Before arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok, I had many different thoughts in mind, I’d heard many times that Thailand is the land of smiles, and the land of peace as well as the land of life. I had a lot of research with me before arriving at Bangkok. I felt the reality same as the stories I used to hear after coming out from the airport terminal. It was easy process to stamp my passport at the immigration counter without any hassle and it took a few minutes, it was a rainy night on 16th June 2014, raining was slow and romantic, as you might know Thailand is a tropical country same like Malaysia. The Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok is among the busiest airports in the world which handles thousands of passengers daily. Thailand is a popular tourist attraction, especially for Western countries and I arrived here in June 2014. I’d like to share my experience with you throughout this article.
Why Thailand is a popular tourist attraction?
There are a few attractions in Thailand which convince tourists to visit this country not one time, but again and again, and as far as I met people in Thailand, they told me it was not their first time in Thailand, since I was on my first adventure. A few important reasons about why Thailand is favorite for majority travelers:
- Best Beaches
- Land of Smiles
- Cheap Cheap Cheap
- Rich Culture
- Historical Places
- Beautiful Islands
- Thai Massage (Famous in the world)
- Tourists Friendly
- Great Food
- Elephants’ House
Some of the important reasons I listed above are enough for a traveler to visit a country, and Thailand has more than one reason, a real traveler will not ignore Thailand, because it has all the colors in a single place. The Thai massage is very famous in the world, and I experienced it myself there. The low prices is another great reason, the prices are comparable to Pakistan and India. You can find a room in Bangkok for a few hundred Bahts or Rupees in a hotel or guest house. The foods are also great, and you can find all kind of food in major cities of Thailand such as Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chaing Mai. The tourists friendly policies by government play an important role in the growth of tourism industry in Thailand, you can feel safe in most of the tourist points in Thailand.
How did I get there?
I went to Bangkok from Kuala Lumpur, because I was on a joint tour, I confirmed a one way ticket with AirAsia Airline in KL, AirAsia is low-cost airline operating in all of Southeast Asia. The ticket I got was at around $90 from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, and it was a 2 hours flight. But food is not included in the ticket, if you want to eat or drink something during the flight then you have to buy from the hostess. I went to Bangkok by air to save time, but it’s also possible to go from Malaysia to Thailand via train or bus.
I already had a visit visa on my passport which I got from Thai consulate located at Phase #2, Defence Karachi. I went there, a beautiful lady on the counter welcomed me and I submitted my passport along with bank statement of last 6 months, four passport size photographs with absolutely blue background, confirmed return ticket, copy of my ID card and first four pages of my passport. They took Rs4000 visa fee, and told me to come after 3 days, you can find the same info on their official website here:
After three days, I went there and got my passport with 2 months single entry visa to Thailand. The same I did for Malaysian visa. If you want to get a Malaysia visa or Thailand visa then I’ll suggest you to have a close look at the page on above link or just move to a travel agency near by you for more clear information about Thai visa, because the policies changes time to time.
Which are the famous places in Thailand?
In Thailand, there are numerous places and tourist attractions to visit, but I’ll just share a few places here which are located in capital Bangkok and Pattaya. But I must mention here that if you have a visit of 10 days or more then do visit Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya, these three cities are magical places in Thailand. I however visited Pattaya and Bangkok, so I’ll share some tourist points of these cities, but Phuket as a whole city is a tourist point, it has hills, mountains, sea, beaches and city at the same time.
Famous places to visit in Bangkok & Pattaya:
- Grand Palace (Historical Place in Bangkok)
- Wat Pho (Historical Place in Bangkok)
- Wat Arun (Tourist Place in Bangkok)
- Golden Buddha (Bangkok)
- Lumphini Park (Public Park in Bangkok)
- Bangkok National Museum (Great Place)
- Dusit Zoo (Bangkok)
- Safari World (Bangkok)
- Siam Park City (Entertainment Place in Bangok)
- Nana Plaza (Red Light District in Bangkok)
- Cowboy (Red Light District in Bangkok)
- Sukhumvit District (A Tourist Area)
- Pattaya Open Beach (Pattaya)
- Walking Street (The Most Famous in Pattaya)
- Sanctuary of Truth (in Pattaya)
- Pattaya Floating Market
- Koh Larn Island (Pattaya)
- Art in Paradise (Pattaya)
Pattaya is two hours away from Bangkok via bus, and the bus fare is only 100 Thai baht which is equal to PKR300 and INR150. And if you want to go to Phuket then that’s far from Bangkok, You’ll have to travel at least 14 hours if you are going by bus, but if you go by air then it will be only two hours flight and that’s the best option to reach Phuket which is a wonderful city in Thailand.
Accommodation & Food in Thailand
Thailand is not an expensive country, the life style is simple and for everyone who arrives in Thailand there is an opportunity whether they want to live a luxury life or stay normally. But everything depends on the money and budget, if you are a traveler on budget like me then it’s easy to manage in Thailand.
The hotels and guest houses are everywhere in Bangkok and Pattaya, you can find a hotel room ranging from 400 Thai baht to 1000 Thai baht very easily, and I’ll highly recommend to book your hotel online in advance using Agoda.com as you might face difficulties while looking hotel room after arrival. The best location for tourists is Sukhumvit area which is 30 minutes far from the Bangkok International Airport, and in Sukhumvit you can find everything you need. I mean you can find hotels, guest houses, restaurants, massage centers, red light districts, clubs, bars and shopping centers. This area is the center of the Bangkok city, but you should keep in mind that Bangkok is a big city.
Note: AirBNB also has great hosts available in Thailand, and the hosts are very friendly as well. I’ll suggest to look on AirBNB for cheap accommodation options.
I found a Pakistani restaurant in Sukhumvit #3, where I went many times and had dinners and lunches. You can find Arabic foods, Indian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, Italian restaurants and even McDonald & KFC in the same area. The food price is also reasonable in that area, you can have a very good dinner at 200 Thai baht.
Transportation & Scams (Over-Pricing)
OK, so everything looks good above, but one problem is there, you might be over priced sometimes in Thailand, not all the time, but as I said sometimes. No one in Thailand can cheat you easily, but you have to be careful while dealing especially with the Taxi drivers, Tuk Tuk riders and with the Bars girls or the Bars itself.
If you want to rent a Taxi then do check whether the Taxi has a running meter or not, if the meter is there then do check again whether it’s running or not when you are sitting in the Taxi, because sometimes the Taxi driver will switch the meter off or will say to you that the meter is not working, so don’t deal without a meter, because they ask for more money. You should finalize the rate before you sit in a Taxi or Tuk Tuk, and if you want to visit the Bar or Club etc in Bangkok then do see the menu of the drinks before you order or whatever you do there, just first ask the price, there is no shame in asking price.
If anywhere you get into troubles during your visit to Thailand then instantly call the police, and the police in Thailand is very quick in response to the tourists asking for help.
So at the end of the day, it was a five days visit to Thailand, 2 days spent in Pattaya and 3 days in Bangkok, it was an amazing journey from day one to day last. I visited so many places in both cities and found some new friends over there. The people of Thailand are very friendly and most of the times smile.
Check out my VLOGs on Thailand
Let me know about your experience in Thailand? Happy Traveling.