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Tout Guide for Bangkok

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Jun 5th, 2012, 08:02 AM
  #1
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Tout Guide for Bangkok

Please recommend tour guides for Bangkok. We will be there for 5 nights in January. This will be our first visit there. What do you suggest that we see there? We already have our hotel reservation at the ROS.

Thank you so much for all your excellent advice which has helped us very much in our planning of this exciting trip to SE Asia.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 08:16 AM
  #2
 
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Take a look at the "tour with Tong" thread.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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I'm not a fan of using guides in Bangkok. Bangkok is very easy to navigate via the Skytrain, the water taxis and an occasional taxi cab.

What to see depends upon your interests.

From the ROS, take teh water taxi to the following wats: I'd suggest that you visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha which is part of the Grand Palace complex. If you want a guide there, there are offical guides available for a low price at the entrance (don't listen to anyone telling you the Palace is closed - they just want to take you shopping). I'd also suggest that Wat Po (also spelled Wat Pho) is a must-see, with the monumental reclining Buddha. Across the river, Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn is also well worth a stop. You take a foot ferry across the river to see it. One more Wat, Wat Tramit, in Chinatown is one I'd recommend. We walk there from the ROS.

I also recommend visiting the Jim Thompson House. And I recommend visiting the Erawan Shrine. You can get to both via skytrain.

If you like house museums, you'll love the Suan Pakkard House, which houses the famous laquer pavilion.

If you are very interested in the arts of SE Asia, The Prasart Museum, a private indoor-outdoor museum outside of Bangkok has a lovely collection. You have to make reservations in advance, and only one party at a time is allowed on the grounds. You'll have a docent assigned to take you around. The cost is about US$20 per person.

We haven't even touched on shopping or eating. My first visit to Thailand was nine full days in Bangkok, and I've returned almost every year since. I never run out of things to see and do.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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I agree that a guide is not necessary in Bangkok, but tong is sure fun to be with for a trip to the floating market!

I suggest buying ahead of time a Nancy chandelling map so you can get a feel for the city and where you want to go in advance. While the map is not up to scale, you will get a great idea of which places can be most easily combined for site seeing. I believe you can purchase the map through amazon.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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kathie has given many of the main spots.

a klong tour can be arranged next to sheraton at waterfront at river city--klong tour of thornburi..

gallery cafe restaurant is just up the street from ROS--very good

tong and her group are excellent...
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Jun 5th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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We found the Nancy Chandler map to be indispensable during our week in BKK.
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Jun 5th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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I agree that it is not essential to have a tour guide in Bangkok. The city has a plentiful supply of cheap and relatively effecient transport.

BUT...

If I was going for 5 nights, for the first time, I would think it would be very beneficial to have someone with me for at least one day. It is inexpensive to hire a guide in Bangkok, and they will be able to show you the essentials, lead you through some of the traps and give you a better understanding of the geography and layout of the city.

I would recommend getting someone to take you on a trip, using public transport rather than car, so you will then be in a position to expertly navigate yourself through the city for your remaining time there.

I consider myself as an independant traveller who will research thoroughly, but I still didn't enjoy my first few trips to Bangkok as I really didn't understand the "lay of the land" and I wasted so much time trying to get from A to B. I only just, on my most recent trip, managed to gather the courage to try out the water taxi system and realise now how much time and money it would have saved me if I had mastered this mode of transport on earlier trips.

You can arm yourself with guidebooks, maps and information from this and other forums, BUT there is no substitute for first hand experience. You can gain this experience so much easier with the assistance of a local.

Personally, I think that the team at TOUR WITH TONG are a safe bet and worth the little extra effort and patience in communicating with them. Many people comment about lengthy delays in getting a reply, but I am yet to hear of anyone being stranded by them and most of the feedback from people using thier services is highly positive to glowing.

I would pick 3 or 4 places at different points of the city, and get them to guide you there. Take note of other attractions close by and other things that spark your interest whilst on the tour, Ask a lot of questions, takes notes and then place yourself in a great position to make the best use of your next days, independantly.
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Jun 6th, 2012, 06:57 AM
  #8
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Thank you all very much for your detailed suggestions and sightseeing tips for Bangkok! We are awaiting Tong's reply to set up maybe a couple of days with her (to get oriented, learn the skytrain and other transport systems, etc.) We will also of course do some sightseeing on our own, following your proposed route(s) from the ROS.

Again, many thanks; I really appreciate all your expert advice!
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Jun 6th, 2012, 01:18 PM
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shane makes good points..

best to friend tong on facebook for quick answers or telephone her..
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