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Private Bangkok Tour for Cruise Ship Passengers with Thai Tour Guide
Posted On 09/02/2019 17:20:28
Trip Date 03/15/2011
Destinations | Cruises | Thailand | Bangkok | Laem Chabang Port | Diamond Princess | Thai Tour Guide | Chob Panma | Port Day in Bangkok | Private Tour Guides
We departed on our 16 night cruise aboard the Diamond Princess from Tianjin,
the nearest port city to Beijing. Cruising down the Asian coast, we had one port of call in
Japan followed by two ports each in China and Vietnam. Although our
was closer to ending with each passing day, we were excited for our upcoming two ports of call in
Thailand. Due to the long distance from the port city to Bangkok, our search for
private tour guides in Bangkok helped us find Chob Panma.
If you'll be docking at either Laem Chabang Port or Klong Toey Port and are in
of ideas on how to spend your port day in Bangkok, you're in the right place! A private tour with
Thai Tour Guide should be high on your consideration list. With pick-up right at the port,
transportation to and from Bangkok, and an incredible day exploring some of the city's most
sites, it's a day that will be hard to beat!
The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is situated just north of the Gulf of Thailand. In
terms of population, no other city in the country is larger. In addition to these two claims to fame,
Bangkok has a great variety of attractions which entice travelers with all interests.
From newly constructed skyscrapers to historical temples, the city's architecture is quite diverse.
would be easy to spend a full day exploring the Grand Palace of Thailand for those who
walking. If relaxing sounds more appealing, perhaps a cruise on the Chao Phraya River
canals would rank higher on your list. For shoppers, Bangkok has everything from luxury
bargain shopping, and everything in between.
And, what would Bangkok be without tuk-tuks? You'll know exactly how they got their
when you hear the sound of an underpowered tuk-tuk engine nearby! If you just need to travel a
short distance, a tuk-tuk can can be a fun way to get there. Do be prepared to bargain with the
however, as the first quoted price is hardly ever the best that you'll get.
Transportation by Tuk Tuk
Laem Chabang Cruise Port
All but the smallest of cruise ships dock at Laem Chabang Cruise Port, a commercial
port. While the city of Laem Chabang is not a popular tourist destination on its own, it is the
cruise port for Bangkok. Because of the distance and the traffic, the drive takes at least two hours
There is a port much closer to Bangkok's main attractions. Getting to the Klong Toey
however, requires ships to travel along the Chao Phraya River. Because of the river's
and rather narrow width, it is not navigable for most cruise ships.
We encountered similar drives at several ports in southeast Asia. When we have the opportunity
return to this part of the world, we will thoroughly research the itineraries that include ports that
want to explore. We now realize how important it is to know where ships will dock at each port of
This will ensure that we have the knowledge of how much time will be needed just to get to the
that we hope to see. A comparison of factors including price, size of ship, itineraries and ports will
help us decide whether a smaller or larger ship will meet the majority of our goals.
Thai Tour Guide
After reading reviews from previous travelers, we hoped for
availability on our scheduled port day. Our experience with Thai Tour Guide was positive from
beginning to end. We communicated with Chob via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org or
email@example.com) and always received timely and detailed responses (including when we
needed to change our tour date). He even forwarded a professional customized itinerary along
important information such as payment requirements and proper dress for the sites that we would
Our price quote included pick-up at and return to Laem Chabang Port for six passengers in an air
conditioned van. In addition to both van and boat transportation within Bangkok, all entrance fees
were also built into the total cost. Chob agreed to be our guide for the full day, and his knowledge
the English language is excellent (as is also true for most of his team of guides). We paid a
30% of the total cost several weeks before our arrival, with the balance being paid while in
Chob met us at the port just as promised. He escorted us during our two hour drive in each
during which he answered the many questions that we threw at him. Chob's knowledge of history
traditions in Bangkok truly enhanced our visit. He even surprised each of the six of us in our
with Phuang Malais. These small garlands, symbolizing luck and respect, are made from
flowers every day.
The Grand Palace of Thailand
Of all of the sites to see in Bangkok, The Grand Palace of Thailand is, without a doubt, the city's most famous landmark. It is also the
that seems to make every "best of" list. It is there that one can easily spend a day or more
the grounds and buildings which make up the "royal compound". The meticulous details of both
architecture and landscaping is truly amazing.
Signage at Bangkok Grand Palace
The Grand Palace of Thailand was the personal residence of the King of Thailand, the Royal Court
a number of administrative offices for 150 years. Built in 1782, the compound is spread out over
218,000 square meters filled with awesome architecture and stunning gardens.
Beautiful Palace Gardens
Visitors come from all over the country and the world to see it. Even after seeing pictures before
arriving, nearly everyone is still surprised by the amazing detail throughout. A sampling of the
attractions within the complex include the following:
The Demon Guardians
With all of the tourists exploring the palace grounds, there must be guards responsible for
order. Well, not to ensure order, but six pairs of Demon Guardians are standing tall to
off evil spirits from approaching the Emerald Buddha.
Demon Guardians protecting the Emerald Buddha
Bangkok Grand Palace
Don't be surprised, however, if you do see some security personnel. As one would expect, there
Palace Guards patrolling the grounds of the Grand Palace.
Palace Guards at the Grand Palace
The Temple of The Emerald Buddha
The impressive Temple of the Emerald Buddha is regarded as the most important Buddhist
temple in Thailand. The temple itself is actually a smaller complex located in the Outer
on the grounds of the Grand Palace of Thailand.
Stupas of Bangkok Grand Palace
Located within the temple is the highly revered Emerald Buddha. Raised high on a
this image of a meditating Buddha was meticulously carved from a single block of jade.
If you have the opportunity to admire this icon during multiple visits to Thailand, you may notice a
difference in the gold apparel. As the only person permitted near the Buddha, the "changing of
robes" ritual is performed three times each year by the King. The ritual is believed to bring good
fortune to Thailand during the approaching seasons of summer, winter or the rainy season.
The Royal Pantheon
The building known today as the Royal Pantheon was originally intended to be a new
the Emerald Buddha. When it was built in 1856 atop the Upper Terrace, however,
was found to be too small. It wasn't until the completion of restorations to the building following a
1903 fire that it was named the Royal Pantheon.
The Royal Pantheon
The gilded chedis flanking the Royal Pantheon were built under the direction of King Rama I. A
very colorfully dressed demons appear to support the two chedis (one dedicated to each of his
parents) and are extremely popular with photographers.
Demon in Training
Also located on the Upper Terrace, the Golden Chedi is quite impressive both in color and
size. Built in the style of Sri Lankan golden stupas, the monument is worshipped by people
The Golden Chedi in The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Model of Angkor Wat
If the 12th century temple located in Cambodia known as Angor Wat is not on
itinerary, the next best thing is seeing a model. The original construction of the Model of
Wat, located on the Upper Terrace, was ordered by King Rama IV. In celebration of the one
hundred year anniversary of the Grand Palace, King Rama V had today's more permanent plaster
Royal Reception Halls
Tourists can visit some rooms within the impressive Royal Reception Halls which are used
important ceremonial occasions today. Chakri Maha Prasat Hall served as the royal
for King Rama V. It is the only building on the palace grounds which mixes both European and
architectural styles. The three wings of the three story building are connected by long hallways.
With a grand spired hall, Dusit Maha Prasat Hall is often recognized as the finest
building of its style. In addition to annual ceremonies, the hall is where royal family members lie
Make sure to take some time to look at the murals in the "Gallery" surrounding the
many buildings. Originally painted during the reign of King Rama I, the mural's first section is
opposite the Spired Hall. Proceeding clockwise, the mural is one continuous story
a total of 178 sections.
The story of Ramakien is based on the Indian epic of Ramayana. The Thai version depicts
battle between King Rama and the King of Demons. King Rama and his monkey army eventually
defeat the King of Demons who had kidnapped his Queen in hopes that she would fall in love with
Just a Sample from the Gallery
A Story Wall Panel from the Gallery
Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Just a short ten minute walk from the Grand Palace of Thailand is the Temple of the Reclining
Buddha. Wat Pho, as it is known locally, is the city's largest and oldest temple
The huge and majestic reclining Buddha for which it is famous appears to barely fit in the temple
Because of the Buddha's massive size, the only way to truly experience the gold-leaf covered
in person. Photos just don't do the Buddha, which measures 46 meters in length, justice. The
the statue, which are decorated with mother-of-pearl illustrations of the Buddha, measure five
in length alone.
Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Huge Mother of Pearl Decorated Feet of Reclining Buddha
For good luck, consider joining the many others who place a coin into each of the 108 bowls lining
hall. To do so, purchase a bowl of coins when you enter the room where the Buddha is reclining.
Save some time to admire the many other Buddhas on site before leaving. In addition to being
to the largest single Buddha, the complex also houses the country's largest Buddha collection.
Buddha Collection at Wat Pho
The river was originally the main avenue as Thonburi was the capital city's epicenter prior to King
Rama I moving it across the river. Although the view along the waterways has changed over the
with the coming of roads and tall commercial buildings, many of Bangkok's notable structures are
found on the banks of the river.
Long-Tail Boat and Bangkok's Cathedral
A private canal tour in a long-tail boat is the perfect way to get some insight into
as a local in Bangkok. Traveling from the bustling Chao Phraya River to the quieter
klongs (canals) of Thonburi, will make you feel like you traveled back in time.
Peering out of the Long-Tail Boat
Riding a Long-Tail Boat
The picturesque riverside scenery that you'll see during your journey will be quite diverse. You'll
other tourists with the same idea as you. You will likely see kids (or even adults) jumping into or
swimming in the water. You'll drift past both stilted wooden homes as well as colonial mansions
of course some temples, too).
Passing by other Bangkok Visitors
Having Fun in the Bangkok Waterways
Stilted Homes along the Water
The colorful and unique culture along the riverfront will be on full display as you pass by floating
kitchens. You'll surely be approached by a mobile vendor who will drive their shop right up next to
your private boat. In addition to food and household items, shoppers will even find a small
of souvenirs for sale.
The Temple of Dawn
Although we didn't have the opportunity to enter the temple known as Wat Arun, we did
cruise by during our canal tour. The Buddhist temple stands on the west (Thonburi) bank
the Chao Phraya River and is one of the country's most beautiful sites to see from a boat.
The Temple of Dawn
The Temple of Dawn is said to have been named by King Taksin who arrived at the break
dawn after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya during an attack by a Burmese army. Built to
Mount Meru, the center of the world to Buddhists, the temple has since been renovated. The
surrounding spires house an image of a guardian god, each representing one of the four
Pak Klong Talat
The Bangkok Flower Market known locally as Pak Klong Talat sells more flowers
any other market in the city. In addition to retail sales, many vendors make early morning
to stock their neighborhood markets around Bangkok. In fact, the market is open all day and
and is said to be the liveliest in the middle of the night. It is then when deliveries stocking the
for the upcoming day are received as well.
The market is a must see for visitors - if not to make a purchase, at least to see the famous
With the wide variety of flowers, fruits and vegetables offered for sale, the bright colors and
aromas are amazing. You'll find vendors preparing Phuang Malais, the country's traditional flower
garlands. You can almost bet that you'll see some items for sale that you've never before seen.
Pak Klong Talat
The Temple of the Golden Buddha
Located at the end of Chinatown's Yaowarat Road, the Temple of the Golden Buddha
the world's largest solid-gold Buddha. Weighing over five tons, the seated Buddha measures
three meters in height.
Knowing that the beautiful golden statue was covered in plaster and stucco to disguise its value
most of its over 700 year existence makes the history of the Buddha quite interesting. In fact,
being moved to its current location at Wat Traimit, no other temples wanted the Buddha
to its rather bland appearance.
In 1955 the Buddha was being moved to a new building in the temple. During the move, a part of
stucco was damaged. It was then that the beautiful solid gold Sukhothai style Buddha was
In addition to seeing the Buddha, visitors today can also see some pieces of the plaster on display!
Cruising China and Southeast Asia
Our next port of call was also in Thailand, just a little further south in the Gulf of Thailand.
A subscription to our weekly e-mail notifications will ensure that you don't miss the upcoming
ports of call from our Asian odyssey. You will receive no more than one e-mail per week which will
alert you as additional travel posts such as Island Tour of Koh Samui, Thailand are
Koh Samui has quite a different feel from the other ports of call on our Southeast Asia and
China cruise. It's quick and easy to subscribe at Wordy Explorers User Account by completing the form.
If you are considering a cruise with a planned port day in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, be
to read our post about our day spent touring with "Zoom". In 15 Interesting Sites to
in One Day in Ho Chi Minh City you'll find contact information for a guide who is definitely
your consideration. Additionally, along with a description and photos of some of our favorite sites,
we've included some helpful information about the port city.
Favorite Thai Cities
If you were to make a recommendation to someone wanting to explore Thailand for the first time,
which cities would you suggest that they consider and why?
Created On 01/07/2019 17:08:42
Updated On 09/17/2019 16:53:17
Scheduled On 08/20/2019 12:20:28
Posted On 09/02/2019 17:20:28
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