not all tour guides are out to get us

is there a way for them to approach us that will not make us feel like they’re scamming us? because the father of my bago tour guide followed me from the train station to a hotel, and if he didn’t show me the lonely planet’s prices, i would not have given him the time of day

despite the fact that in the past year, i’ve had good experiences with tourguides (our mt. ijen and mt. bromo tour guide, iwan from yogyakarta, and erwin from sulawesi whom i’ve yet to write about 😓), the way most of them approach makes me feel affronted.

the three above were different in that:

  1. mt. ijen and mt bromo tourguide were arranged by my local friend
  2. iwan was recommended by my good friend who had a tour with them
  3. i approached erwin, not the other way around, because i wanted to get away from his incredibly pushy “colleague”

so throughout my encounter with the father, i insisted that i will pay him MMK7,000 (as quoted by lonely planet), and i will pay the entrance fees myself, which he said will set me back MMK10,000

after 2 spots, he passed me to his son, and he now said that i only need to pay MMK5,000 for 2 paid sights instead of 3 (the third of which i will not enter), which made me more suspicious. however, since we already started, all i did was nod.

turns out that there is a way to only pay MMK5,000, and that’s all i would have paid if only i trusted them. le sigh. so, despite the fact that zay yar does not have a lot of stories to tell about the sights (he would often leave me be as i go enter the pagodas), i’m still recommending him. his english is sufficient enough too. also, he is working to save up to finish school, so consider it helping out someone who has goals



One thought on “not all tour guides are out to get us”

  1. I was also skeptical about tour guides, but they usually know their stuff and are genuine people who need a job to provide for their family. The best tour guide was at Borobudur in Indonesia. I did have bad experiences in India though. They talked too quickly and tried to rush through to get to more clients.


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