I was at the floating markets the other day, and saw two couples pay 5,000B between them for a one hour boat ride around the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. I was saddened.
The unlicensed taxi-driver-cum-guide, had marked up the price over 800% from the actual cost. I’m not saying that the driver should not be paid a fair price for decent service, but not sure if taking that kind of advantage can be defined as good service.
I will be the first to admit, I do make a commission from the boat operator, with several companies all wanting my business I will be silly not to, but overcharging like this gives Thailand and it’s people a bad name.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is full day trip from Bangkok CBD, so you will need to organise special transport to reach this destination. For small groups an honest taxi driver will take you there on the meter and wait for you, or if your group is larger than 3 people you could hire a private minivan for the whole day and see some other interesting attractions in the area.
In my view the benefit of hiring a licensed guide is to help the client have a good experience in Thailand. I am proud of my country and want to help others understand why. So please when your consider hiring someone, consider the benefits of hiring a licensed guide – the difference is having someone working for you, not against you.