Guide Needed in Bangkok

Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:52 AM
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Guide Needed in Bangkok

Hello
I am curious does it really make a difference to have a guide/driver in Bangkok? I contacted a guide who is highly recommended and she can take us but has no access to a car. So really she'd just be a guide but we'd still use taxis and other public transport. In your opininon does it really make it much easier with a guide?
thanks
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Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:08 AM
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I don't think you need a guide at all in Bangkok if you do your homework. I am a big fan of having a driver however as it enables me to avoid the heat and humidity when going from place to place.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 09:56 AM
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I you don't need a guide at all. Bangkok is very touristy and a lot of sites are walking distance but it that's not an attractive choice b/c of the humid weather, pollution and traffic. However, tuk tuks are all of the places, just hop on one of them but negotiate the price before getting in. Tuk tuks are motorized 3 wheelers...first time will be a little scary but you'll get used to it in no time...just wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sand/grit. Taxis are also an option but more expensive.

Just have name of the places you want to go written in Thai but most will understand 'Wat Po', etc.

Bangkok is very easy to get around, anyone who tells you need a guide is trying to make a quick buck. It's safe and friendly people but it is quite overwhelming when you first get there.

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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Forget a guide- not necessary- but a driver yes! Avoid the Tuk Tuks- besides sitting in the heat and humidity breathing in the exhaust they will likely take you to a shop where they get free gas coupons- why go thru that?
Contact Ratt or Julie.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:37 PM
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I'm with Bill on this.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:49 PM
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Yes, riding tut tut is a fun experience. But, both times we took tut tut, the driver took us to gem store, tailor etc. Just be firm and tell the driver no. A taxi driver tried to do the same thing to us last year as well.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:11 PM
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I disagree completely, but maybe it depends on what you're hoping to get out of the experience? Do you just want to see some sights? Then yes, get in a taxi arm yourself with a guidebook and go.

Our experience in Bangkok was one filled with making merit with the monks, going to markets I would have never gone to, eating food I would have otherwise never had in restaurants I would have never found, buying coffins for unclaimed bodies (a highlight) as well as seeing the sights. I felt like we had gone down one layer below what a tourist usually sees. We also got better deals in the markets, better prices in cabs, on klong tours, etc.

Just the conversations about the cultural and religious differences between east and west were worth having her with us.

Our experience in Bangkok with Tong (our guide) was so much better than I know it would have been otherwise. Plus, we made a good friend!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:15 PM
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If you're not on budget then taxi is better since it's enclosed and has A/C.

I usually travel how the locals travel, the cheap way.

I almost exclusively took the tuk tuk for my duration and never once had someone take me somewhere I didn't ask them to.
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Old Feb 4th, 2006, 12:02 AM
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offwego - does Tong drive also?
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Old Feb 4th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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Bella

Tong does drive, though she's a new driver and a bit tentative about it. She finds it distracting to being a GUIDE. We found it best to combine driving with taking the skytrain, river taxi's, tuk tuks, etc depending on where we were going and the time of day. When we did go somewhere where we wanted a car, she had someone else drive. It was very convenient then-the driver would drop us off and we'd all hop out-we didn't have to worry about where we were going to park, etc.

To me, a guide is far more important than a driver, but there are times when having both is good.
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Old Feb 4th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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She sounds great - I think I will book her for some of our trip and also for my parents too.

Many thanks - I think her email is on your earlier post. Is that the best way to contact her?
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Old Feb 5th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Yes Bella you can contact Tong directly
Pornpitcha Kaewtrakulpong <[email protected]

or through Ratt
[email protected]

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