My First International Solo Trip to Thailand

Tripoto
7th Jun 2019
Photo of My First International Solo Trip to Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi

Well, to call it breathtaking would be an understatement. Yes, I’d researched and planned quite a lot as my excitement had no bounds but a lot of decisions were made on the spot and I don’t regret any of them.

I am someone who wouldn’t want to take a tour of a place which is world-famous but would want to see the underrated. Most of my time was spent in a resort town near the Andaman coast named Krabi. I started my journey from Mumbai in India and landed first at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. Trust me, to get your visa stamped and have your passport and foreign currency in hand is mesmerizing! This trip being my first solo trip, it was even more exciting. So I landed, took a cab and went straight to my host family, the Pawa's. My mother’s school friend was kind enough to host my stay in Bangkok.

(Siam Paragon - Thai food and Sealife Ocean World): So to get the feel of a new country, observe the locals and get accustomed. My aunt accompanied me to one of the biggest malls in Thailand, Siam Paragon. We ate nine dishes for lunch at an authentic Thai restaurant named Taling Ping. I must say, I was already in love with Thai food. Next stop was Sealife Ocean World at the same mall. It had an interesting and impressive range of marine life with an underwater diver feeding the fish. The enclosure had a glass floor underneath in which sharks swam around and penguins were having fun in their artificial climate.

Photo of Siam Paragon, Rama I Road, Pathum Wan, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok, Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi

Dusit Zoo: From the mall, I took a cab alone to the Dusit Zoo. The cab drivers I got in Thailand were pretty helpful and had an amazing choice of songs. On my way to the zoo, I got to see the Parliament house and the Dusit Palace. The zoo had some nice species of animals and is the oldest zoo in Thailand. Some of the oldest native animals of the country are taken care of there. The entry cost was 137 baht for me and it was worth it. The albino barking deer, various kinds of gorillas and feeding giraffes were my favourite highlights at the zoo.

Shopping at Chatuchak Weekend Market: The Skyline metro to Mo Chit will drop you just 200 metres away from the famous and humongous weekend market in Bangkok. Name anything, you’ll get it there for cheap if you can bargain well. The food is cheap and filling, with a meal costing around 80 baht. I shopped for my family and bought some authentic Thai items.

Tip: Use the metro for long distances and bike men for the shorter ones. Buy beer from local grocery stores like 7-eleven, they’re way cheaper than restaurants. Don’t miss out on taking pictures of the colourful cabs and tuk-tuks.


Photo of Krabi, Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi

The bus ticket from Bangkok to Krabi was around 920 baht. From the bus stop, I took a tourist cab that took me to Ao Nang (40 baht) and from Ao Nang, a ferry dropped us to the main town costing 20 baht. Even though I had an overnight journey, I did not feel very tired after I reached my destination. I had my room booked already at Anyavee resort and had a good experience within reasonable rates.

Photo of My First International Solo Trip to Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi

Climbing at Railay Beach: 5 levels/difficulties and damn, I can’t believe I finished them all in one go! Rock climbing has always had space in my bucket-list since very long. Railay beach is famous for rock climbing and once you succeed, the view will make you want to stay up there all day long. It’s safe and worth putting pressure on your fingers and toes. The experience costs around 100 baht. They provide you with shoes, safety equipment and an experienced belayer. Also, if you’re confident and experienced enough, they allow you to go on to a bouldering experience as well.

Canoeing and bamboo rafting at Phung Chang cave (Phang Nga): It is two hours away and you need to switch from a ferry to a bike man and then a cab to take you around. This will cost around 400 baht if you choose to take a package that includes travel expenses, canoeing, elephant ride, Thai lunch and the Manora waterfall experience. This cave looks like an elephant from the outside. Inside, you’ll see bats if you look up and cold water up till your knees. It is all dark and you are given a head torch but you’re not allowed to take pictures (I still took one, oops). Once you come out of the quiet dark area and see the chaos of the city again, you’d want to go back in and wonder why cavemen thought of coming out in the first place.

Photo of Phung Chang Cave, Thai Chang, อำเภอ เมืองพังงา Phang-nga, Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi
Photo of My First International Solo Trip to Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi

Elephant ride and splash near Phang Nga: ELEPHANT SPLASH!!!! Yeah, a must-do if you haven’t already.

Photo of Phang-nga, Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi

Sa Nang Manora Waterfall and natural pool: A waterfall that provides a pool with fresh running water and is emerald in colour. Often the pool has small fish that won’t hurt you and it’s a good experience to swim with them. The sun rays touch a point sharply as it finds its way through the bushy trees.

Photo of Sa Nang Manora Waterfall, Noppring, Mueang Phang-nga District, Phang-nga, Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi

Tip: Don’t book your tickets before reaching the place. Take advice from the managers of the resort for tour packages. Don’t miss out on a Thai massage. Try having all meals in the local market, especially dinner, with a beach-facing arrangement. Use google/i-translator; it’s easier to communicate for them as well as for you. If you get lost (I did), just be confident and don’t hesitate to ask anyone around.

PATTAYA

Most people pronounce it as "patt-aa-ya", the locals call is "pat-ya". If you’ve played Grand Theft Auto Vice City, the main road parallel to the beach will give you a feel of the game. You’d want to ride a bike and just keep riding, at least that’s what I felt. It takes 2 hours via bus from Bangkok to Pattaya and costs around 60 baht. I roamed around for a while with my backpack before finding an inexpensive yet good hotel. That way I could see things that were not even there in my list. A lot of Indians reside there so translation wasn’t a problem, unlike Krabi.

Walking Street: You can’t miss this place if you’re visiting Pattaya. It feels as if the entire city is in here during the night. With nightclubs, pole dancers, go-go bars and live music, this place is for all those open-minded people with a fistful of baht. This place has so much to do and see that it’ll be too much for the senses but it’ll be an unforgettable experience. Also, seafood at it's best.

Photo of Walking Street, Pattaya City, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri, Thailand by Mallika Rohatgi

Ripley’s believe it or not: There are some 300 exhibits and most of them will blow your mind, just how they should. A little on the expensive side, I paid 550 baht for the entry. Besides the museum, there are some fun rides and a 12D theatre which will take your breath away.

Pattaya Viewpoint: A panoramic view of the city can be seen from this point. It is best during the sunset or the sunrise. If you observe, you’ll see a curve that divides the land and the water. A good view and place for relaxation.

Tip: Local food is not very expensive. You’ll find McDonalds, Dominos, Starbucks among many other eateries on the beach road but I’d suggest having street food which is better, healthier and filling. It won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Pictures and write up by Mallika Rohatgi https://onemileawayblog.wordpress.com/

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