Hongkong?
Thanks in advance.
Just come back from Bangkok and HK, so you're in luck for advice
What you should do is buy a day ticket for the city's skytrain system and spend the day travelling from one stop to another and getting off to have a look around, see what you like... (they also have an underground system, but you're probably better off with the skytrain for visual treats).
Places to go / things to do...
--have a panoramic look around the city, by visiting the SE asia's tallest hotel the 'Bayyoke' (think thats how it's spelt)
--Go on a taxi boat ride down the river
--Take a took took or a taxi or ride pillion on the back of a motorbike taxi (preferably at rush hour, makes it more exiting!!)
--Go to the royal palace to have a look around
--Enjoy the night life on, the city's streets, just bustling wherever you look at night, go to the night markets at Pat Pong, for cheap t-shirts, Jeans, souvenirs etc...
I also went from Bk to HK, my ticket cost around £170 for 3 nights and at a decent hotel. All I did there was do some sight seeing and visit some friends, so can't give you much advice, apart from go to the night markets, get your palm read, enjoy your food and don't go to Lam Kwai Fong for drinks if you're a budget traveller. It cost me £50 for 4 beers (I was crying when I saw the bill )
Hope thats helped
Definately check out a Muay Thai Match (Kick Boxing) at Lumpini Stadium. It's worth the extra Baht to get a ringside seat, although that does mean you miss the action of all the betting that goes on in the stands. After the match, you can hop over to the Suan Lum Night Market and get some great food and beer while watching the free live entertainment (it's not Vegas but it is fun to people watching, Suan Lum is very popular with Thai students).
The Chatuchak Weekend Market is a shopping extravaganza. Whatever you need, they got it. It's a great way to spend the morning, get there early, no later than 8 am. You can breakfast and shop and check out the locals bargain for there goods. It's easy to get to, just take the BTS to the Mo Chit Station and follow the crowds.
Chinatown! What a crazy area of town. It's awesome, don't miss this one, especially the main market. Be prepared for some unique (some might say unpleasant) sights and smells. Eat lunch in one of the little noodle stands, it's the best noodle soup with congealed blood in Bangkok.
And, of course, don't miss the nightlife. Definately get crazy one night. Check out the local Metro Magazine for the happenings around town and the coolest bars and clubs.
Am in Bangkok right now so you're in luck too! Four or five days is more than enough for Bangkok alone unless you are a shopaholic. Jatujak (i cant remember how its spelt) Weekend market is a must be is er only for weekends. (duh) Siam square is also a great place to find stuff. Other major shopping centers are Siam center, Discovery Center and MBK, all clustered around Siam train station. Also the spanking new Emporium shopping mall, World Trade Center are other places you can go to.
One thing NOT to miss in any part of Thailand is the massage! Just had a two hour massage for 400 Baht!!! Avoid tourist traps and sleazy places and it'll make you float on air for the rest of the day!
Also if you are into clubbing, drinks here are cheap and you can find great music. Major clubs like Mystic, Q Bar and Bed supper club, Hollywood, just ask around and find them.
Go go bars are around Pra Phong (again dunno how to spell), for even cheaper drinks and pretty girls. That area also has a night market but its really cramped.
Weather here now is freaking hot! So i have to keep sneaking into air conditioned places.
Food here is wonderful! Cheap seafood and beer. Don't miss eating at street stalls that really give you a taste of what it's like living here.
Sorry if i sound overenthusiastic but am having a wonderful time. Tiger Airlines hasn't started yet, but Air Asia has. Flight from Singapore to Bangkok is about S$80 but you don't get accomodation and its only one way. So if you want return tix you're better off getting a package which includes accomodation. And well, there's always the bus. Hahah.
Oh, and after your third day here, when you get bored, you can head to pattaya for some beach action. Definitely not as paradise-like as krabi but great for gettinga way from the constant smog of bangkok. Am heading there tomorrow in fact!
Well good luck and hope you'll enjoy yourself as much as I am!