Best Bangkok tour? Just possibly!
We love a food tour, have been on dozens, and Expique’s Bangkok night lights tuktuk tour was a show stopper with a difference, one of the best we have ever enjoyed. Consistently rated one of the best tours in Bangkok, all those lovely people were not wrong!
We were met at Krung Thon Buri BTS station by a group of cheerful Expique staff as we waited for our merry band of explorers to appear. There were eight of us in total, a great number for a food tour, American, Irish, Korean, Canadian and us two Brits. Tony, our Thai guide was absolutely brilliant, inclusive, clear, informative and light hearted. We’ve found a lot of recent tours lacking in history and information and this one most definitely bucked that trend.
We jumped into tuktuks and headed off to our first stop with our wonderfully friendly driver. A local market behind the huge ICONSiam mall. As we wandered the aisles we snacked on crispy spring rolls disguised as samosas, yummy pork and vermicelli noodle sausages (we first tried these in Bangkok’s China Town four years ago and I LOVE THEM), slices of plantain in a lovely sweet sauce, bite sized crispy puffed rice treats and succulent pomelo, a family favourite!
Hopping back into our tuktuks we headed off to Phra Borommathat Maha Chedi, a beautiful white circular temple. With the clear night and its majestic stupors rising into the pitch black sky it was an incredible sight. As at every stop Tony was full of fascinating facts.
Next was a stop for world famous pad thai at Thipsamai, and a little way down the street, an impromptu sighting of the equally famous and totally inspiring Jai Fai, as always at her cooking station. You can check out the wonder that is Jai Fai in an episode of Street Food on Netflix.
But back to Thipsamai, the pad thai was exceptional!! As was the yummy orange juice Tony convinced us all to try. However – and this bears absolutely no reflection on our tour, rather the restaurant, the queue outside was pretty long, Tony had someone in line waiting for us and we were shepherded in to a completely empty upper floor. After we had eaten and left, the queue was still the same length, and I can only presume they don’t seat people on the upper floor to maintain an inaccurate image of busy-ness at all times, which is a shame for all those people having to wait unnecessarily to try their delicious food.
Another Temple, a brief stop outside the Grand Palace and a stop at the Giant Swing, more history and some great photo opportunities and we headed into an eerily empty Wat Pho. We have visited this beautiful Temple several times, none of which compare to visiting at night. It is a MUST. Staggeringly beautiful, peaceful, just breathtaking. Bats large and small could be seen catching bugs in the clear sky above and the temple is also a haven for the local cats at night which was an added delight.
The largest flower market in Thailand was our final stop, open 24hrs it was alive with industry even just gone 10pm at night. Every flower imaginable being prepped for delivery or made into offerings and displays. On the first floor of the market we enjoyed mango sticky rice, crunchy fresh green guava and a selection of yummy ice creams. The tamarind I tried was sweet and sour and pretty fantastic. All accompanied by a quick lesson in lotus flower petal folding.
Our fellow travelers were delightful and the evening overall was spectacular. Having thanked Tony and been handed fragrant jasmine and rose garlands each we headed homeward with our trusty tuktuk driver. The three of us choosing to squeeze into one tuktuk for the journey home, (JHubz had shared a tuktuk with Duke, one of our fellow travelers, a charming Korean chap on holiday from his job in Dubai, throughout the evening). Merrily chatting away we were all a bit surprised when about fifteen minutes into the journey a moped pulled alongside and thrust a plastic bag at us. Eek erm no what! And then we recognized Tony, who having seen me looking at Lotus seed heads earlier in the evening but said they were not fresh so not to buy them. After we had parted ways he had taken it upon himself to find and buy me some fresh ones then catch us up to hand deliver them to me! Now that is above and beyond! As I absolutely love eating lotus seeds I haven’t stopped smiling and cannot thank Tony enough for his thoughtfulness!
The tour is a winner, a great experience for those new to Bangkok and frequent visitors alike Xx