Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thailand: preparing for the journey

When you want to visit a country, the first thing you need to plan is about which parts of the country you want to tour. This again depends on why you want to travel to that country in the first place.
Ok, so here is how I decided. I got Diwali holidays for a couple of days at office. Combining that with three days’ leave and 4 days of weekends, gave me a solid 9 days off. I decided to keep one day to myself to sorting and unpacking the mess post-travel before joining office from Monday.

So, what could be done in these 8 days?  Looking at Thailand map made me realize that the names of places that float around were at quite a distance from each other, two cities (Bangkok & Pattaya) in the North Thailand and two cities (Phuket & Krabi) in the South. A preliminary research made me realize that doing all four, plus travel in the given duration was tough.

Bangkok was, after all, just another city, like any other city in the world. Pattaya was a city famous for its night life. Could easily skip that. That means we devote our time to the South where the delightful islands of Phuket and Krabi lay. So, the plan was made: the briefest of times at Bangkok and the maximum time at Krabi.
Flights tickets from Hyderabad to Bangkok and back were booked. Extensive research done on which hotels to stay at, depending on the proximity to prominent landmarks, and booked. All these activities were done online and took about 14 days. By then, I was about a week away from travel and didn’t have the time to apply for visa from Hyderabad, as apparently, we need to show proof of to and fro tickets plus where we planned to stay during the entire duration of our Thailand stay.
Next, was applying for Forex. This was the easiest of all tasks as I could book the forex online and get it delivered the same day. I got it at the rate of Rs. 2.89 to 1 THB. I applied for 15000 THB, hoping it will do. The cards were always there, anyways.
We stayed in two 4-starred hotels and one 3-starred (where the 4-starred one wasn’t available). We didn’t travel by public transport and always took the cab. What I mean to say is that we definitely weren't on a money-saving mode. Yet, we only incurred a cost of 22000 THB for our sight-seeing, food and shopping expenditure. We swiped the card when we thought we might fall short of cash.