With Locals in Bangkok
What is the best way to explore a new city? With locals!
They know the city like the back of their hand and can show you all the hidden places, which you might not necessarily see if you are only in the city for a few days.
“Withlocals” came up with this brilliant idea of putting visitors and locals together on private tours in Bangkok, so you get a proper introduction to the city or explore the parts you are most interested in.
The great news are that they also cater for families and the private tour is sometimes the best solution, especially if the kids are small. You can organise your time according to your routine and manage unexpected tantrums, if such occur!
All of the guides have a little video introducing themselves , and there is also a very helpful review system from other people who already been on a tour with them. Once you made the booking , you can download the app and communicate with your guide via the app.
We decided to go with Pongpat , as he spent some time in Italy, so Claudio and Pongpat hit it off straight away. Pongpat was understanding and tried to tailor the tour for us: we were supposed to take the tuk tuk to the local market, but as Luca was asleep, he did not mind walking to the market.
Also at the food market I did not really want to try another Pad Thai or green curry, and Pongpat tailored the food samples to allow us to try something different.
The places that we visited on this tour were:
Residential neighbourhood, called Ari, with street stalls and little shops, selling all kinds of stuff
Or Tor Kor Market, which is filled to the brim with beautiful produce and it is a place to be if you love food.
There are plenty of food options there as well, so you can easily come there and spend a whole day just sampling and shopping.
Chatuchak Weekend Market – do not tell me I did not warn you!
This is a dangerous place if you like shopping. We were there during the week and some places were open and I could not stop myself from buying couple of things. Pongpat told us that at the weekend the place is absolutely full and is extremely dangerous for shopaholics and their credit cards!
We were also meant to go to Children’s Museum, but as we spent so much time eating at the market, we would have reached it past the closing time, so we have tailored the end of the trip with another activity.
Food wise I was in heaven again. Or Tor Kor market sells the best range in every produce, so prices are understandably higher and you can also get anything you want here.
I can definitely recommend to visit it as I have never seen melons which are packed in an individual box, apples the size of a melon, an array of dried fruits and nuts and durian crisps.
Everything is beautifully presented, and the market itself is very clean, so if you are struggling with normal markets in Bangkok, I suggest to go for this one, you will not be disappointed.
Before getting to the market we stopped at a few stalls near Ari BTS station and tried pork with rice, coconut parcels and fried bananas. We also got some fruit at the local shop.
As I knew that Or Tor Kor Market is famous for their produce I wanted to try durian . Patpong also appreciates this fruit, so he was able to select one of the best. Apparently, there are a lot of varieties of durian and they all differ in taste and price. The piece that we got was 360Baht (£10), which seems quite expensive for a bit of fruit. But once you bite into it, it is magnificent, it is so soft and buttery inside, it is a revelation.
I did not know it, but apparently you should not have alcohol together with durian or after you have eaten it, as these two things do not mix.
In between eating we talked about locals in Bangkok and what it is like living here. What they do on weekend, whether they eat at home or mostly eat out, what they like doing in their spare time and how they manage demands of work, families and free time. I love chatting with locals, this was just one of those days.
Withlocals already have predetermined routes for some of their tours, but you can equally devise a tour where you will visit places ,that you are interested in. Do not hesitate to contact your guide to discuss what can be done and what is the best option if you want to see/experience certain things.
Withlocals have hosted us for the tour, but all opinions are my own.