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Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

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Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

Like many of us gravitating in the Bangkok Forum, I am fascinated by the vibe in Bangkok.

Vibe: a person's emotional state or the atmosphere of a place as communicated to and felt by others.

On the minus side: high-rise buildings, heavy traffic congestion, intense heat and naughty nightlife.

On the plus side: magnificent temples and palaces, authentic canals, busy markets and a vibrant nightlife.

If you had to recommend the best place where to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok, what would you suggest?

Mine would be Siam Square as an area and the Erawan Shrine at Ratchaprasong as a specific spot.

What about you?

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Giorgio Federico

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1. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

Definitely Sathon Pier for me. You see all kinds of people; street sellers, tourists, school kids, business workers commuting, and the crazy busyness of the river with barges, ferries, cruise boats, long tail boats.....all framed by a backdrop of tall hotels and office buildings. Turn away from the river and theres still the madness of the road traffic with tuk tuk drivers screeching around corners. Look up and you see the long sliver of sky train making its way across the bridge packed with an eclectic mix of commuters. That spot had it all for me!

Bangkok, Thailand
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2. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

If you get away from the shiny path, one can walk just about any major road and become immersed in local flavor.

During the day, one will find shop house after shop house, selling just about anything. Later in the day, many streets will become food courts, lined with tables and plastic chairs, filled with local diners.

If you really want some hardcore local shopping vibe, head to Klong Thom late at night.

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3. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

Where is that, O6?

Gold Coast
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4. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

We really enjoyed the area around Ratchathewi Station on our last visit, plenty of locals and lots of street side eats.

Bangkok, Thailand
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5. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

Klong Thom wouldn't be of interest, at least for actual shopping, to most tourists, as this video will illustrate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXprjOtpTlU

The video was also taken during the day, a much quieter time. In the evening, the sidewalks are filled with vendors and buyers.

Klong Thom is near the Giant Swing end of Chinatown.

Ironically, at night, one will see more "sexy video" sellers than Pantip, Silom and Sukhumvit combined. So much for blaming smut on foreigners!

Edited: 10:07 pm, October 06, 2012
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6. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

For a general approach, OctoberSix's (of reply #2) is a great one.

For one detail, I agree with Sathorn Pier - and suggest the Express Boat itself as my favourite place to be in Bangkok. The Khlong Saen Saeb boat (outside of rush hour) may be #2.

At a pleasant restaurant or other venue with a group of local friends may trump either of those, however. Because the vibe is places, people, and times.

Edited: 10:16 pm, October 06, 2012
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7. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

Loving the look of Khlong Thom.

Vancouver
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8. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

Wow... that's quite a market, and that's during the day time? I don't think I'd want to be there at night...

it seems more for men, with all the electrical things and car parts, etc., but I was interested to see the area where musical instruments were displayed - nice saxaphone, et al.... and it's a BIG market! Big and noisey - something for everyone, by the look of it. Definite vibe going on there. Thanks for the video.

Bangkok, Thailand
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9. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

Although inside some of the buildings there are fixed shops, outside is pretty much a swap meet. You are liable to come across just about anything.

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: Where is the best place to experience the "Vibe" of Bangkok?

I've bought different car accessories from sellers at Klong Thom on several occasions over the years. A taxi is probably the best way to go in my experience but expect hideous traffic with some drivers unwilling to accept the drive during certain hours.

Edited: 12:32 am, October 07, 2012