It is not really ideal to explore Bangkok on foot; however, Diethelm
Travel (telephone: (02) 255 9150) provides a walking tour
of Chinatown, called ‘Bangkok Way
of Life’, which lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes, and
costs US$17.90 per person as part of a group.
World Travel Service (telephone: (02) 233 5900) operates
small group tours with free pick-ups from a number of hotels around the city. Tours can be reserved direct or through some hotels. Half-day
city tours include the ‘Royal Grand Palace
Tour’ which includes Wat Phra Kaeo; and the ‘Temples
Tour’ which covers Wat Pho, Wat Trai Mit and Wat Benjamabopit. Each tour lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes; the ‘Royal Grand Palace Tour’
costs B850, while the ‘Temples Tour’ costs B750. Diethelm
Travel (telephone: (02) 255 9150) also provides similar tours.
The Bangkok Tourist Bureau (telephone: (02)
225 7612) has daily 90-minute tours passing the major tourist attractions
on a vintage-style double-decker bus. The bus leaves the Grand
Palace at 9.00 am, 10.30 am, 12.30 pm, 1.30 pm and 3.00 pm and Vimanmek
Palace at 9.30 am, 11.00 am, 12.30 pm, 2.00 pm and 4.30 pm. The fare
The Bangkok Tourist Bureau (telephone: (02) 225 7612; fax: (02) 225 7616) operates a 2-and-a-half-hour bicycle
Saturdays at 7.00 pm around the historical area of Bangkok. The trip starts at their offices
at 17/1 Phra Arthit Road, Phra Nakhon and passes Sanam
Luang, Wat Pho, the Democracy
Monument and the Khao San Road backpacker
area. The fare
is B290 per person, and includes the hire of
a bicycle, snacks and drinks.
Bangkok is lined with canals or khlongs and life along the canals is far removed from the busy Bangkok. A good way to see this area of the city is a boat trip,
passing temples, orchards, orchid farms and typical houses on
stilts. World Travel Service
(telephone: (02) 233 5900) and Diethelm
Travel (telephone: (02) 255 9150) provides this service.
Diethelm provides a 4-hour boat
trip for US$25.10 per person or a full-day visit
to the floating market at Damnoan Saduak for US$58.90
per person (prices as part of a group).
Half Day Excursions
Garden (telephone: (034) 322 588; fax: (034) 322 775) is a
place of interest situated 32 kilometres or 20 miles to the southwest of
the city. The Rose Garden in its well-kept gardens offers daily cultural shows at
2.45 pm including dancing, Thai boxing, cock fighting and an elephant
show. It is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. Entrance to the
resort costs B20, tickets for the show are B380.
Damnoan Saduak Floating Market
The Damnoan Saduak Floating Market is 80 kilometres or 50 miles west of the city and is much more
attractive than the floating market in Bangkok, as it
has not been turned into one of places of interest. There are many small boats that carry fruits and vegetables
sold by native females in the early morning. This very interesting and
atmospheric market is all over by 11.00 am, which makes
an early start from Bangkok. To take a bus from
the Southern Bus Terminal to the market is also possible but
probably easier to join an organised tour from a hotel (see Tours
of the City).
Whole Day Excursions
Kanchanaburi is situated 122 kilometres or 76 miles from Bangkok and it is the place of the infamous
Bridge over the River Kwai. Constructed by Allied Prisoners
of War during World War II, it is a place of outstanding natural
beauty, with forest-clad hills and valleys
covered with trees. There are 2 well-preserved Allied war cemeteries just in a suburb
of the town. Kanchanaburi is easily accessible by either bus or train
or by tour buses from the city. For additional information, please contact the local Tourist
Authority of Thailand office (telephone: (034) 511 200) which is
open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm daily.
Ayutthaya was the capital of Thailand for more than 400 years until its destruction
in 1767. Ruins of many temples, buildings and palaces cover
a large area and this was declared a World Heritage Site by
UNESCO. Ayutthaya is situated 76 kilometres or 47 miles north of Bangkok and is easily accessible by bus or train or on a boat trip. For more details, please contact the local Tourist
Authority of Thailand office (telephone: (035) 246 076/7) which
is open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm daily.