Overcoming fears, defying the odds, challenging myself, learning to trust, making new friends, and discovering myself; this journey I took is filled with astounding memories and incredible stories.
So, do check out my previous post(s) on Thailand travel series listed below.
“Hey!” said a mysterious voice.
“Who is that? What do you want?” I exclaimed, staring at the closed door.
‘Dear, it’s been long since you promised to complete my story. Do you have any plan to keep your promise or not?’ questioned the mysterious voice.
“What the..?!?!?” were the thoughts inside my confused head!
“Hey! Come on, answer me,” the voice became restless by now.
And…I woke up with a start!
I have been ignoring the voice inside my head for long now, and yesterday when I woke up in the middle of the night, I swore to myself I must listen to my inner voice and complete the story of my Thailand travel that I started long back!
So, here I am back with a BANG!
Feeling extremely gleeful about the beautiful experience Kolkata gave us and wishing the same for the rest of the trip, we finally landed at Bangkok after a long night journey. I always had this dream of visiting different places and experience and live among diverse cultures. So, naturally, my first trip to a place out of India is a memory I will hold on to till the end days.
The first thing that caught our eye as soon as we landed was how busy the airport was! The whole airport was equipped with support and security staff who assisted us along the way until we got our Visa on Arrival. The charges for the visa on arrival is 2000 Thai Baht which equals to Rs 4000 odd in Indian currency. Visa was valid for 15days, and I can say without any doubt that we made the most of it in our 14days trip!
Before I start bragging about our adventurous and impromptu trip, let me give out some info for people who are traveling to Thailand for the first time. I know it’s boring few lines, but please bear with me fellas!
First and foremost aspect to keep in mind is of course VISA! You can either get your travel ‘visa on arrival’ at the airport OR if you want to skip the hassle of being held up in the long queue you can apply for ‘eVisa of arrival’ for Thailand and directly enter the designated fast line for ‘eVisa on arrival.’ As our plan was spontaneous, we didn’t have much time to do all that; so went ahead with the only other option we had which is ‘Visa on Arrival.’ I say that it is better to get it done online if you have another flight to board in a short while like we had! Also, though you can find currency exchange centres in most of the places, it is always advisable to carry the local currency beforehand. And, last but not the least, do carry a sim card of any carrier service that works in that country. We opted Matrix Services and took one sim card just to make calls and the other that is pre-loaded with mobile data! I can vouch for it by saying, we would have lost our way and be completely blank on what to do without mobile data!
Now that the tiny-winy steps are over, let’s get started!
Let’s say the first one hour at the airport was not what I anticipated as we were juggling between here and there in the airport for On arrival visa. We only felt settled when we were out of that long queue that never seemed to end! The airport resembled like an ocean of people at that point. Now that the prime matter at hand which was getting into the country was addressed the only other thing that crossed our mind at that point was hunger! Hunger always finds the best timing to strike; I know for a fact that you agree with me (wink)!
So, there goes our hunt for food!
All vegetarians and fellow ovo-lacto-vegetarians, behold the truth; You can find just a subway joint, coffee, tea, fruits and 1 or 2 desserts (that is if you are lucky) to eat at the airport. Not that there are no food chains there, it is just that they do not use vegetable oil to cook food, which is the case in many other countries. Thailand, however, is a paradise for seafood lovers like my friend Ashok. I, on the other hand, stopped at each and every food outlet in a quest for food that I can eat. My effort didn’t go in vain as I found the one true delicacy of Thailand, which is Mango with Sticky Rice. Frankly, the name sticky rice didn’t seem like it can be delicious when I first heard it. I took it anyway as I was starving and was out of options then.
The burst of flavours I experienced at that moment when I took the first bite is something unforgettable. My taste buds are kicking in right now when I talk about it. To make you drool here is my try: As I scooped a spoonful this is what came out; a sweet sticky rice with a dash of salt, juicy mango and to finish it topped with fried Petite Golden Lentils (moong dal)! I am afraid that it might not be the best way to describe it, but the least I can say is I tasted heaven on earth that day! With our hearts and tummies satisfied, we went on to board our flight to Chiang Mai, a city located among mountains in Northern Thailand.
But, wait! I am not going to spill all the beans now itself.
Do you want to hear more about this trip? Then, just watch out for the next part! Until then, the writer is signing off with the same excitement!