Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 6th February 2012, 13:17   #16
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore/Gulbarga
Posts: 161
Thanked: 30 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

@ninjatally: What a nice way to put across the things! Stalwarts like @Yeti et all have enaromous experience and skill of professional writing. You match them neck-to-neck!! Your style is unique, informative and organized . Bring it on buddy! Rated 5 star!
whitesquall is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2012, 20:15   #17
Distinguished - BHPian
 
swiftnfurious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 6,449
Thanked: 6,438 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Good start up! This is more of an "info-log" than a "t-log". One of the very few occasions I actually find the term "value addition" suiting! This [most of the ones in t-bhp] is truly a step ahead of the normal logs where we get a lot more info than just pics and the excitement!

Keep it coming...Five stars!

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 6th February 2012 at 20:16.
swiftnfurious is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2012, 00:37   #18
Senior - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,606
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Hotels

Gyan Section
A word of advice to future travelers to Pattaya, there are hundreds of hotels in Pattaya; depending on the location, the amenities and the standard of the hotel, the price will vary. Don't just go by the price, do an extensive search, read reviews on agoda as well as other websites (e.g. Tripadvisor) and then decide accordingly. When I say location there are multiple aspects - the hotel might be right on the beach (Pattaya, Jomtien) or close to the market area, in hidden inner bylanes, adjacent to the night life area(s), in the Gay section of the city and so on. Please do not forget to read the reviews.


Our Experience

When my eyes open again, I notice that we have reached Pattaya and soon the bus pulls into the Pattaya AC bus terminal. The change in the outside scenario is completely different; Thailand when viewed from the plane or through the highways looks a tad boring; but not Pattaya. The city looks fresh. Imagine Goa, more clean, with better roads and infrastructure, and of course with more number of ladies, that's Pattaya for you. But I'm jumping the gun out here.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.1.jpg
The Bus Terminal

So we get down and are informed to head towards these spacious Toyota vans that stand in front of us. Each of the van has place-cards with different hotel names and without any hassles we get our luggage shifted from the bus to these vans. Our van had two hotel names written on it - Hotel Markland View (ours) and the Ibis Hotel where the hyderabadi gang was heading to.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.2.jpg
Our transport to the hotel

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.3.jpg
8+1(driver) + luggage, and still there is room!

The van drops off the others at the Ibis hotel and finally we head towards Pattaya Beach road, as that's where our hotel is located. Yup, right in front of the beach Honestly this was the best decision I made during the entire trip, booking this hotel.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.4.jpg
The first view of the hotel

While booking through the Agoda website, which by the way offered free cancellations, I had spent days on it looking at various options ranging from 500Rs to 5000Rs a day, 1star to 5 stars, booked and cancelled several hotels and finally drilled down to this 3-star hotel which was located right on the beach front. Pros - Good reviews, decent amenities, perfect location. More on the hotel at this link.

The hotel is a 27 floored building, with a lot of the floors given out as condos, while the rest of the floors being used as the hotel. The hotel has three set of rooms, Superior, Deluxe and Suite. Deluxe being the rooms in the front (towards the beach) while the rest at the back are Superior (with a side view towards the beach). The main USP of the hotel was the restaurant on the terrace, with a mind boggling 360 degree view of Pattaya.

Costs:
  • Superior Sea-Facing Room : 10,000 Rs (4 days for 2 people)

We finally reach our hotel, and our luggage is unloaded. I begin to wonder if I should tip the guy; frankly the bus option was a bargain, plus their service was perfect. But no, he doesn't even pause or try to get a tip and immediately drives away back for the next bus. That's Thailand for you, folks.

Almost all hotels in Thailand have a fixed check-in and check-out timings, check-in at 2 p.m. while check-out is at 12 p.m. Knowing that we would arrive well before 2, we had requested for an early check-in while booking the room through the website. No use. The manager, though very apologetic, tells me that the room is being cleaned and we would have to wait for an hour.

Having nothing else to do, and with rats doing kung-fu in our stomachs we head outside, leaving all the luggage except the camera. And within seconds, I hit jackpot!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.10.jpg
Damn!

And its not only me who is drooling at the car, every Tom, D**k & Harry on the road is doing the same! While the lady heads towards the road side eateries, I decide to take a few images of the beautiful hotel.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.6.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.5.jpg
A better view of the hotel

After a small bite, we head back towards the hotel and thankfully our room is ready. Although I was hoping they'd give me a room on one of the top floors of this 27 floored building, I get a piddy 9th floor. The manager sees the disappointment on my face and again apologies stating that none of the other rooms are empty, which I don't really think to be the truth as atleast on the booking website I had seen more than one room available. However 9th floor it is, and we head towards our room.

9 floors above, once I enter the room, my mood changes completely. The room has all the basic amenities which includes a fridge, tv, coffee maker, and most important, a bathtub But what makes my day is the balcony. The view from the balcony is drop-dead gorgeous.


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.8.jpg
The balcony with the gorgeous view

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.7.jpg
A closer look at the outside view

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.9.jpg
The room

We immediately order lunch from the in-house restaurant and have it outside in the balcony. The food is only so-so, however with the view, and our hunger, even if it was stale, we would have still gobbled it up. And with our stomachs full, we did the inevitable - we hit the sack. Literally. A tsunami wouldn't have woken up during the rest of the day!

Last edited by ninjatalli : 7th February 2012 at 00:45.
ninjatalli is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2012, 01:13   #19
Senior - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,606
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
Nice travelogue, just came back from Thailand, was there during the Christmas and New Year period. Did you go to Phuket? It's truly a paradise on Earth (for that matter, even Langkawi, MLY is).
No, didn't want to do too many things. This was a lazy trip (you'll understand as I go through the rest of the posts), Phuket would be another trip for sure.

Quote:
Hotel rooms are also great in the Far East, not like the cramped ones in Europe. For those planning to go to Thailand, Amari Watergate (Bangkok, bang opposite to Platinum Mall), Royal Cliff (Pattaya, has 2 private beaches) and Marriott (Phuket, located on the Patong beach, the most happening place in Phuket) are great hotels and I'd recommend them to members who are planning to visit Thailand.
That's the beauty of Thailand isn't it? There are so many good hotels, in fact I had multiple recommendations from friends, however I went for something new, one that I'll recommend to others for sure!

Quote:
If you don't have issues, I could share some of my pics too. Do update the travelogue as soon as possible!
Sure! Feel free to add pics as and when you feel it'll help others reading the TL. But do try to chip in with the flow, else it might become a bit too mixed up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Wonderful start Niranjan!
Awesome reading your witty, funny and informative write up. Can be called as " Noobies guide to Thailand"
Keep posting regularly. This is one log I wouldn't want to keep pressing F5 for long.
So just bring it on with all the humour.
Thank you sir! I'll try to up the ante for sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by _raVan_ View Post
Great start Ninja! Good that you are mentioning the costs incurred. It will help a lot of fellow travelers to look for right options.
Yep, that's the plan. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitesquall View Post
@ninjatally: What a nice way to put across the things! Stalwarts like @Yeti et all have enaromous experience and skill of professional writing. You match them neck-to-neck!! Your style is unique, informative and organized . Bring it on buddy! Rated 5 star!
Lol. No sir, Yeti is yeti. We can only try. But appreciate the feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Good start up! This is more of an "info-log" than a "t-log". One of the very few occasions I actually find the term "value addition" suiting! This [most of the ones in t-bhp] is truly a step ahead of the normal logs where we get a lot more info than just pics and the excitement!

Keep it coming...Five stars!
Danke sir! Will try to post as much info as possible.
ninjatalli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2012, 03:10   #20
BHPian
 
AlphaKilo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: VOMM-EDDW-EDDM
Posts: 773
Thanked: 362 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

ninja ji!! Fantastic! I am sure you had a better experience than Hangover-2 So i am expecting more auto pics and some special pics of autos which we might get in india soon! good writing too.
AlphaKilo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th February 2012, 23:52   #21
Senior - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,606
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Now that was a bit too long a break, wasn't it!

When we wake up finally, it is dark, pitch dark. But then we realize that is because we have closed the curtains. When we do open them, this is what we see. At 11 p.m. on a Sunday night, this is the situation. This city doesn't have a bedtime, it seems!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-1.jpg
Gorgeous view re-defined!

That was probably the shortest time in the history of our lifetime it took us to get dressed and get out. But somethings don't change. Certain rules always stay, irrespective of whichever city, or country we are. The mind wanted to roam, check out the night life, that Pattaya was so famous for. The stomach was hungry. As always, the stomach wins

We head to the first restaurant we see, that turns to be a KFC. And probably the last time we'll have food at any of the global chain restaurants. Oh, the food wasn't bad at all. In fact, the same items that are available in KFC India outlets have a completely different flavor and taste out here. The burgers have more meat than the vegetables. There are several rice items in the menu here, plus a lot more (other) meat based options. We play safe. We order a zinger burger and a basic rice-chicken item.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-2.jpg
Check out the yellow-colored chili sauce - best sauce I ever tasted!

A few of the items are unavailable, as the counter-girl politely tells us that the flood is the cause of the unavailability. This is the first and the last time do we see or hear any mentioning of the flood or its impact. In all my 7 days in Pattaya & Bangkok, I see absolutely no long-lasting effect of the flood at all.

With our stomachs satisfied, we start to roam on the streets. Pattaya has a lot of these open bars, few of which also display a few pole-dancing ladies in the center of the bar.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.jpg
Colorful sights

Now the rules state that the restaurants and bars should close by 1 a.m, but then this is Pattaya. Reduce the volume of your speakers, get the tempo down and you should be fine. Most if not all restaurants close up, but these bars remain open till the last customers. A good option, if one decides to go for a drink at 2 a.m.

But even if they do close early, then you always have these.

Name:  4.1.jpg
Views: 2387
Size:  239.4 KB
7/11 store (Image flicked from the net)

In my opinion the true lifeline of travelers in Pattaya are these 7-11s. They practically house everything that one might need. When I say everything, I do mean everything. And there is one located at every corner of every street. And most of them are open till the wee hours, if not 24X7. We grab a few cakes, juice and some other snack items.

Right outside the store, this white lady is parked. Clearly she has to be a Toyota as most vehicles in Thailand are, but she looks familiar. The Liva comes to my mind but then there are a lot of differences - the head light assembly is different with an angel eye kind of setup; the fog lamps, the grill, all different. But it looks very very similar to the Liva.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-5.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-6.jpg


We decide not to head towards Walking Street for today. It is already past 1, plus it's a long walk However we roam around on the beach road taking in the beauty of the beach. There is hardly any crowd, but surprisingly we aren't the least worried of our safety - that's the beauty of this place. Less than 24 hours in this country, and already we feel quite secure.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-7.jpg
The name says it all!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-8.jpg
Pattaya Beach Road has a completely different story to tell in the night - empty, yet beautiful

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-9.jpg
Some kind of holy setup that stays on the entire night

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-10.jpg
IMO, one of the best hotels to stay in Pattaya

We head back to the room, and like geeks, we start our laptops and get active online! After a short while I am given (read:ordered) to the duty of setting up a short snack at 3 in the night! Well, the lady is the boss - I get to work and this is what I produce.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-11.jpg
Chef Ninja works his magic! And in less than 10 minutes!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-12.jpg

Well, the coffee wasn't all that bad, and the cake was, after all food. And we were a bit hungry. Considering all that got finished within seconds, I guess I could give myself a pat or two on my back! And soon we call it a day and head back to the bed (again).

Last edited by ninjatalli : 10th February 2012 at 23:57.
ninjatalli is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2012, 01:00   #22
Senior - BHPian
 
souravc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 1,088
Thanked: 427 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

This could not have come up at a more opportune time for me , planning a short trip somewhere and Thailand is the leading destination being considered ( the problem with me and my family is that we get excited by every location , seems we just want to get out of Mumbai somehow )

Please expect a detailed telecon shortly , I may drive you mad with the questions - which you can pre-empt by updating this thread in as detailed a manner as possible
souravc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2012, 02:06   #23
Senior - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,606
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
ninja ji!! Fantastic! I am sure you had a better experience than Hangover-2 So i am expecting more auto pics and some special pics of autos which we might get in india soon! good writing too.
Hangover-2 - lol!
Special Autos - Coming up soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by souravc View Post
This could not have come up at a more opportune time for me , planning a short trip somewhere and Thailand is the leading destination being considered ( the problem with me and my family is that we get excited by every location , seems we just want to get out of Mumbai somehow )

Please expect a detailed telecon shortly , I may drive you mad with the questions - which you can pre-empt by updating this thread in as detailed a manner as possible
Aha! Sure sir. Anytime. But with a disclaimer - info will be dished out only if a travelogue shall be promised in the near future
As for the thread, been busy with work this week, but should be able to put up a few posts tomorrow.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 11th February 2012 at 02:10.
ninjatalli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2012, 17:42   #24
Senior - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,606
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Gyan Section

Pattaya is a city of hotels and restaurants. There are local restaurants, and then there are others. You name the country, there'll be a restaurant with the cusine of that country available there. As for Indian restaurants, they are dime a dozen. So far we could find out Bengali, South-Indian, Punjabi and Rajasthani food outlets here; pretty sure the others are there too! So for those of you veggies out there, no sweat. Most of these Indian restaurants also sport the local cuisines, so for groups looking at a mixture of Indian & local food options, hit one of these. As for the non-veggies, especially those who favor the sea-food, look no further than the local outlets. I have never had much of a liking for sea-food, and yet that is all I ate out here. Before coming here, I was a veggie convert i.e. a non-veggie who had decided to turn vegetarian. However right on the first day out here, that went out of the window!

Our Experience

When one does the booking for the hotel online, one focuses a lot on the freebies offered by the hotel - free wi-fi, discount in price, free breakfast and so on. Most hotels in Pattaya offer wi-fi, few offer breakfast options. One of the reason for selecting this hotel, was the restaurant on the 27th floor with the most amazing view.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-1.1.jpg
Restaurant on 27th floor - Image courtesy the hotel website

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-2.1.jpg
The stunning view of Pattaya Beach Road from the restaurant - Image courtesy the hotel website

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-2.jpg
The exact same view at night - Image courtesy the hotel website

Fat lot of good that did us. Most of the days we slept till 11-12, well past the breakfast time of 10. However it did make us very hungry when we did wake up, and that meant good, long brunches!

Today was an important day - she needed a sim so that she could tell everyone how amazing the place was; I needed a vehicle so that I could explore to find how amazing rest of the place was! The first part was easy - we headed straight towards the next-door 7/11 store to get a local sim; Telnor sims (branded as Hello sims) were the most popular however international calling rates were atrociously high - so then started the search for a calling card. It wasn't really tough to search for one - ads were there at every corner.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.jpg

However a friend had given a reference of "Bolo" calling cards, generally found at Indian stores and restaurants, and we decided to give it a try. Fortunately for me, getting a bike for hire is not really a big problem - I see a line of bikes put up for rental right outside the store.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-4.jpg
Thankfully no Toyotas over here - Honda & Suzuki lead the numbers

The rate is negotiated (read:none), deposit amount paid to the lady (owner), a bill made and the bike (and two helmets) is ours. The lady informs us that the tank is full while handing over the bike, and informs us to give it back with a full tank. The bike is not that bad, it could reach the early fifties, take both of us without any grunts and it braked just fine.
  • Rent : 150 Baht (X3 Days)
  • Deposit : 1000 Baht (Refundable)
  • Add-ons : Two helmets, 1 full tank
  • Insurance : None!

Next item on the list - brunch! Last night, we had noticed this beautiful restaurant right next to the hotel which had closed up. We head straight towards it and get busy! I start off with a delicious watermelon smoocher, while the lady decides to hit the main course!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-5.jpg
Trust me, it tasted far better than how it looks

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-6.1.jpg
Nice, open restaurant right next to the hotel

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-6.2.jpg
Yup, right opposite to the beach just across the street

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-6.3.jpg
And we got free wi-fi too! Now that's a good lunch I say!

With the food done, it is time to start the search for a store that stocks calling cards. In a short while in an interior lane, we see this ad.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-7.jpg
Finally an ad for India-specific calling card

It is located right next to this Indian restaurant, and right on cue I get the all-familiar smells of Indian spices. What a pity, we already had lunch!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-8.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-9.jpg
Nice Indian menu!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-10.jpg
For anyone looking for this restaurant, it's located right opposite this beautiful hotel

We meet the owner, a sardarji who gives us a different deal - for 200 Baht, we'll get an two hours of call time to India. The method is like this - I call a number and cut the call. In return I get a call from that number, I accept it and then I dial the Indian-based number. We weren't sure if this was legal, but still it worked and we went for it. And immediately the lady gets busy.
  • Mobile Sim Cost : 49 Baht
  • International Calling Charges : 200 Baht

Very soon we realize one thing - the network is pathetic. And this was supposed to be one of the better operators in Thailand. Tells you a lot about the excellent networks we have back in India. But finally, all the basic necessities are taken care off, and finally we are off on the road to discover what the actual Pattaya looks like.
ninjatalli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th February 2012, 21:31   #25
BHPian
 
samarjitdhar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sydney/Kolkata
Posts: 964
Thanked: 476 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.jpg
Great going. A few things noted in this image containing the mini billboards

1. In Thailand, the opposite of Female is Mail
2. Curiously the price list omits any price for the "massage" services

Edit: Also does Harry Potter Travel involve broomsticks

Last edited by samarjitdhar : 11th February 2012 at 21:32.
samarjitdhar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th February 2012, 16:57   #26
Senior - BHPian
 
r_nairtvm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Dubai/TRV/BLR
Posts: 1,718
Thanked: 1,526 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Attachment 885611
Some kind of holy setup that stays on the entire night
.
Ninja, excellent write up. On the above you should have said - "some kind of spooky set up"

They are called the Spirit Houses. I am giving below some info on these.

It is - a spirit house or San Phra Phum in Thai - is a shrine to the protective spirit of a place that are found in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

Most houses and businesses have a spirit house placed in an auspicious spot, most often in a corner of the property. The location may be chosen after consultation with a Brahmin priest. The spirit house is normally in the form of a miniature house or temple, and is mounted on a pillar or on a dais

The house is intended to provide a shelter for spirits which could cause problems for the people if not appeased. The shrines often include images of people and animals. Votive offerings are left at the house to propitiate the spirits. More elaborate installations include an altar for this purpose

Offering are usually given in the form of food, drink and incense which is placed on the spirit house while a short prayer is recited. Once placed on the spirit house, the offering of food will usually be left for a week before being changed

Thais are generrally very supestitious lot and I am sure you would have seen all kinds of people especiall the female folk bowing to it everytime they pass one.

(from wiki and personal knowledge)

Some bit of info for the Gyan section

Best Regards & Drive/Ride Safe

Ram
r_nairtvm is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2012, 07:00   #27
Senior - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,606
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Gyan Section

Pattaya is a small city, in terms of the length and breadth of it, even most of the tier 2 cities of India might beat it easily. In such a city, within 3 days, I travel over 120 kms just roaming around on that tiny scooter! Most people hardly use the full tank (3 liters), I had to refill it twice! One can opt for the cruiser bikes or even a car for hire, however unless you are planning to go into the countryside to discover the other cities of Thailand, getting them is really not that great an option. In fact most of the foreigners that stay for over a month hardly take any vehicle for rent - they mostly depend on the tuk-tuks for travels.

Our Experience

With our stomachs full, we decide to just simply roam around. There is no plan, no itinerary, no destination. Infact we haven't even checked out the routes to the popular destinations. It's a pleasant afternoon, the sun is out but the wind is nice and cool - perfect settings for a pleasant ride!

If some-one would condense all the cars in Thailand to 10 cars, then 8 out of 10 of them would be a Toyota. And 6 out of those 8 would be this beauty of a pickup truck.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-1.jpg
if only this was sold in India!


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-1.1.jpg
Toyota Thai website

Don't go by the segment this car belongs to, in reality it look gorgeous. By the Toyota (Thai) website, it is offered in three different versions - I could note atleast half a dozen more; from a plain vanilla pickup truck to a complete trailer - probably modifications available in the after-market. Wikipedia names this vehicle as the "The Indestructible Truck". Even then, just looking it at on the road, I could easily believe it without setting a foot into it. If this car was available in India, I would have gone for it. I don't know what I'll do with it, yet I'll buy it

Thailand roads are as good as any developed country's roads - wide, without any cracks or craters and with rules-following-traffic. Even on the inner bylanes and streets, people follow rules. Contrary to India, the taxis are the best in following rules and in displaying road manners.

Somehow after following an arbit route, we suddenly land up at Jomtien beach. In comparison, this beach is more subdued, with lesser public and a with much less tourists than Pattaya beach. However this is a cheaper option overall (food, housing, all considered), and one opted by many of the foreigners who choose to stay for longer durations as well as the local Thai tourists. Plus you also have the A/C bus services from airport to hotel drop available here too.


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.jpg
The much subdued Jomtien beach


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-2.jpg
The road that leads to Dongtan Beach - apparently Pattaya's only gay beach with the largest concentration of LGBT community in SE-Asia


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-3.1.jpg
One reason that Pattaya roads are so clean - these are setup every few hundred meters, and people use them dedicatedly!

We stop and decide to have a cup of coffee from a mobile-coffee shop! Till now, at every other place (airport/restaurants/hotel) we had tried coffee, it tasted yuck. But not with this guy - he brews up a fresh mixture of multiple fluids and gives us a mixture of coffee-choco-syrup concoction which thankfully tastes pretty decent!


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-4.1.jpg
Mobile coffee shop

There are other such mobile vendors if one feels hungry, both veg & non-veg options available. All these options are pretty cheap ranging from 10-20 Baht (the coffee costed us 20 Baht each)


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-4.jpg
Veg Section


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-5.jpg
Non-Veg Section


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-6.jpg
Other vendors selling roadside stuff

We ditch the plan to enter the beach and get back to the road towards PBR (Pattaya Beach Road). However we decide to take a different route than the one we came from, and boy oh boy, did it prove useful! Because on the way I see this, and my eyes literally pop out!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-8.jpg
Wow!
ninjatalli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2012, 07:42   #28
Senior - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,606
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Great going. A few things noted in this image containing the mini billboards

1. In Thailand, the opposite of Female is Mail
2. Curiously the price list omits any price for the "massage" services

Edit: Also does Harry Potter Travel involve broomsticks
lol - never wondered that! Should have asked! As for the price, that'll differ with respect to the seasons and type of customers I guess!

Quote:
Originally Posted by r_nairtvm View Post
Ninja, excellent write up. On the above you should have said - "some kind of spooky set up"

They are called the Spirit Houses. I am giving below some info on these.

It is - a spirit house or San Phra Phum in Thai - is a shrine to the protective spirit of a place that are found in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

Most houses and businesses have a spirit house placed in an auspicious spot, most often in a corner of the property. The location may be chosen after consultation with a Brahmin priest. The spirit house is normally in the form of a miniature house or temple, and is mounted on a pillar or on a dais

The house is intended to provide a shelter for spirits which could cause problems for the people if not appeased. The shrines often include images of people and animals. Votive offerings are left at the house to propitiate the spirits. More elaborate installations include an altar for this purpose

Offering are usually given in the form of food, drink and incense which is placed on the spirit house while a short prayer is recited. Once placed on the spirit house, the offering of food will usually be left for a week before being changed

Thais are generrally very supestitious lot and I am sure you would have seen all kinds of people especiall the female folk bowing to it everytime they pass one.

(from wiki and personal knowledge)

Some bit of info for the Gyan section

Best Regards & Drive/Ride Safe

Ram
Wow - excellent info, thanks Ram! However we noticed this only in the night walk, so didn't see any of the local folks doing any prayers or bowing to this setup.
ninjatalli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2012, 08:25   #29
Senior - BHPian
 
ninjatalli's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: BOM
Posts: 1,606
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

I stop the bike and start ogling. Thankfully she had the presence to suggest to me to take pictures. I was so awed, it didn't occur to me to go inside the store and have a better look - I was content looking at these beauties just from outside

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-9.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-10.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-11.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-12.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-13.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-14.jpg

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-15.jpg

Finally after 10 odd minutes, the lady, who is obviously less interested in these bikes notions me to start moving. And so we do, to head towards an interesting tourist point that we just accidentally discover - Pattaya Bay.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-16.jpg

The route to this place which is situated at the top of a small hill overlooking both the Jomtien and Pattaya beaches is a nice, curvy uphill road that the puny scooter just barely makes it through. Right outside, there is this beautiful temple/monastery, however we aren't allowed to go in, so I just take a snap of it.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-15.1.jpg
Temple/Monastry

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-17.jpg
The radio tower located right next to the sunset point

People generally land up to view the sunset which for today is scheduled at 6.30 p.m. However we aren't really interested in viewing the sunset so I take in a few pictures of the glorious view of Pattaya and move on.

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-18.jpg
Pattaya Beach


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-19.jpg
Beach + City


A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-20.jpg
Rest of the City

As we head outside, I notice the first non-Toyota cab, a Nissan. She looks very familiar to both the Teana & the Sunny, however I'll let you guys figure that out! I also note a few more cars, of course the rest being Toyota(s).

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-21.jpg
Sunny or Teana - you tell me!

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-22.jpg
The Honda Brio too makes an appearance - again with a different name

A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand-23.jpg
Gorgeous monster pickup truck by Mitsubishi


Finally it's time to head back towards the hotel and get dressed for the main attraction of Pattaya, the Walking Street!
ninjatalli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2012, 11:05   #30
BHPian
 
samarjitdhar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sydney/Kolkata
Posts: 964
Thanked: 476 Times
Default Re: A Noobie International Traveler's first trip - The Land of Smiles, Thailand

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Attachment 889417
The Honda Brio too makes an appearance - again with a different name
Wasn't the Fit launched as the Jazz here? This looks more of a Jazz to me isn't it? The Brio definitely looks different at the rear with that huge glass area.
samarjitdhar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Thailand Chronicles: 7 day road-trip to North Thailand royalcruiser Travelogues 10 5th August 2016 19:40
Hot wheels and big grins in the land of smiles :) - Thailand motored hothatchaway Travelogues 14 6th September 2013 21:37
sa-wad-dee ka Thailand, Land of Smiles. Perfect spot for vacation!!! mjothi Travelogues 75 4th July 2009 14:52


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 03:55.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks