I was finishing first year of management studies when I made my clandestine visit to the littoral land with my love of life. Probably that added to the visceral feel for the country I am cherishing till date. That story can wait, lets hone in to the quick pointers…
Reasons to visit “The land of Free”
- Scenic with mountains, sea, islands, bustling cities (sucker of city life here)
- Arguably the best beaches of Asia
- Seafood that ignites your carnal love
- Massage another add on for carnal pleasure
- Cheap dresses of nice quality
- Cheap electronics equipment (Even Apple products)
- City-life, as vibrant as it can get
- A perfect start to explore South East Asia with all her exotics, well connected to other parts of Asia
- Bangkok: Capital of Thailand
- Ayutthaya: Ancient Capital of Thailand, one day trip is possible
- Phuket: Beach city of the western coast, beautiful
- Krabi: Beach city on the eastern coast
- Pattaya: Beach city near Bangkok, suggested only if you are hurricane touring
- Chiang Mai: Northern Thailand ( I have not been there yet)
- Koh Samui: A beautiful island (Must do in my bucket list)
- Hua Hin: A relatively new destination, near to the capital, not as crowded as Pattaya
(Feel free to add more suggestions, I will try to cover all of them and share my story)
How to reach Bangkok
- Flights: Air-Asia operates multiple flights every day from all major cities of India. Generally cheapest flights are from Kochi. Indigo operates from Kolkata and flies multiple times. It takes 3.5 hours to reach Bangkok, DMK airport
- By Road: Words of a 11 day road trip is doing the round. Start from picturesque Manipur and proceed through Myanmar. It sure is an experience.
- By Sea: Swim!
- Pre-book through Visa office
Pro: Hassle free arrival, smooth transfer from Airport
Cons: Invest a bit of time before travel
- Visa on Arrival
Pro: Flow of the process
Con: Crowd, Queue, People (if you are an Indian Passport holder, remember we count in billions)
How I did it??
I was lurking behind Airasia website for a cheap cheap deal. As soon as it came out, I jumped out to grab it.
On a serious note, First time I traveled to Thailand (my first ever foreign trip), I got a deal for INR 7000 with return ticket. September, end of monsoon season and Airasia promotion: all things gentle added up. I traveled from Bangkok. For the second trip, I was charged INR 12000 for round trip, end of January season.
AirAsia flies you till Don Mueang International airport(DMK). All you see around is Indian faces speaking your native language. For Subarnabhumi, which essentially is the new and biggest functioning international playground of the city, you should rely on other carriers.
From DMK, I use Uber, Airport Shuttle or domestic flights for internal travel.
- Travel on weekdays, at odd time. Weekends are expensive. Also a 3 work day week is a treat, trust me.
- Thailand internal travel only permit 1 ltr of alcohol in flight, so splurge responsibly at the duty-free store. (for the alcoholics)
Where and for how long?
Now this is tricky. I know how difficult it is to say goodbye to the places you have discovered virtually, researched on and stayed. At least a stay of a couple of days is recommended to feel the pulse of a land.
I met people on the road backpacking SE Asia for 3 months at a go. Indians are sans the luxury of suck prolonged vacay in general. In my opinion, one should extend their stay in the below mentioned places as per the activities they are taking up.
- Bangkok: 5 nights (Shop: I shopped for 3 days at a stretch, China Town, Ancient capital, City tour, Safari World, Shows)
- Krabi: 3 nights ( Railay, Ao nang, Emereld Pool)
- Phuket: 5 nights ( Island tours for 3 days, Karon beach, Kata beach, The big Buddha, Patong beach, Water sports, endless leisure actually)
- Pattaya: 1 night is good enough for exploring the Walking Street
I will be talking about each place and experiences in detail in the following blogs.
Both of my trip-itinerary
- 5 days: Bangkok 3 nights and Pattaya 2 nights in September 2015
- 11 days: Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Pattaya in January, 2017 (It rained a lot, unusually)
a sumptuous seafood spread from Bangkok’s floating market
Take a day tour on the Chao Phraya river when in Bangkok
Remember the famous James bond stone!
If you have the luxury of slow paced travel, you may consider exploring following countries nearby. Airfare is cheap and they offer their own share of arcane culture.
- Laos, the landlocked country
- Cambodia, the land of Angkor Wat
- Vietnam, ARCANE
- India (My native)
Capping travel budget is entirely private choice. If you decide to cruise through Andaman Sea, pocket pinch will be uber cool where as a hostel stay will cost you less than $3 in BKK.
I prefer comfortable travel with a dash on luxury once in a while. A 11 day Thailand stay came to be INR 50000 ( $700) for me sans shopping.
Where I could save more?
- A late heavy breakfast instead of three meals
- Streamlining day’s visit, prior planning
- Refusing to take Tuk Tuks altogether, they are costly
- Trying Charcoal icecream (yes, I did that)
- Not plunging into the sea with my camera (basically avoid risky moves that may entail an accident)
I strongly recommend to read a book or two before you set your feet on a new country. One wisely written book can play the part of conditioner for the culture and practices prevalent in the land. I was hooked to the book “Sightseeing”by Rattawut Lapcharoensap for days before I reached Thailand. It is a brilliant combination of eight short stories that depict life of Thais beyond tour packages, city tours and hustles of massage parlours.
Good to know: Khabon Kha is “Thank you!” and “Soi” is Lane. All the tour operators, the boat companies, have two sets of guides, one speaks english, other one speak English and Chinese
How many of you have decided to visit Thailand while embarking on the first ever foreign trip? Do you love Thailand the way I do? Do you have a suggestion for the next must visit place for me in Thailand? Please suggest…
- Have a day to visit James Bond island on a boat cruise
- Have another day at Phuket? Plan a trip to Maya Bay/Phi Phi Island.
- Want to tour Thailand virtually?
- Eat your heart out and more
- Relish the amazing spreads of Bangkok’s China Town and famous floating markets