Elena met me at the condo where I was staying, which is quite a distance from the city center. She arrived smiling, and stayed that way throughout the entire tour.
We stayed by hopping on the BTS Skytrain, switching at Siam station, and heading to the Jim Thompson house. Elena waited while the guide inside the Jim Thompson house conducted a brief (~45 minute) tour, and then we hopped on a boat and took that farther into town.
We climbed to the top of Wat Saket (not a strenuous climb, very low steps make it easy for those who have difficulty with stairs, and plenty of places to rest) and got some great views of the city.
We then headed to Wat Pho (absolutely beautiful) where Elena guided me through some Buddhist rituals, including lighting incense for a prayer, and applying gold leaf to a statue of the Buddha.
Next up was the Grand Palace, which was stunning in its opulence and colors. We went late in the day, just prior to closing, and it seemed less crowded. It was a great time to visit.
We ended the day on Khao San Road, where Elena helped me haggle some great prices (sometimes, you just want that really cheesy souvenir and end up with the most comfortable pajamas ever.)
Elena’s final act of the day was finding me a cab back to Siam station that wouldn’t rip me off (the first 5 taxis refused to turn on the meter) and probably saved me a few hundred baht in the process.
Overall, a great day with someone who very quickly felt like a friend. I’d definitely recommend this tour to those who want to see the big sights.