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Do you prefer private or group tours?

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Halifax, Canada
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2 posts
24 reviews
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Do you prefer private or group tours?

I am travelling alone and I am trying to decide whether to join a group tour, or just book a private guide. Either way I will probably just adhere to their recommended schedules. Any opinions on your experiences in groups of strangers versus having a guide for yourself?

siem reap
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498 posts
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1. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

One vote for private.Its so easy here.All you need is a tuk tuk.About $20 to $30 a day depending on where you want to go.Guide about $25.A car is a little bit more than a tuk tuk.Never understood why anyone would want to travel with a group.Maybe when my hair turns blue.

Edited: 16 November 2013, 03:16
Brisbane, Australia
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3,316 posts
87 reviews
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2. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

Another vote for private.

If this is just for Siem Reap and the temples, certainly private, l like to wander on my own and read the guide book and work out the temples and reliefs. The Tuk Tuk driver will drop you at a point of entry and tell you where he will be waiting for you.

New York
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350 posts
44 reviews
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3. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

A third vote for private. As a solo traveler it makes it a bit more expensive, but it's great. My first day, I shared a tuk-tuk with another couple and it was fine for the first day to get the lay of the land, but we'd wander off separately and then I'd feel bad as they'd be waiting for me. My second day, I had a tuk-tuk for myself, and it was wonderful. Went to where I wanted to go, and spent as long as I wanted to. The group tours would come and go like waves, always being rushed along. I didn't get a guide - contacted a couple but last minute the one I was going with said he couldn't do it. Bought a guide book - one of the color ones, and while a guide would have been nicer, just decided to take my time with it, and it's been great.

There is a ton of difference in the quality of guides, from what I've been overhearing, from the really knowledgeable to the ones you can tell are just reading from a script. So I've gotten my history and architectural knowledge from a book, which hasn't been too bad. Hitting the points that interest me, overhearing a few others, but just being able to absorb what's there without having to be on someone else's time table has been the best, and in a way more exciting too, as I look for a particular frieze or carving, or architectural feature, instead of being lead right to it and having it pointed out to me. More of a sense of discovery, even though it's in the guidebook.

Shanghai, China
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6 posts
108 reviews
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4. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

Private tours, absolutely. It's great to be able to travel on your own schedule, taking as much time as you like at any given spot and seeing only what you want to see. Renting a tuk tuk is the best way to go -- you can see so much more from a tuk tuk than a car, plus they're actually a lot of fun to ride in!

We hired a tuk tuk driver for 5 days in October and he was wonderful -- very professional and with very good English speaking skills. His name is Vann Rothan and he can best be contacted by email at lrothan@yahoo.com or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/rothan.vann)

Enjoy your trip!

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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17,319 posts
161 reviews
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5. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

Another vote for "do it yourself" by tuk tuk. Many of the tuk tuk drivers have very good English and also have a very good knowledge of the area which they are happy to share with you, so I'm really not sure as to whether you'd need a guide but that would be up to you.

Tuk tuk is a much better option than a car unless you're going on a long journey.

North Queensland
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2,086 posts
51 reviews
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6. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

I think a positive response for 'private' could think of nothing worse that being horded along in a large group

Adelaide
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4,621 posts
205 reviews
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7. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

Definitely private. Go where YOU want to go. Stay as long as YOU want. Start the day at a time that suits YOU. End it the same way. Eat what YOU want and where YOU want.

It's all about you. Don't get lost in a crowd of strangers following a funny little guy with his arm or umbrella or someething even more bizzare raised up in the air to keep you all together.

Amsterdam, The...
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6,341 posts
41 reviews
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8. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

What they all said!

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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17,319 posts
161 reviews
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9. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

I just loved that mental image of a funny little man waving an umbrella in the air herding a heap of miserable overheated tourists along like a bunch of sheep.

"Hurry up! Take your pictures! Back on the bus" And don't we see just that situation so often as we meander along at our own pace, enjoying the experience.

Brisbane, Australia
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3,316 posts
87 reviews
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10. Re: Do you prefer private or group tours?

And feeling sorry for them!!!