I began this trip in a typical way of joining a travel group and go on typical tourist attractions of Thailand. As this was a family trip and preplanned, there were not much exploring choices, but still I managed to get in touch with Locals in city of Bangkok and get to know the lifestyle and culture.
Thailand is known to be the coolest tourist attraction, be it for family or young people. We began our family trip from Mumbai. For our surprise Visa fees were levied off during December-February, and we were unaware of it. Our Visa fees were refunded which added up to the excitement. We visited the typical Chao Phraya Cruise Dinner and show and not to mention it was a real splendid and cool experience to enjoy the dinner in the cruise. You enjoy the beautiful (WAT ARUN Temple) and its beautification during evening time. Different cuisines you can try and along with it enjoy the serene breeze and some dance off-course.
Not too many options for the Vegetarians though in the cuisine, basics is all they can enjoy in the cruise. A warm welcome dance was performed by the staff. After the cruise we just went along exploring the luxury shopping arcade. Posing with the girls dressed in ancient traditional wear. They click and give you edited pictures within few minutes with fancy frame. That day was then spent in leisure and exploring the streets nearby the hotel.
Next day (30th Dec’16)-We visited Safari World. Exceptional show they put up of the Dolphins which is obviously the USP of the entire park. Followed by the elephant show. Along the park lanes you get to see different species of animal and birds alongside and you can have a good time with them. They also amuse you with the performance of Sea-Lions and Cowboy Show. Further they took us to the zoo wherein we be caged in a bus and enter the land of animals roaming around like tigers rhinos bears etc. Day ended with being closed to nature and animals.
The Next day (31st Dec’16) - This day was to explore the city of Bangkok and explore the city culture and temples in first half. We visited famous Reclining Budhdha Temple (WAT PHO), Golden Budhdha temple (WAT TRAIMIT), The Marble Temple (WAT BENJA). WAT being the Holy Thai word for Temple. Amazing thing to know is the how the culture and lifestyle developed in these temples since many years, which is now followed by the Thai people. The studies of Ancient Thai Massages are conducted in these temples wherein the students study the body and ways of massages. Hence Thailand famous for the massage and that is actually incomparable from the other massages around the world.
The journey then began towards Pattaya. Reaching our hotel which was alongside the beach, we could see the preparations of all the hotels and shops for the New Year evening. Next stop was super renowned Alcazar Show. Artists performing various dance forms from around the world and there costumes and lights were the highlight of the cabaret. Later they offer us to click pictures with them in exchange for money off course. Following by our dinner was the New Year Bash party. Partying and dancing in a club alongside the beach was super fun. Also all were rejoiced when the DJ started playing Hindi songs, so the fun just got added up. At midnight we all went to the beach to catch the fireworks.
New Year day (1st Jan’17) - Itenary was to visit the Islands (Koh Samet, Koh Phai, Koh Krok, Koh Sak, Koh Larn). These individual islands are just near around each other around half hour distances in a speedboat. Koh Larn (Coral island) is the nearest and very famous amongst tourists. Beautiful island and immensely clean. Spending and playing for few hours on this beach, we went ahead to Koh Phai (Bamboo Island). Beaches are always beautiful, what else to say for them. And the best part of these islands is that we cannot stay, hence the cleanliness is maintained. Remainingl beaches were covered and we spend few hours on each beach and we enjoyed paragliding while our return to the Bali High Pier in Pattaya. Tiring day this was with so much water encounters. The day concluded with the dinner.
Last day (2nd Jan’17) – this day was to return to Bangkok. On the way, we visited Gems Gallery- which is known for its purity and quality of gems across the entire world. We were welcomed with a special screening and drinks. Later we explored the gallery and ladies as usual enjoyed the time in gem shopping. We began our journey towards Bangkok city and had ample of shopping time in the streets. Day ahead was free for shopping of electronics, apparels and souvenirs. The evening concluded at the Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok.
This was in fact the typical tour we had, but alongside I got to explore some things which was of too interest for me.
-Chatting with a couple on the cruise which was so amazing because the guy was Spanish and the girl was Italian. Interesting their story was about how they meet in a trip in Switzerland and how their friendship turned into marriage. They stayed at Khao Sok National Park which was not so known to tourists and is highly recommended by them.
- Going along with a local Thai girl and getting to know the truth behind their amazing shimmering costumes that dealt with low education rate because of which the girls from remote villages come here for money. I also got to know how they manage their living by working in some restaurants and paper bill companies during day time and in the evening they perform at cruise.
- I was also amazed to see how the culture was so firmly developed by the holy monks in the temples and how they maintain the varied culture celebrations in the country and still maintain their uniqueness and values. How the students study in their holy temple and how the massage culture was studied and applied for the purpose to serve the people. Visit to the ancient SukhoThai town was amazing.
- This country has accepted different norms and ethnicity of the world and poses it gracefully. This you would discover when you visit various places like Chinatown having Chinese residents, cuisine and culture. Some place having Indian minority. Some has Tibetans. People live here together and grow.
- The playful streets in Pattaya was also something different to explore where life begins at night and are also so closely maintained besides the normal residents.
All along I found this country to be open enough to accept everyone who comes and treat them equally. This little country is an entire world in itself with its varied culture practices and hence a must visit.