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Old 3rd November 2011, 09:21   #31
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Default Re: Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.

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Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
Thanks for the beautiful travelogue, Hemanth!
Thailand now seems doable and a must-do after reading your log.

One question - isn't this the famous Mahaparinirvan position of the Buddha - the reclining statue, I mean?
Thankyou

Yes Thailand(or some east asian countries) now works out cheaper than some destinations in our own country

Yes, it is the Mahaparinirvan position.
I didn't know the name till you told this now(and after some googling), but I only knew that Buddha was reclining when he attained nirvana.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 11:41   #32
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Default Re: Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.

Hi Hemanth,

I appreciate ur patience and excellent writing skills.
Its a nice re cap of our tour.
Now me looking forward for our next adventure. (Hopefully in XUV).
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Old 4th November 2011, 13:44   #33
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Default Re: Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.

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Hi Hemanth,

I appreciate ur patience and excellent writing skills.
Its a nice re cap of our tour.
Now me looking forward for our next adventure. (Hopefully in XUV).
avinashsg, really looking forward to our XUV5OO adventure...

…Day 4 continued


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Its dawn

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It looks good even in the morning

Today whole day was planned for Safari World.
It’s a photographers’ paradise is what my colleague had told me before going.
So this day’s report of mine will have more photos than words.

The events till breakfast were the same. The guide came at 09:15.
He picked us up and told that it would be a 30minutes journey from our hotel.
He explained us that this place had two parts, pre lunch part with shows of different animals and zoo.

Post lunch part would be a car drive inside the park with no animals being caged.

I don’t know who taught him but his patented accent of “Challlo challloooooo….” was what we had to watch out for if we lose him. And that’s one sound I’ll never forget in my life.

He got us the tickets and then took around the area…

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Entrance

At first we went around the zoo area and saw some animals that I cannot see in the Mysore zoo.
We were greeted by woderful parakeets and a fountain woman

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sawatdee krup (hello in Thai)

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"What's your weekend plan buddy???"

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sawatdee kaa (hello in Thai)

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Fountain woman

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The omnipresent tuk tuk

The we saw many birds and the special ones were the small orange parrot like birds which are not afraid of humans.
Hold their feed (sunflower seeds) and they come and sit on you without any fear.
It was nice to see them sit on our hands, heads, and shoulders.

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"Stand on one leg" I remembered my PT teacher

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They were cute

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Orange

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All four directions

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"Come on buddy move"

Also for the first time, I saw Sting rays (the one that killed Steve Irvin)

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Sting ray

After seeing more animals, next stop was the giraffe feeding section.
It was one more good experience where, for some 20 bahts, we were given a bucket full of bananas and many other vegetables and when we go on a high pedestal, the giraffes would come and eat them.
They were friendly and people could touch them

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I'm bored...

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Let's play

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Gimme more...it actually eats candies!

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Giraffe section entry

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Feed me

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School of fish

The first of the shows were the Orang-utan Boxing show.
This was comical but only for some part of it, because it was fully in Thai language and we were not enjoying as much as the locals.
But the orang-utans were acting nice and the boxing show was good complete with cheer girls and others
Pictures….

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Spiderman4

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Billboard

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Entertainment before teh event

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Violins

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The cheergirls

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One more

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Let the bout begin

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Good defence

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The last man standing...

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The champion

The next show was that of the seals.

To be continued…
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Old 4th November 2011, 14:46   #34
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Default Re: Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.

…Day4Continued…Seal show:

It was a nice show and I was amazed at their balancing skills apart from their dancing skills. They easily balanced many balls, sticks etc.
Their jumping was also very good to see from a camera’s eyepiece.
Below are the pictures…

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Chubby cheeks

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Hello there...

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Howzzat!

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its raining men...

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Having a ball of a time

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Can you do it?

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Hopping the Hoops

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"Roll-n-ball"

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Volley ball smash

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Let's dance baby

We passed a croc park on tour way to the next show which was the world famous Dolphin show.

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Enroute to the Dolphin show

Six dolphins together performed some amazing stunts
Whether it was the synchronised performances or the solo jumps, all the stunts and performances were really breathtaking.
It’s the most intelligent sea animal is what they say and it was just about proven.
Let the pictures do the talking now…

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Dolphin stage

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The key players

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Ring ring roses

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Awesome twosome

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Target practice

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Through the hoops

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Synchronised

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Sixer

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Its a Six!!!

After all these, we were taken to one of the two huge lunch halls which had some 500 tables exclusively for Indians; serving Indian food…Such is the domination of Indian tourists
Even here, the non vegetarian food was tasty but the vegetarian dishes were pathetic.
Since there were lots of those juicy guavas and some more good fruits, people somehow had their food

Post lunch part was what I liked the most. Our taxi (or for that matter any personal car with the ticket) was let inside a huge fenced area.
Apart from this fenced boundary, the animals were not caged.
But of course, the carnivores were separated from the herbivores
They were free to move around and walk around. Many birds and animals came just beside our car.

The birds especially were very close and one ostrich came in front of our car and didn’t let us through for more than 5 minutes.

Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.-dsc_2334.jpg
I'm not letting you in!

It was a nice experience to go so close to the animals and take pictures from such small a distance.
The herbivore section included Rhinos, zebras, bulls, antelopes, Elephants, zebras and a lot of migratory birds.
It was amazing the even birds were not going anywhere even without any tall nets or anything of that sort

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I'm so lonely...

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Round table conference

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Some kind of storage pouch

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Sambar

After this, we entered the carnivore section and we were instructed to close the windows of our cars.
There were Tigers, Lions, and cheetahs.
The tigers came really close to our cars and it was as though I was in some African safari
I enjoyed this part of the day very much.
Below are the pictures…

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Ready to attack

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Are you coming for me??

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Namaskar...thank you for visiting Thailand

Click image for larger version

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Our entry ticket number

This was the last of the activities included in our package. The taxi headed back to our hotel.
We asked him to drop us near a mall called Pantip Plaza. He dropped us there by 5:00PM

I can never forget the view I saw when we entered this mall. We entered from the second floor (attached to a sky bridge on the road)
Oh man what a view!!! Thousands of electronic shops spread all over the big mall.
Both the BHPians were thrilled to bits. The expression on the faces of our wives was unforgettable.
The expression conveyed a message”Oh no! Now our husbands will forget us”

We enquired for some television prices and compared it with the prices in India which we had prepared.
Now here the greedy face of the two BHPians came to the picture.
We started enquiring the prices for one of my friends and another colleague of mine.
What turned out was, two BHPians, having 32”LCD and 29”CRT TVs at home and happy with that till that day, decided to buy a 42” Smart LED TV
A TV which costs 70k here (even the recent Diwali discounts has brought it down to 65k), was bought for just 30k INR (21k Baht minus 1.5k Baht VAT refund at the airport)
After this, we bought a still camera, a pen drive and some small items
The two BHPians were smiling all the way till the journey back to the hotel.

The TVs were kept at the hotel luggage room and we went to our rooms to finish the last remaining MTR ready to eat packets. We used it only for two meals

Day 5...The last day...to be continued…
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Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.-dsc_2453.jpg  

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Old 8th November 2011, 14:59   #35
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…Day 5 continued

We got up very late in the morning on the final day of our trip.
The whole day was left free and no activities were planned. We were supposed to check out of the hotel by 12:00.

At 10, both the bhpians got ready and left the hotel for some last minute TV accessory shopping.
We told our wives to pack our bags and check out by the time we return.

We went out and we asked some passerby for directions. She gave us the direction and also gave more info. That day was some lucky Buddha day it seems. A once in a year occasion.

She also spoke to a tuk-tuk guy and for 30 bahts; he took us to that special temple which opens only on that day. After that visit he took us to our mall where we wanted to go.
Since we had not taken our camera, I have no photos of the temple.
We got only one number of the accessory which avinashsg paid for and kept it. I later bought it here in Bengaluru.

We took another tuk-tuk with the help of a policeman. Tuk-tuk guys will quote higher for a tourist is what we learnt today…better late than never.
We returned to the hotel by 12:00, by which time, the check out was done.

Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.-dsc_2470.jpg
Brahma in front of our hotel...it was present at the corners of almost every street

We kept the luggage at the reception luggage room. Our taxi was expected to come at 6:00pm for the 9:30 flight. We hadn't planned anything till that time.

I came up with the idea of going to the Baiyoke tower for lunch.

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Baiyoke Tower

We booked the tickets through the hotel travel agent and we walked till there.
Both the ladies cursed me for this decision of mine. Not because of the tower visit or the view from there, but because of the lunch. There was not even one single vegetarian dish in sight.
We called a person there and asked for a vegetarian meal to which he gave an astonished look
He requested for some time and later came up with vegetarian fried rice and other sauces and noodles.
The ladies somehow finished it cursing me all through…they also had their by-then-favourite guavas and juices to fill their stomach
There were some nice photogenic food Items though.

Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.-dsc_2475.jpg
Photgenic "Chicken with peper sauce"

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Chocolate cake

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Thailand's highest

After lunch, we went to the rotating view deck on the 85th floor.
The view from atop the tower was just awesome to say the least. All the skyscrapers were just miniaturised in front of this tower
Time for the pictures…

Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.-dsc_2487.jpg
View 1

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View 2

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The old Baiyoke hotel

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77th floor cycle rickshaw

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Thai metro

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Toyota

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Colourful taxis

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Metro station

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Baiyoke model

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409m including the foundation (approx. 1250ft)

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The lift doors showing both the old and new Baiyoke towers

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View 3

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Spot the hanging bridge

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Lights on the rotating deck

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I definitely need a GPS

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Look at the horizon

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Roof deck on the 85th floor

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Exhibits

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For the records

Since I took them to a bad lunch, the girls decided to punish me. They wanted to shop.
At around 3:00pm we went to the MBK mall in a tuk tuk and we set them a 150minutes deadline.
They shopped and finished all the remaining Thai currency in those 150 minutes.

I had purchased a jig saw puzzle on the tower having the picture of the tower itself.
While the two BHPians were busy completing the jigsaw puzzle, the girls bought all necessary and unnecessary things that they could find there.
After they were exhausted and after the time limit was over, even though they were not satisfied, they came back.
We hopped onto a tuk tuk for the last time and arrived at the hotel by 5:30.

Our taxi had already arrived by then.
The taxi charges 100 bahts per TV for transportation is what we were informed.
We gave the hotel boys 100 bahts tips and 200 bahts for the taxi for 2 TVs
Off we went to the airport, with zero Thai currency in our pockets and a hungry stomach.

On the way I recollected all the wonderful memories of the trip and within no time, we reached the airport. We got our luggage checked in. The TVs were checked in the oversized baggage counter.

There was approximately one TV per passenger on that flight that day.
After the immigration, we went to the VAT refund counter and got back 7% of the television cost.
This refund was also not spared, it was used in some airport shopping and satisfying our stomachs.

31st August 2011 21:20 Thai time, the captain announced the departure of the flight ending our Amazing trip.

The happiness in our faces that day though lasted only for the flight duration 3.5hours.
As soon as we landed home, the happiness transformed into irritation and hatred against our system.
As per the Indian custom rules, tourist can bring home 25k worth of goods for free and above which we would be charged 30-35% import duty.
Our TV was 31k if we converted into rupees and as per law I must be charged 35% for the 6k extra which is around 2k (In my name I had checked in only the TV, Other baggage was against my wife’s name).
The customs officer held us and started talking all nonsense that even the chain in my neck or the gold ring on my finger can be taxed.
He calculated using some nonsense equation and told us that we would have to pay 10k each as duty.
After some discussions, he asked us 5k per person without any receipt.
After 1hour of discussions and negotiations the deal was made for 3.5k per person and since we didn’t have cash, he was generous enough to allow one of us to go to the ATM and withdraw money.
Only after he got his bride, we were allowed to go out.

In another hour, we reached home at around 01:30hrs thereby successfully completing our trip to the place what they call “Amazing Thailand”…true in every sense.
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Old 10th November 2011, 00:38   #36
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Default Re: Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.

It is a great travelogue. Nice to see Lord Buddha,Monastery, the great infrastructure,beautiful buildings and above all the great photography of our cycle rickshaw also in Bangkok. But now all the people are suffering of the flood in Thailand.So sad of them.
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Old 10th November 2011, 09:43   #37
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Thankyou navan49,

Yes Its really sad to see the photos of the flooded areas.
Most of the places I visited in Bangkok are submerged in flood waters...
The Buddha temples we visited are in water...Really sad.
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Old 10th November 2011, 11:13   #38
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Default Re: Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.

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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
We asked him to drop us near a mall called Pantip Plaza. He dropped us there by 5:00PM

I can never forget the view I saw when we entered this mall. We entered from the second floor (attached to a sky bridge on the road)
Oh man what a view!!! Thousands of electronic shops spread all over the big mall.
Both the BHPians were thrilled to bits. The expression on the faces of our wives was unforgettable.
The expression conveyed a message”Oh no! Now our husbands will forget us”

We enquired for some television prices and compared it with the prices in India which we had prepared.
Now here the greedy face of the two BHPians came to the picture.
We started enquiring the prices for one of my friends and another colleague of mine.
What turned out was, two BHPians, having 32”LCD and 29”CRT TVs at home and happy with that till that day, decided to buy a 42” Smart LED TV
A TV which costs 70k here (even the recent Diwali discounts has brought it down to 65k), was bought for just 30k INR (21k Baht minus 1.5k Baht VAT refund at the airport)
After this, we bought a still camera, a pen drive and some small items
The two BHPians were smiling all the way till the journey back to the hotel.
What was the brand of the TVs bought, any exact model?
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Old 10th November 2011, 11:27   #39
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What was the brand of the TVs bought, any exact model?
I am going to Bangkok on Nov 26th. The floods have almost killed the excitement but this seems to be a reason to cheer up again..

One query..If II buy this TV from Bangkok, wont I have to pay Customs duty at the Airpport? How much of shopping is allowed from Bangkok to India?

Rajeev
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Old 10th November 2011, 11:35   #40
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What was the brand of the TVs bought, any exact model?
@ramki067
I have sent you a PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajismine View Post
I am going to Bangkok on Nov 26th. The floods have almost killed the excitement but this seems to be a reason to cheer up again..

One query..If II buy this TV from Bangkok, wont I have to pay Customs duty at the Airpport? How much of shopping is allowed from Bangkok to India?

Rajeev
@rajismine
Read my post quoted below, you'll get the answers for your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
As soon as we landed home, the happiness transformed into irritation and hatred against our system.
As per the Indian custom rules, tourist can bring home 25k worth of goods for free and above which we would be charged 30-35% import duty.
Our TV was 31k if we converted into rupees and as per law I must be charged 35% for the 6k extra which is around 2k (In my name I had checked in only the TV, Other baggage was against my wife’s name).
The customs officer held us and started talking all nonsense that even the chain in my neck or the gold ring on my finger can be taxed.
He calculated using some nonsense equation and told us that we would have to pay 10k each as duty.
After some discussions, he asked us 5k per person without any receipt.
After 1hour of discussions and negotiations the deal was made for 3.5k per person and since we didn’t have cash, he was generous enough to allow one of us to go to the ATM and withdraw money.
Only after he got his bride, we were allowed to go out.
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Old 10th November 2011, 11:39   #41
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@ramki067
I have sent you a PM
Thanks buddy. Replied to your PM
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Old 10th November 2011, 11:43   #42
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thanks Hemant...missed to read that

I was expecting such a thing. Customs guys are a cheat

Rajeev
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:13   #43
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Default Re: Amazing Thailand...True in every sense.

Excellent travelogue Hemanth.

That is some informative data listed out and the photos are so lovely especially the Bangkok skyline and animals they make this travelogue stand out. Not to mention the icing on the cake being the food pictures

Great job !!!

P.S: Finally, what was the total cost per person? When you depart their is a figure and when you return that figure is completely mangled
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:29   #44
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my guess is that a Bangkok Pattaya trip excluding shopping should be around 40-45K per person.
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Old 10th November 2011, 12:32   #45
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Excellent travelogue Hemanth.

That is some informative data listed out and the photos are so lovely especially the Bangkok skyline and animals they make this travelogue stand out. Not to mention the icing on the cake being the food pictures

Great job !!!

P.S: Finally, what was the total cost per person? When you depart their is a figure and when you return that figure is completely mangled
@mobike008
Thank you very much.

You are right about the cost, especially when there are females.
And when they are angry with you like in my case on the last day, its much worse
Still I was successful in keeping it to a figure which I could manage.

Per couple from my home door and back cost us 1,25,000 including 35,000 TV.
60,000 for the Travel agent, 30,000 for Shopping and other expenses and 35,000 for TV
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