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brusselschap Apr 11th, 2008 12:00 AM

Tong's team
We've been in touch with Tong about a day tour (floating market and secret place) but sadly she is not available the days we're in BKK.

She has suggested we do the tour with one of "her team".

I understand from all the posts here that a large part of the value/charm of the tour is being with Tong herself... any ideas of what her other guides might be like? Has anyone experienced any of them?

Tere Apr 11th, 2008 06:10 AM

I just came from Bangkok and used aone of Tong's team guides for 2 days. Her name is Pook and I was really happy with her services and happy face!

She was also very knowdgeble , sweet, very flexible and helpful. I highly recommend Pook and don't regret a minute not having had Tong as our guide!

vedette Apr 11th, 2008 08:01 AM

We spent two days with Tong team member "Jerry." He was terrific. No complaints or regrets whatsoever.

rhkkmk Apr 11th, 2008 08:38 AM

while tong is preferable, i do know she screens and trains her guides quite well...

jgg Apr 11th, 2008 09:57 AM

We just returned from Thailand and had two days with Tong and 1 day with one of her team named Q. Basically, I completely agree with rhkkmk, Tong is preferable but we had a great day with Q as well. She really does handpick those on her team and trains them VERY well. Q was excellent, and had incredible knowledge and just did a lot of little things throughout the day that I know he learned from Tong, such as knowing where all the good "Happy Rooms" (bathrooms are), buying us drinks or ice cream when we looked like we were going to fade!!

Tim_and_Liz Apr 11th, 2008 12:44 PM

We also spent a day with Q, and would do so again. We met Pook and Jerry at the Tiger Temple, and they seemed great, too!

brusselschap Apr 11th, 2008 01:36 PM


doing a search on google i came across this report of a tour with Tong. I notice a number of people here asking/wondering about the "visit to orphanage" as mentioned in Tong's website. The attached report is quite detailed and was unable to fins similar descriptions in any Fodor post.

rhkkmk Apr 11th, 2008 07:50 PM

this bit was written by lori carlson, the founder of the ponheaby ly foundation, which is often spoken about on fodors....

we also went to that same block of orphanages outside bkk....we only went to one....there were aids kids and lightly challenged kids and normal kids.....all about 3-7...

it was a highlight of our trip....we had bought their dinner for them, diapers and other items which tong purchased for us, plus we gave a donation of cash...

the kids were very receptive and were fun....we watched them eat, talked to them, played with them, both inside and outside....we must have spent about 1.5 hours there...

i would encourage you to do the same...

CatherineRas Apr 21st, 2008 09:28 PM

I am traveling to Thailand mid May, can someone give me Tong's website or email address?


jgg Apr 21st, 2008 09:34 PM
[email protected]

CatherineRas Apr 22nd, 2008 08:02 AM

Thanks so much, I have viewed her website (looks exciting) and just sent her out an email with my itenernary/request.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Now I have to research Chiang Mai, have any info for that area?

Gpanda Apr 22nd, 2008 08:19 AM

We've had good luck with Sergeant kai who can be reached at ChiangMaiTours,com. We've used him twice.

StanKase Apr 22nd, 2008 09:08 AM

We used Poon, Ratt's younger sister, who is a guide/ driver for 3 1/2 days in CM. They do NOT have licenses in CM. She was very good, always there before scheduled time, knowledgeable, extremely helpful. Her English is pretty good. The only thing we had to do was ask her to slow down her speaking to fully understand 2006 she was 2800Baht for any 10 hours in a day and she did not watch the clock.
We would use her again. She can be booked through Ratt in BK.

glorialf Apr 22nd, 2008 01:20 PM

I love Poon and have used her twice and will be using her again. However, she really isn't a guide. She will take you wherever you want and provide some information and also let you get to know what is so wonderful about thai and buddhist culture. She has become a friend and I can not recommend anyone more highly -- she's gentle, kind, conscientious.She will never take you someplace you don't want to go and definitely not to shop so she can get a % (again unless you tell her to) Just a wonderful woman. But if you want a guide (and I personally don't think you need one) she isn't one.

bvfrenchknitter Oct 4th, 2008 01:48 PM

I will be in BKK from 11/23/08 -11/27/08. We would like to take 2 day long individual tours on 11/24, 11/25, or 11/26. I've emailed Tong but I am afraid that it will be too late for her to help me. I only emailed her yesterday and it is too soon for her to reply.

We were hoping to do a day long tour of The Tiger Temple and other sites in that area and a day long tour of Local Benjarong / Floating Market / Royal Thai Handicraft / The Grand Palace & The Royal Temple of The Emerald Buddha / Wat Pho. (Info from Tong's site)

I think we can do the in BKK tour with a tour guide we can get from the hotel, although I'm not sure about that, and I'm really not sure about the other tour. We don't want to get stuck with a guide who takes us to bad tailors or bad jewelry stores. Any suggestions? We'll be staying at the Shangrila Hotel in BKK. Thanks!

Kathie Oct 4th, 2008 01:58 PM

In Bangkok there is no need for a guide. The major sites are easily accessible (get to the Grand Palace/Emerald Buddha/Wat Po via the water taxi you can catch near your hotel). I don't use guides in Bangkok, but if you want either a driver or a guide, I wouldn't get one from your hotel.

If you want to spend some time outside of Bangkok such as the Tiger Temple (I assume you know there is considerable contraversy about this place), then hiring a guide or a driver makes sense.

bvfrenchknitter Oct 4th, 2008 02:55 PM

I just did a web search. The danger and animal cruelty makes me less inclined to go now. Can you suggest a good day trip out of BKK that would be interesting? I'm not interested in the Bridge over the River Kwai especially. I'll be going with my wife and my Mom (who is 78 but active). Thanks! Joan

bvfrenchknitter Oct 4th, 2008 02:56 PM

Kathie - Forgot to ask - where would you get a guide and/or driver?

Kathie Oct 4th, 2008 03:19 PM

Another driver recommended here is Ratt. See Your mother may especially appreciate an air-conditioned cat at her service!

I don't know how much time you have in Bangkok, or where else you are going, or what your interests are so it's hard to make recommendations.

A few general comments... I love Bangkok, it's my favorite city and I could spend weeks and weeks there and never finish my list of places to go, things to do, restaurants to try, etc. I've been there 20+ times on my trips to Asia as I use it as my gateway to other places.

For a day trip, you might consider a trip to Ayutthaya - the ruined capital. It's an interesting day, and while I love ruins, I have to say that coming back by river boat was the highlight for me many years ago.

A half day trip to the Prasart Museum, a private museum of wonderful Thai arts and artifacts might be of interest.

Take a look at our photos for lots of photos of Bangkok (and many other places in Asia) and some photos of the Prasart.

rhkkmk Oct 4th, 2008 05:47 PM

very few people have seen any problems at the tiger seems its most freak animal activists who make all the noise...

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