I had been procrastinating a lot lately. This unproductive behaviour made me go through my old albums on social media. While I was posting the much trending #ThrowbackThursday post on Instagram (things Gen-Y trends make you do!), I realised I haven’t really posted about my last trip to Thailand. The blog post had been on my cards since months, but somehow the lazybones in me always managed to take over. This post is pure nostalgia, a compilation of my first ever overseas trip with my beloved family. I would also be including certain Do’s and Don’ts in case you’re planning your next vacation there.
Thailand has almost become the new Goa for the Indian Middle Class, with it’s gorgeous Tropical beaches and affordable flight rates.
If you plan your trip much in advance, a roundabout trip from Kolkata to Bangkok will cost you not more than 10k (INR) per person.
Visa and Currency Exchange
Thailand offers Visa on Arrival, but I would always recommend getting your Visa process completed beforehand. Similarly we had our INR to Bahts converted in Kolkata itself to avoid the hassle.
Bangkok Airport to Pattaya
Our first stop was Pattaya. One needs to travel by road from the Bangkok airport to reach Pattaya. The journey is roughly 2 hours. You may travel by bus or a cab. The buses are extremely comfortable and pocket friendly and may be booked in advance through a travel agency.
Pattaya, famous for its gorgeous Tropical beaches and of course the Walking Street (ahem!) stunned us with the night life. While the city is laidback during the day, it transforms into something else during the night. The tropical blues of the sky and seas turn into bling and sinful pleasures of the night.
A little away from Pattaya are the Coral Islands which offer a lot of water-sports, mainly Paragliding and Snorkelling. The speed-boat journey from the Pattaya beach to Coral Islands isn’t something you should miss.
What to do in Pattaya
Unlike Pattaya, Bangkok is more of a concrete jungle, the biggest attraction being the shopping scene. The city is packed with fancy shopping malls, MBK being my favourite. I would suggest planning Bangkok over a weekend so as to visit the weekend market, Chatuckak, which is nothing less than a shopper’s paradise. Besides the shopping, you may also take the Bangkok city river cruise. Travelling through the city is hassle-free. The city is connected through subways and Tuk-Tuks (Thai version of our Auto-Rickshaw).
What to do in Bangkok
Things you may want to avoid in Bangkok/Pattaya
What to pack?
The best part about Thailand is that you can travel light. Pack a few shorts, basic tees, swimwear and maybe a dress or two. Pattaya has a lot of beautiful swimwear. So you may buy it from there itself. The only footwear I carried was a pair of flipflops. I bought a pair of white sneakers from Bangkok which became a major part of my outfits. I would recommend carrying a small backpack as a handbag. Certain monasteries have a dress-code where they do not allow sleeveless or skimpy clothing. It’s best to carry a shrug or a scarf in your handbag. Sunscreen and Sunglasses are non-negotiable unless you want to get sunburnt.
If you plan strategically, an entire trip including shopping and water-sports should not exceed 25k. Since we were short on time, we avoided Krabi and Phuket. That’s on my list for the next trip.