( All pictures uploaded are a bit compressed to not waste much of my valuable free space)
Why? Why? Why alone to an unknown distant place? Everyone asked, you will hate it, you will be bored.. I don’t think so…I had a point to prove, not to anyone in particular but just to myself as I keep thinking that I love travelling and love meeting new people. And that was Thailand trip about.
With this post I would describe my travel to Thailand, my trip in general, the mistakes I made, the observations of staying cheap which is what every traveler wants which I will post towards the end.
Planning for the travel started god knows when. The destination was decided in August’14 though. The main reason for selecting this destination was visa on arrival for Indian nationals. Hence the hassle of going to consulate/embassy was dealt with. Initially my plans were to take a week off from work and not visit India, have a short vacation just to Thailand. Now who would want to go back to work in 7 days when I have around 30 days left? I for one didn’t want to do that. I then thought of visiting my parents for 2 weeks and in between visit Thailand, which worked out perfectly. I left for my home (India) in the first week of October and left for Thailand the next week.
Requirements for visiting Thailand:
1. A passport with at least 6 months validity and two straight pages for them to stamp.
2.A very recent photograph (passport size) and 1000 Thai Baht as the visa fees.
3. 10,000 Thai Baht for a single person / 20,000 Thai Baht for a family. (1THB = 0.031 USD / 1.9 INR)
4. Proof of your stay in hotel and return ticket within the next 15 days (can be a print out)
The best time to visit Thailand is Nov-Jul, I visited in the off season and hence the rate of many things were on a bit lower side, but October is kind of that time when people start coming in as November is just a peek away/
I would prefer to narrate day by day experiences so that I miss nothing.
Day zero :
A day spent with friends is a blessed day. Day zero was amazing. My friends picked me up, we laughed as usual and we laughed a lot. Vineeth stays near by Cochin airport. He agrees to drop me off at the airport, its a bit late but still glad that he did the needed. Thank you so much bwooy. After getting into the airport and completing the usual formalities, I was waiting for another friend who was travelling to Mumbai in an AI. He arrives and we laugh again, and in a bit I have to leave.
I get into the flight and it’s a 5 hr flight. I have a cat nap for 4.5 hrs, the rest half an hr used up to fill up my empty stomach 😀
Day One :
I get down at Singapore and wait for my connection flight. The number of Indians are considerably less, which came to my surprise. White people flooded the boarding terminal area. In a bit, I am on my way to Phuket. On the way, I was very much excited though exhausted. I take my camera out and what I see is
We are about 12 kms above the ground and it was really fogged up. The flight was empty, I had already done the online check in and got a window seat for myself, smart ayy! I wanted to have a sight of those islands and hoped that the fog disappears. It did in a while, when we were descending, I got a sight of what I wanted.
And then it started getting really better…
The layer of clouds formed a large foam mattress and it was an all cheering experience. Sun started showing up and the light yellow color is visible in my pics.
The small islands started to show up. Break of dawn and sight of those islands were an amazing capture.
In a while I was at the Phuket International Airport – 1. It was a small airport, it was less busy and ours was the only flight that landed at 7 in the morning. I walked as per the board indicating visa on arrival. There I was asked for the visa fees. I looked around and there was no money exchange counters there. I had heard from a friend that it was before the immigration counter, but it was not. I had INR and not even USD, so in soup again. I tell them that I have only INR and they being very very very accommodating and pleasant arrange a Silk airlines staff to come with me to the money exchange place. The young lady was beautiful (perks of being and travelling single 😀 ) I somehow managed to grab my dropped jaws from the floor and follow her. She was being a bit unfriendly and distant in the beginning. She showed me an exchange counter where they didn’t exchange for INR. I was shocked and scared at the same time. I looked at the young lady and she understood, she pointed to another exchange which was at the end. I walked and they did have INR – THB. So I just hand over all my money and get screwed then and there. To know how I got screwed, read below 😀
Technically I get my change, and I walk with the young lady back to the immigration counter. On the way back I ask her if she drove and where she lived (as if I knew all the places there), she then seemed to be friendly. I go back get my stuff done and walk out of the airport. I had done my research on how to reach my hotel cheap, as I walk out I see a counter where I could book mini bus or taxi. I booked mini-bus which is a small van kind of thing (20 seater). The price is 180 THB, which is kind of cheap. I could have chose a bus and made it more cheaper but I didn’t want to take a very long route. While I waited for the minibus, I remember that I read somewhere I can get tourist sim for cheap in airport. I walk back, do all the scan again and while walking back towards the immigration office, there is white and red stall selling TrueH international sim cards. The lass in the stall give me options of 3G net and stuff. I tell her, ‘ Look at my face closely, do I not look like a cheap bastard?’ (those were not really the words). She says that I can get a sim for free and I need to top up the credit from mini super market. Thank you so much. I grab hold of it and walk off to my mini bus place. I get on the mini bus, the place has good roads, with 2 lanes at least in one side. The drive is right hand like India, but the traffic and road culture is way way better than our country. People have some sense and courtesy. They use indicators and stuff. I am sorry to have not taken a picture of their road. The bikers as usual might annoy you but apart from that the traffic is fine.
The minibus stops at a place and they kind of try to sell tours and stuff, but you can easily talk your way out of that. I was at my hotel in another hour or so. I had a check in of 12 noon. I reached by 11:40 am or round about. The name of the hotel was Patong Towers Condominium. I met Tah there, she was the receptionist. Very beautiful and smart. I get the room keys and get to know a bit about the place and stuff. The room was on 6th floor and sadly it was not a sea view. I had booked it via QVI clubs and they don’t offer any sea view rooms for it, which is indeed sad.
The room was amazing. It was for 4 pax and I had it all for myself. Electric Oven, kettle and toaster all for myself. I could lavishly have coffee and tea. Only on the final day did I snap a couple of pics of the room. The room had a TV which I switched on once, and it had free wifi.
Here are a couple of pictures of the room, this one from my bedroom (straight from my bed in the morning)
This was front room, the bed room had a huge king size bed and the view from my bed is shown above.
View from one of my balconies
The pool of the resort beside, one of the best pools I have ever been in my life. The pool of my hotel was a big turn off, it had leaves all over and water wasn’t changed for god knows how long. I used this pool once and I was really impressed how it was maintained.
I had a nap again till 6 pm and then I wake up and go out. I had before coming here, managed to damage my ride which took all the money from my Thailand trip. I was really short of money and I hence had decided I will stay away from Women & Wine.
The evening was spent walking here and there, tried and spotted couple of Indian restaurants, McD and Pizza places. At night fall, I walked through the Las Vegas of Phuket. It is called Soi Bangla (street Bangla). This is the main night life and party place of the entire town. Bars, women dancing around poles, various kind of kinky shows… I walked past all these took a hint of what to expect at this place. Photos of the place…
Patong is the most happening place of Phuket, Phuket apart from Patong is generally dull. Bangla sits near the Patong Beach. My hotel was close to both beach and Bangla street.
Clubs like this are plenty in numbers, you won’t even know how much money you spend if you go into one of these
Look at the crowd, like walking on Dadar station in Mumbai. This gets worse as the night starts growing.
One of the various activity that happens in Soi Bangla
Soi Seadragon (street seadragon) baap of all the other soi’s. The bars here are considered the best, suzy wong’s is in this soi.
I decided I am staying away from this place due to lack of funds.
The night was still young, but I had no more vigor left in me. I retire for the day.
Day Two :
To be contd……