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Old Aug 26th 2017, 4:50 am   #1
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Default 5 hours in Bangkok

My son and I are off to Tokyo in the September-October school holidays. Because of the holidays, the cost of air fares is high and the best I have been able to book means a fairly long stop-over in Bangkok. Instead of staying in the airport, I want to go into the city. I reckon we'll have 5 hours to do something (one thing really). It will be during the late afternoon, early evening. Any ideas?

Before anyone says it, I know that Bangkok offers many OTHER, err, interesting things to do/keep you occupied, my son is 14 years old!
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 5:42 am   #2
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

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Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
My son and I are off to Tokyo in the September-October school holidays. Because of the holidays, the cost of air fares is high and the best I have been able to book means a fairly long stop-over in Bangkok. Instead of staying in the airport, I want to go into the city. I reckon we'll have 5 hours to do something (one thing really). It will be during the late afternoon, early evening. Any ideas?

Before anyone says it, I know that Bangkok offers many OTHER, err, interesting things to do/keep you occupied, my son is 14 years old!
There's a nice temple at the top of a hill called Wat Saket which would provide some cultural interest and views over Bangkok. However, to get the real buzz of the city, best to go to the area around the skytrain station called Siam where there are some incredible shopping centres with plenty of cool fashion and gadgetry that appeal to teens. Avoid the famous dump that is Khaosan Road. That's my two baht.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 9:08 am   #3
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

If you take the airport train to Phaya Thai (about 20 mins I think for an express) you are pretty much in the thick of things. Very nearby you have the Jim Thompson house which I remember being pretty interesting. The MBK shopping centre is nearby which I would imagine could be interesting if he is an electronics geek like yourself! There's basically a string of shopping centres actually...all have great food courts.

I'm sure you are but plan on taking the airport train and not taxis.

Something to be aware of. Not sure if you've booked separate tickets or are on a single ticket. If a single ticket you will be liable to pay 700B departure tax each if you go landside and then go airside again.
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 9:25 am   #4
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

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Originally Posted by bcworld View Post
If you take the airport train to Phaya Thai (about 20 mins I think for an express) you are pretty much in the thick of things. Very nearby you have the Jim Thompson house which I remember being pretty interesting. The MBK shopping centre is nearby which I would imagine could be interesting if he is an electronics geek like yourself! There's basically a string of shopping centres actually...all have great food courts.

I'm sure you are but plan on taking the airport train and not taxis.

Something to be aware of. Not sure if you've booked separate tickets or are on a single ticket. If a single ticket you will be liable to pay 700B departure tax each if you go landside and then go airside again.
Thanks for the info

Wasn't aware of the tax. We are on Thai Air PER-BKK-HND, so we are only in transit at BKK - so I guess a single ticket. It might not be worth it if we have to pay a DT. May just go and spend the money on a lounge instead if that is the case
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 10:13 am   #5
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcworld View Post
If you take the airport train to Phaya Thai (about 20 mins I think for an express) you are pretty much in the thick of things. Very nearby you have the Jim Thompson house which I remember being pretty interesting. The MBK shopping centre is nearby which I would imagine could be interesting if he is an electronics geek like yourself! There's basically a string of shopping centres actually...all have great food courts.

I'm sure you are but plan on taking the airport train and not taxis.

Something to be aware of. Not sure if you've booked separate tickets or are on a single ticket. If a single ticket you will be liable to pay 700B departure tax each if you go landside and then go airside again.
I've been reading up on this tax and we would be liable for it. However, it seems it's hit or miss whether they actually make you pay it. Plenty of people have avoided paying but others have been stung. Will look at what lounge options are available
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Old Aug 26th 2017, 10:25 am   #6
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

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Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
I've been reading up on this tax and we would be liable for it. However, it seems it's hit or miss whether they actually make you pay it. Plenty of people have avoided paying but others have been stung. Will look at what lounge options are available
Why would you let a (possible) $20 tax interfere with your plans? It's a great chance for you to get a quick visit to Bangkok in, and beats hanging about airport lounges (despite BKK being a superb airport). A taxi into town only costs 300B and would take 45 mins as long as you're not in rush hour (in which case take the train as bcworld suggested). It's such a vibrant city, and a complete contrast to Tokyo. It really just depends if you have the energy after a long haul flight to do a bit of extra tourism, but if you do it's well worth it. With some planning you can do some interesting and make sure your back on time to catch your connecting flight.
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Old Aug 27th 2017, 2:49 am   #7
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

Have to be honest, with just five hours I think I'd be finding the lounge.

However if you do want to go out, and if it's open, Chatuchak is always a fun experience.

edit: If Mrs Zulu is into silver jewellery, there is a fabulous shop near the Oriental, look up Lin Jewellers. Whatever you do don't take a taxi and ask for it (or any other jewellery shop) or you will end up at the taxi driver's uncle's place instead - go to the Oriental Hotel and walk.

Also in that vicinity is the State Tower with the Sky bar atop - great views over the city any time of day or night.

Last edited by Kooky.; Aug 27th 2017 at 2:53 am.
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Old Aug 27th 2017, 2:51 am   #8
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

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Originally Posted by Kooky. View Post
Have to be honest, with just five hours I think I'd be finding the lounge.

However if you do want to go out, and if it's open, Chatuchak is always a fun experience.
Total stopover is 9 hours

I'll see how things are on the day
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Old Aug 27th 2017, 2:54 am   #9
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

Sorry, I edited while you were replying.
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Old Aug 27th 2017, 9:39 am   #10
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

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Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
Total stopover is 9 hours

I'll see how things are on the day
Try the Pantip Plaza 5 floors of wall to wall it geek gear. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantip_Plaza
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Old Aug 27th 2017, 11:45 pm   #11
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

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Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
I've been reading up on this tax and we would be liable for it. However, it seems it's hit or miss whether they actually make you pay it. Plenty of people have avoided paying but others have been stung. Will look at what lounge options are available
I've only done it once (gone landside on a transit ticket) and did get asked to pay the 700B...but as you say, chances are probably 50/50...there is a long thread on FlyerTalk on the subject which you've probably read. I know that Thai will sell you lounge access. As much as I love TG, I absolutely wouldn't spend $60 for 2.5 hours in their business class lounges. The third party lounge they list looks like a much better deal, although it would add up on a time basis. Normally I would say just save your money and get better food etc in the airport outlets, but BKK is pretty poor in all respects really and not the kind of airport I would want to kill time so I would still aim to leave the airport instead.
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Old Aug 28th 2017, 6:56 am   #12
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

This sounds like a really bad cover of a Murray Head song
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Old Sep 23rd 2017, 3:13 pm   #13
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Default Re: 5 hours in Bangkok

Just came back into BKK and can confirm that we didn't have to pay departure tax

Bangkok was okay but it was bucketing down and the crowds were.mental. Had a nice meal though
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