10 Things to Do In Thailand That Would Take Your Breath Away
Check out the many camping sites and luxury resorts located around Khao Yai....
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First solo trip: Thailand travel diary
I went through my wishlist and realized it was time for festival of lights in Thailand (Loy krathong or yee peng as locals call it)....
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What I learnt, ate and experienced on my first day in Bangkok.Read More
What I learnt, ate and experienced on my first day in Bangkok.
Ah, this is an Indian man's favourite destination. Your cousin or distant uncle must have told you how "funtastic" Bangkok is, and they weren't kidding. The place is a melange of beautiful beaches and ancient Hindu temples, and the people are really hospitable all over. The best part is, tickets are cheap!Must do while here: Go monastery hopping. Visit the Khaosan Road to experience the outrageous nightlife.Average cost per day per head (excluding flights): Rs. 3,000Best Hotels.Read more about Bangkok.
Every year Bangkok experiences a rise of 0.8 degree Celsius and along with temperature fluctuations, flooding has become a present reality for the city. In last few years Bangkok's issue with climate has speed up drastically and a future with irreversible effects.
Day 6, Jan 9th, 2017: Our travel agent had left us to our own devices for this day, so we decided to visit the floating market, another unique thing to Thailand. There are a few floating markets around Bangkok, and we were taken to the Damnoen Saduek Floating Market. We rented a taxi from the hotel to take us there as it is an hour's drive from Bangkok. We crossed lush countryside as we headed for the market. The tickets for an hour long ride on the long-tailed boat along the canals was pretty expensive, 1000 Baht. The roar of the engine sounded loud as we chugged along the narrow canals. We were met by a burst of color and sound as we reached the main area of the market. You can disembark from the boat to stroll the shops in the marketplace or u can choose to browse by boat. Houses on stilts on the banks can be seen in some places. The floating market is colorful and fun at the same time. Each time you want to inspect something from a shop or buy something, the boat rider slows down to make it convenient. The shops sell everything from bags, wallets, belts, beautiful scarves, Thailand t-shirts, dragon printed shirts, coconut shell artifacts. It is an unique experience. We made a stop at a coconut factory and shop, it is strange how every part of the coconut is used for making something. I got some tasty fresh coconut treats to take back home, the lady at the counter even let me taste one.My friends visited the Golden Buddha Temple after we returned back from the floating market and then were taken to a gem factory. We spent our evening shopping again at Indra Mall and nearby areas. This was officially our last day in Thailand as we would be leaving the next day, although we did actually have another day since our flight was late night.
Day 5, Jan 8th, 2017: After a leisurely breakfast, we set out for Bangkok. Our stay was at the Ecotel Hotel, which was the least favorite of the three hotels we stayed in during our trip. We had relegated all our shopping to Bangkok since we had heard it was the most appropriate place to shop for cheap and trendy items. It was noon by the time we arrived at Bangkok and I skipped the day tour as I had been to Bangkok earlier, and decided to concentrate on shopping. The Indra mall was where we did all our shopping. There was everything available and at very reasonable rates, need I mention you need to barter well. The evening was spent shopping and then we visited the massage parlor for a leisurely massage before retiring for the night.
I love the bright chaos Bangkok offers me. I look around and my eyes pop out at the various colors that whoosh past me. I love your city at night with the lights and the sky train that shoots past over my head. While here, I am certain of how to start and end my day; you wrap your arms around me and lead my way.
If Bangkok were a person, the safest term to describe its personality would be ‘eccentric’, perhaps even downright insane. One night in Bangkok can indeed make a hard man humble and the tough guys tumble. It, after all, is a roller coaster of a city, bringing you down at one point and then introducing you the highest of highs. Thailand’s capital is energetic and passive, bright and dingy, welcoming and cold, all at the same time. I consider myself fortunate enough to have seen the multiple facets of Bangkok on seven different occasions. And every single visit has left an indelible impression on me, for all the right reasons.I first arrived in Bangkok when my age was still measured in single digits and the cacophony that made up most of the city was more nonplussing than anything else.
When I was planning my trip to Thailand, I didn't know where to start. I also was not prepared to fall completely in love with the country. Here's a simple plan to get the best of Bangkok, especially if you have to get back to office on Monday (boo!). So, 48 hours (you might not sleep much). Here's all the things to do in Bangkok. Your time starts now.The first thing that hits you about Bangkok is that it's overwhelming. You'll be so torn in which direction to go and what to do first. Just soak it all in. And make sure that there's another trip to Thailand in your future, because one just won't do! There are so many things to do in Bangkok.
We landed in Bangkok after a 16 hour journey that included two curries courtesy of Air India, numerous Bloody Marys and the sum total of 3 hours sleep between us. Rach achieved a respectable two hours; I got one. Mainly thanks to the guy sat behind me on the plane using his ginormous sausage fingers to treat the touch screen in my headrest like a particularly rusty typewriter. After ten minutes I thought he would wear himself out. After twenty minutes it became apparent he would not and by then I had decided that I was too polite (too English) to say anything. Which is how I found myself face down on my food tray listening to Chariots of Fire for two hours. Excellent soundtrack, by the way.So we arrived at Bangkok airport somewhat tired, smelly (well I did, Rach cannot generate body odour), and disorientated. Having collected our baggage, we stepped outside. Bangkok is hot. And humid. We felt as if someone had wrapped us in a thousand duvets.Fortunately there is a very efficient and easy to use system for getting a taxi outside the airport. We immediately got it wrong. On our second attempt we showed an extremely happy taxi chap our hotel address and name. He loaded our bags into the back of his taxi. He double-checked the address. He asked me if I had the telephone number of our hotel. I did not. He unloaded our bags back onto the pavement.A helpful lady at the service desk found the telephone number for our hotel and we found ourselves in our second taxi. This taxi chap was a different kettle of fish. No smiles, all business. He drove us out of the airport and pulled in two minutes down the road. He stared at the address we had given him. He studied the telephone number. He called the hotel. Rach and I nodded to each other, despite our tired brains we knew that this was our man. He politely informed us that the telephone number was not recognized and confidently drove us into the night.It was a very uneventful drive through heavy traffic into Bangkok old town, punctuated by just one traffic jam. During this jam our driver took a gulp of water, opened the car door, spat the water onto the road and then let rip a prodigious burp. He delivered us safe and sound to the hotel 15 minutes later. I liked him.Casa Nithra is a wonderful hotel. We were welcomed like royalty, and given a cold flannel at reception along with something sweet and mysterious to drink…at least, we hope it was something to drink. Too late to worry about that. They checked us in and upon entering our room we performed a celebratory dance. Next came showers, a couple of beers from the mini bar and sleep.
Have a couple of days to spare in Bangkok and you ain't keen on shopping? Then... attack the food! Especially... street food.Street food in Bangkok is relatively cheap, plus it is authentic and yummy. If you are a foodie and yet do not want to spend a bomb eating your way through Bangkok... you have come to the right place :)Street food in Bangkok is easy on your wallet and satisfies your stomach!
Where: ThailandWhat to do: Get a glimpse into the city's soul by heading to Chiang Mai's oldest public market, Warorot. For an enriching shopping experience, visit the Walking Street markets that comes to life only during the weekends. Pay your tributes to some of Chiang Mai's most revered temples, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Phan Tso. Taste all the layers of Thai cuisine in a single bowl of gap kow at Talat Thanin.Read More
Where: ThailandWhat to do: Get a glimpse into the city's soul by heading to Chiang Mai's oldest public market, Warorot. For an enriching shopping experience, visit the Walking Street markets that comes to life only during the weekends. Pay your tributes to some of Chiang Mai's most revered temples, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Phan Tso. Taste all the layers of Thai cuisine in a single bowl of gap kow at Talat Thanin.
Slowly moving from Thailand’s present (Bangkok) to its past, Chiang Mai was the cultural and religious center of ancient Thailand. Its ornate, historical structures still boast of the opulence that the Thai land inhabited and still inhabits. Luxury in Chiang Mai radiates from its spirituality, from its splendid fit-for-the-kings Wats. Travelling to Chiang Mai is like exploring the true soul of Thailand. It's surreal experiences like painting elephants and ornate temples are some of the most interesting things to do in Thailand.
We booked an early morning elephant and rafting tour. It was nothing spectacular for us. We had pretty much done most of the stuff back home in India. The elephant ride part of the tour was fairly straightforward while the rafting part was horrendous. With the waters running so low, there was barely any rafting that we could do. The entire time we were stuck in between the exposed rocks trying to move ahead. Overall the tour was a bad experience.
I met up with a friend of mine for this second part of the trip. We took an early flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.Chiang Mai is a beautiful, quiet town in the northern part of Thailand. We went during the off season, so it was much quieter than we had expected. Places shut down by 12 pm. Chilling at the hostel and seeing temples spread out across town were our best bets.We had earlier planned on staying at chiang mai for a couple of nights and then go to Pai (which is another small hill station), but we decided against that. It was probably the wrong season for the Northern part of Thailand. The numerous rivers and waterfalls around Chiang Mai and Pai were running dry with very low water levels (dry season).We chilled at the hostel with a bunch of other travellers and enjoyed the food. I would advise everyone to try Northern Thai food. It is very different to the normal Thai that we are all used to (only for Non vegetarians though). BEWARE: Dont even mention spicy ;)
Culture: Chiang Mai (3 days…. or a month!) Catch one of the many night trains that leave Bangkok’s train station and tuck yourself into a bottom bunk with some snacks for the night. When you step off the train in Chiang Mai, it’ll be like a breath of fresh air from Bangkok’s hectic humidity, and you’ll feel a zen calmness sink into your bones. The cultural activities are endless here, but have a gander around the epic Night Bazaar and eat some uber cheap noodle soup at a street stall before catching an authentic Muay Thai Boxing match. Pop into the zoo to see some Pandas and just generally wander around the greenness, but do prioritise a trip up to the magnificent hilltop temple of Doi Suthep. If you’re feeling daring, drive a scooter up the winding hill or take a Songthaew (pick-up truck taxi) with a bicycle and endure a hair-raising ride back down to town. See more of our tips for seeing Chiang Mai.
TIGER KINGDOM: I have done both Tiger Kingdom and Tiger Temple and would defiantly recommend Tiger Kingdom as the one you should do. The tigers are so well looked after, they are more lively and you can get your pictures taken with them when they are alert and playing. Tiger Kingdom has 5 types of tigers…. smallest, small1, small2, medium and big. Each type is around 500b (10 pound) or you can do them all for 1900b (Just under 40 pound) and if you want you can hire a professional photographer for 300b (6 pound) extra and I would DEFIANTLY recommend this! FLIGHT OF THE GIBBONS: An action packed day of flying though the tree tops of Chiang Mai’s forest on zip lines and abseils. There are a couple of companies which do this however the Flight of The Gibbons takes you to see the wild gibbons (that’s a type of monkey fyi) and gives you an amazing 3 course meal with live jungle music! It really is nonstop and is ‘Thailand’s number one tourist attraction’ the costs can vary depending on where you get the tickets from but it is roughly 2800b and is pretty much a full day adventure!
Chiang Mai is called ‘the rose of the north’ and is 700km from the capital city of Bangkok. Despite being the 2nd largest city in Thailand, its population comes in at about 200,000 while Bangkok is 9 million. This makes it a very lovely and comfortable city to go to.
Made it to Chiang Mai as scheduled anyway.Chiang Mai, the place to be? It is a beautiful city but it depends on what you are looking for. They are luring in young crowds with all kinds of expensive package adventure trek tours (bungy jump, zip lines, quads, rafting, climbing, mountain biking etc.) and bars/restaurants. We feel that this place is way tourist-oriented for us although this is the low season. We will be looking for a more authentic Thai experience.
Day 1, Jan 4th, 2017: As we landed at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport, we almost forgot the weariness of the journey from Guwahati the previous evening, the long wait at Kolkata airport, and the almost lack of sleep on the flight due to excitement (or was it too much coffee). Visa on arrival was done quickly enough and hassle free as we excitedly took pics from inside the car as our car sped through early morning Bangkok traffic to Don Muang airport for our flight to Phuket.Read More
Day 1, Jan 4th, 2017: As we landed at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport, we almost forgot the weariness of the journey from Guwahati the previous evening, the long wait at Kolkata airport, and the almost lack of sleep on the flight due to excitement (or was it too much coffee). Visa on arrival was done quickly enough and hassle free as we excitedly took pics from inside the car as our car sped through early morning Bangkok traffic to Don Muang airport for our flight to Phuket.
Phuket, an island so big has a lot to explore. From elephant rides to canoeing, from waterfalls to ziplining and tour to phiphi islands will take one to zenith. As we missed Indian food badly and desperately needed some spicy taste , we came across an Indian restaurant C-Food run by both Indians and Pakistani. The food is relishing, amazing and cheap in budget.In Phuket, one can visit the Bangla Road to watch out for Muay Thai fight.
Thailand seems to have lucked out when it comes to beaches. Stunners at such short distances. Spotting this tiny island from your flight, it’s surrounding emerald and jade waters leave a lasting impression on you. What a ravishing beauty!Here are the top family things to do and see @ Phuket-
Phuket is good bet to explore while one is here but the internal flight from Bangkok to Phuket was digging a big hole in our meagre pockets so we chose explore Bangkok and Pattaya thoroughly in that one week, and trust me one week was less to explore the both in and out. So the decision to leave Phuket for another time was good plan as Phuket does deserve it's share of time and is more of a romantic place than a student place as it's obviously more expensive than the low-maintenance siblings of Thailand. Vegetarians all the very best, you can always click the food if you can't eat the food.
On the very same day I reached Phuket and as soon as I reached my hostel from airport for the first time in my life, I experienced such sort of things called backpacker hostel. I stayed at Bodega hostel near Bangla Road, Patong beach. I met couple of girls who travelling since last couple of months and then there was this guy who arrived couple of days back in Phuket and few more. I started having conversation with them and trust me it felt so good as if we knew each other for so long. I got along with those people very well and right from there it set the tone for the rest of my journey.
#SwipeRightToTravelBus transfer from Bangkok International to Domestic. I was the last to board thanks to my punctuality. I saw two empty seats, one at the window and the other next to this girl in her mid twenties. On a trance of backpacking solo, I chose the latter. A few minutes past and the first thing I asked was the time, it is cliché but often breaks the ice and helps you decide if you vibe or not. As it turns out, we progressed from the bus to the Airport Gate, we were both headed to Phuket for the first time and we'd exchanged numbers and decided to spend a day travelling around Phuket together. What we did not know was how would this day unfold. The next morning, I hire a scooter and pick her up from her hotel. And following are the list of things we did:1. Cover 6 different beaches trying banana pancakes and singha beers.2. Get drenched on the highway due to unseasonal rains.3. Swim at the highest waterfall of Phuket in the National park.4. Race our scooter 50 kms south to catch the sun set at 'Prom thep Cape'.5. Post sunset went to the Phuket walking Street and drank more beers, met random travellers. To end the day, I dropped her at her hotel and left for Phi Phi islands the next day. She was French, 'Celene' was her name. We knew eachother for 48hours from the time of meeting to the final goodbye. But she gave me one of the best days of my life I would never forget.
If you haven't yet been to Thailand, you're probably the only one in the entire neighbourhood then. Phuket is extremely welcoming to tourists, especially Indians, hence there's no reason why Thailand should be left out from the places you will have visited in 2017. Despite being 49km long (that's HUGE), it's completely surrounded with water. While the Phuket Town is an artsy, culturally-profound capital, Rawai on the island's tip remains completely aloof and hippie-welcoming with its laidback attitude.Famous for: Beaches and nightlife.Things to do: Just chill at the Karon Beach. Visit the Phuket FantaSea cultural theme park.Weather in January: Average is 27 degrees celsius. Perfect for sunbathing.Average budget per head for 5 days (excluding flights): Rs. 42,000For more details, read this.
Phuket is where fun and luxury maximize themselves. And so does beauty. It is not a surprise then, that many travel blogs and magazines compare it to a stylish celebrity or the supermodel of travel destinations. Phuket is pretty high-maintenance, from its nightlife to its beaches and everything in between. It is the ultimate luxury on a Thailand itinerary that pampers the common traveller to forget his normal existence and feel like a true king.
Much more spectacular than Phuket or Pattaya ... Still very virgin. Must travel around to see Railey Beach and Maya Bay. Hot Water Springs, The Emerald Lake and Blue Lake are sheerly hidden treasures of Krabi. Certainly a treat for anyone who loves nature and peace!Read More
Day 5 - Ao Nang At 5:00 pm, we met our AirBnb Host Martin on the Pier itself and proceeded to occupy our rooms in Poonsiri Villa, Ao Nang. Late in the evening, we hired a bike to roam around the area. The Ao Nang beach has a huge market running along its length. It is the ultimate stop for a good hang out in the area (though we preferred the Wednesday Night Market, to which I will come to later) In that market itself, we booked a tour for Emerald Pool, Hot Water Spring & Elephant Trekking for the next day. The price of the tour varies depending upon the agent, and your haggling skills (yep!). The one we booked was priced at 1400/head originally and we bargained it down to 750/head (Whoa! But we later realized that we could have done it by ourselves for even less). Day 6 - Emerald Pool, Hot Water Spring & Elephant Trekking We started at around 8 with the tour cab picking us up from our place. We proceeded to Khao Pra–Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary, which had Emerald Pool and Hot Water Spring. At that point we felt like we only paid for the transportation as the so called "English speaking" guide just left us at the entry and directed us to move further on our own. Hot Water Spring was a natural Jacuzzi, and it was swarming with tourists when we reached around 10. We should have started sooner. Anyway, we took a dip in it and spent some time in the hot waters. It was good fun. The Emerald pool was pretty close to the Spring, and after entering through the ticket gates we had to walk ~1km to reach the actual spot. It was breathtaking with crystal clear water shimmering in the sunlight. We spent close to one hour in the pool and loved every bit of it. After lunch, we proceeded to Elephant Trekking tour which was further away from the Sanctuary (close to an hour drive). We sat on the elephants and took a round of the forest area nearby followed by elephant dipping in the pool nearby. Honestly, it was bit of a disappointment. The 'Mahout' wielded a sickle shaped hammer to control the beast and he hit the poor animal on his skull while making him walk his way. Both of us winced at it, and asked the guy to not do it again. That pretty much ended the excursion for us. After the tour we got out in the evening to check out the Ao Nang local market (a Wednesday only thing, and not to be missed). It had gamut of stalls selling (replica) clothing, accessories, and best of all street food at throw away prices. If one wants to explore the real treat at Krabi, eating at this place is a must. Day 7 - Kayaking in Bor Thor Caves & Tiger Cave Temple Realizing that the tours can be arranged of our own if we know where to go, we set out early that day for Bor Thor Caves. at 60 km it was a long enough journey from Ao Nang, especially on the scooter that we had, but we wanted to do this tour our way. We started at 7, and after a serene ride (assisted heavily by HERE maps, and direction marker at places) we reached the area and rented a Kayak for 800 Bahts. There were two caves around - one accessible by foot where there was a caveman pic of a seahorse like thing; the other we navigated through while kayaking under it. It was a pretty sight. On our way back we saw scores of Kayaks heading to the cave - it was going to get crowded. Afterwords we headed to Wat Tham Seua a.k.a. the Tiger Cave Temple, around 1 km from Krabi town. The temple boasts a climb of 1260 steep steps to the summit, where one can get a bird's eye view of areas around and far off. It was a taxing journey which took ~40 minutes and we were rewarded with panoramic view of the spot. It was pretty awesome site, almost as great as the feeling of accomplishment climbing so much stairs brought :) After getting down from the Tiger Cave Temple we headed to Krabi Town and checked out one of the many shopping district in the area. It was not much different from Ao Nang, but still had a vibe to it. The long day ended with us enjoying a great road side meal consisting of pancakes, pad thai noodles and beer on the Ao Nang beach road. Day 8 - Transit to Bangkok Having gone through the adventure of climbing Tiger Cave Temple a day before, we had our calves hurting in the morning. We got out to our customary market near to Ao Nang Beach for our breakfast. After a lazy day, we headed back to Bangkok form KBV airport.
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