If you love traveling independently and discovering new places on your own, you’ll love Bangkok! Its unique tourist-centric vibe, modern infrastructure, and friendly locals make it a cinch to explore for first-timers. You can ride on a tuk-tuk. You can see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. You can check out Khaosan Road and be entranced by the goods on display at the world-famous Chatuchak market.
You’ll have “done” Bangkok in no time. Or so you’ll think.
But if you ever return, you’ll realize that you’d barely scratched the surface of what this incredible city has to offer. That’s where tour operators and local guides can come in handy. If hiring a tour operator has never crossed your mind, here are five reasons to consider hiring one to help you discover Bangkok.
1. Find good food
Who doesn’t love tasting new foods when they travel? In Bangkok, it’s easier than you might think to completely miss great foods.
Here’s the deal:
In most countries, the finest foods are generally found in restaurants. Of course, Bangkok has plenty of those! But if you want authentic Thai cuisine, you’re just as likely to find it on a food cart in Chinatown, or a back alley bakery in Thonburi, as you are to find it in a restaurant.
Local guides can help you find unmissable local delicacies that most guidebooks don’t cover. They’ll show you the best places and foods according to your preferences or food allergies, and they’ll even teach you how to order, too!
2. Save money
If you think that hiring a local guide will break your budget, think again. Yes, if you hire a local guide, you’re paying upfront as opposed to just wandering around on your own, but guides can actually save you money.
With a local guide, you’ll learn the cheapest ways to travel around Bangkok and learn how to avoid getting ripped off by unscrupulous taxi and tuk-tuk drivers who can spot a foreign tourist a mile away. If you join a group tour run by a local guide, you’ll get to see more in less time, pay less for entrance fees to attractions and pay the right price for food and goods, not the ‘tourist price’.
That’s right. In Bangkok, vendors actually expect you to haggle! Local guides will show you how to negotiate and get exactly what you want at the best prices!
3. Save time
Compared with traveling in developed countries, Bangkok is fairly cheap. Therefore, your most precious commodity is … time! If you only have a limited number of hours or days to explore Bangkok, hiring a local guide helps you pack as much into your itinerary as possible.
A local guide will help you avoid Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams and can structure tours so that you see more places than you’d otherwise manage if you tried to figure things out by yourself. Whether you join a floating market food tour, or a Bangkok tuk-tuk ride night tour, a local guide will help you accomplish more in less time than you ever thought possible.
4. Uncover lesser-known places
You may have read the Lonely Planet guide to Bangkok and watched a hundred YouTube videos, but trust us, there are a million lesser-known places that no guide book will ever tell you about. Whether you want the thrill of a nighttime tuk-tuk ride to an out-of-the-way noodle bar, or a trip to Chinatown to sample local delicacies, a local guide will be able to suggest the perfect place.
Bangkok’s well-known attractions, such as the Emerald Buddha, Wat Arun, and the Grand Palace, are amazing. We’re not saying they aren’t. But some of the lesser-known places are just as incredible! The flower market at Pak Khlong Talat, the historic Silom district and the glitzy Bangrak neighbourhood are simply unmissable and deserve a spot on your itinerary. Local guides will amaze you with places that you’d easily miss on your own.
5. Gain a deeper understanding
Anyone can do research online and memorize facts, but only a local guide can give you authentic insights about the traditions, history, and details of places and attractions. For example, a tour of Bangkok’s historic Kudee Jeen district will give you a chance to learn about places you may miss if you go it alone, such as the lesser-known Kuan An Keng Shrine, housed in an old Chinese building.
When you hire a local guide, they’ll be on hand to answer any questions you may have, and help you gain a deeper appreciation of your surroundings. Local guides can give you a local ‘insider’ perspective that you’ll never get online or from a book.
Ready to hire one?
Hopefully, this post gave you some good reasons why hiring a tour operator is the best way to discover Bangkok. Whether you want to join a tour or hire a local guide to get a customized itinerary for an unforgettable experience, our local guides can help.