A Taste of Thai Hospitality

Our first overseas RCI timeshare vacation was to Pattaya, and we just had to experience Bangkok. Busy, dirty, but very vibrant. We chose the Pathumwan Princess for our stay and were not disappointed! We also included a short River Kwai Tour. A destination not to be missed!


A Taste of Thai Hospitality

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

Visit Jim Thompson House and the Grand Palace. Shopping for jewelry was also a worthwhile activity for my wife. I'm personally not convinced, although I was told that what she had bought was hundreds of dollars cheaper than at home.

You also need to book a tour to Ayutthaya to see the ancient Budhist temple and the summer palace, and no trip to Thailand (for an Aussie!) would be complete without visiting the Bridge on the River Kwai.${QuickSuggestions} Visit Pantip Plaza. If you are into consumer electronics, this is a must. Very cheap software (and it's already pre-registered to save you the effort!). An astonishing array of the latest software for PCs and Macs. They also had computer hardware, but the prices were really not much better than at home. Software and games were the bargains in this five plus story shoppers paradise!!${BestWay} The Skytrain is an efficient way to get around. Much safer than the taxis and tuk-tuks (although it would hardly be a trip to Thailand without trying them would it?). We found that a combination of Skytrain, walking and Tuk-tuks (when we were too hot and bothered to walk further) got us everywhere we wanted to go in Bangkok.


Pathumwan Princess

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

This hotel had everything from comfortable rooms to a first class fitness centre and of course, location. From the hotel lobby you could go straight into the MBK shopping mall, which had a variety of designer label clothing, cheap computer software and a wide range of DVD movies. It also had a reasonably priced and well stocked supermarket. Handy when your booking arrangements don't include a breakfast!

The rooms were comfortable and well appointed with a stunning view of the city. We turned out the lights and open the curtains and gazed out at the city lights before drifting off to sleep. Highly recommended!

The pool was quite large and the climate seemed to keep it at a pleasant temperature for swimming. The gymnasium was both larger and better equipped than the local one at home. The additional benefit was that access was free for hotel guests. The gym also had a icy cold water fountain. Ideal for filling up our insulated flasks for a day of touring around Bangkok!

Pathumwan Princess Hotel
444 MBK CENTRE
Bangkok, Thailand, 10330
66 22163700

Sigma Resort

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

Best Things Nearby:
Shopping in the Beach Road area.

Best Things About the Resort:
Rooms were clean. The view was spectacular, (we could see the beach from our room) and the onsite outdoor restaurant was both reasonably priced and offered excellent food.

Resort Experience:
A large hotel-style resort, with limited cooking facilities, but quite adequate for our needs. We asked for a kettle or something to make coffee, and an urn was provided. They provided a couple of bottles of clean drinking water each day, and larger quantities of water could be bought at any of the nearby mini-marts. (I didn't know that Nestle sold water.)

An excellent pool and very polite and helpful staff. Internet access is available for a modest fee, but you will need to know how to touch type--the keyboard was basic qwerty with thai characters in place of the letters! Interesting experience!

The beach was clean, the water was not! I ventured in once, as did my wife, who paid the price by feeling a little off the next day.

I went shopping on my own and was offered. . .a girl (no thanks!) You want a boy. . . I get you good one! (a more definite no and back to wifey in a hurry!)

The major downside to this resort (which was also, in a way, one of its advantages) was its location at the quiet end of Jomtien Beach. Sometimes the Saung taews were reluctant to go right to the end of the road (no prospect of fares for the return). On the other hand, it was quiet, and the beach was relatively empty. Of course, this still didn't make the dirty water more appealing, but you could catch the sun's rays in peace; unless you tried to occupy one of the beach deck chairs (20 baht, please). Lying on towels Aussie-style put you on the end of some "greasy stares" from the deck chair minders!

Sigma Resort
64 Moo 1
Bangkok, Thailand

Nabe-Ya

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

First night in Thailand and we were not that adventurous as this was our first overseas holiday. We played it safe and chose the onsite Japanese restaurant. Cost was around 550baht and the food was excellent. I had a seafood dish (cooked not sushi style) and found it to be very tasty. Service was excellent. Restaurant was clean and although reasonably busy, was not too noisy. A pleasant dining experience.

We tried the Uokuni Japanese Restaurant in MBK on our return to Bangkok after the timeshare holiday. A little more expensive, but more of a traditional Japanese experience.

Nabe-Ya
Pathumwan Princess
Bangkok, Thailand

MBK Foodcourt

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

Staying at the Pathumwan Princess we just had to visit MBK, and when we did, we found some very cheap, traditional Asian food. Of course, if you didn't venture beyond ground level you could dine on familiar restaurants such as Maccas, KFC, and our favourite (for mid afternoon snacks) Saint Cinnamon. There was also a good all-you-can-eat restaurant near the supermarket.

Restaurants and fast food outlets could also be found on other levels, and the food court was on one of the upper levels. Worth hunting for it, as the price and variety was good.

Food was tasty and cheap, and the food court seemed clean enough to take a chance. We also found real coffee in a coffee shop on yet another level ... MBK is large! The hotel, alas, had not quite mastered the art. Acceptable, but the cinamon stick added little!

I used the rule of thumb and chose a meal that had to be cooked at high temperature in oil. Basically a stir fry with duck as the main ingredient. My wife made a similar choice. From there, it was off to the cinema (also in MBK).

MBK Foodcourt
Siam Square
Bangkok, Thailand

Samut Prakarn crocodile farm

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

Absolutely amazing. Wrestling crocs. Putting heads in crocs mouths. Why would you want to do this. For some of the Thai lads, this was their working day. Well, probably beats serving maccas for excitement.

Both the croc show and the elephant show were highly entertaining, although there was more than a touch of humour in the elephant show, where a new way to fleece tourists of their bahts has been found. Get them to lying down on the ground and have an elephant walk over them. Of course, the elephants have been taught to collect bahts with their trunks. A good trick, but they will go no further until they get some money!

Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo
555 Moo 7 Taiban Road Taiban Sub-district, Amphur Muang
Samutprakarn, Bangkok, 10270
+66 2 703 4891-5; 70

River Kwai Death Railway

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

We did the visit to the Bridge on the River Kwai as part of a short tour from Bangkok. We arranged to stay at the River Kwai Resort, which was absolutely unmissable. From the open air restaurant (open on three sides) through to the beautiful rooms with ornate carvings with balconies overlooking the river this resort had it all. We had our own personal tour guide who took us up river to fresh water springs that fed the River and down river to join the railway for a train trip. We could have spent hours more looking at the Jeath war museum and the area around it.
Bridge over River Kwai
Kanchanaburi
Bangkok, Thailand

Pantip Plaza

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

More than five floors of computer related products. The computers were no cheaper than Melbourne prices (and probably no better), but the software, games and DVDs were VERY cheap. Whatever software you want, they have it. If, like me, you have a Mac, you need to dig a little deeper, but it is there. (Well, not there exactly. It seems that they had a little trouble with authentication of software and now it is all kept off site. Barter, fix a price, and the shop assistant gets on the phone to organise delivery. Kind of unnerving until you get the hang of it!

I managed to get a CD containing the latest version of most of the common Macintosh applications for 100 Baht. That's cheap, and registration is already done for you. Sadly, I upgraded my system recently and had to buy all more software here at normal prices!

Pantip Plaza
Petchaburi Road
Bangkok, Thailand

Ayutthaya

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by ggcahill on September 13, 2003

This is the site of a very old Buddhist temple, magnificent buildings that have stood the test of time. Exploring these historic ruins was absolutely fascinating. Well worth the visit.

The nearby summer palace was equally impressive, although in a different way. One impressed because of its timelessness and historical significance, the other impressed with its luxury and style. (Why can't I have a holiday house like that!)

Ayutthaya Historical Park
86 Kilometers North Of Bangkok
Ayutthaya, Thailand, 13000
+66 35 246 076-7

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