Right in Bangkok
Seasoned travellers, Gary and Trish Knight favour Bangkok, Thailand for unforgettable holidays and fabulous bargain shopping. “There is so much to see and do in the ‘Land of Smiles’ and the people of Bangkok are especially friendly. We love Bangkok’s changing pace and vibrancy.”
The Knights recommend staying at the Baiyoke Hotel, Bangkok’s tallest building at 88 floors giving impressive vistas over the bustling city. The tariff includes a substantial breakfast, ideal for keeping busy sightseers going.
Chatuchak Market is fully recommended by Trish and Gary. This market only operates in the weekend and takes at least a full day to see. With 15,000 stalls and easy access via the Sky Train, tuk tuk or taxi, Chatuchak is bargain central.
Market shopping can be overwhelming for the unsuspecting, and Gary provides some tips for newcomers. “Take your time and keep drinking water as it is hot. Bargaining is a way of life here - don’t pay the first asking price. Before you spend anything, listen to others bargaining to learn what various items are worth. For shoes, take cardboard cut outs of the sizes you want to use on the soles as a guide. To get correct clothing sizes, take length, width, chest and waist measurements along with a small tape measure.”
After shopping their fill, the Knights used meter taxis to get to Wat’s (temples) and The Royal Palace. There is a dress standard for the Palace - men need long trousers and women either a long skirt or trousers. Shoulders must also be covered.
Northwest of Bangkok is the Kanchanaburi region with the scenic Kwai River railway and bridge built by Prisoners of War under Japanese command. Tours include bamboo rafting, elephant trekking and visits to local tribes.
The single biggest highlight of the Knight’s trip was stroking young tiger cubs at Tiger Temple. This facility, run by Monks, takes in orphaned tiger cubs and raises them. “The tigers are not tied up or drugged and have not been de-clawed or de-fanged. It’s a magical experience to see cubs close up,” enthuses Gary.
With fond memories, Gary and Trish are thinking of their next Bangkok holiday, “This city is so different each time we go. We always find something new.”
Published in Best’s Autumn 2009 newsletter