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Bangkok: Delight The wild ride
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With 658,000 Australian tourists flocking to Thailand last year you must agree – we can’t get enough…they must be doing something right 

You may be lured by the low price of Medical and Dental or is it the Tropical allure of beaches, perhaps the discount shopping or those heavenly
 foot massages or maybe it’s that Amazing Thai food or the never ending Smiles … it’s many things to many people but most important – your are made
 to feel welcome and dream about returning….    
I saw a movie which had the script “the food always tastes nicer with a smile” That metaphor is true how can you not smile when they smile and ooze empathy .. From the moment board “TG” (Thai Airways) the wellness begins.

Thailand has at least two starkly different faces. There is the Dynamic, hectic, thrilling madness of Bangkok and the tranquil rejuvenating pace of the country's islands.
Taking the journey to each destination within the one country can be the perfect holiday blend.

WE SHOW A LIST THAT'S HARD TO BEAT !

Bangkok is one of the more brilliantly mental cities on Earth. It is a megga city boasting a population from 8 to 15 million and a city where big business and
shantytowns sit side by side. 
2 wheel and 3 wheel taxi flood Bangkok's roads - sometimes 10 abreast - in a chaotic swirling dance that amazingly result in fewer visible accidents than it logically should.   If you desire a memorable experience you must summon a ride. I’s so much they are dangerous but more the perception because it’s different.

Many other options present for getting around Bangkok, such as Sky trains and water taxis. Exploring by foot can take it’s toll, the humidity will beat you. 
We recommend of the many bicycle tours, it’s the best way to explore the city's nooks and get the lie of the land. There are so so many Icons to capture on film or in your Heart, from Majestic Palaces, to Minature replica Ancient cities or ancient heavy backpacker Khaosan Rd
or spiral the magnificent tall buildings and delight in the sights, albeit it better at night..  the list is extensive

Pavement tourism means facing constant offers from Cabbies but somehow after a day or so they just seem to know. Street sights reveal locals leaving
 cold bottles of soft drink at streetside shrines as offerings to their beloved Buddha's thirst and by dusk Bangkok's thousands of stray dogs are passed out
on pavements exhausted from the heat and their day's foraging.

A long-tail boat trek along the city's Chao Phraya River and its connected waterways provides a fascinating look into the subsistence lives of the canal dwellers.
As Thailand's popular King Bhumibol Aduladej smiles down from billboards across the city, ever smiling locals take their chances diving into the less-than-pure water.

A real river market no longer exists in central Bangkok, but barge people still sell tourists strong condensed milk iced coffees in clear bags with straws. They also give tourists bread to throw, in accordance with local tradition, to the teeming schools of ever-fattening catfish that harbour at the front of temples.  You can dock outside the impressive Temple of the Dawn, or Wat Arun, and walk the precariously steep and narrow path from ground level - hell - to the mid-tier of Earth
 and the view-rich top level of nirvana.

If you don’t have the stamina to travellers can seek comfort at many of the restaurants and enjoy scrumptious seafood and curries. One night in Bangkok - where poverty and wealth, garish nightlife and ancient traditions are all thrown together.    On the street, under dim street bulbs almost everything is attempted by the Thais, from fix cars, to selling clothes, reading palms and ad hoc mobile restaurants.
The children will be part of the crowd on the street or rotating with the other families reclining in homes, open to the street, watching small television sets.

It's a basic high-density existence where little is wasted - one where vendors distribute drinks in bags so bottles can be reused. But Bangkok is also a swinging city of jazz clubs, putting greens on skyscraper roofs and red-light districts that have seen Bangkok called "the world's biggest sincity".

 

The Skybar at the top of the State Tower is a eloquent yet dazzling open bar, from the 65th floor the view upon the city is breathtaking and just a few metres away is Siroccos a ritzy fine dining restaurant and jazz venue on the city's highest outdoor balcony.

Don’t listen to the hecklers about the extortion of costs associated with this “wonder f the world” I assure you the cost is fair and reasonable and quickly becomes intangib
le when you receive magical feeling when dining with sweeping million dollar views.Be warned a minimum dress code is expected!

It must be said that the overwhelming hospitality and constant forgiveness creates a element of adrenaline in people and the excitement is hard to suspend. 

Read more about the Sky bar including photos - click here
 

It’s not unusual to see visitors creating new dance moves on the streets or lunging toward Elephants with a passion of a long lost friend.
Those Elephants wondering through the dazzling night of lights look so cute – be careful.  Whilst it’s a fascinating seeing such gentle giants amongst the chaos of the night be reminded these animals, if angered and agitated can destroy, there is no “off switch” so use common sense.  Bangkok is nothing that it was 5 years ago so if you travel advisor is quoting visions of 5 years ago then you not in the same city.  The move to Bangkok’s mad hive of activity to the paradise islands off Thailand's coast is a short flight, but a radical change of pace, before you leave Bangkok you must consider some of the must do’s

 

 1. SuanLumpini

Jump aboard the MRT (Underground Train) and head for SuanLumpini Night Bizarre markets. The village of vibrant night markets, boutique fashion stalls and complimented with international restaurant cuisine not to mention the local “moo Gadaa” (99baht buffet) and of course who could resist a fish spa.

Submerge your limbs in a tank and the fish will eat your old skin). Now your fresh and a little light walk only but a few metres and be part of the audience of MuayTai, every other night the stadium is open, the atmosphere is electric. 

 

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2. Dine out on street food (Pang Loi)

An essential ingredient of undeniable spice to life in Bangkok is its stunning variety of street food. Bangkok is oozing with street stalls serving a bewildering array of culinary delights. Any visitor to the city is strongly advised to forego the flashy restaurants and opt for a cheap and cheerful street treat.

Almost everywhere, enterprising vendors have established squatting rights on pavements, you just have to know when they appear and disappear. They all have one thing in common; their food is cheap, freshly cooked, tasty and ready in minutes AND “THE FOOD TASTES BETTER WITH A SMILE”  AND THAILAND IS THE PLACE FOR SMILES.

Whether you are looking for
an al fresco breakfast, a full-blown lunch, a tempting in-between-meals nibble or something to soak up the ale, the street vendors have it all,
24 hours a day.

Our Tour residence has many vendors on show and our PA can introduce you and show you how it’s done.. Delicious experience

 

4. Flight with the Gibbons

Test your tights against the heights, stunning day out tour to Chon Buri.The comedy style thai team (they make a lot of jokes) will have you buckled in and sliding
along 400 mtr flying foxed through Trees miles in the sky. It’s an adrenaline action packed (safe) experience and well worth the value, includes lunch and personal
tour of the local zoo.

 

It’s half way to Pattaya so if you need an overnight thrill then keep going and be sure to carry your survival pack.. Pattaya can be wild and wicked and mellow
and mushy – up to you!



.................read more


 

 

5. Dental shine

For the smallest of cost visit the total care factor that oozes from the dental clinic in Bangkok and be delighted at the result, so convenient, open late and always
at your service..  I have so many friends that enjoyed the experience (and that’s weird because those dental visits are not on out must do list)

Read more

 


 

 12. Visit Wat Pho

With so many outstanding religious sites in Bangkok it's easy to get 'templed-out'.

The answer is to the problem is be selective. If you only visit one temple in the city, make sure it is Wat Pho. The temple is famous for a huge reclining Buddha housed with a beautifully decorated hall.

The 46 metre long and 15 metre high figure was constructed in 1832 during the reign of King Rama III. Designed to illustrate the passing of the Buddha into nirvana, the enormous feet feature mother-of-pearl inlay decoration showing the 108 auspicious characteristics of the Buddha. The inner and outer galleries at Wat Pho are also lined with 788 Buddha images, the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand.

Wat Pho is located on Chetuphon in the Rattanakosin area and can be reached by taxi or by a river taxi down the Chao Phraya, alighting at Tha Tien Pier.

A word of warning; Wat Pho may be one of Bangkok's most revered religious sites but the streets around it attract their fare share of unsavoury characters looking to scam unsuspecting visitors. The usual trick is to approach tourists and inform them that the temple is closed for the day and offer to take them somewhere else.    You are about to be scammed... Temples in Thailand are open every day.


 

13. Early morning tai chi in Lumpini Park  

If you think Bangkok always moves at full speed, rise early and head along to Lumpini Park and watch the old Chinese locals practicing their controlled tai chi moves inthe shade.

If you are not used to an early start you can get a shot of fresh snake blood from vendors around the outside of the park.

It's considered a tonic by the Chinese and is guaranteed to wake you up! The closest station to Lumpini Park is the MRT underground Lumpini or BTS skytrain Sala Daeng.


Another Popular venue for this activity is Benjasiri Park in the middle of Town.. see this forum article we have included many photos of the Park.


 

14. Watch lads play takraw in the park

Thailand may be renowned for muay Thai boxing but takraw is popular with young lads. The game is incredibly athletic - a kind of full-on, no holds barred volleyball.

After work, groups of office workers gather to knock around a rattan ball using head, hands, arms and feet. Watching them leap in the air and kick the ball over a net with pin-point accuracy is spectacular.

A good place to watch takraw is in Benjasiri Park, also known as Queen's Park, sandwiched between the Emporium shopping centre and the Queen's Park Imperial Hotel, and a short distance from BTS Phom Phrong skytrain station. Go along at around 7pm. The park closes at 9pm. 

Another Popular venue for this activity is Benjasiri Park in the middle of Town.. see this forum article we have included many photos of the Park


 

6. Pay a visit to the penis shrine

Any visitor to Bangkok will soon notice a proliferation of shrines outside almost every building.

One of the more unusual is Chao Mae Tuptim, which has become known as the penis shrine.  Located in a small park at the rear of the Nai Lert Park hotel on Wireless Road, the shrine includes dozens of enormous carved phalli and a spirit house. 

As you may expect, the shrine has a strong connection to fertility and many people who visit make offers here because they want a child. The nearest skytrain station is Ploen Chit. 
Other memorable shrines in Bangkok include the fabulous Erawan Shrine at the crossroads close to Chidlom skytrain station.

 

 


 

7. Golfers migration to the holey Grail!

This has to be seen to be believed  
An indoor golf simulator centre, in excess of 2,000 square metres of Golfing facilities, a private room with seating for your private gallery of guests and controls to navigate through more than 30 international Courses.  Whilst there is no need for a caddie the staff deliver the drinks to you and if that’s not enough
 they have an outdoor rooftop bunker, chipping and putting area.


Then if that’s not enough, within 15 minutes via the BTS skytrain we march you into the Golfers shopping Paradise – an e
ntire shopping Plaza devoted to golf, more than 100 stores all golf…  it’s real and waiting for you…


 

 8. Get a traditional massage

No visit to the Bangkok is complete without experiencing a massage.

Vigorous in nature, Thai massage reaches deep into the muscle tissue, relieving tension and tightness in the body. At the hands of an expert, there is no better way to  unwind at the end of a long day of sightseeing.

Forget the overpriced spas in five-star hotels, try one of the many local parlours. A first rate traditional massage experience can be found in our Tour Residence in Soi 19 Sukhumvit at he base of BTS Asoke.  Two-hour traditional Thai massage is around 380 baht.

Be sure to tip the masseuse another 100 baht if you enjoy experience.

You can also enjoy a traditional massage or take a course to learn the art at Wat Pho Massage.


 

9. Browse and shop at Chatuchak Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market, known as JJ to the locals, has to be seen to be believed! Whatever you are looking for, this sprawling open-air market has it.

There are plenty of places to eat too so you can make a day of the experience. And with over 6,000 shops and stalls from which to choose, you'll need plenty of time. A word of caution, the domain of JJ is massive and the stalls are small and passage ways are tight so be prepared to shop in small groups.. oh yeah – no airconditioning

JJ sells crafts made in all regions of Thailand, antiques, silk and textiles, jewellery, clothing, books, pets and plants - you name it. If you are travelling by the BTS Skytrain, get off at Mor Chit station or at Kampaengphet Station on the MRT underground.

If you prefer a little less discomfort for your shopping try SuanLumpini night Bizarre (the evening is less heat)  MBK - ,modern shopping centre on the BTS skytrain line

Our PA service makes this a breeze


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 10. Hook a monster Mekong catfish at a fishing lake

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Thailand but the country is increasingly popular as a fishing destination.

Surprisingly, Bangkok has no shortage of lakes stocked to the gills with fish. And we are not talking tiddlers here; enthusiasts come to hook 100 pound giant Mekong catfish, giant Siamese carp and other monsters of the deep. 

Fishing lakes have all the gear and bait, and many offer lakeside accommodation.

One of the most well-known is Bungsamran Lake - located close to the CBD - read more

A much cheaper option popular with Thai is Gnao Nam, or Shadow Lake.

There are also plenty of companies offering guide fishing trips such as
Mega Fishing Thailand.


 

11. Visit the Bangkok flower market

If you intend to head upriver to Wat Pho make a morning of it and jump off the boat a couple of stops before Tha Tien at Memorial Bridge (Saphan Phut) and have a look around Talat Pak Khlong, one of the best wholesale markets in Bangkok. Wandering markets in Bangkok is fascinating and offers up many great photographic opportunities.

Mainly known for fruits, vegetables and flowers, the market offers a vibrant snapshot of life.

By 2 am trade is well under way and the market is heaving with buyers and sellers. Buckets full of roses, and chrysanthemums, orchids hanging from stalls… it is as pretty a sight as you find in Bangkok…and the sweetest smelling market in the city!

Take a ferry from Saphan Thaksin Pier for just 13 baht. When you are done at the market you can walk to Wat Pho or jump in a tuk-tuk for 30 baht.

 

3. Sip ****tails and soak up the view at Red Sky  

Dining venues in Bangkok don't come much more dramatic and stylish than Red Sky, the stunning new alfresco rooftop restaurant on the 55th floor of Centara Grand Hotel at Central World.

Located in the heart of the metropolis, this chic bistro and bar takes dining to new heights and provides guests with the best view in the city. Whether dining or just stopping by for a ****tail and to soak up the view, Red Sky is a must for visitors to Bangkok.

Other sky-high venues in Bangkok include Vertigo at the Banyan Tree on Sathorn Road and Skybar at State Tower on Silom Road.

See a batch of photos


To understand Thai is to understand Buddhism 
The origin of many facets, attributable to the behavior of Thai, is the country's dominant religion. Many Buddhists believe that your current life is influenced
by the amount of good deeds from a previous life and thus your next life will be influenced by how you behave in this current life  It is a peaceful religion that
discourages extremism
Thai put GREAT emphasis on the middle ground and the right of all people to live their life as they think best.



-- Edited by Sawasdee on Friday 11th of June 2010 12:50:35 PM



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