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Unfortunately I need another tour guide recommendation for Bangkok

Unfortunately I need another tour guide recommendation for Bangkok

Jan 28th, 2013, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Had difficulty with Tong, too. After three months of sporadic responses via two email addresses and facebook, we booked with [email protected]. Tours and prices are comparable, she was recommended on cruise critic, and she responded immediately and has done so since the start!
GretchenSJ is offline  
Jan 28th, 2013, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 83
So I finally connected with Tong, but she indicated that she is no longer actually doing the touring herself. Have any of you worked with anyone else in her agency. It seems that she is the special person and without her it really does not matter as long as you use one of the many guides suggested here. I just looked on Wandee's web site and she too does the fishing area and the monkey's.

We only have 3 1/2 days and want at least one day to just go shopping and do some wandering. Does it make sense to skip the floating market, train market etc. and do the tigers and elephants? Also what experience have you had with the weekend market?
ladyrep is offline  
Jan 28th, 2013, 08:14 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,959
I'd skip the floating market, but of course there are those who like it. I did it way back in January of 1999, as I booked a day-tour for it while in Bangkok as it was cheap to do it that way. The bridge over the River Kwai and lunch were also included in the tour. But, I had more time in Bangkok than you will have.

As for the train market, Tong drove us there and we waited for the train to pass and then back into the car. We didn't spend much time there. Then we went off to a temple and after that to the Benjarong factory. Then it was back to Bangkok where we went to the Reclining Buddha, the monk-bowl place, and the hardware store. Earlier that day, we had also gone to a temple in Bangkok and watched people give alms to the monks.

As for the weekend market, I'd suggest that you get there really early in the morning and take a hand fan or two as it's pretty suffocating in those stalls. My Thai friend and I have zipped up there twice, but we were done shopping and heading out of there by noon time.

As for tigers and elephants, not my thing so I can't help you there. Smiles.

Depending on your personality, I think that one advantage of using a driver over a guide might be that you can make a list of exactly where you want to go and what you want to see and then have the driver stick to it. I personally prefer that system, but others prefer more commentary and possibly added places by guides that might not have been previously discussed.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 28

I was having the same problem until I called. Tong explained she had a problem with her computer. You should be using the [email protected] instead of her yahoo address. Giving her a call might help as well, but make sure you find out what time it is in Bangkok when you call. I called her late at night (my daughter lives in Seoul so we are used to staying up late to call) and she told me that a lot of people call her at 2 or 3 in the morning. She is quite charming and we are looking forward to working with her company.
FromLA is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
The weekend market is an amazing array of items for sale. And as guenmai said, it gets very hot inside those stalls, so I also try to be in and out by noon.

In 30 trips to Bangkok, I have yet to hire a driver OR a tour guide. I have never been to the floating market or train market or the fishing village, etc. I have met Tong, however, and she is a very special person, for sure. But she is not the only tour guide in BKK, if you think you do need a guide, and not just a driver.

One of my favorite things to do is to take a longtail boat into the smaller canals that are across the river from the location(s) of the Oriental and Royal Orchid Sheraton. You can hire a boat at the Taksin pier. It is interesting to see life along the water's edge. And you don't need to leave BKK to do this tour.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,005
we have met several of her guides and they all are very nice... we got to spend some time with nina last fall and we especially liked her
rhkkmk is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,567
I know several people liked her guy Jerry as well.
lcuy is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 395
We toured with Jerry and then Daeng (through Tong) about 2 weeks ago. They were both very good and we recommend them.
wkwb42a is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 04:24 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,870
Easy to tour Bangkok on your own. But we wish we had gone out of town with Tong (didn't work out because of a brief illness - will have to go back!)

In case anyone is considering the fishing village or the train market, here are some short videos made by filmmaker friends who are traveling around the world. They have reported that the adventures with Tong were among the absolute highlights of their trip:

Monkeys: http://www.ayeartothink.com/2012/12/...t-monkey-jump/

Train: http://www.ayeartothink.com/2012/11/the-risky-market/
crosscheck is offline  
Feb 1st, 2013, 08:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 62
Well I finally figured out the secret of communicating with Tong. Have insomnia and e-mail at 3:00 am. We are now set and have sent our deposit for two days of touring. I thank everyone for your assistance with this.

I still have some adjusting to do and will be back for more advice
1ladyrep is offline  
Mar 12th, 2013, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 28
Hi Bangkok is an amazing city and one that my partner and I enjoy. In our experience hiring a Guide does add value,smooths out the bumps and saves us precious holiday time. The floating market is really for tourists,colourful but not real. The evening weekend market at Amphawa is much more fun and is full of Thai having a great night out some nice eating places too The fishing village tour is huge fun for all ages,kids would especially enjoy and take knowledge back with them.if you are not too temples out consider the twin temples in Kanchanaburi, wat tham. Koa Noi sue and wat tham sua try googling really lovely place to visit a and can be bolted onto a bridge visit and some elephant riding.
We have hired Wandee a few times www.wandeetours.com and never been disappointed with her service and she is good company too. Prices seem competitive and I think fair value. Enjoy yourselves fabulous place,great foods,shopping
ENGLEFIELD is offline  
Mar 12th, 2013, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 888
I'm headed to Bangkok in April, and will try to book a last minute tour with either Ratt or Tong. Do both speak good English?
Leburta is offline  
Mar 12th, 2013, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 888
I guess that's not the correct way to put it. I should say, do both speak English well?!?
Leburta is offline  
Apr 10th, 2013, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 449
I am looking into going to BKK and possibly Chang Mai. My wife now cant do stairs do to knee issues. I wish input in regards to guide/driver or both to maximize time and save my wife's legs. RAT-web site has names of what seem to be males not this 'RAT' person. What is her name? Having a guide may help expediate the touring to get more things in efficiently? Wish some details regarding both what to ask these various tour 'companies', Thinking of staying along the river; theBTS wish to know if this involves a lot of stairs; since this would be prohibitive for my wife. Interested in an out of town visit to the ancient capital; this weekend market also seems worthwhile. just need more advise on these things. Thinking of a total of 6 nights in thiland; maybe fly from nyc to tapei, return with an extra day in tapei.
JackGlasser is offline  
Apr 13th, 2013, 12:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 62
I have not had time to finish my trip report but we ended up using Tong and our guide was Jen who was really good. As has been stated before Tong is not great on communicating but in the end all was great.
1ladyrep is offline  
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