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Pick up coordinations from our hotel were excellent. A long trip, but nice to get out of the city. Museum is in need of refurbishing as photos and write up are very faded. Not much more than that in Museum. Speedboat is not for those unable to get down into a rocking boat and then climb up to get out. No assistance offered and you have to pull yourself up several feet onto pier. Walking over the rebuilt bridge was an experience to be appreciated. Train ride was ok, we all upgraded so as to have seat cushions ( very dirty) and some water. The snack was a tiny cupcake and a pack of Oreos. Location for lunch was nice, food plentiful, but only fair tasting. People in Thailand are so very pleasant.Our tour was marred by our guide. Her English was awful, and what commentary you could understand was delivered monotonously and content was scattered. Unfortunate as it could have been a much better day if we had better delivery and content. She did efficiently get us from here to there though.
Great tour, nice to get yourself oriented with these very busy markets. Our guide was very friendly and did a great job explaining some of the many new things we were seeing as well as the cultural differences between the markets. We also visited a couple temples. I would highly recommend it!
We received a communication from the tour company to meet our private guide, Plyaporn, at exit one at one of the major train and subway stations. We took a cab there, and once we were dropped off we realized that we should have specified the exit number to our cab driver. The stations is very large so it took us a while to find the right spot.
Plyaporn arrived exactly at 8 am as specified. We then began our walking tour which included the depths of Chinatown. It would be difficult to find the street markets there on your own, and they were fascinating. Tiny lanes absolutely packed with food vendors, produce, household items, and gifty stuff. My favorite was the gift packages of fake cigarettes, cell phones, cosmetics, shaving items, dress shirts, wallets, purses, etc, all designed to be used as offerings at a shrine for the recently departed.
We were offered to go to the flower market, but we had already seen that on a group tour the day before. It was definitely worth seeing: lots of wholesale flowers, produce, nuts, and spices that you might see at resellers all over town.
At one point we went to a street food area and Plyaporn stopped at one stall which she said was world famous for its icy soups. You can choose to add any of several berries, water chestnuts which I chose, beans, and other unrecognizable items, to a bowl of crushed ice. Our main Gate 1 tour group guide had warned us about eating ice on the street, but Plyaporn said it was safe so I gave it a go. It was delicious and I didn't have any stomach issues either.
We took two tuk-tuks during the tour, and that was fun since it was something we wanted to do during our trip. Having a guide made sure that we didn't get ripped off. Plyaporn paid.
We visited two temples, one of which was the famed golden Buddha, and it was well worth visiting. 26 tons of pure gold!
We also went to India Town, which was our least favorite portion of the tour. We were turned loose in a modern two story mall of stalls selling silks, jewelry, and other clothing that would appeal to Indians but not so much for us.
Overall, the tour was very interesting. We didn't have a lot of time for actual shopping, but I'm sure if you wanted to slow down and shop more in a certain area, Plyaporn would make it happen. We'd seen a lot of temples already on our Gate 1 tour, so seeing more was kind of redundant, but then again, the Gate 1 tours had not included the Golden Buddha, which many consider to be a must see.
Our guides' English was very good, and she had a solid knowledge of the history and significance of the areas we were seeing. We would recommend this tour for its cultural experience, but if you are taking it for the shopping aspect, be sure to tell your guide up front about what it is you want to do.
Our female tour guide was absolutely delightful and knowledgeable this walking tour was so informative and enjoyable
We were all over 65 it was hot but we wanted more we stopped for soft drinks and was recommended to a very tasty Indian curry which we all enjoyed, the restaurant was clean and the food freshly prepared
We were in awe of the history and culture of China town and little India. The highlight of this trip was the Golden Buddha