Kathleen M

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Kathleen M

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Dec192011

Tour/Activity

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

Bangkok, Thailand

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

My daughter and I were the only people on the tour that day. Our guide was charming, knowledgeable, and patient with us as we stopped to take lots of photos. At one point, during the canal cruise, he excitedly pointed out a rather unusual sighting of the Royal Boat. The itinerary was a lot of fun and the sites were simply breathtaking. What a great value for the money! I highly recommend to anyone.

Dec182011

Tour/Activity

Floating Markets and Rose Garden Cultural Center Day Tour from Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

First the negative, and the reason why I gave this tour only 3 stars: the Floating Markets exist ENTIRELY for tourists. Be forewarned: if you so much as glance in the direction of one of the stalls, the shopkeeper will pull out a long hook and drag the boat to his or her shop. Being jet-lagged and still under the influence of initial culture shock, I wasn't well prepared for this aggressive salesmanship and it spoiled my enjoyment. Additionally, the Rose Garden CC is quite disappointing (there's very little to see), and the show is pure kitsch. To Viator's credit, it emailed before the tour to warn that the elephants would not be present for the show and to ask if we still wanted to go ahead with the tour. But I doubt that the elephants would have rescued the show, which suffered from boring and bored-looking performers. At the end of the show, the dancers pulled out various flags of the world and paraded to the tune of "It's a Small World." Ugh! If I want Disney, I'll go to Orlando. Now, the positive: our guide, Chai, was wonderful and experienced and witty. The true highlight for my daughter and me was an unexpected stop at the oldest Buddhist temple in Thailand. And when you consider all that you get for, what, $65/person, including a delicious buffet lunch, it is money very well spent. Despite misgivings about what I call the "Fleecing Market" and the desultory Rose Garden show, I would recommend the tour to the first-time visitor to Bangkok.

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