Bangalore to Bangkok
My preconceived notions about “only below the belt tourism” and a horrible past transit experience never allowed me to even think about a trip to Thailand. But this time when my tiny budget and even tinier holidays made me bound to think about this country, honestly speaking, I was damn unhappy. Just because I badly needed a break and got to know that the On Arrival Visa (OAV) is free for Indians, I somehow settled for Thailand after cribbing to the extreme.
My disgust reached it’s highest peak when had to spend more than four hours to get the OAV stamped on my passport. While the other paid visa and immigration counters are as free as desert, the concerning authority doesn’t fail to make the tourists in the queue of OAV purposely uncomfortable. So that irritated tourists will go for a "Premium Visa" and will spend a whopping amount. They will come to each one standing in the queue and will ask them to go for the premium visa which is made in a wink. Standing there in that no AC, no fan, no water zone after a full day work and a sleepless flight - thirsty, tired, hungry, sweaty me regretted my decision thousands times.
Somehow I consoled myself and left the airport. Slowly and gradually my perceptions started changing as I starterd for Ekkamai Bus station. Thailand being one of the countries with highest footfall in the world is pretty easy to access. I also did my own research on how to get to the places I planned for. However, the guidance I got from a cute lady bus conductor was amazing. She with her broken English explained that I had to take Bus no. 1 to Mo Chit Metro Station. And get a metro or skytrain to Ekkamai.
I followed her direction and passing some iconic landmarks of Bangkok like Victory monument, Mbk center etc finally I reached Ekkamai in 1hour flat. The early morning ride with the awakening Bangkok city was quite impressive.
Ekkamai is the station to operate commutation to all known unknown tourist destinations of Thailand. I should admit, the 5hours journey from Ekkamai (first in minivan, then tuktuk and finally ferry to the island) to Koh Chang changed my vision about this country. Smooth transport, helpful locals and a grand entry to Koh Chang made my day. The the vibe of this easy going happy country started working. The setting sun spreaded a bright golden vibe while I was entering the island and it kinda stayed with me