You all know Bangkok. Whether by name, in the movies, or because you stop here for 48h before going to Koh Samui.
When you hear “Bangkok”, you immediately think of a super busy city and you are not wrong. Bangkok is by far the largest city in Thailand. In fact, it’s roughly 8.2 million population is close to 13% of the entire population of Thailand.
It is also one of the most visited destination of the world ! But, to be honest, most of people only visit the most touristic places like the Wat Pho, The Grand Palace and the MBK. We are not saying that these places are not good to see, but what if we told you that there there is so much more to discover and to do with NO tourists around ? Here, we are gonna show you the “unseen” Bangkok.
Thanks to Your Thai Guide agency, we had a unique day tour with ONLY local activities and ZERO tourists around.
We usually never take a guide with us as we like to discover a city by ourselves and getting lost in the streets. Plus, we consider that you do not necessarily need a guide to do all the touristy stuff.
However, we wanted to do something new, something that people would never thought of doing it in Bangkok. We wanted to be with locals, to visit places people that people are not aware of, and what a better way to do it than having a local guide with you ?
We contacted Your Thai Guide as it is one of the best ranking tour guide on TripAdvisor, as the guides are only locals and they speaks English very well.
Immediately, even by email, the team is very welcoming and really tries to understand your need. We told them that we had no idea of what to do, we just wanted to something NOT touristic.
On their website, you can choose the guide you want by reading their “profiles” and choosing the one that best meets your needs.
For us, it was Peach. We immediately fell in love with her description :
“Book a tour with me if:
– You want to see local life away from most tourist attractions
– You want to experience something of real ‘Thainess’ on your tour
– You learn by touching, feeling, smelling, and listening to the world for yourself”.
The D-day, Peach went to pick us up at our hotel and it was where the adventure begins.
MAHASAWAT AGRO TOURISM
On top of beautiful islands, beaches and temples, Thailand offers some of the most intrinsically Thai aspects of its culture – its rural and agricultural traditions and close village communities. Thailand is known as a kingdom of farmers, and its rice, silk and food products are recognised all over the world.
Peach took us to the canal in Nakhon Pathom to take a small boat. While we were waiting our boat, we had the chance to feed the canal’s catfishes (it is really something you should experience once : These river monsters are so abundant that with enough pellets of food it seems you could walk over the water on a bridge of thrashing, silvery bodies).
Once one the boat, our first canal stop was in a beautiful lotus farm. Anyone who spends time in Thailand knows the lotus to be a devotional flower and a symbol of spiritual purity. But lotus flowers have their uses in food and medicine and grow all year round making them a useful crop for local farmers. Peach told us how it is cultivated and we had the chance to pick some of them and prepare it the way it is prepared to be a gift in temples.
Our next stop was in the rice village of Ban Saladin, where you could try tasty treats; such as, crispy rice crackers covered in pork as well as salted goose eggs, a local speciality. The residents and Peach are a mine of information about how local foods are farmed and prepared and are eager to offer samples to try.
As Mangos, guava, massive jackfruit and award-winning pomelo grow in abundance along the banks of Khlong Mahasawat, we get the chance to admire them from a tractor trailer commanded by a wannabe Grand Prix driver. It was sooo funny ! As you gather speed among the trees and streams, and look worriedly at the next bend, your driver suddenly flings his three-metre long handlebars to the right or left, throwing his whole body into the movement so you clear corners with ease.
The last stop on the canal is the orchid farms that grow blooms for export. Thai orchids are famous for their beauty and the kingdom is the biggest exporter of these flowers in the world. They only require a good supply of water to grow and many are seeded in coconut husks or are simply suspended in baskets. If you’re looking for some blooms to decorate your home, this is the place to come as you can get the loveliest flowers, fresh cut or seedlings for great prices.
On our ride back to Wat Suwannaram, we could watch the storks hunting in the pondweed for food. Their foraging seems easy compared to the long hours and hard work put in by Khlong Mahasawat’s local famers, which is why these agro-tourism trips are interesting and vital – they open visitors’ eyes to the rural soul of the kingdom, so they can experience Thainess in its truest form.
2. LUNCH TIME
Peach surprised us by choosing a place in the garden of Nakhon Pathom province that is near Bangkok: O2 Kaffee and Bistro. It is a place where only locals go and where the menu is in Thai (don’t worry, you have some pictures to help you choose).
We immediately fell in love with this place ! It is an old farm transformed in a beautiful restaurant. It is a very new, cool place that provides a seating corner along the ditches of the garden.
The place is beautiful with A LOT of beautiful photo angles and casual atmosphere.
Plus, the fact that it is not in Bangkok make this place very calm and chill.
3. FLOWER MARKET – PAK KLONG TALAD
This is a market with a rich history and a flourishing reputation – but chances are you don’t know as much about it as you might think.
Peach explained us that this market have begun its life centuries ago as a floating market – the name belies its location close to the points at which two nearby canals empty into Bangkok’s Chaophraya river – Pak Khlong Talat eventually transitioned around six decades ago into today’s produce market, with a particular focus on flowers for both offerings and decoration. However, it is also one of the biggest markets for fruit and veg in central Bangkok.
This powerhouse operates around the clock, receiving vast quantities of fresh flowers from both nearby provinces and further afield, and selling them to a mix of wholesale and consumer trade. Pak Khlong Talat flower market is at its busiest either side of midnight, as huge deliveries are followed by the arrival of Bangkok florists keen to stock their own shops and market stalls with the perkiest, most colourful and most keenly priced bouquets they can find. If you come at this time, it’s a chaotic and fascinating sight to behold as trucks full of roses, orchids, tulips and a million other varieties of unique-looking and brightly coloured flowers are unloaded.
Our wonderful and awesome guide Peach also make a quick unplanned stop at Wat Rai Khing Temple where she could explained us all customs and traditions we were not aware of.
This day was magical. We usually never use a guide but here, it was really worth it. We learned a lot and learned from Peach, our awesome and lovely guide.
To contact her, send an email to Your Thai Guide, stating that you want to do a day tour with Peach. If you say you come from us, it’s even better 🙂
Contact info :
Mobile: +66 (0)87 528 8723
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/YourThaiGuide