Life is short, book that holiday….
About my Thailand trip in 2015. I was having some idea about the place, the expenses and the people since I had been Phuket for honeymoon earlier. We can visit Thailand anytime and you can see tourists all around the year and the climate is usually pleasant (unless there is flood). My initial plan was 7 days solo trip and I book the tickets accordingly. Google confused me suggesting many options in Bangkok and Pattaya and I decided not to plan everything in advance. So I just booked hotel for one day in Bangkok and explore the places as it comes. I prepared a checklist of preferable places and realised that most desirable/challenging attractions are in Pattaya. After one week my friend pop in and joined me spoiling my solo trip. He was running out of leave. So we have to reduce the number of days from 7 to 4 and reschedule my tickets. My checklist was pretty too much for 4 days even for 7 days.So I stopped expanding my checklist and handover it to him for to modify according to his taste. The list includes Floating market, Buddha temple, the pub featured in movie “The Hangover”, bungee jump, Zip line Tour in the jungle, Crocodile farm (Eliminated snakes and tiger, since I had a photo session with them in Phuket), visit a national park. Stage shows were not considered while preparing the checklist since I have attended Phuket FantaSea earlier(The show was great but its not my cup of tea).
From the beginning we were missing that, the itinerary. I will try to recollect it as it happened. We landed in Bangkok, did not like the place that much, went to try out Pattaya next day afternoon end up spending remaining days over there.
Day 1 : Dubai – Bangkok , Bangkok
We fly from Dubai to Bangkok in Thai Airways.The service was impressive compared to other economy airlines. Free SIM card was available at the airport for the tourists. We took 2 SIM cards and activated data package. The SIM card will work for short period and there is no need of identity proof to obtain the SIM card. We went to hotel by metro as we booked a hotel near metro. We were having a distant friend in Bangkok , he is working over there. We met him in the hotel and get an idea about the places we prefer and transportation. There is a lot of Indian restaurants and popular international fast food outlets everywhere, so food was not a concern for us. And there is more massage parlors than restaurants!.
We started exploring Bangkok after lunch. We went to Madame Tussauds Museum by metro which showcases life size wax replicas of historic icons and some famous artists. The museum is located in Siam Center shopping mall. We don’t want accumulate our luggage, so we don’t buy anything unnecessary. We took a taxi to come back to hotel and get some idea about the near by places from taxi driver. We decided to visit floating market next day by the same taxi. The taxi driver don’t understand and speak English that much, somehow we agree to meet next day early morning (If we can’t make it then Plan B…). Then we went to the pub featured in the movie “Mankatha” in the night and postponed The Hangover pub. Our distant friend took us to the pub and back to hotel. We don’t follow his suggestions from him since he had a different taste.
One of the must visit locations in Bangkok if you haven’t been to a wax museum before. Lots of photo opportunities, either serious or funny as you wish.
Day 2 : Damnoen Saduak Floating Market – Bangkok
The taxi came early than expected and wake us up. Since we don’t have the reservation for the hotel for another day, we have to check out and get into the taxi with our luggage. We went to Damnoen Saduak floating market which is the most popular floating market in Bangkok. We can choose the package with all the options which includes Crocodile show, elephant safari, monkey show, quad bike ride, Buddha temple visit, shooting,…etc.
We felt like Bangkok is not that much interesting and decided to try out Pattaya. Plan was “if Pattaya is not good enough, we get back to Bangkok”. We went to Pattaya by the same taxi since we were already far from city and we have to travel around 2 hours to catch the bus. Thanks to booking.com, we reserve the hotel in Pattaya on the way. After that only we were able to tell the taxi driver the exact destination. We book for Flight of Gibbon for next day online. It was raining on the way and when we were nearing the town, the taxi driver told us he is going to Pattaya for the first time and he has no idea where the hotel is. He talk to someone in the customer service for the route but there was no luck. So we take over the situation, we direct him with the help of Google maps to reach the destination without hustle. At the hotel, I realised that I lost my debit card in the ATM, I withdraw the money but left the card in the ATM. I tried to block the card, did not work out for some reason. Luckily no one withdraw money using my card till I am back to Dubai.We go out to explore walking street and had dinner on the way.
Day 3 : Flight of Gibbon (Zip line Tour), Pattaya
We decided to stay in Pattaya but we had to check out the room since the hotel as fully booked for the day and the rate is more compared to booking.com. We kept the luggage at the hotel. Flight of Gibbon is zip line tour in Chompoo Wildlife Sanctuary. It is inside Khao Kheow Open Safari Park. The package includes pick up and drop off from Pattaya, zipline course, lunch and open zoo safari. It looks scary in the beginning, but the tour is well organized so that we feel safe at any point of time. Some zip lines are quite longer that we were not able to see the other end clearly.
I am not a fan of zoo. I saw a kind of discomfort in their eyes. We cannot avoid it since it was the part of the package. Otherwise we would have tried something better. This one was open zoo, so the conditions were better for the animals still its not their home.
We got a traveler friend from Holland and we hear about Sea adventure in Pattaya from him. We check ‘Pattaya island tour’ website and booked the activity for next day. We came back, took the luggage and checked in the hotel opposite to the hotel we were staying. We continue exploring walking street and beyond.
Day 4 : A day in sea, with Sea Adventure (Unplanned)
The package is a combination of various activities, Fly in parachute, visit Coral island, banana boat, jet ski, sea waking and snorkeling. Skipped Bungee jump since it was closed by the time we reached the hotel. We found out there is a Buddha temple (Wat Phra Yai Temple) near by using the maps.
While coming back we saw an advertisement of Sky Dive in front of a travel agency which was closed for the day. So we contact Thai Sky Adventures direct and checked the timing. We have 3 hour journey to airport and we will have to check in by 1 PM. Somehow we decided take the leap. We arranged a taxi saying all the stories, we have to go for sky dive on the way to airport, then wait to complete jump since its a remote area and we don’t have time to wait for another taxi.
Day 5 : Departure Day with a twist, Sky Dive…
Another Sky dive!!! I have one this crazy thing once in Dubai a year before. I never thought I will do it again so soon again just to give company to my friend. We reached Thai Sky Adventures before they were open. We wait till everything was ready. Then we just did it. Our driver has no clue until he saw the demo video even we explain what we are going to do. His comment was hilarious “Are you crazy? You guys jump off from place on the way to catch another one!!!”. Then fly back to Dubai and next day to office. End of the story.
Overview of Thailand
Pattaya (Less privacy, Most attractions in 100km radius, Overcrowded, cheapest )
Phuket (More privacy, Beautiful islands are closer, expensive)
Bangkok (Less privacy, City, crowded, moderate expensive)