Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Ideal Yatra - A trip to Bangkok

An ideal vacation is something everyone dreams about all the time. It can't happen overnight, but rather needs meticulous planning and research to find the most perfect spot. The place should not have extreme weather ( too hot or too cold can be quite a dampener). Besides the travel costs is also a major factor while choosing the destination. It may be domestic or international, but it should be planned right from the beginning till the end to ensure it's executed perfectly.

Among all the places I've visited before, the most ideal vacation I've been to would be Thailand. I have visited several countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai etc . But nothing can come close to the beauty and serenity of Thailand. A country that offers plenty of things for so many people, every trip there will always turn out to be magical. Surprisingly, planning a trip to Thailand can be quite easy and much easier than other countries.

So to begin with , I logged into Yatra and searched for International Flights from Chennai to Thailand. I happened to find that Spicejet had the lowest fare for a night flight. This seemed perfect for me and a roundtrip costed me around 13K after the discount offered by Yatra, which to me was a great deal.

Post booking my flights, I quickly searched for good hotel deals in Bangkok that will be within the central area and also within my budget. I usually prefer 3 or 4 star hotels and to my great surprise I was able to find a crackling deal in one of the best hotels in that country. I searched for “Baiyoke Sky Hotel” which happened to be the tallest building in the country with 85 floors and panoramic views of the city and was able to book a Space Zone suite in that hotel for a very reasonable rate
Having booked my hotel and flight, I researched online for the top shopping malls, adventure spots and tourist locations that I should definitely see in Bangkok. Having made a huge list, I set upon my journey to the kingdom of elephants, Thailand.

My itinerary was as follows

(Picture Courtesy : Taken by me in my previous Bangkok trip)



Day 1: Arrived in Thailand. Was able to get a On-Arrival visa in hardly twenty minutes for a fee of 1000Baht (2000INR) .  Post which I took a taxi directly to the hotel from the airport, which was incidentally located in a prime shopping area called Pratunam.



After checking in , I headed on to the most visited spot in Bangkok : The Grand Palace and Temple of the Golden Buddha. Situated on the banks of the Chao Praya river, I boarded a metro and from there, took a Tuk-Tuk(Thailand’s version of the auto) . After exploring this beautiful place, I had lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant that luckily served good vegetarian food. Towards evening I headed straight to their biggest mall in the city, MBK. Nearly 7 floors high, this massive mall has almost everything from clothes, foods, accessories, movies, furniture, shoes and almost anything you can think of . It had more than 2000-3000 stores and it took more than 5-6 hours just to cover half of the mall.

 
Day 2 : One of the main attraction of Thailand is their famous Floating Market. From a local tourist agent, I booked a tour to the nearby Floating market called “Damnoen Sadak” Market which was around 120kms from Bangkok. After a 2 hour drive, we were given a short ride in the canals where we could see plenty of traders selling interesting handicrafts, fruits and vegetables in their respective boats. If you showed interest in any of them, they latched a hook on to your boat, and after a round of intensive bargaining, sold you their product. I also managed to get a beautiful Thai boat miniature and a chilled Coconut Ice cream, that was totally out of the world. This day long trip was very exhausting and by the time I reached Bangkok it was almost 4-5 PM.

 

 After 3-4 hours of rest, I started to hit out the most famous clubs and partying zones of Bangkok. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and I just didn’t have any mood to come out of it, but with a long schedule ahead I managed to find my way back to the hotel quite late in the night.

Day 3: After a round of shopping, travelling and even partying, I tried to do something different. Once again I boarded the metro to Siam Paragon Station which was adjacent to Siam Paragon Mall. This housed the famous Underwater Aquarium and Madame Tussauds. The variety of fishes, sharks, whales and even the divers who managed to feed the sharks was something absolutely fascinating. After being mesmerized by the plethora of aqua life, I headed to a second round of shopping to the famous weekend market of Chatuchak. Luckily the hotel I stayed offered a free drop to this market. This mammoth weekend market had nearly 15,000 stalls and was easily the largest in the country, if not Asia. It was almost closing time when I managed to find my way out of this huge maze. It was indeed a herculean task to carry all the bags back to the hotel room


Day 4 : On my final day of the trip , I had two final things to do before I headed on to my return flight. The first off the list was to check out the various electronics and gadgets in a famous IT mall called Pantip Plaza. Thankfully it was just walking distance from my hotel and it took me less than 10 minutes to find this place. The mall had several hundred shops selling interesting gadgets and devices including mobile phones, laptops, selfies sticks, video games and other computer accessories. I managed to find some great deals here and it came with a round of intensive bargaining yet again.



The final place off my checklist was to get an authentic Thai massage. The massage gave me a completely relaxed feel and relieved me of all the pain and stress I had till then. It is indeed a highly recommended activity in Bangkok.

With just 4 hours left for the flight, I luckily found a taxi who was good enough to ply by the meter (Thailand’s taxis hardly ply by the meter and if you happen to find one don’t let go of it). My return flight back home was smooth and I just couldn’t stop to think, when my next trip will be

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