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Ideas for a solo trip, February/March 2020.

Ideas for a solo trip, February/March 2020.

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Old Aug 11, 19, 8:31 pm
  #16  
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Thanks again for all of the wisdom and helpful suggestions shared here. I've booked my trip this evening and decided to go to....

Bangkok!

After doing some pretty involved research and after price shopping airline tickets with hotel accommodations, I was surprised that I could experience Bangkok for a few days within my budget goal.

Flight from STL - BKK was $875
Hotel stay at Marriott Executive Apartments, Sukhumvit, 4 nights $525

I am really excited for this trip and cannot wait to experience the world famous food and nightlife Bangkok has to offer.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:57 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by sdfcardinals View Post
Thanks again for all of the wisdom and helpful suggestions shared here. I've booked my trip this evening and decided to go to....

Bangkok!

After doing some pretty involved research and after price shopping airline tickets with hotel accommodations, I was surprised that I could experience Bangkok for a few days within my budget goal.

Flight from STL - BKK was $875
Hotel stay at Marriott Executive Apartments, Sukhumvit, 4 nights $525

I am really excited for this trip and cannot wait to experience the world famous food and nightlife Bangkok has to offer.
Fabulous choice!

My son and I spent some time there several years ago. We'd both agree with you on the food, starting with INCREDIBLE street food. There are even guide books just on Thai street food.

His personal highlights were a bike tour, a Thai massage (he went back for a second later in the week), and a Thai cooking class to which I dragged him. The massage and the cooking class were on my list, plus some old lady things that would waste your few precious days.

Public transit is very workable. Skytrain and metro. Takes a little study, but you've got the flight over for that.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 2:11 am
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Thanks again for all of the wisdom and helpful suggestions shared here. I've booked my trip this evening and decided to go to....

Bangkok!

After doing some pretty involved research and after price shopping airline tickets with hotel accommodations, I was surprised that I could experience Bangkok for a few days within my budget goal.

Flight from STL - BKK was $875
Hotel stay at Marriott Executive Apartments, Sukhumvit, 4 nights $525

I am really excited for this trip and cannot wait to experience the world famous food and nightlife Bangkok has to offer
Well, I've been to said city more times than I care to count, with the Royal Asia Lodge on soi 8 as a preferred spot (though yours will be nicer)

For a trip of that length I'd be very concerned about jet lag. You've got almost the worst-case scenario there and what it usually means for me is 3 or 4 days of waking up too early and "crashing" starting around 6 or 7 p.m. and then trying to push that an hour later with each day. With some people it's not quite as bad or they can push themselves through it, but a jet-lag crash feels like you do after pulling an all-nighter and it being 8 or 9 a.m. the next morning. Some people try melatonin and others are better at sleeping on the plane, but it can be hard to fight.

Bangkok is generally not a morning city, though if you just walk around, especially in the older sections, you see a different side of it. There are also the floating market tours and a few things like that. You could also ride the river taxis and end up at the Grand Palace and catch that when it opens.

As for the nightlife, it's being transformed into a parody of its former self (the real punters usually go straight to Pattaya), but Soi Cowboy is where gawkers go to get the photo in front of bright signs (a few go in the bars) while Nana Plaza is morphing into a pan-Asian (customers) kind of place. Patpong was largely overrun by market vendors years ago.

Though I'm sure da wife will think of the place as the Tourism Authority intends for people to think of it, i.e. as an amazing place for culture, food, shiny and beautiful wats, and that sort of thing.

Last edited by RustyC; Aug 13, 19 at 2:32 am
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Old Aug 13, 19, 5:58 am
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Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
Well, I've been to said city more times than I care to count, with the Royal Asia Lodge on soi 8 as a preferred spot (though yours will be nicer)

For a trip of that length I'd be very concerned about jet lag. You've got almost the worst-case scenario there and what it usually means for me is 3 or 4 days of waking up too early and "crashing" starting around 6 or 7 p.m. and then trying to push that an hour later with each day. With some people it's not quite as bad or they can push themselves through it, but a jet-lag crash feels like you do after pulling an all-nighter and it being 8 or 9 a.m. the next morning. Some people try melatonin and others are better at sleeping on the plane, but it can be hard to fight.

Bangkok is generally not a morning city, though if you just walk around, especially in the older sections, you see a different side of it. There are also the floating market tours and a few things like that. You could also ride the river taxis and end up at the Grand Palace and catch that when it opens.

As for the nightlife, it's being transformed into a parody of its former self (the real punters usually go straight to Pattaya), but Soi Cowboy is where gawkers go to get the photo in front of bright signs (a few go in the bars) while Nana Plaza is morphing into a pan-Asian (customers) kind of place. Patpong was largely overrun by market vendors years ago.

Though I'm sure da wife will think of the place as the Tourism Authority intends for people to think of it, i.e. as an amazing place for culture, food, shiny and beautiful wats, and that sort of thing.
My flight from ICN to BKK is scheduled to land at ~2130 local, so my plan was to stay awake for as much of the travelling as possible and to hopefully be in my hotel room by midnight to finally crash after a 24 hour travel day. That's the plan anyway

As far as the nightlife, that does sound a bit disappointing. I actually had to look up in Urban Dictionary what a "punter" was, and while I learned something new, that was never what I was looking for. Sure, some pictures of the famous clubs and red light district spots will be a cool thing have, but I am a happily married man that wouldn't dream of betraying the trust of my wife, who by the way has been amazing during the process of planning this trip. I am more interested in just "experiencing" the city nightlife with a few drinks and street food and retreating to my room when I get my fill.

What I'm hoping to be able to do is to squeeze in a couple of day trips that aren't too far from Bangkok proper, such as visiting the river Kwai, and seeing a few different temples. Oh, and eat my weight in Thai cuisine. That too.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by sdfcardinals View Post
My flight from ICN to BKK is scheduled to land at ~2130 local, so my plan was to stay awake for as much of the travelling as possible and to hopefully be in my hotel room by midnight to finally crash after a 24 hour travel day. That's the plan anyway

As far as the nightlife, that does sound a bit disappointing. I actually had to look up in Urban Dictionary what a "punter" was, and while I learned something new, that was never what I was looking for. Sure, some pictures of the famous clubs and red light district spots will be a cool thing have, but I am a happily married man that wouldn't dream of betraying the trust of my wife, who by the way has been amazing during the process of planning this trip. I am more interested in just "experiencing" the city nightlife with a few drinks and street food and retreating to my room when I get my fill.
Soi Cowboy is the leading gawker spot these days...the lights as a backdrop attract a lot of people for pictures, and some bars have outside seating. Others put their best girls outside to try to draw people in, and there are even a couple of ka-toey places. Many have happy hours going until 9 or so both outside and inside.

I'm told it's becoming a lost art, but if at the massage place they show you to a room with a bathtub and a raft then you probably want to back out gracefully (though they may take your money first). The ones with lines of chairs and the foot massages visible to all will be fine.

What I'm hoping to be able to do is to squeeze in a couple of day trips that aren't too far from Bangkok proper, such as visiting the river Kwai, and seeing a few different temples. Oh, and eat my weight in Thai cuisine. That too.
Kanchanaburi (with the bridge) is reachable with daytrips but it can take the better part of that. Ayutthaya is a really good daytrip (no shortage of old temples there) that is even do-able yourself by train. Wat Arun - Grand Palace - Wat Po central wats will have lots of other people but are worthwhile. You can even take the Skytrain to the river (Saphan Taksin) and catch the water taxi at the pier there (guidebooks no doubt will have all this info).

It'll all be memorable, even if you hit a few speed bumps.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 6:29 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by RustyC View Post

I'm told it's becoming a lost art, but if at the massage place they show you to a room with a bathtub and a raft then you probably want to back out gracefully (though they may take your money first). The ones with lines of chairs and the foot massages visible to all will be fine.
I researched the Thai massages carefully with a current reputable guide book. Picked one easy to reach from our hotel. Booked on-line. No need to back out. It probably cost more than the walk-in places, but seemed a surer bet and really wasn't very expensive anyway.
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