Updated: May 26, 2020
Honestly, #Thailand was never on my bucket list. My preferred places for any upcoming travel would have been #Spain, #Morocco, #Greece, #Georgia, #Vietnam, #Cambodia, #Japan etc. But having a very tight budget( read no money) and a busy schedule it left us with very few options. We just had 4 nights and 5 days and hence Thailand seemed to be a perfect getaway for our first wedding anniversary travel. I was okay with the choice of destination, if not happy. But only when I got around researching more about the country I realized how truly amazing it is! We, for sure didn't want to go to the run of the mil destinations in Thailand so #Bangkok, #Pattaya and #Phuket were out of question. A little island called Koh Samed caught my attention which is just 3 hrs away from Bangkok. This seemed quite reasonable given the fact that we had a limited time. I started reading more about the destination and fell in love with its simplicity.
Our travel was in the month of November, and we booked our tickets merely 20 days before travel dates, yet we got a whooping deal of INR 17000 per person return fare ex Mumbai for Bangkok.
Note: More or less this is the fare you should look at when booking a Bangkok flight on a low cost carrier. You can get similar options on Indigo and Go Air as well. Try for an early morning departure from BOM and while returning try for a late night departure flight from BKK so that you can utilize maximum duration of your stay while there.
Visa for Indian passport holders is at no cost that is ‘Free’ on arrival. However, if you wish to apply for a visa beforehand there is a visa fees of approx INR 3500 and a lot of paperwork required. I honestly think its totally unnecessary and Indians for sure opt for Visa on arrival.
Also, upon arrival at Bangkok Airport there is a regular queue and another paid queue for faster processing. We went ahead with the paid one as it saved easily an hour of our time.
Though we wanted Koh Samed to be our destination, staying in Bangkok seemed mandatory. We will come back to the details of the travel from Bangkok to Koh Samed later ) So where in Bangkok shall we stay was our question!
We ( Vishnu and I) are really unpredictable travelers. There are the days when we wish to splurge and there are days when we act ‘Chindi’ ( Cheap) For our #Bangkok stay, we had two options 1 we stay at the ‘Bayoke’ or similar hotels in Sukumvit and enjoy the swanky side of Bangkok or stay in the rustic ‘Backpacker’s paradise’ i.e. #Khaosan road! We obviously chose the latter.
Here is a little bit about Khao San Road
It is about 33 kms away from the Suvarnabhumi Airport BKK ( ensure you book ticket for this airport only as there is DMK airport as well ) #Khaosan is situated in the central Bangkok district. It's very close to all the major attractions of Bangkok as far as Buddhist Temples are concerned -i.e. Wat Arun, Wat Pho etc. It's just a block away from Chao Phraya River which has the popular river cruise and the waterway connectivity (comes very handy when you want to be a budget traveler)
Map courtesy - Long Easy
For those young at heart you will find happiness in the chaos. Else, it’s a just a noisy street for the boring bunch 😉
I can’t tell you enough how much I loved the locales of #Khaosan. It was exactly how I wanted it to be! No wannabe groups of Indian Tourists around. It had only a young crowd and it was one hell of a party place. The Khao San Road was full of local shopping and buzzing cafes in the day and really loud but crazily good pubs by night. Everywhere you see there is #food, #music and #alcohol! Also when you get tired of it, there are just way too many massage parlors ! Literally every 100 mts. They are very steeply priced too. About 250 baht for a full body massage. The vibe of this place was something else !
Please find detailed review here Budget Stay in Khao San, Bangkok- Hotel Reviews
So after checking into our hotel room we stepped out to check out some tourist places of Bangkok. We started with Wat Arun Ratchavararam Tempal of Dawn.
Its a phenomenal structure built in the early 19th century. The ashes of Rama II are interred in the base of the presiding Buddha image.Frequent cross-river ferries run over to Wat Arun from Tien Pier. The Chao Phraya Express Boat is the best way to get here. You need to get off at the temple pier.
The weather in Bangkok in the month of November was quite warm and humid hence its very important to keep yourselves hydrated and nothing better than cool coconut water!
From Wat Arun we headed to Wat Pho - The temple of reclining Buddha. You know how magnificent it is only when you see it. It is one of the oldest and largest temple complexes in Bangkok. Trust me, we were tired walking but we hadn’t covered even half the temples inside the complex. It covers 20 acres of land.
Wat Pho houses more than 1,000 Buddha images. The most renowned - 46 meters long gold plated Reclining Buddha shows the passing of the Buddha into final Nirvana after death.
In a small garden next Reclining Buddha there is a Bodhi tree which is a descendant of the Bodhi tree from #Bodhgaya in #India under which the Buddha reached enlightenment. The entire temple complex is divided in North end & South end.
North end - closest the Grand Palace contains the main structures like the ubosot, the viharns and the Reclining Buddha. The South end contains the monks private living quarters and a school. The entrances are guarded by huge Chinese warrior statues.
By 630 PM which was their closing time we had to push off from here ( We really didn't want to get out at all ) there was so much peace within the temple complex in-spite of all the hustle bustle the city of Bangkok is known for. While returning from Wat Pho to our hotel is Khaosan, we took Tuk Tuk instead of boat just to get familiar with the roads.
We stopped by at a coffee shop to have cinnamon cheese bread and cappuccinos.
After a quick nap and stretching our legs a bit we stepped out to get a taste of Bangkok’s renowned nightlife.
Honestly Bangkok’s #nightlife is exactly how you hear about and see in videos. Busy streets lined with massage parlous, street vendors selling all kinds of absurd animal meat that a vegetarian may want to faint, endless small shops selling clothes, bags, accessories and of course pubs with bustling nightlife!
We wanted to go to Khaosan road but instead we ended up going to Phra Atit Road which was not as happening as Khao San Road but was bustling with cool cafes and restrobars, karaokes and live gigs.After a little bit of shopping a long long stroll on the street we settled at a tiny cafe which seemed to have a very lively acoustic night. We danced and sang where we met a Portuguese family who loved Vishnu’s singing and in turn we told them how much we loved their country <3
We called in a night at 4 AM and headed back to our hotel only cause we had to leave early for our morning travel to Koh Samed.
Feature Image Courtesy - Grasshopper Adventures.