Guilty as charged, I have been out of loop lately. Everyone told me rather warned me of how little time I would I have for myself let alone blogging after the little ones’ arrival. But, frankly it was more due to health reasons that I could not devote time to writing travelogues or recipes on my other blog site – Akshayapatram, as much as I wanted to. Anyways, am back albeit I will still take it slow.
Today am going to share with you a travelogue about Bangkok and Phuket written by a young traveller Supriya Kurpad, who shares with us her excitement, anxiety and inhibitions, centred on this trip…
Our five days in Baangkok and Phuket
Thailand has done well to promote itself as a tourist hotspot in Southeast Asia in the last decade. Thailand is well known for its Buddhist temples and scenic beaches. Although it is a favourite mainly with newlyweds, my roommate Dipika and I decided to travel on a not so romantic, not so expensive budget and we planned a 5 day trip – three in Bangkok and two in Phuket. Although we call it a budget tour, spending on accommodation is something we didn’t consider cutting down on considering that Thailand has developed a reputation for activities involving flesh, we didn’t want to compromise on our security at any given point of time. All in all, we had a wonderful trip spending approx $450 / INR 20,000 each, all inclusive. Airfare Singapore – Bangkok – Phuket – Singapore cost us $200 / INR 9000. Accommodation and other expenditure was $250 / INR 11000. In this post let me recapture a few highlights of my trip to the land of the White Elephant!!
We landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhoomi airport and it took two hours for us to obtain our visa. Please note that Indians are eligible for visa on arrival in Thailand (as on Jan 29 2011) and visa is also free till March 2011 as per the government’s initiative to promote tourism. All details regarding visa can be obtained on http://www.mfa.go.th . After clearing immigration, we decided to book day tours for each of the 3 days that we planned to spend in Bangkok rather than travel on our own.
Communication can be a big problem in Thailand if one doesn’t know the local language. Though majority of the locals try & speak english, their grammer is totally alien to a Queen’s English speaker and sometimes results in hilarious episodes. A friend of mine recounted this – there is no word called “COME” in Thai English!! You have to use the word “GO”. So when you want the taxi to come to the hotel to pick you up – you have to say “Hotel Go” for him to come to you!!
Public transport is haphazard and something I wouldn’t recommend. Moreover, the landmarks and tourist spots are spread so far from each other that by travelling on our own we were sure to end up spending more money and time in figuring things out. The motorcycle taxis didn’t appeal to us either. The various counters at the airport offer good deals on tours within and around Bangkok. We booked a half day city tour for Day 1 @1100 baht per person and the full day TigerTemple tour for Day 2 @3000 baht per person. Having arranged to be picked up after lunch for the Bangkok city tour, we proceeded to the hotel. We stayed at the Residence Rajatevee hotel, which I would definitely recommend.
After lunch at the hotel, we started on our Bangkok city tour which is also sometimes called the Temple tour because there isn’t much that the tour takes you to other than temples!
About the temple tour in the next post…..
Supriya Kurpad, an engineer by vocation decided to leave her job and pursue further studies in Singapore where she currently resides. In her free time she loves reading, exploring local places and vegetarian food besides globetrotting!!