OVERVIEW OF THE BLOG CONTENT
I have tried to curate a blogpost , combining my travel experiences and recommendations , with those of my frequent visitor friends ( overly frequent if I may say )to this bedazzling city , along with some narrowed down links to the immense information already flooding the internet.
Hope you can benefit from the combination of both sponsored and personal experiences .
WHY BANGKOK – EASY GETAWAY
Every now and then we are looking for places that can be accommodated in the limited time of a weekend or extended weekend . And one such destination that tops the list can easily be Bangkok .
Though Thailand is full of options , Bangkok comes to be the easiest with a direct flight of mere 4:25 hrs to take you there ( flying from delhi ) , with fares as low as 12000/- INR ( for advance bookings and offers to 25000 INR/- for last minute bookings.
And of course life saving ( read as time saving ) visa on arrival (VOA) for us Indian folks . Just remember in case you opting for this , you carry a return ticket with you , as the same will be required for successfully crossing the Indian Immigration counter .
The city that comfortably suits every pocket , has enough to meet the desires and fantasies of all kind of vacationers & yet when one thinks they have seen it all -it will surprise you with something new each time , to keep you glued .
INDIAN AIRPORT ⇒ BKK AIRPORT
Visa on Arrival at BKK Airport – THE PROCESS
Get the form before entering the line . Either it is placed on the tables or usually there is some official handing it out to youIf possible carry 2 passport size photographs with you in advance – saves time , else you can get it clicked there as well for 200 THB.Once filled ,choose between the 2 lines – NORMAL / FAST TRACKA visa on arrival (VOA) for us Indian folks costs between 1000 THB ( normal lane ) and 1200 THB ( fast track lane ) . A rough all time conversion being 1 Bhatt = 2 INR . They never give you a receipt for the extra 200 they take , but it surely can be a big time saver during those rush hours .Next just hand over the same to the person at the immigration counter along with your passport and await your turn for the stamp , as per your assigned waiting number .Cross immigration post & you are through.The maximum time for which visa is currently granted is 1 month with single entry.Luggage
After you have crossed the immigration , you head to the luggage collection belt and post that out into the waiting area.
This is where you will be swarmed by travel agents with placards . There will be various signages for taxi and public transport . Choose as per your liking and convenience and proceed .
A metro is a pretty easy way to get to the city (and also around ) , in case you are not carrying too much luggage.
Pre-Paid Sim Card
My advice is not to carry a sim from india – it is not really economical . In the waiting area there are a number of service providers .
One which I will recommend for calling back India , for Internet and Local calls will be DTAC or TRU MOVE tourist sims.
They cost around 299 THB including 100 THB for calling and unlimited internet for a week .Rest -various offers keep running , but I believe these are the most prominent ones .
Dtac :http://store.dtac.co.th/en/happytouristsimTrueMove :http://truemoveh.truecorp.co.th/3g/sim-truemoveh/prepaid/entry/2258?ln=enTOP -UPs : You can easily get in the city at any 7 Eleven store ( these are the 24 hour small departmental stores all around the city – much like our 24/7s)
Suggestions by Friends :
For Indians…buy a “bolo sim card” or “Indian Sim Card” , normally available at Indian shops and restaurants. Priced at around 100 bhat for the talktime, this goes into your DTAC sim…and you can call India in dirt cheap rates. Approx.. Rs. 1 a minute…. !!! ( credits Vineet Hans Innovative Ideaz )
ANY OTHER INFO YOU NEED – Below is the passenger guide link for the BKK Airport .
IMPORTANT TIP !!!!!: Carry Converted money – around 2000 THB , to accommodate for visa , simcard , airport transfer. Exchange can easily be done at the airport but only at terrible rates.
Out of the airport , and you step into a city of endless possibilities -one place which has something for everyone – family , friends , couples and solo travellers – in all possible budgets .
WHICH AREA TO STAY
Like any other city , Bkk also offers a plethora of stay options .
Depending on what kind of traveller you are , how much time you have in hand , and what are your preferences , you can choose from many .
I found this link , which is pretty comprehensive and bulleted to help make a decision :
Personal Recommendation based on Self-Experience :
I have mostly stayed near Siam Paragon – as it is very well connected and pretty central.
Self -stayed & hence recommended Hotels -4/5 star category :
LIT Bangkok Hotel: Walkable distance to MBK . The Hotel itself is nice & is located in a lane right next to 7/11 . Very modern rooms .The walk from the hotel to the main road is full of small hotels and restaurants . The plus : Right across the hotel is a Thai Foot Spa which stays open till midnight .Plaza Athenee BangkokAmari Watergate Bangkok Novotel Bangkok On Siam Square
5 MUST DO THINGS IN BKK
All those looking at touristy stuff , there is plenty. The internet is full of points of interest , which you can choose from . So frankly I am not going to list the details here, but will just share a few suggestions below .
Based on Personal Recommendation :
- SITE-SEEING : If you are a 1st time visitor , don’t miss out on the beautiful temples and city sites.
Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) , Grand palace and of course an overview of the city can easily be done through one of the organised 3.5 hours city tours . This should essentially take care of your desired touristy satisfaction of visiting a new place .
- SHOP TILL YOU DROP : Cheap shopping , luxury shopping , weird shopping – whatever gets you going – you are bound to find it here .
Central World , Siam and Siam Paragon :My favourite for brands . In Siam paragon – visit the Siam Paragon store itself . It is like a huge multi-storey departmental store – where you can find all brands at shop-able rates.MBK for all other branded and non -branded stuff .Platinum Fashion Mall , Pratunam :For cheap clothes – much like our very own Palika Bazaar in Delhi . However you will not be allowed to try on anything here .
Street Shopping & Night Market:
Patpong night market has all the fake stuff or brand copies .Asiatique The Riverfront : One of my recent discoveries & another interesting night market, which is an open air mall . One can compare it to Metro walk mall in Rohini ,Delhi . It is however a little off Siam. If you decide on going ,plan your visit towards the evening – as then you can also take a river cruise nearby .Frankly for me , the place was more of a nice experience than a shopping destination . Would suggest -go there , relax , roam around , eat and get the mandatory foot massage .Visit the floating Market : Writing this separately as it is a different experience . You can do this during the day time .CHATUCHAK – the biggest street market in bangkok … Its spread in about 12 acres and has thousands of shops to spend whatever you have in your pocket . It is a weekend special. ( credits Vineet Hans Innovative Ideaz ) -Read further details in comments below !!IMPORTANT TIP !!!! : Make extensive use of your inherent Indian bargaining skills
BEWARE !!!!: BKK Airport shopping is not Cheap . So called duty free is more expensive than regular priced stuff in India
Suggestions/Shopping Tips from Friends :
The bylanes opposite Indira market for cotton dresses ( credits Chetna Katyal Sundaram )The TV shops in bylanes behind Baiyoke sky Hotel offer good price steals ( credits Abhishek Chhillar )
- CLUB HOPPING : Bangkok is a party goers haven .
Soi 5 is a hub of many night clubs and bars.(credits Vineet Hans Innovative Ideaz )
- FOOT MASSAGE : Don’t skip this
At around 300 bhatt and easily available all throughout the city ,rather omnipresent , this is the most relaxing one hour heavenly experience that you JUST HAVE TO GET -AT THE LEAST ONCE during your stay (Spa fanatics like me – make sure its at-least once per day).
If you want to get a foot massage late in the night – there are quite a few options available across theNOVOTEL Hotel and also at Asiatique the Riverfront
- TREAT YOURSELF TO GREAT FOOD : All international cuisines easily available
Some of the suggested restaurants /food-streets by well -travelled , trust-worthy foodie friends are mentioned right here ( in their own non-edited words.
Restaurants / Cafes
Khao San road – Amazing place ( credits Vijay Sabhlok )No Hands – A crazy place to eat … Where u don’t eat with your hands but are fed( credits Vijay Sabhlok )Gaggan the restaurant … It’s modern Indian food and as of now in the top 10 places to eat in the world . It’s fine dining redefined ( credits Vijay Sabhlok )Starbucks on Rama 9 just tops the hospitality chart ( credits Chetna Katyal Sundaram )Chotiwal restaurant in Bangkok , not the original one , but the one good place place for indian food ( credits Kapil Kumar Srivastava )
BEWARE !!!! The buffet at 78th floor of BAIYOKE SKY is a rip-off ( credits Abhishek Chhillar )
Street Food is another thing that you should draw your attention too . The Coconut vendors , fresh fruit stalls , boiled corn – though all very commonly available in India , will definitely tickle your taste buds with a flavour of their own .
OPTIONAL SIDE TRIPS
If you don’t want to stick around just in Bangkok or have an extra day in hand to explore , you can easily take a few short side trips like :
2 hour road journey to Pattaya city : Great for night life and water sports .A private taxi takes around 1200 bhatt one way from the airport . Recommended overnight stayTiger Temple : An almost half day tour starting around 8am and ends by evening say 5pm. Can be an expensive affair for a party of one . You can watch ,feed & play with the tigers by shelling out few more bucks
This is Typical Bangkok Must Do stuff . Nothing Off-beat has presently been included .
Please do share your comments , suggestions and experiences . Will try to incorporate any interesting stuff in further edits to the same :)
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