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Meeting Jermsak

Albany, NY
3 posts
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Meeting Jermsak

Jermsak:

First let me inform you that I am Broder’s son and I have only been to Chaing Rai just this one time. I had a wonderful time and will defiantly go back although I am unsure when. I wanted to give another perspective on Jermsak from a person who had heard of him, but never met him before.

Jermsak is a wonderful person and a fantastic guide. We had water at all times and he insisted that we always had a cold water. I would tell him I was fine, but he would still ask to see if I was in need of a new water. At the orphanage he would help interpret questions we had and ask them to the children.

With this being my first time there, I wanted to learn a lot about the culture and history. Both are topics which can challenge the English speaking ability of anyone. I found Jermsak to be well educated about the area and able to convey this into English. He was able to answer my questions. I did notice that Jermsak, like most people who are speaking a secondary language, idioms are often confusing.

We went to the Karen Elephant Village to ride the Elephants. Jermsak explained the history of the Karen’s as well as other hill tribes. While we were there, a larger 10 person tour group with an Australian sounding guide arrived. I felt very happy to have Jermsak as our guide as we felt like we were respectful to the locals. As opposed to the other guide, who I felt was very hokey/corny (Especially when he told his group that he was like Steve Irwin and fed the Elephant from his mouth.)

For those who feel they don’t need a guide, let me submit this to you. Broder went for a massage in the golden triangle while Jermsak, my sister, and I went into Laos. We took the boat across and went to the stalls to shop. I consider myself fairly adventurous, but going with a guide is defiantly worth while. I felt Jermsak was able to get items for 20-30% less than I could. I tested this by going into a shop first when Jermsak and my sister were in another shop. I attempted to bargain and negotiate a better price for some shawls, but had little effect. Jermsak and my sister went to the same woman and were able to get the same shawls 20% less than my best price. My sister and I figured we saved close to 1200 baht by having Jermsak with us.

Parntrek
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Brisbane
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3,861 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: Meeting Jermsak

Welcome to the forum ale-ubert.

We couldn't agree more with your comments regarding Jermsak. After spending a very enjoyable and informative day with him, he stopped by our guesthouse later that evening to drop off a gift for us that his wife had made. We were out for dinner so he left the gift with the security guard. What a nice surprice to be greeted on our return that evening.

The following morning Jermsak stopped by to say goodbye and see if we received his gift. A true gentleman and excellent guide.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai
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10,198 posts
46 reviews
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2. Re: Meeting Jermsak

Hi ale-ubert,

Welcome to the forum!

Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts down.

Sometimes I feel like I have to hold back when talking about Jermsak on the forum. I know there are lots of guides out there trying to make a living and I also know that he is not the ONLY guide. He just made such an impact on us that I really want others to have this experience as well.

I agree with your thoughts that there is so much advantage in having a guide with you to explain things and help you to be aware of the dos and don'ts. We also learnt so much from him.

No doubt you'll be back.

Caroline.

Benamocarra
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364 posts
53 reviews
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3. Re: Meeting Jermsak

I have to agree. We booked several private guides throughout Thailand and Vietnam. Jermsak does stand out head and shoulders above others in terms of English spoken, knowledge and attention to detail. I realise that there are other guides out there but some are very good but some are also not as good (we had a couple of them as well) and so when you get a good one they should be recommended for their abilities.

england
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245 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Meeting Jermsak

Hi guys,

after reading all your post here on Tripadvisor, I emailed Jermsak myself. Problem is, it's a short notice as we'll be in the North of Thailand from the 11.1.2010 for 8 nights instead of 4 we palnned originally(changed our plans thanks to Bob and Janette) Do you think he might be busy ? We really want to experience the real Thailand and go hill trekking outside the touristy areas if possible. If he doesn't answer, shall we just find somebody while in Chiang Rai?

thanks alot and Merry Christmas

Brisbane
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3,861 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: Meeting Jermsak

Hi ale-ubert

We were in Chiang Rai last month and as normal our travel plans remain quite fluid so weren't too sure when we would get to Chiang Rai.

We contacted Jermsak only a week in advance and gave him a 3 day window where we wanted to utilise his services for one day. He was busy 2 out of the 3 days but managed to fit us in. If Jermsak is busy I believe he could recommend another guide to you and I'm sure that guide would be very good also.

Enjoy your trip guys, and have a bowl of Khao Soi (curry noodle soup) for me.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
Level Contributor
3,379 posts
166 reviews
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6. Re: Meeting Jermsak

Hi All:

Nice to see my son got on the forum and did his first post.He'll probably find out soon that TA can be addicting. Maybe after the holidays he will share more with all of you regarding his time at the orphanage (which was a lot) and his other experiences in Chiang Rai and other parts of Thailand.

Adiranaf: I would second Bob and Janette's suggestion of emailing Jermsak and giving him a window of the days you will be in Chiang Rai and ask which of those days he may be available. He may have a day or two free and securing his services, even if for one or two days, will be very worthwhile. I think he actually works 7 days a week during the high season so if he has a free day, he'll probably accept the work. I'd also suggest letting him know that you heard about him on Trip Advisors and mention a few of the names of the TA members who have reviewed him, as he seems to try to prioritize people who come through TA these days.

You are going to love Chiang Rai,

Broder

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
Level Contributor
3,379 posts
166 reviews
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7. Re: Meeting Jermsak

Adrianaf:

Forgot to add, that if Jermsak is unavailable, my second choice would be NUCH (Natalie):Email: gdnext@hotmail.com. mobile: 0896367247

I'd try really hard to get Jermsak, but Natalie is a good second option. I haven't used her as a guide but spent a day with her at the orphanage, where she volunteered as a translator. She has a guide business and I liked her personality.

Broder

england
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245 posts
5 reviews
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8. Re: Meeting Jermsak

Thank you so much for all your help...I had an email from Jermsak, he gave us two days when he is free so we will be going with him. Last question...Does he normally take just a couple of people or would he put a group together?

Brisbane
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3,861 posts
11 reviews
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9. Re: Meeting Jermsak

Up to you. If there are just the two of you he will take a car and driver as he did with us. If there are a group of you he will arrange a minivan and driver.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
Level Contributor
3,379 posts
166 reviews
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10. Re: Meeting Jermsak

I've have used Jermsak's guide services with just my husband and I a few times; with a group of three; a group of four and now have him booked for a group of eleven I am taking in April.

Jermsak doesn't normally put the groups together for you, if that is what you mean. But if you were trying to cut costs and wanted to see if others were interested in sharing him, you could always ask him to see if anyone else contacts him for those dates and see if they want to join you.

In general though, he is a private guide, which is one of the things that make his service so special, as he personalizes the tours and activities to your desires.

Broder