Wednesday, January 3, 2018

[[ Break into Thailand ! ]]

Hi !!!

Well ! This is the first time I'm writing a blog the very next day i'm back from a trip :)

This particular trip to Thailand is indeed a long pending one. I'd an international trip probably 5 yrs back which was to Singapore and Malaysia (a full family vacation to my sissie's place :D), and YES i did not write a blog on that one which was very special though, I'm sad for that :(. So this time I've decided not to make the same mistake and have started to write this blog on time :D... Not sure but lets see how long will i take to finish this one ;)

Okay, so coming back to the point. This trip was planned and booked just 10 days before the trip and so I'd to pay around 10K more, but anyways i did it :p

This is a CoxAndKings instant family package for Thailand (Bangkok and Pattaya) for 5 days, 4 nights. Staring with 2D/2N in Pattaya and next 3D/2N stay in Bangkok. So lets start :)

Day 1 (29-Dec): Pattaya

Started from Bengaluru on 28-Dec @ 11PM and reached Bangkok airport on 29-Dec @ 5AM. It took a while for us to finish the VISA ON ARRIVAL (which costed us 2000 THB/person, Thailand Baht) and the immigration process. We were out at the international exit @ 7AM where as our SIC (Seat in coach) vehicle started to Pattaya at around 8:30 AM since we had to wait for all the co-passengers to gather. It is a 2 hr drive from Bangkok to Pattaya.

As soon as we reached Pattaya, we were told that the Hotel (Grand Bella) policy is such that check-in is at 2PM and check-out is at 12 Noon. We all in the group wondered but we had to follow. So we were suggested by our touring partner (TravelBullz) to visit some places meanwhile and we agreed. We freshened up quickly and had super yummy breakfast at some Indian restaurant in Pattaya.

So we started our local sight seeing in Pattaya starting with Sriracha Tiger Zoo and Gem stone factory during the day.

Sriracha tiger zoo

Sriracha tiger zoo is one of the most happening places in and around Pattaya. One will get an opportunity to come very close to the deadly monster TIGER such that you can sit, hug and cuddle a grown up tiger and you will get to feed the baby tigers which is really a wonderful experience.

Below are the activities that we managed to do in Sriracha tiger zoo,
  • Crocodile wrestling show
  • Elephant show - where elephants will pick you up high and you can get yourself photographed
  • Tiger show
  • Tiger activities - like feeding a baby tiger and cuddling a big tiger !
  • Pig Racing
and many more...

Gem stone gallery

Gem stone gallery/factory is said to be one of the biggest gem stone or jewelry store in entire asia ! You are given a ride in a toy train that takes you through the history of gems, extraction and purification process. It is a nice experience.

So we are back to Hotel for check-in just past 5PM. We had plans to visit Alcazar show on the same evening at 6:30 PM followed by dinner in an Indian restaurant (Indian Garden).

Alcazar show

Alcazar show is broadly known as Alcazar Cabaret. Alcazar is globally famous with the reputation of the best transvestite cabaret show in Thailand. It has been given equal acclamation to both Lido and the Moulin Rouge of Paris. It is as well told to me by one of the locals that all of the actors in Alcazar show are ladyboys ! But i don't think so. I verified the facts and found that Tiffany show will host all beautiful ladyboys but no such claims are there for Alcazar. But all in all, Alcazar is for sure a NOT TO MISS destination in Pattaya.

Day 2 (30-Dec): Pattaya

Today we had plans to visit Coral Island during the first half and Noong Nooch Village during the second half of the day.

Coral Island

Coral Island is one of the best and affordable places for you to do all crazy activities such as below all of which I did ;)

  • Parasailing with a dip in sea - Definitely scary until unless you do it once !
  • Under water walk - This is one activity where more people buy tickets but drop to perform :D
  • Jetski - One of the enjoyable acts to perform
  • Banana ride - A family ride and indeed a very good one too, where the ride follows by a flip of the ride :)

Had some fun time on the beach post doing all the planned activities. A morning spent well :)

Noong Nooch village

Noong Nooch village is one of the world's most beautifully built botanical garden. Yes, you read it right ! Its the world's most beautiful garden :)...

There is a small zoo, bird park, a tiger in the open and a set of Macaws. Latter two are available to be photographed with your, ofcourse with some fees :)... There was a Thai Cultural show followed by Elephant show in Noong nooch village which is really commendable and is one of the best i've ever seen !

Well, back to the hotel after a long and tiring day with some good Indian food. A day well spent :)

Day 3 (31-Dec): Bangkok

Today we had to check out from Grand Bella hotel and we were transferred to Gold Orchid hotel in Bangkok. We started from Pattaya at around 10:30AM and we reached Bangkok by 12:30 where we were dropped onto SHOW DC Mall for Lunch. Again the same reason why we were not dropped in Gold Orchid hotel for check-in (policy of check-in is at 2PM and check-out is at 12 Noon !)

Post having lunch, we were taken for a city tour to visit following places,

  • Golden Buddha Temple
  • Marble Temple

Golden Buddha Temple

This highly revered Golden Buddha temple contains the Golden Buddha Idol of almost 10 ft in height, which is made of solid 17 karat gold and weighs approximately 5.5 tons.

It is really an enormous golden idol ! Other than the golden buddha idol, there's nothing much but to pray, relax and visit some Souvenir shops within the same campus.

Marble Temple

Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram) is a Buddhist temple in the Dusit district of Bangkok, Thailand. The Marble Temple is one of the most significant temples in Bangkok for it's the combination of profound beauty and religious importance. It is a temple of Indian god with China-Thai architecture built with European material !!! Definitely mix of multiple cultures.

Post city tour we were dropped to Gold Orchid hotel where we get to relax for the day... aaaahhhhhh... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

And oh yes... its the new year eve.. Most of the people chose to visit Central World where as we planned to spent some time with our fellow mates in the lobby !!! and finally its a, HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 !!!

Day 4 (01-Jan): Bangkok

Today we had a visit to Safari Park and Marine world ! Followed by a walk (and window shopping) covering Siam Paragon, Central World and Indra Market.

Safari Park and Marine World

Grand Safari:This is one of the biggest safari's i've seen. The whole safari park is divided into 4 big parts, one part hosting bengal tigers, another part hosting Lions, and another part hosting bears and the last and biggest part of the park hosting almost all other animals including variety of Deers, Bucks (black buck as well), Rhino's, Jiraffe's, Zebra, Bison, many many variety of Birds and so many other animals.

There are many other events in the park and few of which we did are,

  • Orangutan Show -  One of the best show's i would say !
  • Sea Lion Show
  • Western cowboy stunt show
  • Dolphin show
  • Mini World - where we can feed the birds, its just like Jurong Bird Park in Singapore
  • Kangaroos and elephants which we can touch and feel :)
  • Colorful flamingo's
  • Adventure Island
  • Fancy Carp Garden
  • Giant fish aquarium
  • Eggs world
  • Giant Stingray, Walrus and more....

It is really a good place, worth a visit and you can easily spend a whole day in here !

Post to this we were back to Hotel where we had our Lunch and then again we are back on the streets of Bangkok.

City Walk

We had a stroll - a very very looooong walk from evening 5PM till 9PM on the roads of Bangkok and on the sky walk. We wandered around Sian Paragaon, Central world, Indra Suare, Indra Mall and Indra market always enuiring how and where to go :) !!!

Further we had our dinner on the streets of Bangkok and some adventure where we were supposed to catch a cab back to Hotel (we knew only the Hotel name and almost no cab drivers knew where it was located. I didn't had the Hotel card, nor i had internet on my mobile to do search on google maps and to add on top of it hardly any one would understand english !)

But this city walk gave us a feel of what is Bangkok from the root of it ! A good day spent.

Day 5 (02-Jan): Bangkok - Last day !

This was a leisure day and we got to check on internet what is that which is a NOT TO MISS place in Bangkok. Surprisingly there were two important things to do, one is to visit Grand Palace and the other is to visit Wat Arun temple. Fortunately we had one more day in our hands and we decided to go for it !!! As well we were lucky to see that Grand Palace and Wat Arun are indeed nearby, so easy for us to cover :)

With Day-4 experience we decided to move around ourselves and we visited following places,

  • City Pillar Shrine
  • Grand Palace
  • Wat Pho
  • Ferry crossing the river 'Chao Phraya River'
  • Wat Arun

City Pillar Shrine

Small shrine housing the revered "city pillar" erected when Siam's capital moved to Bangkok. It is an elegant looking temple built in accord with ancient Thai tradition. King Rama I had the Bangkok City Pillar raised on 21 April 1782.

Grand Palace

I would say this is one of the most beautiful architectures i've seen in Bangkok. This is in the heart of Bangkok and its the top most rated places to visit in Bangkok. I as well heard that this is yet the official residence of Kings of Siam ! By the way, there is a strict dress code if one wants to enter the palace ! So beware and wear in full ;)

Wat Pho [ read this as Wat Po :) ]

This is well known to be Temple of Reclining Buddha. This temple is located just behind the Grand Palace. The Reclining Buddha status is really really a huge one (said to be around 46 meters long) such that the idol cannot be captured in a single photo frame !!! I would say this is a must-do visit for a first time visitor in Bangkok. The temple complex is very big and i would say if one visits this temple then there is no need to visit any other temple complex in Bangkok...

Ferry crossing the river 'Chao Phraya River'

City Pillar Shrine, Grand Palace and Wat Pho reside on one side of the river and Wat Arun resides on the other side. Luckily we were able to figure out that there is a ferry service for just 4 TBH which will take us to Wat Arun !, I'm not sure but no locals suggested this option and some even suggested us to take a cab which would cost around 200 TBH :O Anyways, we were lucky to figure out this and we took a ferry ride to Wat Arun. Ferry ride was really scary as the river seemed to be very much disturbed (as disturbed as a turbulant ocean) probably bcoz of so many ferry's on the run... But its a real wonderful experience which is not to miss !

Wat Arun

Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok and its well known for its unique architecture ! This is a temple of Rising Sun. This is a must visit in Bangkok not for the reason that this is a temple, but to have a see at a beautiful architecture and a pleasant atmosphere as this is on a river side. You will witness many souvenir shops in the vicinity and you will even get a chance to dress-up yourself in Traditional Thai costumes which is worth a try :)

Well, after visiting all these must-see places we headed back to our Hotel. Got lucky to munch on some vegetarian Pizza's before boarding our cab to Bangkok Airport for flying back to Mother India :)

All in all, Pattaya and Bangkok were proven to be one of the must-see places and its a tick in my travel list ! :)

Thanks you for reading through my travel blog. And Yes, don't forget to drop your comments :D... Bye Bye !