Sagar | My Travel | Thailand

My Travel - Thailand.

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I traveled outside of India for the first time, and that was to this beautiful country with beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, humble, polite, respectful, and content people. Thailand. Thailand is one of the most open-minded and welcoming countries in the world.

P.S. I did NOT go there for hook-ups and I did not hookup with anybody. My idea of "fun" is very different. This ain't a justification, but writing it only, because people blatantly conjecture (and spread) things without knowing the person.

Table of Index
Yet to Explore [...]
First Visit to Thailand [...]
Second Visit to Thailand [...]
Third Visit to Thailand [...]
Fourth Visit to Thailand [...]
Shopping Tips [...]
VISA On Arrival [...]
Thailand Weather [...]
Booking Links [...]
External Informative Links [...]


Yet to Explore.
You'll read below about my Thailand Trips. However, despite having traveled there four times already, I feel like going there again and again! There's a LOT to explore. This section is where I'll be listing places that I'm about to explore next.
♦ Koh Samui, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Rai
♦ American Eagle Outfitters, Times Square Building Mall, Terminal 21, Gaysorn Plaza, Central World, Siam Paragon, Emporium (Phrom Phong), Union Mall, M.R. Kukrit's Heritage Home, Safari World / Bird Show (Khwaeng Sam Wa Tawan Tok)


First Visit to Thailand.
We were, initially, planning to go with Kesari Tours, but due to a lot of issues on their end (like trips being cancelled / post-poned, no timely refunds), I cancelled all of that and decided to go on my own... of course not without my mother. I had to show her the new place.

Even though the Chapter began on a slightly disappointing note (because of Kesari Tours), it was an excellent decision to go on our own, because I believe that your travels become very restrictive when you go with tours, besides, they want to control your time. That's something that I would have not liked.

Visited Bangkok with my mum from 29-Aug-'13 to 05-Sep-'13. I had completely researched on my own, to make it the best trip possible. Thanks, to the Internet, especially, a DesiYatri Blog, where I found the information about VISAs, Money Exchange, etc. (unable to find that blog anymore!).

This was, pretty much, a flawless trip! To read about the places we visited, the lovely place we stayed at, and all the activities done, click on the Bangkok button that you see on this page.

1 Baht was approximately 2.08 rupees during this trip. VISA On Arrival (Fast Track) cost was THB 1,200/-

Second Visit to Thailand.
The second time I went from 12-Mar-'14 to 20-Mar-'14 alone to Bangkok and Krabi (South Thailand). This was soon after I quit my full-time IT Software Job.

One of the most notable things about this trip was that this was the last Pune to Bangkok direct flight by SpiceJet. They scrapped their flights thereafter. Hardly 5-6 of us were on that plane. Nevertheless, it was a superb experience to travel directly from PNQ to BKK, and I hope that this service starts again in the future.

This second visit was during the year Madhuri Dixit's 'Dedh Ishqiya' and 'Gulaab Gang' released, so, I associate some of those songs with this trip.

First, I reached Bangkok, and stayed in Bangkok City Inn for a couple of days. Shopped a bit, and then headed south to Krabi. In Krabi, I stayed at the Ao Nang Beach's Zabava Guest House, with the beach at a 30 seconds' walk. Stayed here for just 2-3 days, and returned to ibis, Siam Square, Bangkok, where I stayed on the highest floor until then, 16th. Shopped again! I always go to Thailand with one bag, and return with two. There are just so many lovely things to buy there.

To read about my hotel experiences, the places I visited, the activities I did, click on the Bangkok and Krabi buttons that you see on this page.

VISA On Arrival cost was THB 1,000/-

Third Visit to Thailand.
The third time I went from 26-Sep-'14 to 26-Nov-'14 alone to Chiang Mai (North Thailand).

This was specifically for my TEFL Course. To read more about my 2 months experience. Reached Bangkok (via Kolkata), took the City Line up to Hua Lamphong, and caught the Railway to Chiang Mai (700 KMs overnight journey).

I hardly spent time in Bangkok during this trip. However, my parents visited me in Chiang Mai over a weekend, and then stayed in Bangkok for 2 days (at Lub d - Siam Square) before returning.

I was in a Teaching Practice on the day my parents returned. My mother tells me how she started weeping when the train left from Chiang Mai (towards Bangkok)... she has watched many Bollywood movies!

Click on the Bangkok and Chiang Mai buttons that you see on this page.

I had procured my 60 Days Tourist VISA in advance from Pune.

Fourth Visit to Thailand.
The fourth time I went from 21-Aug-'18 to 27-Aug-'18 Solo to Bangkok. This was my Baiyoke Sky Hotel-special and Shopping-special trip. Click on the Baiyoke Sky Hotel button to read all about this awesome trip.
1 Baht was approximately 2.155 Indian rupees during this trip.
VISA On Arrival cost was 2,000 Baht for General Queue. I took the FastTrack Queue (2,200 Baht - took me around 15-20 minutes) since I was tired from the long journey. It was too crowded and chaotic that day. An officer DID confirm with people that that was the FastTrack Queue.

Since it took me quite some time to get my VOA and reach my Baggage Collection Conveyor Belt (# 15), on reaching there, I saw that a Staff Member had already picked up all the baggage from the belt and placed it neatly nearby. I initially pointed at the wrong bag (since it was the same size and color), but discovered that it was someone else's. The Staff Member checked my name and found my baggage. ALWAYS CROSS-CHECK YOUR NAME ON YOUR CHECKED-IN BAGGAGE WHILE COLLECTING IT.



Shopping Tips

The better your research, the easier & smoother is your trip.

An important tip (from a shopping-lover like me) while going to Thailand. Go with empty hands. Literally! Just take lots of money in your pocket. Carry discardable clothes, if any. Products you buy in Thailand are of good quality - even the simple (low cost) ones. You will return with minimum 1 extra baggage from Thailand - that too a new bag, because you will find so many creative and beautiful things there. So, better to go without any. You do not need to carry even the travel adaptor there or spend thousands of rupees in getting it in your country. You get a basic one for 100 Baht. You get clothes, innerwear, outerwear... and bags too to keep it all. At the end, get your bag wrapped for damage-safety (approx. @ 150 baht per bag of any size) at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, and you'll be fine.

There are innumerable beautiful and lovely things to do in Bangkok, and not everything can be covered in a single visit. I did a lot of shopping, moving around sight-seeing, traveling in BTS Skytrains, walking across the bustling streets, and sometimes merely sitting at the Ganapati Shrine near the Central World to just rest the legs. A few things that I planned but couldn't do are visiting the Lumphini Park, and the list mentioned in the article "10 Things to do in Bangkok when it Rains". Hope to do those during my future trips.





Visa charge is waived until 31 October 2019

VISA On Arrival 

Indians can get a Tourist VISA to Thailand for 14 days On Arrival. If you want a longer VISA (like I did during my 3rd trip), you can get a 60 Days Tourist VISA in advance from a VISA Application Center in your City / nearby.

These are a few tips / experiences from me:

1. VISA On Arrival Counter can be easily found on Arrival. Baggage to be collected AFTER your VISA Procedure.

2. Download and pre-fill the VOA Form in advance. It is always good to be prepared. Carry extra photographs.

3. I've always presented my Boarding Pass, Return Ticket, and Hotel Reservation to the VISA Officer. I was never asked for any additional document - not even Proof of Funds. However, I always carry ALL the documents that are mentioned on websites.

4. Make sure to preserve the Departure Card until your departure.

5. Follow the directions towards the City Line (metro train) and catch the metro to your desired destination. It goes to Phaya Thai. Phaya Thai is the station from where you can catch the BTS Skytrain to almost anywhere else in the city.
Express Line (another metro train's name) is many times costlier than City Line, plus it does not go to Phaya Thai.




Thailand Weather 

Never plan your travel without checking the weather of that place first. Read Thailand's Weather Overview and the Daily / Weekly / Monthly Weather Forecasts for Bangkok / Thailand as well before making your plans.

I went to Thailand for the 4th time during August (2018), which was supposed to be rainy, however, it rained daily only in the second half of the day, that too for just 2-3 hours. It was dry during other times. That actually helped me in planning my days much better.




Bookings 

Here's the list of websites I use or have reliably used for making my bookings:

Hotels
I use booking.com always to book my Hotels. I've not found a better website than that.

During my very first Thailand Trip, I used www.asiawebdirect.com to book my Hostel. If you are directly in contact with the hotel (via Facebook or email), they may give you discounts on your subsequent visits / bookings. Do check with them if you would still get the discount if you booked from external websites.

Flights
I use www.cleartrip.com for booking all my flights. I've not yet found a better website for Flights than this.

I had booked my flight from Bangkok to Krabi with Bangkok Airways. www.airasia.com (specific to Asia) and www.nokair.com (specific to Thailand) are low-cost airlines and very affordable.

Important: Check the currency in which the amount is displayed on those websites very carefully.




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Below are a few links that I personally found helpful. Click on the [...] besides each title to read the article.

Informative Links
Visa requirements for Indian citizens [...]
2017 Guide - Duty free allowances for Indian citizens travelling to India [...]
Search "duty free allowance india yyyy"
Gay Thailand | Thailand Redcat [...]
Why is Bangkok such a gay-friendly city? [...]
The best-kept secrets of gay Thailand that make it an essential destination for 2017 [...]
Inside Thailand [...]
Thai Meteorological Department [...]
BTS Skytrain Service Routes - Bangkok [...]
Thailand Guru [...]
10 Best Gay-Friendly Hotels in Phuket [...]
Vietnam Vs Thailand: Full Comparison - Which is Better? [...]
When is the best time to visit Vietnam? : Insider Journeys [...]
Vietnam Shopping - Where to Shop and What to Buy in Vietnam [...]








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