We took two tours with Chili Paste Tours and they were absolutely two of the best experiences of our three week trip to Thailand. If you're a fan of Anthony Bourdain and want a similar "insider's look" into the food scene of Bangkok and surrounding areas, then this is the right tour company for you. Beware, though -- she will make sure you leave the tour completely stuffed with amazing food!
From start to finish, Chin was incredible to work with. She promptly responded to all questions and requests by email. The day before our first tour, she contacted us with concerns due to the amnesty bill protests. We changed from the Old Bangkok tour to the Thonburi tour due to safety and transportation concerns -- we really appreciated the heads up and we also really enjoyed the new tour. Thonburi was an eye opening and delicious experience; it's definitely a side of Bangkok that I'd bet very, very few visitors see. She also adapted the tour to skip the temple visit since we had been there the day before. Chin thinks of everything; water, tissues, a bag to carry things you buy along the way.... she made everything so easy and fun!
Chin was knowledgeable, funny, and warm. She felt like an old friend, instead of a tour guide and even though we went to some slightly questionable neighborhoods, she had such a rapport with the locals that we never felt uncomfortable.
Our second tour was just as enjoyable -- she took us outside of Bangkok to see the famous floating markets. Despite the rain, it was lovely -- a canal ride, checking out the markets, exploring an ancient temple, and having a delicious seafood meal. Between the two tours, I felt like I learned and saw more from the Thonburi tour, simply by nature of the neighborhood; I'd recommend that one for a more in-depth, authentic, "grittier" insight into Thai food; the floating markets are better for sight-seeing and ambience -- it's rather romantic for a couple, too.
Chin also went out of her way to help us outside the tours. When I contacted her on revisiting a spot she took us to on our first tour, she volunteered to meet me and take me there on her day off! As a bonus, she took me on a side trip to a great little shopping area on the way back to my hotel and I scored some fantastic Bangkok fashion at bargain prices.
I wouldn't hesitate at all to rebook Chin for a tour or to recommend her wholeheartedly for anyone interested in an unforgettable and authentic tour of the Bangkok food scene. I wish she had been able to show me everywhere in Thailand, not just Bangkok!
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