Tour guides are popular with tourists and those who cannot speak Thai. Communications is a great difficulty in Thailand.
Professional tour guides are available mainly via travel agents. The rates and quality vary. By quality, the main issue is usually their fluency in English. Many tour guides are very fluent in English. Some budget ones are not. You may want to talk with them first, to see if you need to speak slowly and clearly, and choose your words carefully and simply.
A popular package is a car, a driver and a tour guide who is fluent in the English language. Having the driver and tour guide as the same person can be a problem as regards parking, so often they are two different people so that parking is not an issue. The tour guide may have a mobile phone and the driver a pager.
A friend of mine, nicknamed "Vee", owns a taxi and likes to bring foreigners around at a daily rate. Vee got a college degree in Washington, D.C., and speaks excellent English. He is a very sociable person. You can call Vee on his phone number as listed at www.Thai-English-Taxi.com
Single male tourists often want a tour of the nitelife in the prostitution areas. Most professional tour guides will not go into these areas, for reasons of class. If you really want this kind of tour guide, then try contacting "Stickman" at www.StickmanBangkok.com
Nitelife Ladies as Guides
Many single male tourists want to tour around with a lady they pick up from these nitelife areas. This can help you communicate with taxis, destinations of buses and boats (where there's little if any English), figure out fares and fees, etc., at an economical rate for the "tour guide". If you wish to do this, then I recommend the following items and considerations:
And to choose a lady with the following attributes:
The ladies from the nitelife area are mostly from the poor, rural northeast part of the country, called Isaan. They tend to be pretty rugged.
Be careful to drink water often, especially cold water on hot days. Do not neglect this. Many people get dehydrated without realizing it. Dehydration leads to a feeling of tiredness. Lots of cold water can keep you happily hopping along.
Bar girls must be back at the bar when it opens around 7pm, and for every day you have take her out you must pay a "bar fine". Instead, you can pick up a freelancer, e.g., at the German Beer Garden on Sukhumvit soi 7 early in the evening, or at the food stands near Clinton Plaza, or at Thermae's near soi 15 from 11pm to sunrise, or Nana Disco in the Nana Hotel after midnite, or sometimes on some places along the street (but skip most of those who hang out on the street). However, use your judgement about freelancers. While most are safe, the very small percentage of freelance prostitutes who are predatory (e.g., drugging you) are freelance because the bars are usually accountable for their ladies.
Note: Thai ladies outside the Sukhumvit prostitution area are 99% not interested in being a tour guide or anything else!! Don't incorrectly read their polite and friendly smile. A crude proposition will likely to see that nice smile quickly switch to a look of shock and anger on their face. If you want a "pickup" sort of lady tour guide, stick to the Sukhumvit nitelife area, specifically between the railroad tracks near Sukhumvit soi 2 and Sukhumvit soi 23 or soi 24, full stop.
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