Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Our Trip to Bangkok , Phuket & Pattaya


Bangkok is famous for its Temples, floating market, shopping, nightlife, food and is a shopper's paradise. There are number of things you can plan during your trip to Bangkok. It all really depends on your personal likes and dislikes and duration of your trip.

The locals are very friendly, welcoming and helpful. English is generally understood by all so do not hesitate to ask for help and guidance if needed.

We twice stayed in Bangkok during our entire trip covering Phuket and Pattaya as well. Our 1st stay in Bangkok was from 11thFeb to 13th Feb and the next one from 18th to 19th Feb.

Our Sightseeing tour covered the following places in Bangkok.  

·         Wat Traimit (The Golden Buddha)
·         Wat Saket (The Golden Mount)
·         Wat Benchamabophit(The Marble Temple)
·         Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
·         The Grand Palace
·         Chao Phaya River Cruise
·         Madam Tussade museum
·         The Ocean Sea world Bangkok
·         MBK Mall, Siam Paragon 
          ·         Chatuchak weekend market


Day- 1 Bangkok 11th February 2017 Saturday

How did we reach out Hotel from Airport?

After arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport, we went to basement B of the airport, where Airport Rail link was located. We bought tickets for Phaya Thai Station (A8)
(The last station on the route and the interchange station for BTS Sky train) costing 45 THB / person.












Our hotel was “Astera Sathorn” which is located near BTS Saphan Taksin Station. Hence, we caught the BTS Sky Train after getting off at Phaya Thai from the Rail Link. We bought tickets for BTS Saphan Taksin station costing 42 THB/person.

Phaya Thai is located on Sukhumvit line while Saphan Taksin is located on Silom line so we had to change the line at Siam station (BTS Interchange Station). 


Please look at the route map (above) for clarity! J

It is very easy to take tickets from automated ticket machine, which only accepts coins of 1,5,10. If you do not have coins do not worry. They have a change counter at every station. If you do not know the fare, they have a map, which states the fare. Please refer to the image given below.


























Private Taxi or Cab could have charged us 700-1000 THB from Airport to hotel instead we completed this trip for just 87 THB / Person.

We reached out hotel at 9:45 A.M. Official Check-in time was 2:00 P.M. so we kept our luggage there and started our sightseeing tour.

First Half of the Day (Temple Tour)

As Bangkok is famous for its temples, we decided to visit most popular temples and take the blessings of the Buddha, the best way to start our trip! It was also the MakhaBucha day in Bangkok.

Wat Traimit (The Golden Buddha): 

It was first temple we visited, we went to near by bus stop from our hotel, which was at walking distance. We took bus no 1 and it dropped us at Wat Traimit (The Golden Buddha Temple).

Bus ticket cost us 9 THB / Person.

Entrance ticket to the temple was 40 THB /person.

I recommend using Meter Taxi. But in our case we just used bus service because we were confident about the route and got it confirmed at our hotel reception too.



 


 


About Wat Traimit:


Wat Saket (The Golden mount): 

We took meter taxi from Wat Traimit to reach Wat Saket and it cost us 63 THB. Entrance ticket price was 20 THB/ Person. It is just 2.5- 3.0 Kilometers away from Wat Traimit.

Temple is on a hill & there are approximate 350 small steps. You will definitely enjoy climb from the rooftop terrace, you can have the 360-degree view of the Bangkok city.







About Wat Saket: 


Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)

We again took a meter taxi from Wat Saket to go to Wat Benchamabophit costing us 70 THB. We enjoyed some refreshments, fruit juice, ice creams and coke at the Marble Temple.





About Wat Benchamabophit

Our temple trip cost us around 500 THB (including refreshments, transfer and entrance tickets). This could have cost us 1500 THB had we booked through any agent.

Back to Hotel

We went back to hotel by Sky Train after completing our half day temple tour and check in formalities.

Please have a look at hotel photographs.




 

Second Half (Chao Phaya River Cruise)

We spent a romantic evening at Chao Phaya River Cruise which included dinner. We booked tickets online through http://www.hotels2thailand.com/, the best website to book any trip tickets for Thailand. It provides tickets at a reasonable price. We used a forex card to purchase tickets.

It was an amazing experience on the cruise & food was nice (had veg options).

Cruise departs from the River City Pier-1 (A kind of a shopping mall near the river), A meter taxi from our hotel to the mall cost only 60 THB. I recommend leaving early for the cruise as there may be heavy traffic on the way in evening.

At & About Cruise (Chao Phaya River Princess)

Each deck has its unique qualities and design. We booked ticket at upper deck because view from the upper deck was superb. Dinner includes a wide selection of dishes ranging from Thai-styled to international foods, appetizers to main dishes to deserts served in a buffet fashion.

While enjoying our dinner, singer played pop and jazz songs in the first hour of our journey. We had opportunity to take snapshots of the scenery, famous historical structures and religious monasteries such as the Royal Grand Palace Wat PraKaew, Wat Arun (The Temple of the Dawn) and the Rama 8 Bridge along both sides of the riverbank.

After our dinner, we enjoyed talented musicians & DJ with an entire hour of upbeat Bollywood songs.




 


We returned to the hotel in city bus, being quiet familiar with city after our first day and its routes.

It was an amazing first day at Bangkok!

Day- 2 Bangkok 12th February 2017 Sunday

First Half of the Day (The Grand Palace Tour)

We had breakfast at hotel and left for the Grand palace visit. 


 



From our hotel we went to the BTS Saphan Taksin station, which is at just 5 minutes distance. “Sathorn Pier” is located near to the station from where we can get boats to various locations. 

BTS Saphan Taksin to Sathorn Pier
Please see the river map below. They have given station numbers from n1 to n20.


We wanted to go to “The Grand Palace” so we had to disembark at Station N9. You can buy ticket on boat or from the ticket counter. It just cost us 15THB / Person. Once we arrived at N9 (Tha Chang), we asked for the way to “Grand Palace” it was at 5-7 minutes walking distance.

Do note that the palace closes early on Sunday. On working days palace is open for tourists from 08:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 8:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

They also have a strict dress code. Shorts or skirts are not allowed.  













Second Half of the Day

(Bangkok Sea Life Ocean world & Madame Tussauds Museum)

From the Grand Palace we took a boat to go back to “Sathorn Pier”. We went to BTS Saphan Taksin station and took a sky train for the BTS Siam station. 

Near BTS Siam Station, there are many shopping malls. (Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery, MBK mall, Central World).. You can spend a whole day here.


Bangkok Sea Life Ocean world is located at Siam Paragon and Madame Tussauds Museum is located at Siam Discovery.

We had already booked tickets for the Bangkok Sea Life Ocean and Madame Tussauds Museum through www.hotels2thailand.com using forex card.












SIM CARD

We spent the evening at a shopping mall & bought the AIS (one to call) SIM card from Siam Paragon floor -3. There are many service providers but AIS is recommended as they have large coverage with good network. SIM card had 7 days validity with 5 GB data free at cost of 300 THB. They need your Passport copy & card will be activated immediately. Do not leave showroom until it is done.

Dinner

We enjoyed rest of the day there in malls and went to Mrs. Balbeer’s Outlet located at Central world to enjoy Indian food.









There is also an Indian Restaurant at Siam Paragon named “Royal India”
(Siam Paragon G Floor)

Day- 3 Bangkok to Phuket 13th February

It was now time to go to our next destination Phuket.

From India We had booked a cab with Peter Taxi (Mr. Peter through WhatsApp +6688664011 and using email id P.PETER98@hotmail.com) but later we found that our hotel provided taxi service at 500THB only while Mr. Peter was charging 700 THB, hence we booked through our hotel.

We arrived at DMK Airport at 09:45 A.M. and completed all formalities. Our flight was delayed by an hour. This generally happens with Air-Asia due to high traffic between Bangkok and Phuket.

Few Clicks from the Flight.






Finally, we reached Phuket airport at 02:30 P.M. and a cab was waiting for us at airport. We had booked a cab with SRC Travel (WhatsApp +66 862707584) Journey from the airport to our hotel “U Sabai Living” (at Patong beach) took an hour.

Hotel Photographs.











Hotel was good but remember that in Phuket people prefer to go for cash transactions because on card swipe they charge 2%-4% extra. 

We went to Patong beach in evening and enjoyed sunset there. It was raining in evening which made the evening more romantic.









We had dinner at Rayan’s hotel (Indian Restaurant) near Bangla road.

There are many Indian Restaurants in Phuket with good ratings. (Badshah, ICC Indian Curry Club, Kohinoor 2) 

Day- 4 Tour to Phi-Phi Island (With Speedboat), Phuket 14th February (Perfect place to celebrate Valentine day)

We went for Phi-Phi Island speedboat trip with Sea Diamond tour operator (Dimond Sea Marine ltd . It was an amazing experience.

The Trip cost us 1500 THB / Person which included hotel pick-up/drop, Lunch, National park fee (400 THB), Life Jacket, Life Insurance, Snorkeling mask, tea & breakfast in morning.

Phi-Phi Island Map

sightseeing has included Monkey Beach, Viking Caves, Maya bay and khai Islands.

Rest of the story will be best explained by photos.



















We had delicious dinner at Badshah Indian Restaurant near to our hotel.

Day- 5 Tour to Phang-Na-Bay (James bond) Island (With BigBoat), Phuket, 15th February

After breakfast at the hotel, we went for James Bond Island tour. We enjoyed canoeing. James Bond Island is a group of around 42 islands.

This Trip cost us 1250 THB/ Person.






















We recommend having Phi-Phi Island tour with Speedboat and Phang Na Bay tour with Big boat.

We also recommend booking Island tour once you reach at Phuket because online prices are very high, we did not book online but we had found couple of tour operators with high ratings and good service hence, we booked with them once we reached there.

Diamond Sea Marine, Sea Star tour operators are nice.

We went to Patong beach to enjoy sunset and had a romantic walk in evening. 

We again went to Rayan’s hotel (Indian Restaurant) near Bangla road for dinner. We were very much impressed with their customer service skills so we visited twice.

Day- 6 Phuket to Pattaya via Bangkok 16th February

We checked out in morning 08:30 and went to the Airport by a cab that we had booked through SRC Travel.

On the way we stopped at viewpoint to see breath taking views. We clicked some beautiful clicks there.



We reached airport at 09:45 A.M. and completed all formalities but the flight was delayed by 2 hours. We reached Bangkok Airport at 03:00 P.M. where our cab was waiting for us.

We booked cab with Mike taxi (www.mikepattayataxi.com) that cost us 1400 THB (including tolls) from Bangkok airport to Pattaya hotel.

We reached hotel “Pattaya loft” at 06:15 P.M. Due to the heavy traffic, this journey took 3 hours.

We had planned to visit three places (Mini Siam, Art in Paradise & Alcazar show) but due to time crunch, we dropped Mini Siam from our list and visited the rest.

Art in Paradise

Since it was too late we decided to hire a CAB. But we checked the location of Art in Paradise, which was just 1.2 kilometers from the hotel and went there walking. Art in Paradise is a worth visiting place. Please see few clicks.












Alcazar

We had walked to Alcazar which was just 5 minutes from Art In Paradise. It is 70- minutes dancing show worth watching.

Tickets for Alcazar and Art in Paradise were booked through www.hotels2thailand.com











Dinner We had delicious dinner at Crown of India.

70% of the day was spent in travelling but evening was made wonderful and the day ended perfectly J

Day- 7 Pattaya Koh Larn Island (Coral Island) 17th February

We had breakfast with an Indian touch at our hotel “Pattaya Loft”. We had many options in breakfast including Indian likes Puri Bhaji / chole, upma, pohe etc. During our stay, we met many Indians there in the hotel (70% of them were Gujaratis)










Trip to Koh Larn @ Morning

We had planned to go to Koh Larn Island. From our hotel we need to go to Bali hair Pier. We took Songtaew(see below image) that dropped us at Walking Street we walked to Bali hair pier which is at the end of the Walking Street.


Bali Hai Pier is the regular ferry service to Coral Island which takes about 45 minutes to cover the 10.5km journey. Tickets are purchased on the pier, close to the ferry itself, with prices starting at just 30 baht (one-way) for Naban Pier or Tawaen Beach. This is an extremely popular service, so boats are often crowded and you will usually see crowds of people walking up or down the pier at almost all times of the day, from the first sailing at 07:00 A.M. to the last one at 06:30 P.M. See the images of Bali hair pier.





We went to Naban Pier at Koh Larn Island. We wanted to go to Tawaen Beach, which is the most beautiful and longest beach on the Island. Ideally anyone can hire taxi and go to any beach, taxi may cost around 20 THB to 50 THB based on distance.

But we also wanted to enjoy some water sports so we contacted few agents at the pier who were offering water sports we negotiated with them and went for three water sports Under Water Sea walk (must do), parasailing and banana boat ride at 2300 THB (for 2 persons). After completing the activities, they dropped us off at Tawaen Beach at 11:30 A.M.
















We enjoyed swimming and relaxing at Tawaen Beach till 2:30 P.M. and took boat at 03:00 P.M from Tawean Pier to Bali hair pier.

View Point & Sun Set at Evening

We arrived at Bali hair pier at 3:45 P.M. At Pier we asked many people about the viewpoint but they were not aware of it & hence we checked google maps and walked for 1.5 kilometers to reach the Pattaya viewpoint place.







We enjoyed sunset at Pattaya beach but you can also go to Sun set point, which is around 900 meters from viewpoint.

Dinner at Amari Mantra Restaurant & Bar.

Oh My God! How I forget to mention this day 17th February. It is our marriage anniversary! I had already booked a candle light dinner for us at the Amari Mantra Restaurant & Bar.






They had already planned surprise for us! They have Indian veg options in their menu. I would really like to thanks Benjamas Sitthi (Ben) Public relation manager at the restaurant. Please have virtual tour here.



After having delicious dinner, they had cake as surprise for us. J
Since we had too much in our dinner, we were unable to have it, they were so kind they provided it us as parcel.  

Really, this was the most romantic day of the tour. J

Day- 8 Pattaya to Bangkok 18th February

(Shopping at Chatuchak market Weekend market)

We had breakfast at hotel & then we checked out to move back to Bangkok.

Our cab had already arrived at hotel at 08:00 A.M. We booked cab with Mike Taxi. From Pattaya to Bangkok it cost us 1200 THB. We started at 08:30 A.M. and reached “Bangkok City Hotel” at 10:30 A.M. Hotel allowed us to check-in early.

Our hotel was located near to BTS Station Rachathawi.

See hotel photographs.






Chatuchak Weekend market

We went to BTS Station Rachathawi and bought tickets to BTS Mo Chit station, which cost us 37 THB/person. It is a walking distance from BTS Mo chit to Chatuchak weekend market. It is also known as JJ Market.

The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. Veteran shoppers would agree that just about everything is on sale here, although not all at the best bargain rates. However, if you have one weekend in Bangkok, squeeze in a day trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market and you will not be disappointed.



We spent whole day there and went back to hotel in evening at around 6:00 P.M. we took sky train from BTS Mo chit to BTS Rachathawi and from there we walked to our hotel.

We had dinner at Asian Delight, which was at walking distance from our hotel.

Day- 9 Bye Bye Thailand 19th February

We relaxed a bit at the hotel after our breakfast till 11:00 A.M. and then checked out we kept our luggage at hotel.

We went to BTS Siam from BTS Rachathawi and spent some time there in malls. We returned to our hotel at 3:30 P.M and had some rest in the waiting lobby.

Finally, we started for Airport at 04:00 PM. From BTS Rachathawi station, we went to Phaya Thai Station, which is interchange station for Airport link rail.



From Phaya Thai we took Link rail to Airport & reached airport at 05:30 P.M. which was quite early then our flight departure time 08:30 P.M.

Flight check-in had not started yet hence we decided to go for some refreshment.

What an experience it was! (Bhag Tejas Bhag !!!)

When we reached baggage checked-in counter, we found a very long queue and there were only four counters for Air-India flights.

Baggage check in closes before 1 hour of flight departure, which was 08:30 P.M in our case.

Thank God it was our turn at 07:10 P.M. An Officer told us that the Flight gate will close at 08:00 P.M and we need to clear Immigration process before that.

we went to Immigration counter. I had already filled the Departure card. See the image below of the immigration counter. We stood in the queue which was moving comparatively faster. 



It was 07:50 P.M. & still we were in the queue.

Finally, my wife and I completed the immigration process at 07:56 (Still story not over) Gate was 300 meters away from us.

We ran and it was not just like that advertisement of Kit Kat (Bhag Verma Bhag something…) It was serious ran.

Finally, we were able to catch it. What a way to say bye bye to Bangkok! J

Day- 10 Back to India 20th February

We arrived at 11:45 P.M. on 19th February, We went to immigration counter where the officer has asked us few Fizzy sawals (Like Appy Fizz caller of the week of Big boss).

Where have you traveled?
Why did you travel there?
How much time does it take from Bangkok to Mumbai?

Finally, we went to Baggage counter where we had to wait for 1 hour to collect our baggage.

We came out from the airport at 01:00 A.M. and found an auto taxi driver who helped us to book cab at 1800 INR/- Brand new Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.

We reached home at 04:00 A.M.

It was unforgettable and mesmerizing trip to Thailand.


Visit following links to know more

How to do VISA processing
How to exchange the Thai Currency
How to do Hotel booking
Transportation in Bangkok
Airport Process Guide
Our Trip

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2 comments:

Unknown said...

Its really good, you shared very helpful information.

Samir said...

Very good information and best clicks