Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th March 2012, 02:50   #1
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Amazing Thailand

One of the wishes of my mom was to visit a country outside of India, and I wanted to fulfill the same. So the process started from getting her passport done; wait a sec, getting my parents marriage registration done. My dad's passport also expired, so that also had to be done. So dad initiated and handled it to the closure the process of marriage registration and the two passports in Kolkata.

In parallel in Bangalore, I applied for the passport of the new member of our family. IIRC by March/April 2011, we had all the passports in hand, and we wanted to do the trip before mid Nov, 2011, when my daughter turns 2, to save on her airfare.

Next was the place - not too long a journey with the young kid, connections should be direct or maximum one hop, limited our choice between middle east or far east. Malaysia and Singapore, went of the list, as me and my wife visited in 2006. So keeping all in mind, it was decided to be Thailand and Bangkok and Phuket in particular.

It was clubbed with our Diwali vacation to Kolkata. So for us it was Bangalore - Kolkata - Phuket (via Bangkok) - Bangkok - Kolkata - Bangalore. However, the travelogue will only concentrate on the thailand portion on it.

Study ensued. team-bhp as usual came as a big help, especially these two travelogues
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ys-2011-a.html (10 days across Thailand (2009) - and 8 more days (2011)) and
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-vacation.html (sa-wad-dee ka Thailand, Land of Smiles. Perfect spot for vacation!!!)
Thanks mjothi and SST.

Ultimately around September end, 23rd Sept to be precise, I booked the tickets in Air Asia and booked the hotels in Phuket and Bangkok. We are all set!
arindamray is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2012, 03:45   #2
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Air Asia

When we discovered Air Asia in 2006, it threw us a nice surprise. Being on its 2nd anniversary, they were offering large discounts and our return fair of Kualalampur - Langkawi was zero sans the taxes and charges. The service was also par excellence.

So when they started operations from India, I was thinking leveraging the service. Thailand is served by Thai AirAsia (a sister concern/subsidiary) and flight to Bangkok was not there from Bangalore but from Kolkata. And that was another reason to do the journey from Kolkata.

I also did a quick check vis-a-vis Thai Airways, and found that they are much cheaper - however while booking I was in for surprise. AirAsia being a budget airline, do not offer food/beverages on the flight, one has to buy it - that was expected. However they charge for check-in baggage (no free check-in baggage ). They also charge for pick a seat, and I could not find out the way around by not choosing it at that time, so got to pay few extra hundreds.

So the extras added up to 660 (5 meals - return timings didn't warrant for a meal) + 4400 (2 piece of 20 kg + 1 piece of 30 kg - to and fro) + 900 (5 pick a seat) + 1200 (5 processing fee) = 7160 Rs over and above the ticket cost of INR 44655 for Kolkata - Bangkok - Kolkata.

The things were similar for Bangkok - Phuket - Bangkok leg as well. On top of it, it was in THB (Thai Baht) and as I was purchasing in foreign currency (INR credit card) it had some more surcharges thrown in.

Anyway still it was cheaper compared to other options (though by much narrower margin I thought), but definitely over the budget I had allocated for.

BTW, my father in law also decided to join us - and that made us a group of six including my parents, me, wife and daughter. Mom-in-law being in US would miss it this time.

The itinerary as booked:
Kolkata (1st Nov 2011, 1220 hrs) - Bangkok (1st Nov 2011, 1640 hrs)
Bangkok (1st Nov 2011, 2030 hrs) - Phuket (1st Nov 2011, 2140 hrs)
Phuket (4th Nov 2011, 1640 hrs) - Bangkok (4th Nov 2011, 1800 hrs)
Bangkok (8th Nov 2011, 1025 hrs) - Kolkata (8th Nov 2011, 1145 hrs)

Plan was to spend one day on Cruise from Phuket on Island tours, rest on Phuket sightseeing. In Bangkok, one day for bangkok sight seeing, one day for Ayuthaya and one day for Floating Market/Bridge on the River Kwai/Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple.

However man proposes, God disposes.

Last edited by arindamray : 12th March 2012 at 03:55.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2012, 04:54   #3
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Flood!!!

2nd week of October, news of flood in Thailand cam trickling by. Ayuthaya is inundated, struck that off the list.
3rd week situation worsens and there is a fear of Bangkok being flooded. Thailand PM reassures Bangkok will be safe.
It was bad, real bad - 2011 Thailand floods - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The problem is the news were not coming by, predictions going ashtray, and things were not in control. We were watching it in the internet everyday, calling up the travel agents we know, trying to gather every possible input.
I am ruing my decision of booking it in Air Asia - no refunds!!! Shall we postpone - getting the holidays in synch will be problem, plus daughter will be over 2 years and hence full fare tickets for her too.
Phuket being in deep south, no problem. However the challenge was Bangkok, and obviously with our journey to Phuket is through Suvaranbhumi Airport, Bangkok made the decision making process tough. Finally, we thought of taking the plunge and go ahead. Worst case, we will spend the entire time in Phuket. And hopefully Thai govt will ensure the airport is functional.
We took some extra baby food, just in case, those become dearer.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2012, 07:18   #4
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default D-Day

After all these peaks and troughs, the D-day arrived. We got up early in the morning, dragged the suitcases to the ubiquitous yellow amby taxi and headed to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport - International Terminal.
In the excitement, and also some of the members being panicky, we reach the airport early and the AirAsia boarding counter had not opened yet. So we kill our time sipping coffee. We felt sorry also for the worn out shape of the Kolkata airport - it looked old, really old.
The boarding counter opens, we go through the boarding, immigration, security check processes and wait for the flight. Uneventful, don't recall any delays, and we land in Bangkok after 2 hour and 45 minutes. Bangkok being 1.5 hours ahead of us, the watches was adjusted. Oh by the way, the meal portion in the flights were small, IIRC, SST also mentioned the same. And when the plane was landing the scene from the above was scary, as it was water everywhere.
From the travelogues earlier we got the tips on Visa on Arrival, so had our forms completed with photo. We exchanged dollars for the Thai Baht and went for the Visa on Arrival counters. Visa charges were 1000 THB. There was no one else in the queue except for us. Once that is done, we had a look around of the Airport and went to Starbucks for some coffee/tea and snacks.
We also soaked in the atmosphere, and took few snapshots for our memory.

Amazing Thailand-dscn0111.jpg

Orchids
Amazing Thailand-dscn0112.jpg

Amazing Thailand-dscn0113.jpg

Amazing Thailand-dscn0114.jpg

My daughter just loved the icecream
Amazing Thailand-dscn0109.jpg

Random shot
Amazing Thailand-dscn0105.jpg
arindamray is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2012, 13:21   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 69
Thanked: 27 Times
Default Re: Amazing Thailand

Arindamray, the log is unfolding nicely. Keep it going and that too at a good pace. Am hooked on.
pushkark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2012, 18:20   #6
MX6
Senior - BHPian
 
MX6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: City of seven islands.
Posts: 2,882
Thanked: 210 Times
Default Re: Amazing Thailand

Wow. Your daughter has grown up so much! Lovely to see her with the ice cream. It is indeed a great thing to realise parents dreams and wishes! Hooked on to this thread.

Anyway, how did your parents like Thailand and the trip?
MX6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2012, 01:21   #7
BHPian
 
sajands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 830
Thanked: 135 Times
Default Re: Amazing Thailand

Arindamray, I am hooked on. please keep the log and pics coming, I am planning a thai trip soon.

-Sajan
sajands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2012, 05:21   #8
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Arriving at Phuket

Thanks pushkark, MX6 and sajands.

So after having a nice little break in Suvaranbhumi Airport, we were ready for the next flight.

In between, one travel agent caught me and was explaining that Thai Govt is subsidizing Bangkok site seeing to encourage visitors during flood time, so we can avail the offer. On telling him that we are heading to Phuket, he still pursuing to book it on the day after we return to bangkok. Though he had a full booth in the airport, I was not too convinced on his story and also the need of making advance payment, I had given him a pass.

Next flight was a smaller plan (ATR type), and made more noise than the speed generated . Eventually we reached Phuket. In both the leg, I utilized some time to read through the lonely planet guide which I ordered from flipkart before our journey.

The pick-up van from the hotel was waiting (not complementary, I had booked it as we were reaching late in night and didn't want to get into trouble with taxis/searching for the hotel). It took us close to one hour to reach our hotel. Completed the check-in formalities, were served with the welcome drink as we were entering the elevator to reach our room at 3rd floor.

As soon as we entered we just loved the room - we had taken a two bed room suite - a) to have a kitchen facility for my daughter's food and b)to have everybody together & minimizing expense.

Living/Dining area
Amazing Thailand-dscn0118.jpg

One bed room
Amazing Thailand-dscn0117.jpg

Other bed room, with the towel art
Amazing Thailand-dscn0115.jpg

Did little bit of unpacking (only the essentials), fed the baby and then had the dinner in the restaurant downstairs.

Before sleeping, checked the net once for the latest update on the flood connection.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2012, 09:57   #9
BHPian
 
sajands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 830
Thanked: 135 Times
Default Re: Air Asia

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
flight to Bangkok was not there from Bangalore but from Kolkata. And that was another reason to do the journey from Kolkata.

Plan was to spend one day on Cruise from Phuket on Island tours, rest on Phuket sightseeing. In Bangkok, one day for bangkok sight seeing, one day for Ayuthaya and one day for Floating Market/Bridge on the River Kwai/Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple.

However man proposes, God disposes.
That's strange as I see Bangalore to Bangkok flights on Thai airways web site, flight leaves Bangalore at 00.30 was it that on that particular day that there were no flights? correct me here as I might have misread your post.

Looking forward for the pics from Tiger temple and please share more on the hotels, shopping and travel in Phuket and Bangkok.

-Sajan
sajands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2012, 11:00   #10
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Re: Air Asia

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajands View Post
That's strange as I see Bangalore to Bangkok flights on Thai airways web site, flight leaves Bangalore at 00.30 was it that on that particular day that there were no flights? correct me here as I might have misread your post.

Looking forward for the pics from Tiger temple and please share more on the hotels, shopping and travel in Phuket and Bangkok.

-Sajan
we chose airasia over thai airways for 'economics'. Thai airways indeed has flight Bangalore. For us, as some of us are based out of Kolkata, and some Kolkata, it did not make much of a difference whether we should do it ex-Kolkata or ex-Bangalore.

Yes, the pics will follow. The only thing I will have to disappoint you is on the shopping - as we didn't do that much.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2012, 09:11   #11
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Phuket Sightseeing

In the night, we could not locate where the sea was, morning greeted us with a spectacular view of it from the living rooms windows. I went to the balcony, even on a Nov morning it was warm and humid.

For a big group and a small child in toe, the preparation happens slowly. So we went in for a lazy breakfast (included in the package) - pretty decent spread with continental and thai cuisines were spread across a rectangular counter.

Even before going to the restaurant I inquired in the reception for a rental car, and they summoned an travel agent. He came in with the car, had a one pager agreement. Wanted my passport as a security deposit, otherwise 10000Baht, talked it out with the credit card hold which we have used in hotel. Finally got it done 1200 baht for the day. Fuel was not full, the deal was to get back at the same level. The car was a Toyota Yaris.

Our first destination was Phuket Aquarium (thought it will be good idea to avoid the glaring late morning sun). After a false start (my daughter has motion sickness, and we had to return to hotel once to change), we reached the Aquarium.

The route plotted in Google Map was Pacific Club Resort to Phuket Aquarium - Google Maps. Halfway onto the journey the fuel indicator came in and we didn't find any petrol pump rest of the way! Return journey was done very carefully and refueled at the first instance.

Phuket Aquarium
The entrance greeted us with skeletons of whale (was it blue whale, can't recollect) and models and skeletons of Dugong (Dugong - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Amazing Thailand-dscn0124.jpg

Amazing Thailand-dscn0125.jpg

We moved to a small tank, which had the star fishes, looked almost like made using plasticine.
Amazing Thailand-dscn0120.jpg

The almost rock like structures are called sea cucumber.
Amazing Thailand-dscn0121.jpg

And a chart next to it explained all the different varieties of it to be found in Thai waters.
Amazing Thailand-dscn0122.jpg

We saw a glass jar full of jellyfish
Amazing Thailand-dscn0126.jpg

From the lower side of it, and the movement with breathing can be seen
Amazing Thailand-dscn0127.jpg

A chart next to it detailed it out
Amazing Thailand-dscn0128.jpg

We bought the tickets 100 Baht per adult, and entered into the main zone.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2012, 10:06   #12
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Phuket Aquarium

The main area had low light, so many attempts to catch them with the point and shoot proved futile.

Flower Horn
Amazing Thailand-dscn0131.jpg

Amazing Thailand-dscn0132.jpg

Silver Barb
Amazing Thailand-dscn0135.jpg

Sumatran Tiger Barb
Amazing Thailand-dscn0136.jpg

Then onward got lazy in capturing the IDs.
Amazing Thailand-dscn0140.jpg

Lionfish
Amazing Thailand-dscn0148.jpg

Amazing Thailand-dscn0151.jpg

Amazing Thailand-dscn0155.jpg

These guys are pretty busy, and could not freeze their movement.
Amazing Thailand-dscn0157.jpg

Tried panning as well.
Amazing Thailand-dscn0163.jpg

Last edited by arindamray : 14th March 2012 at 10:09.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2012, 08:28   #13
BHPian
 
prateek_ch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 63
Thanked: 5 Times
Default Re: D-Day

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
After all these peaks and troughs, the D-day
The Suvarnabhumi Airport is really beautiful, isn't it?

Even I have come to realize that Air Asia is better than most airlines when it comes to punctuality. The comfort takes a beating though.
prateek_ch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2012, 08:38   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 421
Thanked: 249 Times
Default Re: Phuket Aquarium

Well, I have booked my stay at Pacific Club Resort, from what it appears looks like you also chose Pacific Club Resort.

How is the Resort, the reason I booked this place was it was away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket and the reviews in Trip advisor were very good

Also how far is the aquarium from Pacific Club Resort, we don't intend hiring a car, r there any other transport options.

Looking forward to your further posts
Chillout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2012, 09:20   #15
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default Re: Phuket Aquarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillout View Post
Well, I have booked my stay at Pacific Club Resort, from what it appears looks like you also chose Pacific Club Resort.

How is the Resort, the reason I booked this place was it was away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket and the reviews in Trip advisor were very good

Also how far is the aquarium from Pacific Club Resort, we don't intend hiring a car, r there any other transport options.

Looking forward to your further posts
Yes, I stayed in Pacific Club Resort and both the counts away from hustle/bustle and good review - you're spot on. I really liked the stay there. However as it is away from many places you will need transport - I am not sure what are the options as I did not check out anything other than car hire. Patong is the most happening beach and for any sports you need to go there. Karon beach is walking distance from hotel, so you can still enjoy the sea.

Phuket aquarium you can give a miss.
arindamray 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
Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand voyageur Travelogues 36 10th December 2015 14:04
Finally - The Amazing Thailand! saket77 Travelogues 18 25th January 2014 10:44
Amazing Thailand...True in every sense. hemanth.anand Travelogues 50 27th February 2012 19:31
My Trip to Thailand Domnic Shifting gears 10 16th April 2005 04:22


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 08:40.

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