We were staying by one of Bangkok's main piers (Sathorn). We must have had 10 guys a day offering river and canal tours for as little as 1,500 bath ($50 bucks) for two passengers to tour the rivers and canals for who knows how long. I was thinking about it and then my wife did some research and came up with the Small Teak Boat tour.
I'm sure glad she did because all those guys do is race you up and down the river or through the canals. No narration; just a boat ride. We saw tons of them while we took our adventure.
I didn’t feel like trying to figure out how to use Bangkok’s train to get to the tour starting point. For 100 baht ($3) the tour company arranged for a guide to come to our hotel and take us to the dock. At 8:00 am, a little Thai girl showed up in the lobby. Marisa greeted us in a very soft voice. I thought I would never be able to hear her on the tour, but the volume of Marisa’s voice increased with the ambient noise, so I generally had no trouble hearing her.
My wife, Marisa the guide and I quickly left the hotel and did the 5 minute walk to the nearest train station. The cost of a ride is determined by the distance you travel, so Marisa showed us how to calculate the fare and buy a ticket. I’m confident that we can use the train system now so the $3 charge for the hotel pickup was money well spent.
It was a 5 stop 10 minute train ride followed by another 5 minute walk to the pier where we met Chai, our boat driver. It would be just the four of us for the day which I really liked. I hate listening to somebody ask a bunch of irrelevant questions while we have to wait on for all their dumb questions to be answered. We climbed onto the boat one at a time, with directions to sit in the middle of the seat.
To make a long story short, over the next 5.5 hours we visited a market, a fancy marble temple, a monastery where the monks try to live as simply as possible, an orchid farm and an “artist’s house”. We also ate lunch. Probably spent two to two and a half hours on the boat and the remainder on land. Marisa was great. Gave us enough information but not too much. Answered all our silly questions.
• At the market, I saw some pretty high quality baseball caps selling for 100 baht ($3) each so Marisa helped me buy one.
• The canals are full of fish. They jump out of the water as the boat drove by. Marisa says that sometimes the fish jump right into the boat.
• The canals contain lizards that can grow to 3 meters long and 100 kg (220 lbs)
Over the course of the day Marisa bought us some waters, paid any and all admissions and lunch too. The cost was 5,000 baht plus 100 baht for the hotel pickup. Way more than 1,500 bath for a race through the canals but this was soooooo much better! I'd recommend it to anybody.
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