We decided to spend a few extra days in Bangkok before starting a tour of SE Asia. As our tour was going to include the major sights We booked Joke to give us an introduction to getting around Bangkok, show us a couple of temples not on our tour, and we wanted to do a long tail canal tour and walk through China Town. We also booked a second day for early the next week to see the train market and floating market.
Joke met us at our hotel, helped us with having to change hotels and then took us on the subway, a canal taxi, on a tour of the Golden Mount, aTuk Tuk a tour of the Marble Temple then a taxi to the river pier for a canal tour. We had a great lunch at a street vendors, took a river taxi and explored the China Town markets.
We found Joke to be very helpful, informative and knowledgable. We learned a great deal about Thai history, Buddhist beliefs and daily rituals and ended the day feeling very capable of getting around Bangkok on our own.
At the end of the day we sat with Joke and arranged what we wanted to see on the other day we had booked with him. We wanted to see the train market and the floating market but wanted something different for the rest of the day. Joke suggested a boat trip through a mangrove swamp, a chance to feed swimming monkeys and then on to see where the fishermen grow and collect cockles and oysters.
We left early 6:45 to make sure we saw the train come through the market. Joke walked us through the whole market and positioned us in a great spot for photos as the train came through and the vendors moved their wares out of the way and then replaced them after the train went through.
Joke pointed out various seafood and explained what it was.
After touring the floating market we went to Home Krateng and a tour with a local fisherman. This was a highlight of our experiences in Bangkok as we got feed the swimming monkeys, saw lots of wildlife, saw how the fisherman cultivate cockles, got to harvest some to see how it is done, saw how the oysters are grown and then had an amazing seafood lunch in a building on stilts out on the water.
Joke listened to our requests, was very helpful and a great guide. English is not his first language but we found we could communicate well with him.