Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is an easy to reach destination as it is just 5 hours by air from Mumbai and well connected by flights from the other prominent cities of India.The Visa is available on arrival. You will have to fill up a form, attach required documents and photos and stand in a queue for approximately 1 hour and complete the procedure.
So, if you are planning your first foreign trip this would be an ideal destination, a happening place and interesting one for all age groups. It is good for back packers or for visiting with a group of friends or with family members.
Number 10: Safari World: Here you get to see various animals right from zebra, giraffe, hippo, kangaroo, orangutan, tiger, leopards.
Basically, most of the animals which are there in nature currently. Along with the tickets, food is also provided through lunch coupons which is not at all of good quality but just to fill your stomach after walking through this big park area on a hot sunny day. The worst thing here is they let you fondle and feed the baby tigers with milk bottles, plus they charge you for doing this. Being animal lovers we did not appreciate this at all – detaching the baby from its mother.
Instead we would recommend you to take a small bus ride which they arrange for a some nominal amount. There you can get a closer look at tigers, zebras, hippos, giraffe etc.
They have made a wonderful replica of floating market at Safari world.
Number 9: Marine Park: It is basically in the same premises as of Safari world. You can also get to see sea lion and dolphin show. It is usually too crowded and really difficult to get a proper place to sit over there.
Number 8: Thai Massage: Thai massage is also very well known and if you are not willing to go for a complete body massage you may opt for just aroma foot massage which is equally relaxing.They also have small massage parlours across the road where it is provided for a reasonable price of 100 Baht (INR 200). Most of the hotels also provide these services.
Number 7: Night shopping at Palladium mall
It was a great experience doing street shopping. The roadside footpaths were full of amazing articles right from true working cell phones to toy phones. There were toys, purses, clothes, footwear, you name it and they have it.
It was great fun to buy such variety at equally good price.
Number 6: Indra mall :This is an A/C shopping mall located on the main street. It is full of variety of shops.This mall is dominated by Lady shopkeepers.
I remember a Thai lady singing Hindi songs while sitting in her shop. Most of the lady shopkeepers use Hindi words to attract customers and to connect with them. We were very much amused and pleased by the use of our language. But soon we started hearing all familiar languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujrathi, Punjabi etc as the people who had come there to shop, 90% of them were Indians. Isn’t it amazing that back in our country we are always Marathi,Tamil, Rajasthani etc. and suddenly in a foreign country we feel so much connected. Indra mall has various shops full of souvenirs, T-shirts, tops, jewellery, electronic items.
Clothes are of real good quality costing as low as Rs.100 (50 Baht). We got one beautiful silk scarf for just Rs.70 but when we decided to go back to that lady and buy some more pieces as we had realized that it was of awesome quality, but that lady had sold all the scarfs and closed her shop and gone away. So there is no fix timing for all shops as such overall mall timing is 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM. We also bought some beautiful mirrors, fridge magnets. It was real fun.
On the top floor there is a food mall (with very limited veg options). We tasted there veg Momos and concluded that our Indian style Momos taste much better.
Number 5 : Royal Palace, Wat pho and Wat Arun:
Royal palace is huge and you can even take a tuk-tuk ride from your hotel to this place which is pretty economical, only thing is they drive too fast but don’t provide seat belts. Tuk -tuk is a big autorikshaw.
In the Royal palace you will also get to see emerald Buddha. It is a small emerald idol. Make sure you wear full length clothes while visiting royal palace and the other temples (shoulders and knees should be covered). Royal palace is a huge place to explore and always very crowded.
Do take a map with you which they provide free of cost at the entrance.
Just few minutes walk from Royal palace is Wat Pho. This temple has golden reclining Buddha which is a must see.
You can take out your footwear and keep it inside a bag and then enter the temple. Good thing about it is that they provide you bags at the entrance. We were stunned to see such a big idol in reclining position.
Wat Arun (Temple of dawn) can be reached by taking a ferry boat ride. We were not able to visit it though it is a must on your trip to Bangkok.
Number 4: Lumpini Park:
Age no bar for visiting this place. It is well connected with underground metros. We reached at this park within 10 minutes. Metro is excellent alternative to cabs. Cabs take lot of time and since there is huge traffic on Bangkok roads, one can expect heavy expenditure of money. So best option to reach this place is to take a metro train.
This park is huge. There are plenty of outdoor machine gyms. You will get to see people from different age group enjoying exercises at this place. There are morning aerobic sessions as well. People from all age group make rhythmic movements on soft music.
There is a huge lake at the centre of this park. Be careful and don’t go very near to the lake as there are many Asian water monitor lizards (second largest lizard species next to komodo dragons) in this lake.
Number 3: Sea world is located in the basement of Siam Paragon mall.
The best thing about this Sea World is though it is huge, it is underground so you are completely protected from bright sun and can enjoy this marine diversity to its fullest.
You can see variety of frogs, sea horse,jelly fish, sting -ray, Octopus, alligator pipe fish, trumpet fish etc.
They have kept a small section for penguins as well. You will get to observe penguins from close.
The Siam Paragon mall is huge and it also has a lot of eateries and many restaurants on all the floors. Exploring the various shops there, we came across a stall selling ice cream. Being experimental, we decided to try the charcoal flavor ice cream and it completely deceived us. First time in our life, we had to forcefully finish an ice cream as it was really expensive :-). Keep a look out for a flash mob as the employees of this mall may surprise the visitors with flash mobs on popular numbers.
Number 2: Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum: This is a must watch and you should spend plenty of time here as you can click a photos with Einstein, can stand next to Lady Diana and wear Queen Elizabeth’s robes and sit on the throne as well. It also has wax statues of prominent Indian figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Narendra Modi etc.
They have made the entire museum very interactive e.g. there is a jigsaw puzzle, pull over drawers which give you information, standing next to Obama you can actually read a speech and entire available audience can hear it. One would get a feeling of being a celebrity in this. Don’t just rush through different statues. Admire each one, read the displays and information to understand the personality, it will be more fun.
If you are interested you can learn to make a wax mold of your hand (at an extra charge) we did not do it as we found it pretty expensive. They is also a 4 D show which we found quiet amusing. You can take a combined ticket of Sea world and Madame Tussaud’s which comes cheaper.You can buy this ticket directly at the counter of sea world.
Number 1: Siam Niramit show: This is a super grand show consisting of around 300 men and women plus few animals and birds. It has amazing stage set ups. Dancers show wonderful dances, amazing acrobatics plus an entertaining comic skit during the interval. When they brought a huge elephant inside the auditorium to give the actual feel it reminded me of our own Janata Raja (a famous play by Babasaheb Purandare based on the life of Shivaji Maharaj) which involved bringing actual horses on the play ground. This program takes place in huge auditorium which has capacity of about 1500 seats. Stage setup is awesome. History of Bangkok is shown through this show. At the entrance, a lot of people in traditional attire encourage you to take pictures with them. At first we thought this was included in the ticket but at the end of the show, we realized that they sell these photos at 200 Baht (INR 400) or so – it is very good idea to promote tourism.
You may simply take pics using your cell phone after the show.
Over all, language is a big problem as we faced difficulties in explaining our destinations and locations to the taxi drivers and there was one very enterprising taxi driver who tried to use his smart phone to translate what he wanted to say in to English.
Our communication also created very funny moments when we asked one person how to reach floating market and he thought we want to swim in the Lumpini park lake full of komodo dragons(as we were just outside Lumpini park that time). So he kept on saying No,No. When we realised his misunderstanding we were not able to control our laughter. This was just to share the fun moments and not to discourage your travelling plans. So do travel, explore the world and language will never be a barrier as long as we are connected with positive thoughts and positive mindset. Be a smart traveler with smart apps
We stayed at Avani Atrium which is a five star hotel with cozy rooms, good food and excellent service. But if you compare the pricing with a 5 star hotel in Goa you will find this one surprisingly cheaper.
There are many Indian restaurants in Bangkok. Just across our hotel there was a small restaurant called Zayka offering good Punjabi food. Plus our hotel also served popular Indian dishes so the overall stay was great fun and memorable.
We missed the visit to floating market(as we visited the Indra mall thrice) . Do try to visit the floating market, would be a unique experience.
Do carry Glucon-D, Shreejal(Coconut water) type of sachets with you to keep you away from dehydration.