Found a great driver in Bangkok!!!

Old Feb 9th, 2007, 08:55 PM
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Found a great driver in Bangkok!!!

Just got back from our 4 day trip to BKK...the 4th time for me and definitely not the last...it was a relaxing break and we just ate and had massages everyday...we also revisited a few places we loved in the past....so it was free and easy..no tours..no early mornings except for the floating market...

We stayed at the President Park on Sukhumvit 24. Very inconvenient place..about a 10 to 15 mins walk to Emporium Plaza for the BTS..and the tuk tuk from the hotel are in half hour blocks till 1pm then every hour after that...we had to walk a bit for the massage places as well...

I actually called on Chai's services who was recommended by Old Bangkok Inn in their "heated" post a few weeks ago..I see it has been removed...I am glad I got Chai as he was worth every $$ we spent. I booked him for a return trip to the floating market and he charged us 1500baht nett! He was actually my last option because both Cherry and Ratt were very inconsistent in their replies and I always had to send reminders till I was fed up! They quoted me over 2000++baht if I remember correctly. Chai's English is perfect and he speaks 7 other languages...we got him to send us to the airport as well and he charged us 600baht. For those of you who are interested in Chai's contact details let me know...

By the way, I couldnt resist asking him how he knows Old Bangkok Inn and apparently Chai was in the tour business for over 27 years and for obvious reasons their paths met many, many times...unfortunately, Chai lost everything in 1997 and became a monk in 2002 till mid 2005. He realised it was enough and started his life again and he is now a taxi driver. He is 61 and his dream is to rebuild his business and remarry his ex-wife. Very touching story....
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Old Feb 9th, 2007, 09:10 PM
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thanks for this info...he looks like a good contact to have....why don't you put his contact info here for everyone...
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Old Feb 9th, 2007, 09:29 PM
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Hi Bob,

Here it is - +66850598929. You will not be dissappointed BUT if he suggests another taxi driver if he is busy dont risk it..only do it if he is taking you.

It nearly happened to us. He was booked to do a temple tour before I called him for our floating market and he offered his colleague to take us instead. Luckily, he later called and said he will swap with his colleague and take us and guess what happened? In the middle of our trip, he got a call from the passengers asking why there was no show? He then called his colleague and was told he didnt show up because he was still stuck with an earlier customer he picked up thinking he could squeeze in a few more $$$$ ...and the worst thing is he didnt even bother to call Chai!!!
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Old Feb 27th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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Hi, ladyice, no mail id for Chai?
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Old Mar 19th, 2007, 03:30 AM
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Hi Hobbes,

So sorry, I have been very busy and havent logged on to Fodor's for a while..the only contact I have is Chai's mobile..he is very quick to reply..you might want to sms him to see he has access to emails...good luck!!
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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I visited the floating market 8 years ago. I leave for Thailand this Saturday and am thinking about going to the market again. Was it worth it, or is it just too touristy now? I only have a few days in BKK before we go to CM and CR, and wonder if I should spend the time to see the floating market again.

Any other advice for someone who has been to BKK several times and wants to experience some new must sees or do's?

BTW - our contact in CM and CR has been emailing about the recent pollution/fires up north, and says it is getting better. Let's hope! Recent posters have said they couldn't see the Wats and decided to leave town.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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Sally, I thought the floating market was too touristy 20 years ago, so perhaps I'm not the one to make recommendations about it for you.

If you haven't been the the Prasart Museum, I'd highly recommend it. You must make reservations in advance and they only take one party at a time. You'll need a driver (not a taxi) to get to you and back. We spent over two hours there, they have excellent guides.

Have you been to the Jim Thompson House and the Suan Pakkard Palace? Both are worthwhile.

Have you been to Wat Ben to participate in or watch the merit-making early in the morning?

Have you done a private klong tour (hire your own boat)?

Have you been to the Erawan Shrine?

Have you been to any of the wats that are off the tourist track (which probablly means all of them except the Emerald Buddha, the Golden Buddha, Wat Po, Wat Arun, Wat Ben (Marble temple)?

I've been to Bangkok something like 20 times and I always have new things on my list to do/see.
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 09:46 AM
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Thanks Kathie for your help in planning my days in BKK.

I have hired a driver to go to the Prasart and he will pick us up early in the morning to make merit which should be interesting. Then we will go to Suan Pakkad Palace Museum, have lunch at Kanitha Restaurant then see Kamtheing House. He will also take us to Jim Thomson House (been before but loved it). I also have Amantee on my list for antiques thanks to your suggestion. Does that sound like a good day?!!!

I know River City has some antique shops, but are there any others you can think of that should be on my list?
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 10:20 AM
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newold on suriwong is a very interesting shop....just down the road from the main jim thompson store...same side of street...
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 10:30 AM
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Sally, that sounds like a packed day - I don't know that you'll be able to do it all.

Yes, I definitely recommend Amantee and there are lots of arts and antique shops in River city that I have purchased from. There are some arts and antique shops at Oriental Place (behind the Oriental Hotel) that may be worth checking out. I've had mixed experiences there.
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 04:54 PM
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If you think I have too much packed in for the day, what do you think I should reserve for another trip?

Thanks for the antique info. I can't wait!
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 05:07 PM
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I would just note that teh Prasart museum took our whole morning. It doesn't hurt to have lots of plans, but be aware that you may have to alter them.
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 06:15 PM
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i also thought that there was way too much for one day....i agree about the timing at prasart also....45 min each way and at least 2 hours for the tour...
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Old Mar 22nd, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Thanks guys for your input. I'll let you know if all that can be done in one day!!! I can also be flexible if need be.

I will write a trip report when I return and really appreciate all your info on helping me plan this trip.
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