We had a fantastic time despite the national holiday - so many vendors were not on the water. Our guide had lovely English and pointed out so much of interest along the way (sea salt production, coconut plantation, teak carving) without any pressure to buy. The private car picked us up right on time - there is something to be said for riding in a black mercedes through the countryside. There was no pressure to get to the next stop and we had plenty of time for photographs - who needs shopping? I would probably recommend the whole day tour rather than just the half day - I feel like we missed some great opportunities to see and learn more. Our guide was very nice and answered all our questions. Once she realized I was there for the photos, she made sure that I got to see the grounds and the demonstrations to pick up the details others might not be interested in seeing. The "high speed" boat tour was fantastic - all the altars were decorated and the flowers in bloom at each home just made the trip feel special. The market was a great riot of color and several vendors actually carried larger sizes (US 14 and up) of clothing. There were not a lot of bargains to be had, but it was certainly eye candy.