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Which Full-day Tour of Floating Market and Bangkok?

Which Full-day Tour of Floating Market and Bangkok?

Old Jun 30th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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Which Full-day Tour of Floating Market and Bangkok?

We're doing a Floating Market and Bangkok full day tour with Tong. Her website offers three tours. Which would you recommend? Our group is comprised of three women in their late 40's and our 84-year old, adventurous, healthy mother. We're from Southeast Asia; Mom has visited Bangkok before and did a quick-half day tour of Bangkok included in most packaged tours. Here are Tong's choices:

1 : Local Benjarong / Floating Market / Royal Thai Handicraft / The Grand Palace & The Royal Temple of The Emerald Buddha / Wat Pho.

2 : Local Temple / Floating Market / Royal Thai Handicraft / The Grand Palace & The Royal Temple of The Emerald Buddha / Canal tour.

3 : Local Benjarong / Floating Market / The Grand Palace & The Royal Temple of The Emerald Buddha / Canal tour /Wat Pho.

If you think there are better places to visit, I'm open to suggestions. We're definitely am going with Tong or one of her guides.

Thank you.
Nena is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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I'd do her fishing village rather than any of these. Grand palace, Wat Pho, canal tours can be done on your own easily. The fishing village is a much more special adventure, and can be combined with some other temples, shopping, or charitable activities.

If not, I'd choose option #3
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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lcuy, I checked out the fishing village tour and while it sounds wonderful, my family lives on an island so this may not appeal to them. Thanks for the suggestion. Option 3 looks good to me, too.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 04:09 PM
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Nena,
Do try and squeeze in a trip to the train track market. We actually found this more interesting and unique than the floating market. It is not far from the FM so you should be able to combine this in and possibly drop the canal tour and do this seperately if you are pushed for time.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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shanek - I just saw a short video on the train track market and it was fascinating. Will definitely mention this to the group.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 05:22 PM
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ask to skip the thai handicraft and also the benj. unless you want to buy vases, etc and wood carving....you can do all that in bkk...

i also like #3 with wat arun added on

tell her bob suggested these changes and she will kick me in the butt when i see her in november
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Okay, Bob, I emailed Tong that you suggested to drop benjarong and add wat arun. Thank you everyone, for your great suggestions.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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Why are the porcelain factory and/or Royal Thai Handicraft included in almost every tour Tong offers? Is this what Tong's clients want, or is there a commission/payback of some kind to Tong? (Wish I'd known to request to skip them... sigh.)
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Usually those type of places pay gas coupons or a small amount of money to guides for bringing people whether you buy or not. If you buy something there is commission, too. These places also have clean toilets, something most tourists appreciate. Tong does not pressure you to buy, in fact, she recommended that we not buy.
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Old Jun 30th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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I actually liked the handicraft factory and I'm not normally a handicraft sort of guy. There was some magnificent handcrafted furniture there and some of the carvings were unbelievebly detailed.
Tong rushed us through the factory as we had to get to the Tiger Temple at the best possible time bit I could have wandered around there for longer. There was no pressure to buy from anyone unlike some of the factory tours in Chang Mai that I've been on.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 10:10 AM
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No complaints about the places themselves, or the toilets. The staff at the handicraft and porcelain place did not pressure us. (A bit of pressure from the accompanying Tong guide who misread our interest in particular items.) We were not rushed either. Just wondering about the kickback aspect.
But it wasn't explained what these places were, nor were we asked if we wished to go there. I realized belatedly that we'd been to Royal Thai Handicraft on a previous trip nine years earlier. But, yes, factory tours where a guide you've hired leads you to the place unasked seem to be a staple of tourism in Cambodia and Laos as well. The salt farm en route to the Floating Market from Bangkok is probably in the same category, but the stop is quite brief.
The advice from RHKKMK about asking to skip these spots beforehand is really good for prospective Tong clients to have.
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Old Jul 1st, 2009, 01:54 PM
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my feeling is that on sighseeing days when you want to pack lots into a day, too much time can be wasted by stopping at these places, but of course i forgot the toilet issue which is significant, especially after a stop at the floating market where i should think toilets are not advised....at least for the faint of heart...

i liked my stop at the wood carving place but then we were not in a hurry....and its so close to floating mkt as i remember
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