How do I reserve a tour?
- Simply contact us by email and we will let you know if your desired dates are available. Please check your Spam folder if you don’t hear back from us within 24 hours.
Am I guaranteed the day I want?
- Unfortunately, no. Chin tries to lead the tours herself, whenever possible. When she is already booked, there is a very good freelance guide who we can ask to cover a tour, but she is not always available. We do not believe in hiring any random tour guides so as to maximize profit while compromising quality. We also feel that private tours are the only way to ensure that you get the most out of the experience.
- Solo travelers have the option of paying the more expensive single-person rate for a private tour, or opening the tour to more guests. However we can not guarantee that more guests will request the same tour on the same day.
- For the best chance of getting the day you want, please reserve as far ahead of time as possible. This is especially true for the November – February high season.
Is the tour 100% guaranteed once the reservation is confirmed?
- Once you receive an email saying your reservation is confirmed, it’s 99.9% certain that you will end up enjoying the tour. The reason it’s not 100% is that Chin generally does all tours herself, and she may need to cancel in the case of a serious emergency (such as a death in the family, major injury, flood or other disaster).
- One other guide is trained to lead most tours, but she is a freelance guide so her availability at the last minute is a matter of chance. Chili Paste Tour is not large enough to employ a full-time backup guide. In five years of business (as of late 2016), Chin has never had to cancel a tour.
Do you offer group tours?
- To ensure that your experience will be as intimate and unforgettable as possible, we generally offer only private tours. However, for solo travelers wanting to join a group, we can try to link you with other solo travelers so that you can get the group rate.
How do I pay for a tour?
- Payment for most day tours can be made in cash on the day of tour. We can also send a Paypal invoice if you prefer to pay by credit card.
- The Floating Market & Cooking Class, any multi-day tour, and any tour with a large group will generally require an advance deposit, payable by Paypal or bank transfer. Please contact us for specifics.
What’s included in the tours?
- At least 15 different food samples — expect to be nice and full by the end of the day!
- Guidance from Chin, owner of Chili Paste Tour, or one of two other food-expert guides. Chin is a fully licensed English-speaking tour guide who is an expert on Thai food. She aims for a casual and fun experience rather than stuffy explanations.
- All transport costs throughout the day, excluding pick up at your hotel should you desire it.
- Bottled water, coffee and other beverages throughout the day, excluding alcohol.
- Umbrellas and/or ponchos in case it rains.
What if I’m a vegetarian and/or have food allergies or special requirements?
- All tours can be tailored to vegetarians, vegans and those with food allergies or other dietary restrictions, including not being able to eat spicy food. However we ask that you inform us of any special eating requirements in advance.
Is the street food we’ll try clean?
- We are very careful to only patronize shops that we know do a good job of storing and preparing the food in a sanitary way — the vendors we choose are successful because their food is both delicious and clean. However different people have different reactions to food outside of their home countries. Here’s an idea of what it’s like to to try street food in Asia with no help from a local. Now consider that you’ll be with someone who knows the Bangkok street food scene well.
- Some customers like to try food from vendors that we don’t normally patronize; in this case Chin will warn you if she feels the food might not be clean (or delicious).
What is the maximum group size?
- Most of our private groups include 1 to 6 people, but we can arrange all of our tours for larger groups with some advance notice.
Can people of any age partake in the tours? What about disabilities?
- We leave final decisions up to guests, but we feel that the walking tours in Bangkok may not be suitable for infants due to the heat, crowds and traffic.
- Guests with disabilities are welcome; however we ask that you let us know beforehand so that we can prepare and adapt the tours if need be.
Can I shop, take photos and follow my whims during the tour?
- As we only offer private tours, you are welcome to poke around in the shops we pass, explore at your own pace and stop as often as you like to take photos. Chin is also known for going above and beyond by taking customers to go shopping, paint their nails or drink tea well after the tour is finished. We’ve even had customers perform an entertaining 20-minute salsa dance routine to the amusement of the local vendors — the sky is the limit with Chili Paste Tour!
How do we get around and how much should we expect to walk?
- One of the nice things about private tours is that we can easily explore beyond a single neighborhood.
- In the Old Bangkok Food & Culture Walk and Thonburi Food & Art Walk programs, we employ a mix of BTS skytrain, river boats and tuk tuks or taxis. We also cover around 1.5 kilometers on foot, but it’s gradual strolling broken up by several stops. We can also arrange a car, van or tuk tuk for those who are unable, or don’t want, to walk.
- For tours outside of Bangkok, we rely on our own 2012 Nissan March, or an air-con minivan for larger groups.
What to wear?
- Most of our tours make at least one stop at a temple, so we request that you wear relatively non-revealing clothes: shorts, skirts and T-shirts are fine if they cover shoulders, knees and stomach.
- We also recommend comfortable footwear and sunscreen.
Should I eat before the tour?
- We recommend either a light breakfast or nothing at all before most of the tours. You will typically be sampling food within 30 minutes to an hour of beginning the tour.
Does Chili Paste Tour offer custom tours?
- Chin has spent countless hours designing tour programs that include some of the finest food along with offbeat neighborhoods and cultural attractions. With that said, we can work with you to arrange custom tours if you have specific ideas in mind, or have time restraints.
- If we’re not able to offer what you’re looking for, we’ll try to direct you to someone who can.
Can I get a discount?
- We feel that our programs are reasonably priced for private tours with a high level of flexibility and a bountiful amount of food samples, so we generally do not offer discounts on the normal programs. However, prices for large groups are negotiable.