The best way to explore a new city

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  • Thepulser

    I just came back from 3 day conference in Bangkok, Thailand. I did not quite expect what to do since I did not speak Thai and find it quite difficult to get around. The conference was intense and i did not have a lot of time to squeeze in to wander around. Luckily, one of the guys at the conference tipped me to book a private local guide via a website called They connect me directly to a local student and she shows me around. I find the experience quite amazing because she not only helped me to bargain with street vendors but also took me to quite a few hidden gems (local restaurants, lunch on floating boats etc..) that I would have never found out myself or just could not bother to look up. Although it was just a short period of time, having a private guide does really save me save energy and effort. Plus, I understand more in depth about Bangkok and Thai culture since my guide is Thai and explains things pretty well.

    Hence, next time if you travel and want to save time and efforts, my tip is just book a private guide when you get to a new city . I paid ~70 USD for 8 hours in Bangkok which is pretty good for what the experience is. The site (Inspitrip) offers independent guides all over the world so you definitely should check it out.


    I may be wrong but I think Thepulser is another one time poster pushing this website. It’s not a bad idea in principle though the website needs a lot of improvement especially with its links.

    I just wish people could me more open and honest about this by saying along the lines of – I’ve just started a new site that may be of interest etc or even contacting the BT editorial team for perhaps an article.

    As I said, I may be wrong and he may be quite genuine writing about something he had a good experience with, but somehow I doubt it. Perhaps Thepulser you’d like to fess up as to your true motive and perhaps gain a bit of respect and perhaps even business from us for doing so.


    Like you LP, my first instinct was the same, but am prepared to give the benefit of the doubt and thank ThePulser for sharing his experience.
    On the question posed…..
    It depends on the city, time and a few other factors…..
    But, as a rule of thumb , once cabin fever strikes, I combine the following……
    Pubs, public transport and passion for football!


    Seems a good combination Canucklad. I must confess my idea of a city tour is at the bar or by the pool of a nice hotel and visit the sites of that particular place using a combination of google street maps and websites. Mrs. LP calls me a Philistine but when she comes back hot and sweaty from visiting museums etc dragging two protesting boys who entirely share my point of view and would much rather be at the pool, I realise how right I am and have seen the same sights as her but from the comfort of a sun lounger and without the crowds!


    I have long found the Concierge at most good hotels to be the best first stop. On a couple of occasions when in a city for the first time I have found they often know of a student or hotel worker willing to offer a tour. I did this in Tokyo last year when I was given a great bike trip around the city by one of the waiters at the hotel.


    I think LuganoPirate got it in his second sentence, the hotel bar is definitely a good start and it should all roll from there! I have also used guides and drivers in more out the beaten track kind of places and they have been invaluable at getting a lot in (in) a short time.


    Yeah, I always find the reception at the hotel is pretty good in terms of showing me what to do. Nowadays, many of my friends actually used Tinder to meet up with local girls and get free tours from them, which is not a bad thing really.


    1st rule is to roam a city on a Sunday,or Friday,or whenever is the Sabbath day in that city!


    My advice is to catch your bearings once you have arrived in a new city. Go out for a short walk and get a feel for the place.

    Approach the locals even if you don’t speak the language and they do not speak English.

    Don’t worry about being ripped off in a taxi. Life is too short.

    And, above all, just because you are in Cairo do not feel obliged to visit the Pyramids (by way of example).

    Just my take after traipsing about the place.

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