Bangkok with Tong

Feb 13th, 2009, 08:50 PM
  #1  
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Bangkok with Tong

In just one short month it will be our 5th time in Bangkok in five years...and counting. We love the place and are always looking for something new to explore. In the past we have used a different guide whom we have loved...but are willing to try out Tong and see what more she can offer.

I have been reading post after post on here and wanted to get some specific advice from all you BKK junkies

Background info: We have done BKK floating market, Grand Palace, Wat Po, Reclining Buddha, Emerald Buddha, short canal tour and a really fun bike ride through the REAL Bangkok. It will be just my husband and I in this portion of the trip. We will have 3 full days in Bangkok (not counting the first day we arrive from US at 11:00am or the day we leave for Krabi at 13:00ish) We are pretty active and adventurous...but I will be 6 months pregnant. Not my first pregnancy and also not my first time being prego in Thailand...but just an fyi.

We would like to:
*See Wat Arun

*possibly see Ayuttya (if time and recommended)

*Do Tong's secret place

*Go the other floating market (less touristy one)

*Klong tour

*Maybe Tiger Temple...unsure what my thoughts are on this

*Maybe the elephant camp (we have done many tour with elephants...the best being the Mahout Training Camp up in Chiang Rai. Is there anything like the Mahout training up at the Anantara in CR...here in the outskirts of Bangkok?

*Checkout some cool markets with "safe for prego ladies" food

*Merit for The Monks and time spent at the orphanage (we did both the last time we were in BKK and CR and it was AMAZING! Such a highlight of the trip.)

With all of that info...how would you structure time with Tong? We have 3 days to do it...but don't want the whole time spent just touring. We are staying at the Peninsula and LOVE the spa there! Also want to hit Face Bar, Sky Bar, and our favorite tailor at the MBK.

Would love any help provided!! Thanks!
travelmom13 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2009, 11:02 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I just arrived home on Sunday from 2 1/2 week in SEA. We spent one full day with Tong at her secret place and the floating market. I haven't been to the other floating marketing in BKK so I can't compare the two, but I can tell you that the day that we spent with her was a lifetime memory.
She's funny and smart and you can't help but fall in love with her.

The down side is that we booked her 8 months in advance and couldn't get the dates that we wanted so you may have a hard time at this late date.
Good luck!

P.S I'm working on my trip report but have been in bed with a head cold since I got home. I'll try and complete it this weekend.

jaspertl is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 01:42 AM
  #3  
 
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The less touristy floating market is at Amphawa and it should be near Tong's secret place - from looking at the pictures on her web site I bet it's right near there! Many quaint shops and lots of food along the canal and very popular with the local BUT it only open for the weekend.
Hanuman is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 09:23 AM
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tong is often booked up way in advance...

a nice long day would be to make merit in bkk at 7AM, then head for the secret place, followed by lunch at the stilted house, then a trip to tiger temple and then back to bkk in the early evening....
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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If you want a real (and humane) elephant experience, your options are all in Northern Thailand. Trying to do this from Bangkok would be really disillusioning.

Frankly, I think you are trying to do too much. Going to the Tiger Temple is a long day. Most people do a stop at the Floating market then on to the Tiger Temple. It makes fro a 12-14 hour day. And I'm sure you've read about the issues with the Tiger temple.

The one thing you can only do with Tong is her "secret place." If that is important to you, plan one day around that.

Most of the rest you can do on your own - Wat Arun, klong tour (have the boatman drop you at Wat Arun at the end of the trip), making merit, etc.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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We did a day with Tong that began early with making merit on the street, further merit at a Wat, releasing fish into the Chao Phraya, the secret place and then a trip to an orphanage in Nonthanburi. It was a long day, but well worth it. Truly memorable.
Gpanda is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Can you give me a hint about this Secret Place?
degas is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 01:49 PM
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The secret place has monkeys, water and really good food. Does anyone really need anything else?
Gpanda is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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Get Ratt!
BillT is offline  
Feb 15th, 2009, 04:40 AM
  #10  
 
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we could not get tong for our time in bkk over xmas. nui took us instead to the floating market, train track market and fishing village. it was an absolutely fabulous day, unlike any other we have had on our travels- you must do it!
4bams is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 03:06 PM
  #11  
 
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All these posters are right-the Secret place is a long day & the Tiger Temple is another long day. Both were incredible. tong is the best-Good luck getting her as they say-she books up well in advance.She is one of the best guides I have ever had. Enjoy-chris
BeniciaChris is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 05:26 PM
  #12  
 
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Hi - I think the secret place is doable, it is very peaceful and not hard work. We went with a 4 year old and a 9 month old and it was easy going. I went out with Tong in the morning on my own to make merit, we had the van so it was easy to stop here and there when we felt like it. Popped into her husband's shop to say hello and buy some new glasses. We picked the family up at about 11am and headed to the secret place. Trip is spent either on a boat or in a peaceful place to eat so is really v doable even if you are preg and tired! Boat is covered so not too hot. Lovely lovely day, delicious food - and they roll out mattresses to rest on after lunch . Definitely definitely recommend - 4 year old says it was the best day she's had in Thailand and I think we would agree. We were back at the hotel by about 5.30pm I think. I could definitely have done this when I was pregnant.

We had a better experience doing the floating market with Tong than with a group tour previously - she takes up the quiet routes and you get to try lots of delicious food. She'll know what will be okay for you preg too
BB
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Feb 19th, 2009, 06:22 PM
  #13  
 
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lucy---great report....knew you would love it...

i have my chang glasses on right now in fact...
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 06:45 AM
  #14  
 
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Hi degas - I just posted a trip report of BKK which includes our day at the secret place. You can check out the photos too.

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...ambodia.cfm?15
linjudy is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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linjudy, nice pixs. Looks like a nice daytrip.
degas is offline  
Feb 20th, 2009, 01:53 PM
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"secret place" is a very unique tourist experience...tong has created this site, in conjunction with the fisherman reed....they have developed it together as their little enterprise......she keeps it secret in order to preserve a unique experience for her guests...

its not really secret as it is located in a very public place, just not one frequented by others other than fishermen and their families...

being that close to wild monkeys is a unique experience....the photographing is amazing...

i hand it to tong for having created such a unique experience for her guests....

if this are were opened up to say bus tours, it would be ruined like so many other tourist sites...

this is one reason why tong and her team are so sought after by fodorites and others...

another reason is her unique personality....last spring my wife and i spent most of a day with her....we did not touring really...just hung out around bkk and had some nice meals, some limited shopping and finished with dinner with her family....
rhkkmk is offline  
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