Insider's Guide to Bangkok

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A visit to Bangkok's Grand Palace is at the top of every visitors 'must-see' list. Built in 1782 by King Rama I who established Bangkok as Thailand's new capital, the Grand Palace became the Royal seat for 150 years. The striking buildings ... 

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Bugapardi

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2016

We were on our own on this tour. The guide was Alex and his English was good and we could mostly understand the accent. The fact it was just the two of us also made it easier. He was nice, knowledgable and very up to date with the cultural part especially in the Grand Palace and Wat Pau.. This tour is worth giving it a shot especially to understand how the transport system works.

Doing what: Bangkok in Motion: City Tour by Skytrain, Boat and Tuk Tuk

Klose

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2016

The palace is indeed impressive but there are so many people, too crowd. I still think Grand Palace is a must have in Bangkok however.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Lovetotravel

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
January 2016

I was in Bangkok in beginning January 2016. Grand palace is actually a nice place to go. I am giving it one star just because of the guide. We were only inside the Grand Palace for about an hour and in that hour, we took picturesthat is it. We received no relevant history about the palace from the guide. Then the worst part was that she made us spent more time in the jewelry shop. Some other Viator users have mentioned it tooI only wish I had read these reviews beforehand. I would highly recommend avoiding this tour. I noticed some other tour guides giving details about every single statue in the palace. I only wish I knew where people have hired those guides from. Do this tour by yourself. It will MUCH CHEAPER and more enjoyable!!

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Shawn S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

This tour is a must-do for the first-timer in Bangkok! We began with an early morning stroll through Lumphini Park where we saw locals engaged in a variety of activities from tai chi to paddle boats to traditional dance. From there my guide Noom and I traveled across Bangkok by means of bus, meter-taxi river boat, tuk-tuk, canal boat and sky train stopping for a detailed tour of The Grand Palace, Wat Pho and The Jim Thompson House. Nooms passion and pride for this city and the knowledge of its history and inner workings was self evident. I got a taste of Bangkok, picked up travel tips and gained the confidence to explore more aggressively on my own and navigate with ease. My expectations were far exceeded in this compliment to an amazing vacation.

Shawn
Naples, FL, US

Doing what: Bangkok in Motion: City Tour by Skytrain, Boat and Tuk Tuk

patrick l United States of ... 

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2015

We enjoyed our time at the Bangkok Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew Tour, but to be quite honest it was way too crowded for our tastes. It didn't help that it was closed over the weekend due to the King's Birthday and Father's day. So that made Monday when it opened particularly busy. Our guide did the best he could to navigate us through the throng of crowds and was awesome about telling us everything we wanted to know. He showed us the best parts of the Palace and the Wat and I enjoyed myself immensely taking pictures of it, thought of course pictures don't do it justice. The place was just too huge and scenic to take in. There is also a stop off at a Jewelry Gallery after which we had already been to previous during a different tour. My suggestion to you folks who are looking to book a tour, ask about dates where its not quite as crowded or busy so that you can enjoy your time more.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

David W USA

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2015

The guide had problems with her English. In spite of that she polite and considerate of our needs. The grand palace was crowded d and noisy. It was hard to appreciate it he area. She took to a nice shopping area and stayed with us.

Doing what: Bangkok Shore Excursion: Private Grand Palace and Shopping Tour

Jonathan T United Kingdom

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2015

Pah, rubbish! Not the Grand Palace or Wat Phra Kaew, but the value of the tour. Although the guide was well informed and well spoken, again we were not always accompanied into the buildings so we could ask questions once in there.

Doing what: Private Tour: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew

Noel S

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2015

The guide was late in picking us up in the hotel. I called the tour company's number about the status of our pick up and she can barely speak english. The tour guide might be knowledgeable but he can't convey in fluent english and not engaging at all. When we are in the Grand Palace the guide is in a hurry and it hard for us to take pictures. After the tour they dump us on a jewelry factory which is kind of scam. We don't want to buy anything from it. They are supposed to drop us off on Siam Center but instead drop us on MBK.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

pavel a

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
November 2015

I took this private tour and I paid 87 instead of 50 listed on Viator site.
The guide he didnt introduce himself came 30 minutes late, after I called the operator and we faced the traffic in Bangkok for over 1 hour up to Grand Palace in this time he didnt address me a word.
He rushed me to take some photos around the buildings inside palace court and the only information he gave me was: this is Emerald Buddha, these are demons, this is half man half deer, this is golden.
As long as I was not blind nor stupid, all those I could see myself.
Visit at the palace was less than 2 hours, he wanted to leave at 14:50 then we stopped on the way to hotel at the jewelry factory where a woman insisted for half an hour to make me buy something, so I couldnt even take a look around because of her unpleasant persistence.
If I paid a taxi from hotel to Grand Palace and took an audio-guide it would have been probably cheaper and for sure much better than this lousy guided tour for which I wasted 87 and a day in my life.

Doing what: Private Tour: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew

Graham V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

Great tour guide. Very clear with english, great understanding of history and linkage to Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. Able to get us through the crowds quickly. As it was hot was also nice that it was in the morning and the tour guide moved quickly through the complex - keeping to shade where possible.

Doing what: Private Tour: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew

ANGELA O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

Brilliant! Very well organised from start to finish. Food was buffet style but excellent and so much choice. Views as you travelled along the river at night were lovely, the grand palace was amazing. Would recommend to all.

Doing what: Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River

Peter F

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
July 2015

Despite booking online in Australia before leaving and receiving a change of pick up location by email and confirming the change of pickup location, we did not get picked up. The tour bus drove past and did not stop, they did not have our booking. Once we contacted the tour organiser and after a lengthy discussion of confirmation of booking and how we booked and whether or not we had pre-paid, we got bundled into a cab to try and catch the tour, we were expected to pay the cab fair at first and then they realised they should pay for us...... not the best start to the tour. The Grand Palace was amazing, the local tour group not so much.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

salawatiwong Singapore

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

4 things we love about this tour! 1 The guide - Our guide arrived promptly at meeting point and i asked if we could take a tuk tuk to the grand palace as my husband has never taken one and he was very kind in obliging. 2 The grand palace is gorgeously magnificent! i have been to Bangkok like over 5 times and never once thought something so beautiful was hiding in the midst of this city. 3 The reclining Buddha was huge and beautiful! 4 Loved the long-tail canal ride - it was so fun! The overall experience was just fantastic and well-worth the money.

Doing what: Bangkok Grand Palace and River of Kings Canal Cruise Small-Group Tour

Patrice J

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2015

It was a good tour but the grand Palace was very busy. I really was not interested in the jem factory.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Yelena G

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2015

Love the grand palace. The only minus was a guide, he ran so fast we did not get a chance to enjoy the beauty.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

MAYBELLE S

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
May 2015

Morning Buddhist Almsgiving happened at marble temple - many vendors approaching to sell fish and items. Local arrive to give the alms, happened at street level so was not a solemn experience that I expected.
Flower market - guide explained one side is local and another imported flowers. Showed sample flowers used in temple offerings. Overall ok experience - no beggars approached to ask money. Place was wet so best to use rubber or covered shoes to avoid getting muddied.
Grand palace tour - arrived early, hundred of Chinese tourists made the whole place and experience unpleasant. The actual structures are very interesting but I did not understand what the guide said or she could not give her orientation because the Chinese were shouting, shoving and crowding the structure or item being explained. IT WAS THE MOST HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE I have had in a spiritual site.
UPSET - our notice said pick up at 5:30am, tour guide arrive at 6am showed me her job order. We were both right and punctual but the person who gave us time references made the mistake. This is very unprofessional.

Doing what: Viator Exclusive: Morning Buddhist Almsgiving, Grand Palace and Flower Market Tour in Bangkok

Veronica O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

Tour guide Peter was prompt, funny and informative. We joined a bigger group in a bus, tour ended in a gem factory. It was ok, venue was at least air conditioned on a very hot day and allowed us time to use clean facilities or take a breather. We were then shepherded to various vans to send us off to our next preferred desitnation. Sunday at the Grand Palace and temples were very crowded, suggest to go on a weekday.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Calichica56

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2015

The Grand Palace is packed, but despite all the foot traffic the tour was pretty enjoyable and we had a great guide! She was informative and very friendly giving us advice for places to explore while we were in the city.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Tara C

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2015

This trip is worth doing because the Grand Palace complex is truly a site to behold - and without the tour I'm not sure how we would have fared battling our way around the massive groups of Chinese tourists. But then we were driven across the city to see a video on the Gems industry and escorted around cases of jewellery for sale. We would not have chosen to do this. It also meant that whilst it was a 15 minute drive from the Grand Palace to our hotel, we were left sitting in Bangkok traffic for nearly an hour getting back from the Gems store.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Wadie H

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2015

started at 6am and we finished the morning buddhist almsgiving at 7am, and we didd not have anything to do till 8:45 since grand palace opens late. Waste of time.

Doing what: Viator Exclusive: Morning Buddhist Almsgiving, Grand Palace and Flower Market Tour in Bangkok

Gus P

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2015

Dangerous entry into river boat. Moving dock, moving boat, no support getting in. Fell, sustained injuries, spent rest of day in hospital, and received a hefty bill. Grand palace part was very worthwhile but would rather forget that day.

Doing what: Bangkok Grand Palace and River of Kings Canal Cruise Small-Group Tour

Jaime B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

our guide was knowledgable, funny, and his English was fluent. This tour gave us enough time to see everything without dragging on. I would definitely recommend taking a tour to see The Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha, because wihout one you wouldn't learn as much.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Nick Templeton T

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2015

Obviously the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are off the scale and a MUST. The Palace was incredibly busy as you'd expect. Our guide was ok.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Samuel H

3 star rating: Worth doing
March 2015

The tour itself of the Grand Palace Complex was good, but short. We were supposed to have 2 hours there, but we only had 1 hour 20 minutes. The tour started 25 minutes late because one couple had not arrived. Then while driving through awful traffic, the bus driver talked on his cell phone for 45 minutes in what appeared to be a personal conversation instead of concentrating on driving strategically in the traffic. Several times he could have made strategic moves in traffic, but he didn't because he was not paying attention to driving. We were gone from our hotel for over 6 1/2 hours for a tour that was to be approximately 3 hours. It was frustrating and disappointing.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

Ysanne B

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
March 2015

This was our first day in Thailand so we were a bit disorientated. Rather than pick us up at the hotel, we were asked to meet the tour at Sathorn Pier. We got there in plenty of time but our tour bus did not. We had to wait nearly 45 minutes for the bus to turn up and only knew that it was running late because two lovely guys at Sathorn Pier who organised other tours helped us to contact the travel company. No reason was given for the late arrival but we're presuming it got stuck in traffic. Unfortunately, once we'd been taken to another hotel by taxi and caught the coach, we were again the victims of Bangkok traffic, making us more than an hour and a half late to the Grand Temple, with just over an hour to see everything. Our guide did his best, and he was very informative but it felt very rushed. The visit to a gem seller after the tour was an unnecessary addition signed to get us to spend money on jewels! If I was going again I'd visit in the morning as the Grand Palace was rammed by the time we got there, and I'd also go by boat rather than bus as we spent more time on the transport than we actually did at the temple.

Doing what: Bangkok's Grand Palace Complex and Wat Phra Kaew Tour

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