How many times have you decided to go on a trip and couldn't make it happen?
The answer could be in double digits. Triple! I feel sorry for you.
Well, This trip is a perfect example of what could happen if the wanderlust has been kept inside for so long.
It was September'16, me and my friend were planning for a trip to Gangtok (Sikkim) this time. The Pujo season seemed perfect to take a train to the uphills, because who gets a four day long weekend! Only the lucky ones. And my friend was not one of those.
So just a week before the date of departure, we had to cancel the tickets due to his work engagements (it was so painful clicking that 'Are you sure want to cancel the booking?' button)
Then started the ever same discussion about 'Where', 'When' blah blah!!
"Let's go Bangkok" I don't exactly remember which one of us said that but it was after some obvious nonsense and some beep beeps. And the enthusiasm was suddenly back on the track. Ticket searching, hotel stalking, tourist sights marking, and that continued for two whole days. Then it all came down to the question, 'WHEN?'
Every Indian bachelor, who has once been to Goa, has definitely made plans for Thailand for his/her next leisure holiday. With clean sandy beaches, leafy jungles, affordable stays, amazing cuisines and a welcoming culture, Thailand is an amazing destination for budget travelers as well.
When we were in college, we had desires to travel the world but no money. Now when we are in the big league and earning, finding the time to make those desires happen seems the most difficult of the tasks.
After Pujo, the only additional work off we could find was Diwali. But is Diwali a good time to go abroad? People go home, to family on such occasion, who goes Bangkok man! Had we gone mad!
'Dear Zahid, thank you for using Goibibo. Your booking id is *a long long alphanumeric code* for your trip starting 26th October.' This is in an excerpt of the text I received on my cellphone next moment. That S.O.B. made the bookings.
I haven't had a word with my manager at work, and the air tickets of a week long Thailand trip were in my hands already. I was so done. What was I supposed to do! Trying to talk the manager into granting me leaves! Worst idea ever. And then I came up with the best-idea-ever. Let's do not tell anybody. ;) The only one from the office to know about this crazy idea was a colleague (also my roommate). You'll see how he helped me through the days when I was "working from home" :D
And the day arrived. The bags were all packed, we were all set, the cab was on the way. We were going to get our passports stamped for the very first time, which was another reason to be excited about.
Thailand offers Visa on arrival for Indian citizens. You need to present a valid Indian passport, hotel reservations, passport size photographs, return flight tickets and a printout of your bank passbook(or 20000 Baht in cash). With all those documents, you fill up a visa application form and submit that to the immigration counter with 1000 Baht to get your tourist visa.
After a short flight of about 3 hours, we were there, at Suvarnabhumi Airport. It was massive. Time to get the VISA done. Heading towards the VISA counter, I came to realise that I did not carry a single passport size photograph. Now what! Was I gonna get sent back? Nope. There's a tiny photo booth a few steps away the counter, which literally takes just 10 minutes and a few bucks for 6 copies. I got my ass saved.
We finally got the immigration done, had a foot long from SubWay and took the MRT to our destination.
Where Did We Stay?
We always choose affordable hostels over luxury hotels. We rather prefer to spend those saved bucks on experiences. So our stay was this cool hostel named '1989 Cafe & Hostel' located in Sukhumvit. Just about a mile away from the nearest skyline station this place is too good for a comfortable stay and the hosts are very friendly too.
We got ourselves a separate room with a double bed, breakfast was complimentary :)
What Did We Do/See In Bangkok?
Our plan was to stay in Bangkok for 2 nights, so here's how we spent them all-
It was already past noon till we reached the hostel so after a quick shower, we decided to take a stroll in the area and wander around the neighborhood.
Not all the people in Bangkok can speak English, so we had to struggle a bit to find our way around at first. But we got it all set after a while.
It was a tiring day, we went to bed earlier than we were to used to. Anyway, we had more days ahead of us.
After the usual morning rituals, we set off to explore the city.