Bangkok: 5 free things for visitors to do

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by sobore, May 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/24/bangkok-5-free-things-for-visitors-to-do/

    Chaos is part of Bangkok's charm. But the savvy traveler quickly learns how to navigate Bangkok's legendary traffic jams and discover its soul, a mix of urban jungle and Buddhist serenity where shopping and eating are national pastimes.
    Despite the weak dollar, Bangkok remains one of the best deals in Asia. Some of the world's tastiest street food sells for as little as 25 baht (80 cents) a plate. Beat traffic by zipping down side streets in a tuk-tuk or cruising up the Chao Praya on public express boats for stunning views of the city's premier attractions - both for about a dollar. Other favorite outings are free:


    Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/24/bangkok-5-free-things-for-visitors-to-do/#ixzz1vnzZaT3K
    - vcstar.com​
     
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  2. FlyingFree
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    FlyingFree Gold Member

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    Just browsing thru Chatuchak Weekend Market is an experience in itself!
     
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  3. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    PARKS

    I am not a first time visitor in Bangkok. Thus, I strive to discover new little oasis during my regular sojourns there.

    Something that gives me an insight in local customs and traditions is seeing how the local community uses their local parks. They are FREE and reasonably well kept. These images are from Sati Phap park as 10 mns walk from Victory Monument and with one exit straight into Soi Rangnam where you can enjoy some sea food later.

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    The elephant is a much loved animal and symbol here. This is a topiary version.

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    Water images are soothing...the fountain jets were not operational at that time of the day.

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    Exercise is for everyone and is great to see all ages getting involved

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    Time for the family, friends and children, a regular lovely feature in most civilised society.

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    Water a calming feature

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    Gyms do not need to be expensive to be effective

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    The park has a good size path for either jogging...

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    ...or just walking.

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    and if you are feeling a little "Khee Giiat" (lazy) there is always a water feature to take photos of.

    Giorgio Federico
     
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  4. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    The six shrines tour

    This is pleasant tour that one can cover within one day and most importantly it is FREE and it comes with a feel good factor. So take a seat and let me guide you through.

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    You may or may not know that there are six shrines in Bangkok and they are all conveniently located in the premier shopping district of Ratchaprasong. The shrines are Hindu/Buddhist and the most famous of them all is that depicting a statue of a four faced Brahma Sahampati.

    TH15.jpg

    However, to most people this is simply known as the Erawan shrine and urban myth has it that those who pray to this Buddha will have their wishes come true.

    TH14.jpg

    The shrine enjoys the presence of regular Thai dancers, traditionally attired and who are a delight to watch.

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    Optional: you can also buy your candles and garlands here at a much lower price than the one offered outside the main gate. You will see the counter at the end to your right once you enter the main gates.

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    The other five shrines are Phra Tri Murati or Trimurti shrine and Phra Bighanesh or Ganesh shrine located both by Central World (Trimurti is a very popular shrine)

    TH03.jpg

    Phra Indra or Indra shrine (by the Amarin Plaza)

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    Phra Narayana song suban or Narayana shrine (in front of the Intercontinental hotel)
    Phra-mae Lakshmi or Lakshmi shrine. The latter is the most challenging to find and you will need to go into Gaysorn shopping mall and take the elevator to the fourth floor and step out onto the roof top garden. Avoid the mistake of taking the escalators because this will only take you to the third floor.

    If you are the spiritual type and wish to know what you are praying for then here is a little guidance:
    If you want to pray for LOVE go to the Trimurti shrine (now you know why it is so popular)

    TH01.jpg

    If you want to pray for Creativity and Protection go to the Ganesh shrine

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    This is NOT the shrine, just local musicians.

    If you want to pray for human kind go to the Indra shrine

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    Remember to light a candle

    If you want to pray for well-being go to the Narayana shrine

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    Cleanse your hands with the water from this amphora

    If you want to pray for wealth and fertility go to the Lakshmi shrine

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    Dancers wearing traditional costumes, a very graceful display

    If you want to pray for good fortunes go to the Erawan shrine

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    And ah, please remember to include me in your prayers!!

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    When it's all done, head for some shopping.
    Giorgio Federico
     
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  5. dc3
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    dc3 Silver Member

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    Very nice and useful!
     
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  6. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    i dont think its kit kiat ... more kee giat. Kit kiat sounds more like scary cat.
     
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  7. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Some pour it on their head!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Jatujak (or Chatuchak) Market

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    If you are near a MRT station (the Bangkok Metro) this will take you straigh there.

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    No need to head inside this mall, the exit you want is to the left

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    There is an information centre and restrooms are available before the exit

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    On the way back you will need to go through the metal detector

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    Go early in the morning if you can

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    This exit at Kamphaeng is right inside the market. How convenient is that?

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    This is not the first time I visit this weekend market and every time I manage to get a little disoriented as this also happens to be the largest (if not the largest is right up there at the top) market in the world.

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    You can just walk around and browse...

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    ...food everywhere and the temptation to buy a snack will be there walking next to you...

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    I have in the past purchased local handicrafts, tee shirts, collectables and even second hand goods and other times I have just browsed and enjoyed food and drink interludes.

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    They even have the latest iPad for sale. Here is one.

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    There is no denying that this place adds colourful character to Bangkok and with 10,000 shops, 300 vendors and 27 shopping zones, I am not surprised. It also has its own clock built by the Jatujak Administration and the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the sixth anniversary of his Majesty the King, Rama IX.

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    On Fridays there is a wholesale day from 06.00 to 18.00 hrs and on Saturday and Sundays there is a miscellaneous of just about everything at the same times.

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    Wonderful stuff

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    and very cheap too...drinks at 13thb (that is 20 pence, more or less)

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    Whatever you need, you are likely to find it here

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    Time to take a rest

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    This warning was quite thoughtful

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    For 35 thb, who is complaining?

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    These two young ladies served around twenty covers from this little corner. They were incredibly efficient.

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    This young man carved soap into flowers before passerbys and then painted it
    With more than 200,000 visitors each weekend day, he should have secured some sales.

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    Mango was very tasty

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    For a good night sleep all you need is...love!!

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    Buskers improvised impromptu performances

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    Cha Manao (Tea with lemon)

    Worthy of note is that since 2008, a smoking ban is in force for the entire market. Jatujak is a great place to visit as long as you do not mind people and the heat.

    Giorgio Federico
     
  9. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Terminal 21

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    I have seen the future and it departs from Terminal 21.

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    This is one the most recent of the big shopping centres opened in Bangkok and it is themed on airports and cities.


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    The spacious concourse can be accessed at Asoke (odd side number on Sukhumvit) and if you have reached Asoke by the BTS skytrain, there is access provided on the mezzanine.


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    Follow exit 4 and bear left to see the signage leading to the entrance.

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    There are nine floors inside and the crescent shaped reception counter is attended by staff wearing hostess like uniforms inclusive of hats.

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    A display above the counter provides basic information as to which floor corresponds to which city.

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    As you step on the first escalator a sign above your head will read “Departure for level 1” and just before you arrive another sign above your head will read “Arriving at level 1”

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    I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to say how long a themed centre like Terminal 21 will last

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    but what I can share with you is that there are enough brand name shops and little boutiques. However, I am not sure how many shoppers are fighting over them. These two better move that column out of the way first.

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    There is something allowing you to engage your camera interest for a few hours of your day here. A great way for some people to say that they have been to London...

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    ...and Paris? In case you cannot wait, I will tell you that currently the following locations are featured:

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    The Caribbean, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood.

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    hmm, something looks familiar...

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    Centro Storico di Roma in Bangkok?? Via Condotti did not quite look this way last time I went to see my mum.

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    What made the owners and designers chose these cities over others remains a mystery. Answers on a postcard please.

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    On the fifth floor, you will find Pier 21, an excellent food court, where the food is freshly prepared and attractively presented and where the price policy is in competition with the street vendors so much so that sticky rice and mango is sold for 60 baht in nearby soi 11 but will sell at only 35 baht here. Bottled water is 10 baht and a coke and ice even cheaper at 7 baht.

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    It is alleged that thatCitybank put most of the money in to provide a canteen for their employees.

    The top floor is overlooked by a giant reproduction of the Oscar statuette and aptly named Hollywood.

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    I will be on a mission to check out their cinema theatre on a future visit.

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    ...and ACTION!!

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    The place is, as you can see, scrupulously well maintained...thanks to a friendly team of cleaners.

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    And, would you believe it?The toilet on each floor also follow the city themes. Which one is this?

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    with the cubicles inclusive of a “surprise”!!

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    Now, this is what I call great customer service.

    Giorgio Federico
     

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  10. Tad's Broiled Steaks

    Tad's Broiled Steaks Silver Member

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    The themed floors remind me of Grand Indonesia in Jakarta, and its bizarre NYC inclusion of an 8th Ave. subway line and a copy of the statue above the ice skating rink in Rockefeller Center. But if they think they can replicate a slice...
     
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  11. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  12. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    I'm not impressed with the shopping there (not my style), but I LOVE the food court where I can get my favorite street foods at street prices but in clean and a/c comfort:) I don't quite get some of the chain type stores but I guess if I was a resident of Thailand rather than a visitor they might have more appeal.

    terminal 21 is right next to the Westin, and across the street from the Sheraton Grande
     
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  13. Tad's Broiled Steaks

    Tad's Broiled Steaks Silver Member

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    I don't much like Bangkok at all, but when I'm there, I don't mind a stroll on Soi Arab (Sukhumvit Soi 3), Foodland or any of the city's nicest supermarkets. The diverse crowd plowing into the metropolis on a daily basis means a wide variety of f&b available for one's perusal. The one in the Emporium usually comes to mind, but there's another by the InterContinental that I can't recall.
     
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  14. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    It sounds like you don't actually see the real Bangkok but prefer the foreigner side of things.

    It's akin to saying, "I don't like San Francisco but I enjoy Chinatown."
     
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  15. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

    — Samuel Johnson to Boswell while discussing whether or not Boswell's affection for London would wear thin should he choose to live there, as opposed to the zest he felt on his occasional visits. This discussion happened on September 20, 1777, and Johnson, someone who hated to spend time alone, was always going out and enjoying what London had to offer.

    "I don't much like Bangkok at all" wrote Tad's Broiled Steaks

    "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave Bangkok. No, Sir, when a man is tired of Bangkok, he is not just tired of life, he is probably dead, for there is in Bangkok all that life can afford nowadays"

    - Giorgio Federico to Tad's Broiled steaks in response to the latter's post on "Bangkok: 5 free things for visitors to do". This comment was posted on 24 August 2012 and Giorgio Federico, someone who was not too impressed with unsubstantiated subjective comments, was often going out enjoying the metropolis only to go back home and write about how much Bangkok had to offer on Milepoint.com ;):):D

    Dec 09 Thailand 041.jpg

    This is me in a pensive mood, I think they call it contemplation. Hmm or is it Om?


    Giorgio Federico
     
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  16. Tad's Broiled Steaks

    Tad's Broiled Steaks Silver Member

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    You might be on to something...I DON'T like Bangkok, PARTICULARLY after wading through it's dead-end sois, disliking most of the food and getting kicked by bikers while looking at a map. I have zero reason to believe it is a land of genuine smiles, and I would as soon run like the dickens from an offer of a free trip to the bay area as I would Bangkok. Gee, even though San Francisco has arguably the world's most famous Chinatown, it might still be a tourist's only favorite spot in the city. And right, if there was one spot in Bangkok all foreigners enjoy the most, it has to be where the Syrian Embasy is located.
    By the by, I'm pretty sure dissenting opinions are allowed on MilePoint.
     
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  17. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Another Bangkok activity that is almost free is taking the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat (orange boat) from Saphan Taksin pier to the end of the line and back. For less than a dollar (THB 30), you get to see the real Bangkok from 5-star hotels, to temples & palaces, to historical churches & embassies, to over the river teak houses.
    [​IMG]
    Hotels Galore: the Shangri La, the Peninsula Bangkok, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Millennium Hilton, and the Royal Orchid Sheraton (ROS) lined up along the river.​
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    River City Mall & the ROS on the left​
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    Chao Phraya River Tourist Boat ticket for THB 30​
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    The East Asiatic Company, the owner of the new riverside Asiatique: Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the Old Farang Quarter, is a Venetian-style edifice constructed in 1901.​
    [​IMG]
    Chinese Pagoda - Chee Chin Khor Temple: photo taken January 2005​
     
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  18. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Chao Pharaya River - Continued:
    [​IMG]
    Siam Commercial Bank which is still in operation: Italian architect, Annibale Rigotti (1870 – 1968) designed this first branch of the bank at Talad Noi on the banks of the Chao Phraya just next to the Holy Rosary Church (note its Catholic school on the right), Samphanthawong, the old quarter of Bangkok. The construction lasted from 1906 – 1910.​
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    Bangkok Customs House: Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the Old Farang Quarter, it was built in the 1880s. It exterior is now crumbling.​
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    Approaching Wat Arun: Temple of the Dawn - I took this photo back in January 2005, 3 weeks after the Tsunami. Forgive the slight finger on the upper left as it was a huge camera! :D
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    The Orange Tourist Boat!​
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    The Old Farang Quarter between the Shangri-La & Mandarin Oriental hotels: 100 years ago this was the Nana of their time with hustling and bustling port and related traffic and commerce.​
     
  19. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Ah, Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai. I love that it is constantly changing. I was first there in 2004 and each visit has brought additions and change that is fantastic. And it's still free.
     
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  20. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    It sounds to me like you dislike the foreigner areas of Bangkok (AKA farangtown). Have you ever been to non-tourist areas? I'm guessing not.

    Dissent is certainly allowed and I'm in no way attempting to cut down your freedom to state what you desire. However to claim you don't like something when you've superficially explored is rather sad.
     
  21. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    [...And right, if there was one spot in Bangkok all foreigners enjoy the most, it has to be where the Syrian Embasy is located. By the by, I'm pretty sure dissenting opinions are allowed on MilePoint.[/quote]

    Jonathan /(Tad's) (or at least that is the name that you go by on your blog)
    I did not view your posts (both) as being expressions of disagreement.

    To the contrary, personally I welcome views which are different to mine as long as they are well reasoned.
    It is also a credit to Milepoint that it allows all views even when they may not be correct (including mine).

    What struck me on this occasion was the random choice of your examples, which appeared to denote they were isolated experiences and they way you constructed your argument, was akin to a narrow view because you did not back it up with objective examples.

    Given also what you wrote on your own blog about Bangkok, which I have read after reading your follow on reply, seems to confirm that your wherabouts in Bangkok were limited to Soi 3, that you have a penchant for Arab food and that you enjoy mango and sticky rice.

    I noticed that you seem to have an interest for architecture and I enjoyed reading what you wrote on the two buildings you reviewed but I note that you seem to have decided not to venture out and explore the myriad of opportunities that Bangkok offers, even to the untrained eye, to people with an interest for still shapes and history and art. And now, aside to criticising the city as a whole, you seem to include a slightly political undertone to the discussion!!

    I did not intend to single you out as a person (that we do ourselves according to what we post) but you seem to be emarginating yourself with these comments because there is little substance to them.

    However, who am I, hardly a little scribbler, to make the case for Bangkok? Let's others put the argument forward as in

    http://newsroom.mastercard.com/wp-c...Card_Global_Destination_Cities_Index_2012.pdf
    or
    http://sukritha.hubpages.com/hub/MostPopularCitieArroundWorld
    or
    http://www.enjoyourholiday.com/2011/04/18/top-10-most-visited-cities-in-the-world/

    My dear fellow, there must be something about Bangkok if it rates consistenly at the top and over 12 million people (and increasing) choose Bangkok as their destination every year. As always we see what we decide to see and I completely accept that Bangkok is not for you and please accept my olive branch as part of a cultural exchange by way of posting here.

    I wish you plenty of happiness and inexhaustible supplies of mango and sticky rice.
    Giorgio Federico
     
  22. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    I also like Sukhumvit Soi 3/1 (or as the Thais call it: Soi Alab! :D) with its assortments of middle eastern restaurants that serve fares such as falafel, hummus-b-tahini, tzatziki, tabouli, kibbeh, halal (kosher) lamb chops, and my most favorite baba ghanoch (meshed eggplant dish). Soi Arab is fairly entertaining and it is free to enter and visit. However, the last time I was there, it did not have a Syrian Embassy but rather a Consulate General (I am being a bit technical here!). To visit this street is not for everyone, but it is definitely a cultural experience. I posted previously here that the Soi is one of my favorite places for street food.
    [​IMG]
    West Africans watching a soccer match from outside Nefertiti, an Egyptian Restaurant​
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    Brother Tony preaching the gospel at Soi Arab - Photo by Mistifarag more here.​
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    Lively & packed Suk Soi 3/1​
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    Egyptian Restaurant: the food is definitely not vegetarian - Photo by Asia Camera​
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    Iraqi Restaurant - tried their food with my wife back in August 2008, and we both weren't impressed: hearty food as we are used to Thai food that is full of spices and herbs. http://www.travelandleisureasia.com...k_foodanddrink/474443/aliraqi_restaurant.html
     
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