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Out of Office... From Thailand! ÔÇô Reasons why I will visit Thailand again!

Thursday, 02 April 2015
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Ask any adventure virtuoso, backpacker or avid traveller to list some of their most exciting adventures and chances are that youÔÇÖll have more than a few of them whoÔÇÖd have travelled to Thailand. The country has an eclectic blend of virgin beaches, huge monasteries on one side and multi-level flyovers and skyscrapers on the other. Sawasdee to all the travel bugs let me share with you my best holiday experience, so far to this land of sun, sand and sea!┬á

Places that I visited

I got close to a weekÔÇÖs leave and hence decided to cover only Bangkok (capital city) and Pattaya. I did want to visit Chiang Mai (UNESCO rates this as one of the top 25 destinations in the world), but due to lack of time I had to miss out on it. Phuket is also another famous destination in Thailand that I wanted to visit but due to lack of time couldnÔÇÖt go. If you are in for some exotic holiday with your spouse then, Phuket shouldnÔÇÖt be missed at all; they have some lovely island beaches. But if you just want to go enjoy some night life and do some shopping, then Bangkok is the place for you. Pattaya gives you an experience of both Phuket and Bangkok so you can do some shopping and soak up in the sea.┬á

Thailand trip guide by uae exchange

Day 1: Landed in Suvarnabhumi Airport ÔÇô The Golden Kingdom

The first thing that caught my attention when I landed in Bangkok was the way their airport was done. One of the best rated airports in the world and the busiest in Thailand, Suvarnabhumi has state-of-the-art facilities; colourful visual designs that make you lose track of your time. ┬áSuvarnabhumi means ÔÇ£golden landÔÇØ, also known to be ÔÇ£the golden kingdomÔÇØ, was named by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The highlight of the airport is the depiction of ÔÇ£Samudra ManthanÔÇØ which is a significant event in Hindu mythology. This beautifully done sculpture is a sure delight to your eyes and your shutters and is definitely worth a shot!

Bangkok ÔÇô A little touristy and a little shopaholic

Bangkok is the capital city and is a perfect blend of modern and traditional culture of Thailand. On one side of the downtown, I found hip night clubs and multi-level bridges/flyovers and on another side there were locals who sold their wares sitting in a boat in the river (floating market). To move around in the city, I used a cab. Usually the fares are based on meter, but do insist on meter if driver doesnÔÇÖt turn it on. But if you are the curious kind who likes to travel by their local transport, then go ahead and take their Tuk Tuk, the most colourful auto-rickshaw I have ever come across. I did use the Tuk Tuk for a short distance and it was a lot of fun!ÔÇâ

Day 1 (contd...) ÔÇô In the land of malls and monasteries!

Since I had just landed in Bangkok, I decided to take it slow and hence went mall hopping. If you are the affordable shopaholic, then I swear by MBK mall. They have everything there, clothes, to gadgets at reasonable prices that can further be bargained. It is a huge mall and took me couple of hours to scan around. Siam Paragon is one of the high-end malls which has been done very beautifully with the worldÔÇÖs most famous labels inside. After a long walk inside these malls, I came back to my room left all my stuff and went for a nice foot massage. It was indeed relaxing after all that walking! Thailand is very famous for foot reflexology. So if you want to unwind and get a nice massage then do hit the nearest centre which will probably be stoneÔÇÖs throw away from wherever you are!

Day 2  - Got a little touristy

This day I ensure I visited all the important major landmarks of Bangkok

a. Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) - Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated in (Thonburi) by the bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is believed that after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya, which was besieged by a Burmese army at the time, King Taksin arrived at this temple just as dawn was breaking which is how the name was arrived at.

b. Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha) - One of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok features the famous Reclining Buddha, which is the largest in Thailand measuring more than 150 feet in length. This is the most beautiful form of Buddha that I have ever witnessed. It gives a certain serenity and calmness when you enter this temple. 

c. Wat Traimit (Temple of Golden Buddha) - The Golden Buddha, officially titled Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon, is the world's largest solid gold statue. It is located in the temple of Wat Traimit, Bangkok, Thailand. I visited in Bangkok in April and it was the time of their New Year ÔÇô Songkran, so there were lot of preparations going on. But the best thing about all these places is their hot yummilicious dumplings and tender coconut ice-cream that they sell.┬á┬á

d. Safari World ÔÇô If your trip includes children, then donÔÇÖt miss Safari World. If you love zoos and aquarium then this place is a delight. I had an early start to the day to visit the heritage sites and then hit the safari world by noon. Most of the shows are timed in such a way that you cover maximum of shows before the park closes.

Day 3 -  Indulging in retail therapy 

Well Bangkok is every shopperÔÇÖs paradise. Like I had mentioned earlier, this city is filled with places that allow you to shop without burning your pockets. Indra market and Floating market are two other places which you should visit if you want to go on a shopping spree! The official currency of Thailand is Thai Baht, but US Dollars are widely also accepted here. I wished UAE Exchange had launched gocash (the multi-currency prepaid travel card) card much earlier which would have allowed me to shop in Thai Baht and US Dollars, draw cash from ATMs or swipe on POS machines! Their exchange rate┬álock facility would have come in so handy which would have saved me a lot from transaction charges and currency fluctuations. Though Thailand is a tourist country and there are plenty of exchange houses available, I did miss out on having a gocash prepaid card that would have spared me from carrying huge amounts of cash.┬á

Day 4 - Pattaya ÔÇô The beach city

I spent only two days in Pattaya due to time constraint. But if youÔÇÖve got more days in your hands and love beaches, then please do stay on for an extra day or two and believe me you wonÔÇÖt be disappointed!

Statistics say that 1 in every 4 tourist who visits Thailand, visits Pattaya. Located about 165 kms from Bangkok, it is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. ItÔÇÖs got the most lovely island beaches with clear water that will want you to turn into a fish! After reaching Pattaya, I checked into my hotel and then took off to the precious gems factory. ItÔÇÖs definitely worth the visit since you get a nice audio visual tour in a small train that takes you through the discovery of how these stones and how they are turned into jewellery. In the evening I attended the famous TiffanyÔÇÖs show which one of the best shows in the world. I ended my day four with a nice long stroll on the promenade along the beach which is a beautiful sight in the night with sea and sand on one side and souvenir shops on the other.┬á

Day 5 Coral Island ÔÇô Sun, Sand and Water

I took off early in the morning to catch the ferry to ÔÇ£Coral IslandÔÇØ. This is where the most of beach sports take place. ItÔÇÖs a twenty-minute ferry ride that takes you to the island. There are ferry operators with who will pick and drop you back for a nominal charge. En route to the island there are two stop over points, one for para-sailing and the other for deep sea diving. If you are the adventurous kind looking for some adrenalin rush along with an experience that makes you feel one with nature, then do not miss out on these two activities.

This beautiful island, shallow beach is ideal for people of all age group. It was a visual treat to me and since this was my first visit to an island beach, I spent a lot of time swimming and playing in the water. There are couple of eateries in the island and also some souvenir shops. But I suggest you eat light and skip buying souvenirs here since they are a little over priced compared to the ones on the promenade. 

After some shopping on the promenade I spent some time with the locals there taking part in their Songkran festival celebration. Songkran is the Thai New Year and the Thai celebrate it by pouring water at each other. It was a lot of fun shooting water at each other, and reminded me of Holi festival that we celebrate back home in India. The next day, my final day in Pattaya, I hopped on to a bus back to Bangkok the next day to catch my flight back home.

Ten Reasons why I will come back to Thailand again!

  1. The monasteries 
  2. Floating Market
  3. Affordable shopping
  4. Pattaya Beach
  5. Coral Island
  6. Tuk Tuk and night life
  7. Yummy Thai cuisine
  8. To visit Chiang Mei and Phuket
  9. To visit the Gems Factory, Pattaya
  10. All this at an affordable price!

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 July 2015 10:02