On the last day in Bangkok, we woke up late since we had a night flight to catch and we had to pack. We had to figure out how to shift all our shopping from hand baggage to our main baggage without exceeding the weight restrictions. I had carried an extra travel bag with me with nothing in it for just this reason. After I'd filled it up with the items we'd bought, I filled up a new Thai handbag I had just purchased with the rest of the accessories and we were set.
We spent some time in the room and decided to catch the train and head to MBK mall to check out (buy) some electronics and do some last bit of shopping. They had a lot of great stuff but I didn't particularly need or want anything so I ended up not buying anything. We spotted a spa and got the world famous Thai massage, pampered myself a little, and finally checked-in to the airport late at night! Our flight was at 2 AM. Worst return flight timings. This time, we were flying back with Indigo.
To summarise, here are a few tips to keep in mind before going to Thailand!
1) Keep your passport with you all the time.
2) Vegetarians, please pack some ready to cook/eat food because even Ramen, chips everything has some non-veg ingredient in them. I ended up buying this seemingly vegetarian ready-to-eat noodles and later found chunks of beef floating in it. I literally cried out of disappointment.
3) Do not lose any tickets that you pick up, like - boat ride, bus, or bills for bike rentals. You need to pay all over again if they ever ask for it again and you don't have it.
4) If you are going to any temples please wear full clothes that cover your body. Applies to both boys and girls! While Thai people don't normally say anything if you show off your legs or skin, it's frowned upon and they take it as a sign of disrespect.
5) People going from India, I would suggest you to carry less Thai currency from here and exchange directly in the airport only after you reach as they do not deduct any extra amount for each currency. Also, convert USD to Thai, not INR. It may not even be accepted here. Plus, you get more THB for USD. More money, more shopping!
6) "Loth rakha noi, dai mai krap". THIS SENTENCE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE! Trust me.
7) Key to not get lost in the city/country that you are not familiar with is to simply be polite to the locals and they'll do anything to help you. As much as they do not speak English, they always try to help as long as you are nice and respectful.
8) Say NO to Tuk-Tuk rides. They charge a bomb - sometimes more than taxis - and please do not ask them for any directions. They'll follow you and pester you by saying that they would drop you to the place. In Bangkok, they would take you on an alternate route to purposely show you some antique shopping areas to promote certain stores. They have tie ups with certain stores and charge less if you purchase something from those stores. It's just easier to rely on cabs and the huge network trains they have.
9) Traditional Thai massage will actually hurt a little. They press it hard, so do not get scared. It's all worth it in the end.
10) Wear clothes according to what your plans are for the day. If you are the type to worry about what you eat, please ask them before you order. Even though I specify veg, it always smells of fish and has at least egg and seaweed. Learn basic Thai phrases, it'll be of great help. Thai people do not like loud people, so always be polite and kind. While we headed towards Poonsiri from the Krabi Airport, it was mostly a quiet ride where our minibus was filled with soft speaking Singaporeans, Thai people, Americans, and us. While we spoke and interacted gently and politely like any normal human beings, the bus stopped to pick up a few more Indians at one point.
A bunch of guys from Delhi got on and after 5 minutes, I didn't know where to hide my face because of how embarrassing they were as representatives of India in another country. They were annoyingly loud, rude, laughing, and poking fun at the Thai people and their language. Our local languages would sound just as funny to Thai people, but you don't see them making fun about it openly, do you? Please be mindful of saying such things in public space. The American and Singaporean couple just smiled at us awkwardly as the guys continued on, and that was the end of our rapport thanks to those idiots.
11) Do not even think of disrespecting their king! Do not disrespect him on coins, notes, and even the smallest of pictures. Apparently, he's done a lot for them and recently passed away.
12) What to buy: clothes, essential oils (because in India the same ones are exported and are over-expensive), and lights! Electronics, if you need something. Watch out for duplicates.
> The mistakes I made:
1) If you are in Bangkok do not stay in a hotel away from the city. It is really difficult to getting around due to the lack of connectivity.
2) Changing resorts everyday: it'll take half of your day in doing so. You will not have much time to do the other things.
3) Converting cash into Thai currency in India because you end up losing a lot in the exchange. Do convert some amount, but as little as possible. Just to cover any immediate purchases either on the flight or the moment you get off.
4) Having a huge plan to cover almost all of the places in 9-10 days which is physically NOT possible. When you say, you're going Thailand, you're going to an entire country, not a city. Can you cover the best of India in 10 days and be satisfied?
5) Not visiting Ayutthaya and Damnoen Tiger Zoo. I absolutely missed out on these. North Thailand.
Aaaand that's it! Hope this blog helps you in at least some small way because I have literally written down every single aspect of what happened! On my way back from the Bangalore airport to my place, I stopped at a local restaurant, ate chicken biryani, and headed home. That was the concluding moment for my trip. Namma ooru biryani!
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