Ratt- Waiting Time, Touring and Dining?

Nov 3rd, 2005, 10:04 AM
  #1  
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Ratt- Waiting Time, Touring and Dining?

We are using Ratt for 3 1/2 days.
While we want to go to the floating market and the River Bridge we do not want a 12-13 hour day.Maybe 10 hours RT tops from Penn leaving at 7:30AM-5:30. Is the trip to the Bridge beautiful or just a road with some lush bushes? We are not steeped into history but if we can get magnificant views along the way it would be worth it to us.
If we used her for a day and then wanted to rest for 2 hours and then go to dinner(1 1/2 hrs.)and have her go with us to a market for an 1-1/2hours do we pay for waiting time at the resturant. We plan to do this on 2 or 3 nights.I just want to know proper etiquite.
Since tipping is not really the custom in Bangkok is a 5% or 10% appropriate of the trip and does that include the gas cost outside the city if she goes where we want to go and gives us some insight/history of sights and not where she thinks we should go?
We are using Poon for 3 days so if you have experience with her as well please share that as well.Thanks.

Thanks!
StanKase is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 10:21 AM
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If you're not interested in history skip the River Kwai. I had her take me back to the hotel and then pick me up again in the evening. I did not pay waiting time. She lives in Chinatown so was only about 20 minutes from the Oriental. But her business has changed so I would ask just to make sure.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 11:20 AM
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I'm with Gloria again- skip the River Kwai unless you are into WWII history. Ratt usually books full days or if you arrange it ahead of time maybe half days - so yes you probably pay for the waiting time- best to check with her. I should think 5-10%tip is fine.
BillT is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 11:56 AM
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A year ago she wanted to make sure she got the full amount for the day but at least with me she didn't care if it was broken up. Now if she waits while you eat somewhere while traveling she will charge for that. But if she takes you back to the hotel and she can go home for 4 hours and then take you out at night that should be fine -- provided, of course, she does not have other plans or other work in the evening. That's why you need to discuss it in advance. I tipped way more than 5-10%1rip
glorialf is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 08:09 PM
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it took us 12-13 hours but we made about 4 stops all told and did not hurryt either, although we probably were at the market less time than most, as we had been there before..

i would skip river kwai...it is a reconstruction and not original...its a longs ways to look at a bridge and dirty water...

paying...not sure how she would do that...i think she will look for 8-10 hours of pay for a full day...i tipped her over 20% as have others....her gas is in addition to her regular fee---i paid 1 B per kilometer outside of town...it adds up...my whole day was $100 give or take and it was worth $1000.

she will do anything that you want, but you must expect to compensate her properly....

i would tip her according to how i think she did for me...
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 4th, 2005, 09:21 PM
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At the very low rate, (just over $7/hr.) Ratt charges, and the oustanding service she provides, I would not wurry about paying her for a few hours down time. To me, she is worth that and a lot more. Have a great trip.
Cheers,
Andy
andydee is offline  
Nov 5th, 2005, 06:45 AM
  #7  
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Thanks to All. I just want to treat her very fairly.
Is it worth having her go with us 2 or 3 nights for 1-1 1/2 hours through different markets as well?
Can we avoid the masses at the big Sat. market if we leave the Peninsula with Ratt at 8:45-9AM or is that too late?
StanKase is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 07:44 PM
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i like to go to the markets myself, but she undoubtable knows many of the vendors for certain products, thus saving you time....maybe have her one nite??

i cannot imagine beeting any crowds at the weekend market unless you go at 3AM....do you have to go there??
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 07:51 PM
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that's "beating", althought i do love beets with lots of butter..
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 11:59 PM
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Ratt's cheer squad strikes again.

Why not give her a $US100 bill & just ask her to drive you to where she obtains the most commission?
Lyndie is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 01:51 AM
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The cheers continue because it seems that all of us except Lyndie have had very positive experiences with Ratt. I do think that it is important for all of us to recognize that our experience with a guide or a hotel or a restaurant is just one experience and should be stated as such rather than making blanket statements. I'm sure there has been at least one time in her life when even Lyndie has been "unreliable" or made a mistake.

And, I for one, see absolutely nothing wrong if someone wants to help someone out by giving them money. I think it's something to applaud -- not condemn. Someone just gave a client at my office and anonymous cashier check for $68,000 to cover her mortgage. She is a senior citizen whose husband died after a long and expensive illness. She remortgaged her home and ended up with a predatory loan which she couldn't pay. She was being foreclosed. The donor is someone who had had bad luck in his life and then got a windfall. Decided he wanted to help others because that's what the Bible said you should do. He found her name on the foreclosure list. I respect someone like him a lot more than someone who worries about how much to tip a hard working woman.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 02:28 AM
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Gloria, I totally agree with you.

I do not know what to believe, probably Lyndie had a really very bad experience with Ratt... However, as I know Ratt, I can not imagine something like this.

I suppose that we, in this forum could better understand Lyndie if she can explain what was the problem.

If not, we can also suppose that she takes commission from two blondes !!!???
valtor is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 03:21 AM
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Lyndie has posted frequently that Ratt didn't show up as scheduled. They waited for 3 hours for her so it threw them off schedule. I am certainly not condoning that. I have asked why Lyndie didn't call ratt (I would have called when she was one minute late and, if possible, would have called the night before to confirm) but Lyndie said she did not have any contact information for her. I would urge anyone booking any guide or driver to have contact information so you can contact them to confirm and/or make changes etc. When I booked Ratt I got her home phone, cell phone and her husband's cell phone. That's just good travel sense. Anyway Ratt was definitely at fault but to the best of my knowledge that's a rare experience and should be stated as such.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 03:24 AM
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By the way, Lyndie. ratt got no commissions from any stores from me. We didn't go to any except the JT Outlet. Nor did she push any. In my world you're bordering on libel by implying that she takes tourists where she will get the biggest commission.
glorialf is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 04:25 AM
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And when we had Ratt she took us to the nNra Phand Governemt craft store and got us a 5% discount!!!!!!
We had no problems with Ratt- so it seems only one person had a bad experience, everyone else had a good experience.
BillT is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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in fairness to lyndie, there was one other person who posted problems with ratt about a year and 1/2 ago...seems like a pretty good record to me...

when i hired her i watched for her arrival on day one...she was late...5 minutes...but who cares about that...she was outside we were inside...failure to communicate properly....

she is excellent...i do appreciate the warnings however as with any vendor, there can be problems....even the ROS has service problems---hard to believe..
rhkkmk is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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gloriaalf-what a lovely story you tell!
Bought tears to my eyes. But it's not a story about Ratt.

People here should get the two sides to Ratt's story, not some rose coloured view that Ratt is a Saint!

She caused us major disruptions to our trip. We missed out on several attractions because she did not pick us up, as confirmed several times by email. She just ignored us. The Shangri-La could not supply us with a car & driver at such short notice so we were stranded. Ratt rang our hotel 4 hours after our agreed pick-up time and left a garbled message about having other clients to pick up. In my book, when you run a business, you have responsibilities. This discussion is about Ratt, not me. She failed us dismally and she is unreliable. I'd go so far as to say she ruined our first trip to Bangkok and coloured our opinion of Thai people, for a short time. Many of you raved on here about how wonderful she was and I believed you. Instead, she let us down. That's why I will continue to present the other side of Ratt's story.

And, in my world, one would accept commmissions are a accepted business practice in Thailand.
Lyndie is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 04:23 PM
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I'm assuming that Craig's comment was meant as a joke, but the bottom line is, there is NO excuse for blowing someone off other than a real emergency. I can understand how Lyndie feels, similar to how I feel about Air Asia. If you're the one who had the bad experience, it tends to color your perceprion of that person, airline, hotel, etc. Lyndie should not be chastised for giving her point of view. Apparently many here love Ratt but that doesn't make Lyndie's complaint any less valid. It's good to present both sides so people can make an informed decision. I've never used Ratt so I don't have an opinion but I welcome all opinions, good and bad. Give Lyndie a break.
laurieco is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 04:51 PM
  #19  
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I am sorry I asked a simply question that caused World War 111. I just wanted to know proper etiquitte based on experience that travelers who had used her, and Poons services once or twice in the past 4-5 years.
I have all the info I need and I thank you for your feedback.
StanKase is offline  
Nov 7th, 2005, 04:53 PM
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tks laurieco, for your understanding. And apologies to Stan but I can't help but tell the facts, as they occurred, to us.

Let's agree to disagree. I'm not into personal attacks.
Lyndie is offline  

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