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Old 10-23-2012, 08:24 AM
508 posts, read 1,650,043 times
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We just booked our next vacation! We are going to Tokyo and Thailand for 9 full days (not including travel time) in December. Very excitedits the first time either DH or myself have been!

We fly into Tokyo and have 2 full days there. We then fly into Bangkok with 7 full days to explore Thailand.

So firstly any recommendations for must dos in Tokyo? We are booking a hotel in the city center on points, so dont need recos for that, but areas to check out and/or avoid would be great. If you were in Tokyo for such a short time, what are the no-miss things to see and do and eat?

Now for Thailand A few questions actually - we want to explore Bangkok and the mainland a bit, but definitely want to have at least 3 full days (or more) on a beach.

1. Hotels in Bangkok- should we book one in advance? I think the first night and last night we will, as we land in Bangkok at around 10 PM, and leave Bangkok at around 7 AM the day were flying home. We dont want to take chances there.

2. That being said, what do you recommend in Bangkok? How many days would you think staying there would be? Wed like to see some temples and take in a bit of the culture. Should we stay in one hotel the whole time?

3. For beaches, weve been told to hold off and book once were there for flights and hotels. Does this make sense? Should we do it beforehand or will we have no issue doing it there itself?

4. Will our hotel in Bangkok be willing to store our suitcases (for a cost, obviously) while we take a short trip? Is this secure? Or what do people normally do?

5. Either way (whether we book here or there)where should we go, beach wise, for that time of year?

Any other help would be great. Our goal is really to explore the area as much as possible, food is a big priority- we are willing to try anything and everything and like it all pretty much. Definitely a few days of relaxation.

FWIW, weve travelled quite extensively, just havent done too much in that region yet. Were Canadians in our late 20s living in the US, but have previously lived abroad in Latin America.

Thanks so much in advance we only just booked the tickets so Im very early in my exploration, but I am already excited nonetheless!
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:46 PM
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,611 posts, read 15,071,590 times
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For Tokyo in 2 days, visit Ginza, Shibuya, Shijuku and try for Tokyo Disneyland. Tokyo is an amazing city. If I had an extra day or two, I would take the Shinkanzen (bullet train) to Osaka (about 3 hours).

I would have scheduled 7 days in Tokyo and 2 in Thailand.
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:52 AM
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2 young adults, no kids. 2 full days in Tokyo. Instead of Tokyo Disneyland, the Imperial Palace and the East Garden my be more appealing to you both.
Tokyo Imperial Palace

Ginza, Shibuya, Shijuku ... are all good suggestions.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:20 AM
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i am going to thailand with my some friends in vacation of our semister. we decided 10 days we stay in thailand. But we faces a little problem,cause we don't have any idea about thailand tourist spot..................
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ccm123 View Post
For Tokyo in 2 days, visit Ginza, Shibuya, Shijuku and try for Tokyo Disneyland. Tokyo is an amazing city. If I had an extra day or two, I would take the Shinkanzen (bullet train) to Osaka (about 3 hours).

I would have scheduled 7 days in Tokyo and 2 in Thailand.
Thanks for the tips! I will check them out.

The trip was really centered on Thailand. DH has a business trip to Tokyo and Hong Kong upcoming in the next year, which I will tag along on, so we will get more days then. We just decided since we're having a layover there anyways, may as well spend a couple days there!

Originally Posted by dougie86 View Post
2 young adults, no kids. 2 full days in Tokyo. Instead of Tokyo Disneyland, the Imperial Palace and the East Garden my be more appealing to you both.
Tokyo Imperial Palace

Ginza, Shibuya, Shijuku ... are all good suggestions.
Awesome! Thanks so much.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:17 PM
Location: Anytown, USA
681 posts, read 1,396,019 times
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Go to the bookstore and read up on some Thailand tourist books like Lonely Planet....

What else do you want to see?
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:16 PM
Location: Mount of Showing the Way
1,953 posts, read 2,071,335 times
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~ Perfect plan ~

Day 1
■ Tokyo Station → Marunouchi → Imperial Palace → Yurakucho&Ginza (Recommend daytime or evening of Sunday) → Odaiba (Tokyo night view)

Day 2
■ Shibuya → Harajyuku&Omotesando&Yoyogi park → Shinjyuku → Free bus → West Shinjyuku
→ LOVE(Photo) → SHINJUKU NS Building (Pendulum clock) → PARK HYATT TOKYO (There is a bar and food.Beautiful Tokyo night view)

Day 2
■ Harajyuku&Omotesando&Yoyogi park → Shibuya (Evening) → Roppongi Hills Sky Deck (Tokyo night view)

◆ PARK HYATT TOKYO Park Hyatt Tokyo in Shinjuku, Japan
◆ Roppongi Hills ??250m????? ?????????? ????????
◆ Tokyo Sky Tree (Aquarium & Planetarium) TOKYO SKYTREE
  Konica Minolta Planetarium ???????????????
  Sumida Aquarium SUMIDA AQUARIUM
◆ Shinagawa Aquarium SHINAGAWA AQUARIUM
◆ Sunshine Aquarium ??????????|???????
◆ Tokyo Zoo NET |||
◆ Asakusa 浅草観光.com - ホー*
◆ Tokyo Dome City (Amusement, Hot Springs, Baseball) Tokyo Dome City | TOP
◆ Tokyo Disney SEA Tokyo Disney Resort Official WebSite
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:05 PM
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 3,145,777 times
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What days of the week will you be in Tokyo? If you're there on a Sunday, Harajuku is something you need to see on a Sunday. People hang out dressed up in costumes outside the station and in Yoyogi park near the station. You also get to see the Rockabilly people, which I find really entertaining (Japanese guys dressed like Elvis dancing in the middle of the park). If you're into any of those things, I'm sure you're welcome to dress up and join in.

Yoyogi Park also has the Meiji shrine, which is a great thing to see in Tokyo. I'd plan to spend a couple hours there. I prefer it to the Imperial Palace East Garden, which, while cool, has more of the vibe of a well-manicured lawn and less of a great Japanese garden. Nearby Hibiya Park sometimes has free concerts, so if you know if there is one (or if you can hear the music from the street), skip the Imperial Palace, and go there.

My recommendations depend on how adventurous you are and what you're looking for. Are you interested in going to a Japanese bath house (Onsen)? A lot of Westerners are uncomfortable being naked around strangers. But if you're willing to try it, it's incredibly relaxing. Just make sure you follow the rules/etiquette, i.e. completely wash yourself with soap and water so that you are completely clean and have no soap on your body BEFORE you go and soak in the hot tub. I second the recommendation of Oo-Edo Monogatari, on Odaiba. On the other hand, since you'll only be in Tokyo a few days, it'll probably take up too much of your time.

Anyway, my suggested itinerary will follow in the next post.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:58 PM
Location: Shaw.
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Here's what I would suggest (and I would go backwards from Japanese101). I bolded some places, so you don't have to read everything. If you do nothing else, get breakfast at Tsukiji:

Day 1 (western Tokyo): Harajuku, Omotesando, Shibuya, Shinjuku.

Do this on day 2, if day 2 is a Sunday. Start with Harajuku and spend your morning walking around the Meiji Shrine. If it's a Sunday, pose for pictures with all the people dressed up. They come other days of the week, but in smaller numbers. Also, the Harajuku train station is pretty cool looking by itself.

Then, walking from the Harajuku station, go down Omotesando. It has a lot of cool shops. The food there is very Western, but Japanized Western food is interesting. The Harajuku crepe is the local specialty. There are some Japanese curry places and some Omurice (omelette stuffed with rice) places, but there's not much traditionally Japanese. Depending on your price range, it's a decent place for lunch.

After that, I'd go to Shibuya. You can walk there if you want (there are shops along the way), but the metro will be a lot easier. I think Shibuya is the most vibrant area of Tokyo. It gets called the Times Square of Tokyo. It's a great place for shopping, dining, and drinking. The famous site is the Hachiko statue (of the loyal dog), which is right outside the station. Next to that is the scramble crossing. Just remember with the scramble crossing, you actually have to get across the street. If you linger, trying to take in the experience, you will get stuck in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in Tokyo. Try to be in Shibuya at night so you can see everything light up. There are plenty of places to eat in Shibuya. Tokyo has so many dining options that it's overwhelming. It's really impossible to tell if the restaurant on the 7th floor is better than the one on the 6th.

From Shibuya, go to nearby Shinjuku. You can also take these in opposite order, if you want. Shinjuku is one of the major skyscraper districts. The skyscraper area is fairly boring to me, though. Go up the observation tower of the Tokyo Metropolitan Center to get possibly the best free view of the city (there's a little cafe on the top, too, but I didn't stop). Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku is a great place to find electronics and cameras, if that's your thing. I say to take Shinjuku last because it has some of the best nightlife in the city. Kabukicho is a dense collection of restaurants and bars (and people trying to sell you pirated DVDs by day). Near that is Golden Gai, if you're feeling really adventurous. It's a dense collection of hundreds of whole-in-the-wall bars. That's my favorite spot in Tokyo. Memory Lane, in the shadow of the train station, is a great place for late-night eating. The dish of choice is grilled chicken on a stick (Yakitori). There's plenty of beer to go with it.

Personally, I'd stay within walking distance of Shinjuku station and go there. But I don't know how interested you are in late-night drinking/eating.

Day 2 (central Tokyo): Tsukiji, Ginza, Marunouchi, Akihabara or Roppongi.

Get up as early as you can (you'll be jet-lagged, so this won't be too bad) and go to the Tsukiji fish market. It's the largest fish market in the world and it's actually a place for business, not a tourist trap. However, if you're able to walk about it without getting in the way of the workers, it's really cool. It will only be around in its current form for another two years, so go quickly. If you get up early and get a cab there, you'll be able to see the Tuna Auction. But I hear that's overrated, so I wouldn't bother. But, go to the two famous sushi places nearby (you'll know you've found the right two, because they're basically next to each other and they have long lines with tourists). The set menu is about $35 and it'll be some of the best sushi you've ever had.

From there, you can walk to Ginza (10 mins tops) to go shopping. If you get a sushi breakfast around 9 or 10, you'll be at Ginza by noon. On some days (Sundays?) they shut down the street to cars so you can walk down it. Ginza's a great place to window shop (or you could actually buy stuff). You could stop to eat there, but it's not cheap.

Marunouchi is another 15 minute walk from Ginza. There are trains that go to all these places if walking isn't your thing. The Imperial Palace and Hibiya are there. I know I slightly dissed the Imperial Palace before, because I find it slightly overrated, but it's still pretty cool. I wish I could go jogging there (as a lot of people do). This area is also one of the most impressive vertically (as in skyscrapers). There is also the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which honors the war dead who served Imperial Japan (specifically including the war criminals). There's also a war museum, which is essentially nationalist propaganda. If you're into that thing, it's worth it.

If you're into electronics, or anime (or adult videos), Akihabara is another 20-30 minute walk away. (I really can't blame you if you take the metro at this point). If not, I recommend you head in the other direction to Roppongi (you have to take the metro there). Roppongi Hills is a nice area (with a nice mall) and you can find places to eat. The big attraction of Roppongi is it is a location for lots of bars and clubs that appeal to foreigners. It's not cheap, but it can be fun (although, I personally hate it there). The Tokyo Tower (another lovely tourist trap) is not far from Roppongi either.

This might be a bit ambitious. If drinking is your thing, Roppongi is a good place to end your night.

Honorable mentions because you don't have nearly enough time:
*Oedo Onsen Monogatari on Odaiba - The hot springs are one of the most relaxing things you can do in Japan. But that'll take half your day. There's too much to see/do in Tokyo.
*Asasuka - This is probably the best shrine in Tokyo. The surrounding neighborhood is pretty cool too. But if you're going to go up here, you may need to sacrifice something else (like the Imperial Palace).
*If you're into cooking, Kappabashi-dori (the kitchen supply district) is a 15 minute walk from Asasuka. If you want Japanese knives (or a coffee roaster), this is the place to go. I bought some cooking chopsticks because I wanted to buy something. Restaurants buy from here, so you're getting the best price available.
*Ueno - It's about a half hour from either Asakusuka or Kappabashi (or you could metro it). It is home to the Tokyo Zoo, the National Museum, the Science Museum, and the Western Art Museum. Asasuka and Ueno is a day.
*Shimokitazawa - There's almost no chance you're going here, but it's the quirkiest, most hipster-friendly area of Tokyo. It's all used-clothing and obscure toys stores. It's a hangout for students and people in bands. There's also a coffeeshop where the proprietor makes one of the best espressos in the world, but only the morning, because he won't make it after 3-ish because the quality declines (he'll make cappucinos and lattes, though).

Here's where to go if you're looking for specific Japanese foods:
*Sushi - Tsukiji. Unless you're rich and can afford Gizna, accept no substitutes. Daiwa or Sushidai are both fine.
*Yakitori - Memory Lane, as mentioned earlier. Yakitori is all about atmosphere and this has tons of it.
*Ramen - This one has some options, so I'll go into detail:
1) For authentic, Tokyo-style Shoyu Ramen, go to Harukiya in Ogikubo and order the Wonton-men. Fish broth and soy sauce give it its unique flavor. It's out of the way (15 mins west of Shinjuku by train), but worth it.
2) For Hakkata (aka Fukuoka, Kyushu)-style Tonkotsu Ramen, go to Ippudo in Ebisu (they have other locations. They have a branch in New York, where everything is double the price. Tonkotsu Ramen is incredible (tons of pork fat).
3) For Ramen that is basically a cult, go to Ramen Jiro (I've been to Ikebukuro). There are 28 locations and they're all a little different. Get extra garlic, but don't get extra veggies or meat. The thing is huge, so extra anything is overkill.
These are places I've been to and can recommend. All Ramen places in Japan let you order by buying a ticket at a vending machine, so it's not too bad for those who lack Japanese. Here's a random link of ramen places, that'll substitute for me naming places near the major locations: 10 ramen shops in Tokyo worth visiting | Matador Network

Two Japanese dishes that you won't find in great quality in Tokyo are Takoyaki (octopus dumplings) and Okonomiyaki (meat-veggie pancake).

Last edited by pgm123; 10-26-2012 at 12:10 AM..
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:27 PM
Location: Tampa, FL
10 posts, read 27,766 times
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Seems the OP has received great information in regards to Japan. Two days in Tokyo is not a whole lot, but pgm123 provided some great info. I might add Ikebukuro to the list.

In regards to Bangkok, really as long as you are in the vicinity of the BTS skytrain, you can make your way around the city fairly easily. I prefer the wiregrass region within Bangkok, but thats primarily due to loving the Conrad and its proximity to the BTS. Also, outside of various cultural locations, check out the SIAM Paragon if you are into shopping (right off the BTS as well). It's a great mall / plaza. My 2c...

BTW - Have a MosBurger for me, please
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