सैर कर दुनिया की गाफिल, जिन्दगानी फिर कहां।
जिन्दगानी गर रही तो, ये जवानी फिर कहां।।
These are the lines of Rahul Sankrityayan who is called the Father of Hindi Travelogue Travel literature because he is the one who played a pivotal role to give travelogue a ‘literature form’, was one of the most widely traveled scholars of India, spending forty-five years of his life on travels away from his home. The phrase says, this is the right and free time to travel the world, later you might not have freedom in life and you won’t have another life, even if you will have the life you might not have the energy of youth. So keeping this in mind i planned this winter to travel to Thailand.
In Thailand, Phuket and Bangkok were in our itinerary. We planned our flight from Mumbai to Bangkok and Bangkok to Phuket. We got our flight through Thail Lion air as cheap flights were available from Mumbai to Bangkok (Don Mueang International Airport). The flights to Don Mueang International Airport are cheaper than Suvarnabhumi International Airport so we got a good deal, and got a connecting flight from Don Mueang to Phuket International Airport. The total travel time from Mumbai to Bangkok was 4.5hrs and from Bandkok to Phuket it was around 1.5hrs.
As per plan our first destination was Phuket, so we took flight from Mumbai to Bangkok got there a visa on arrival which took around 45mins for waiting in queue and visa processing. Then we departed to Phuket.
We checked in Sino Inn hotel in Phuket town, which was an Ok place to stay but not with vegetarian restaurants nearby. But anyhow as we had reached at night and had to stay only for 2days so we stayed there. The hotel staff was helpful and supported us to plan a tour to Pang Nga Bay. Day-1 we went with a group tour to Pang Nga Bay, which was a great treat to eyes, the nature was at its best. The beautiful Phang Nga Bay consists of limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the emerald-green water. In the Phang Nga bay, we reached a Muslim village – Ko Panyi by 12:30PM and had our lunch there. Being a vegetarian it becomes hard at times to eat out, but the tour guide(Harun), took care of all of us and had requested for vegetarian food in the floating restaurant. The food consisted of salad, steamed rice and Thai vegetarian curry, quiet good in taste. After filling our stomach we moved in the Motor boat to another destination in Phang Nga bay, The James Bond island (was featured in 1974 Bond movie). It was another awesome location, a limestone rock in the mid of Green Emerald water surrounded by other big limestone rocks. We spent around 45mins at James Bond island and left this place to next destination for a first time experience in life for Sea canoeing. We got a Canoe boat with a guide who was a hilarious person and took us through the lime stone caves to Tulu island. After the Canoeing our day was over and we went back to our hotel Sino Inn.
Day-2 we went to Patong beach which was just 13Km from Phuket town with lot of Shopping options and restaurants and then we realized that it is a better place to stay then our current location. After roaming around the beach and market we left Patong for our hotel.
Next day morning we took flight from Phuket to Bangkok. I didn’t found Bangkok that much interesting compared to the beautiful Phang Nga bay. However the experience of Chao Phraya Princess Dinner Cruise was very good. The architecture of Wat Arun, Wat Pho temples was very beautiful and eye pleasing. The Great Grand palace was a marvel architecture, full of gold and more interestingly for me as an Indian, walls were decorated with the story of Thai version of Indian Ramayana.
While entering the Grand Palace we had got two tickets for Grand Palace and another for Ayutthaya. My first understanding was that it is another palace in the same vicinity, but after asking the security guard we came to know that it is around 100 Kms from Bangkok. Time didn’t permitted us to go to Ayutthaya, we spent some time in market had dinner and returned back to India by flight in the night. The only thought which was there in my mind, that the fame of Rama has traveled thousand of miles from Ayodhya of Uttar Pradesh in India to Ayutthaya of Thailand, a great journey in that time when transportation was not easy.
- You can use your Visa or Master debit card to withdraw Thai currency with some transaction charges in case for emergency. The overall transaction rate will be lower than the money ex changers in Bangkok.
- Always carry lot of water as the atmosphere is very hot and humid.
- For Indians, there are lot of Indian restaurants available in Patong and Bangkok.We tried out Tantra at Patong beach which was a decent restaurant. And tried Indian Delight restaurant in Bangkok.