|Subject: Re: Bangkok|
Here's some suggestions from my THailand file: Sandy in LA
Unless you enjoy gridlock, confine your land sightseeing to Saturdays, Sundays and weekdays between 10 am and 3:30. Go for air-conditioned taxis. Settle the price before you start. Local cabs have no meters and bargaining is expected whether in English or by holding up fingers, each representing a 10-baht unit. Fares vary, depending on traffic, time and distance. Ask your hotel concierge for guidance. If you are not a bargainer, use hassle-free hotel cars. Hotel drivers speak English, work for salaries, and may be easier to deal with than cabbies.
Wat Phra Kaeo (Emerald Buddha Chapel) and Grand Palace complex. You are forbidden to take pictures of the Emerald Buddha itself.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Saket (Golden Mount)
Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)
Wiman Mek Palace, favorite residence of King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910)
the royal barges
the Pasteur Institute's Snake Farm
Jim Thompson's Thai House which contains a superb collection of Asian objets d'art.
Suan Pakkad Palace's lacquer pavilion which is decorated with medieval gold leaf murals.
The world's largest crocodile farm
the Ancient City, a 200-acre open-air museum Patpong Road is Bangkok's most famous nightclub district, famous for go-go bars and massage parlors. It is a safe and cheery, place with a zany carnival-like atmosphere. The area, a series of short pedestrian lanes, is also the site of one of Bangkok's most popular night markets. Vendors sell everything! From Pad Thai noodles to stacks of pirated Calvin Klein jeans to fake Rolex watches.
Ayutthaya, the ancient capital. Go by coach and return by boat. Some hotels, such as the Shangri-la, have their own excursion boats on which you'll be served an elaborate lunch.
Theatrical events in Bangkok include Thai dance and puppet performances, English and Thai-language dramas, concerts by visiting international artists, musical performances, and infrequently imported mimes and plays. Visitors are advised to consult the English-language newspapers, particularly the weekly or daily calendar of events, to ascertain the times and dates of current performances. Major theatrical venues include: Thailand's National Theatre, adjacent to the National Museum at Bangkok's Sanam Luang. The theatre is the venue for concerts and Thai classical drama performances. Weekend performances of Thai dance dramas are periodically staged. The Thailand Cultural Centre on Ratchadapisek Road, the Alliance Francaise Auditorium on South Sathorn Road, the AUA Language Centre Auditorium on Rajdamri Road, the British Council Centre in Siam Square, and the Goethe Institute on Soi Attakarnprasit, off South Sathorn Road, also stage theatrical and musical performances. The Monthienthong Theatre in Bangkok's Montien Hotel regularly stages Thai-language dramas. The Hotel Siam Intercontinental periodically stages British plays, mostly comedies, from London's West End, with accomplished British actors.