The Grand Palace is aptly named! It is magnificent. The jade Buddha is awesome.
We took the tour on January 14, 2015. The day was gorgeous with a beautiful blue sky which brought everyone out for the day. Our guide, however, was able to lead us to the least crowded spots for better observation. Unfortunately, his English was "not-so-good" and it was difficult for me to understand him. He did seem very knowledgeable about the area.
If this is your first trip to Bangkok, I would definitely recommend a tour before venturing out on your own!
United States of America
Our tour guide did not speak English understandably...and consequently we only understood a fraction of what he was saying. To make matters worse, the Grand Palace was closed on the day we went - and the tour company allegedly did not know ahead of time. We tried to make the best of it by visiting the Vianmek Mansion, but it was only marginally interesting.
The tour it self was very nice. Our quite was very well informed and told us many interesting facts about not only the Grand Palace but the ruling family in Thailand.
Our only complaint was the tour ended at a jewelry makers shop that was quite large and we were expected to browse there with a sales person before being taken back to our hotel. Not what we had signed on for and very pushy.
The guide and driver met us at 8 AM, right on schedule. It was an hour and 1/2 drive into Bangkok, very comfortable car and the driver was careful if fast. The locations were amazing. I loved the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha the best but there was so much color and beauty there, that I didn't know what to take pictures of next. Since it was Dec. 31, it was incredibly crowded but still well worth seeing. The lunch was on a moored boat and was fine, not gourmet but not too hot for my tastes plus there was lots of variety.
However, I will say that while the guide obviously loved his city and knew a lot of ways around the crowds, he didn't give us much information. With that long drive to and from the city, there was time to talk about history, culture, etc and he didn't seem to want to talk all that much. Our questions were answered with very short replies. He did seem surprised at how quickly we ate lunch (we didn't want to miss anything) and although he took us to the tourist shop, we didn't want to buy anything there (too expensive and touristy). I would have preferred going through one of the markets to get a flavor of the street life in Bangkok.
I did fall in love with Bangkok and will come back someday and spend a lot more time here. Oh, and we got back in plenty of time so as not to miss the ship.
All in all, although I would have liked more information, I was glad we went.
My tour guide Tiny was very good. She told me enough information about the Grand Palace, without overloading me with details. A great tour for solo travellers as well- collected from your hotel and returned there, so a good opportunity to see Bangkok.
we were under the impression that we would have a around about 3 hours of a private tour with lots of history about the city but in fact it was less then an hour. This was very dissapoionting. The gentlmen that took us around was very nice and had some good knowledge but we felt as if we went very fast as there was a lot to see. We dont think this was actually the case or we missed a lot. When we got back to the hotel we looked at the booklet that they give you as a tourist entering the Wat Phra Kaew and Grand Palace and there was about 32 points of interest you could look at! which we could have looked at ourselves! We dont think it was worth the money at all and feel completely ripped off by the whole experience. Its a real shame as the person that took us was very nice.
It was beautiful to see all of the riverside temples and the Grand Palace lit up at night. The food was decent, the entertainment was a good sort of interesting and amusing.
Doing what: Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
This was a great tour however the rules have changed and you now need to make sure that your legs are covered down to your ankles, I had shorts on that covered my knees completely but that wasn't acceptable for the grand palace. Our tour guide was great and very knowledgeable as she showed us around but it was very hot so make sure you take lots of water with you!
I had ascertained proper dress for this tour the day before. I was told that my arms and knees had to be covered. I had previously visited many temples so I knew that it was OK to wear a tunic without sleeves provided that I had a shawl to cover my arms for the visit. For the bottom I was told to wear long pants so since I was wearing a tunic, I wore leggings. Instead of greeting us upon our arrival, our guide began giving me heck about the way I was dressed. She said a shawl and leggings were totally unacceptable for the visit to the Grand Palace. She then went to talk to her guide colleagues, pointing at me and complaining - everyone was looking at me. I got so upset I told her to forget the Palace Visit and to just do the canal cruise. We enjoyed the canal cruise, but the encounter with the guide had totally soured our tour. We are also completely disappointed that we never did get to visit the Palace.
Pick up from our hotel was prompt an efficient with only two other pick ups on the way to the Grand Palace.
Our tour guide Krit was very informative and funny with some unusual facts about the Palace and Bangkok in general.
We arrived at the Palace 10 minutes before opening and we're virtually first in! Partly due to the cloudy skies and slightly off season.
Krit explained everything nicely for first timers, but you need to ask questions to get beyond the usual tourist level of detail.
We spent about one hour and twenty minutes on the tour before starting our journey back.
Now, this is the bit I didn't like.
We were taken back to our hotels via a gem factory / showroom, and it was explained very clearly there was "no obligation" to buy and if we preferred to be taken back from there to our hotel immediately that was fine.
We endured the tour of the gem outlet, which was interesting (with some polite salesmanship) and declined to purchase anything.
Then we were taken back to our respective hotels in comfort.
My advice is the tour is great for first timers and although the gem factory visit is not listed (or too intrusive) be prepared.
All in all a good, safe and informative morning.
The private guide I had was ok. His English was just understandable but I had to try very hard to carefully listen, but missed a lot of what he was saying. He did show me a little of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra but didn't appear very interested in his job. I was disappointed that I was driven fairly soon afterwards to a gem outlet selling very expensive jewellery which was not part of this tour and which was quite embarrassing as I was not prepared to buy anything there. He left me quickly afterwards with a taxi driver to take me back to my hotel.
a visit to the grand palace tour and wat phra kaew tour is a must while in bangkok, the palace is amazing and our guide told us many interesting facts , also a great chance to take photos off this amazing place
The grand palace visit was excellent although it was rushed and very brief.
The vast majority of the tour was spent driving (Bangkok traffic is terrible). The palace and temple tours themselves were great, though only last a little less than an hour. Our freelance guide was pretty hard to understand and insisted we visit the Gem factory. We went and were basically dropped off and told we'd be driven back by someone else. We didn't purchase anything and were out of there within a few minutes, but driving there took an hour and wasted a lot of our time. I'd recommend the Grand Palace and Wat Phra tour, but you could probably do it yourself, just don't fall prey to the Gem scammers outside.
This was a great way to see the grand palace, would recommend as it is a busy place to be without a your guide.
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