“A positive attitude can really make dreams come true–it did for me.” — David Bailey
Well said as this did for me as well.
“It might take a year, it might take a day but what is meant to be will always find a way. –Destiny”
When destiny flowerific my path to Thailand
Name it as positive thinking, focused mind, targeted energies, destiny or dreams or the result of the collaboration of all these elements; my lifetime’s first international trip was happened few days back to one of the South East Asian countries -Thailand predominantly known for its tropical beaches and fruits, powdery sand, impressive views, exotic flavors and as a pocket friendly international destination. At the moment, I’ll not be able to garner with the immensity of my excitement when I first put down my foot at the foreign land of Suvarnabhumi Airport of Bangkok. Those emotions are beyond the words, need not to mention that every first experience of lifetime is always amazing and that could happen to anyone at any random age.
You might be surprised with my revelation and that could raise your brows, “What’s new about it tell me something fresh”. Yes, it’s quite run-of-the-mill gossip when every third person is going abroad either solo or with family, equipped with pots of whys and wherefores; travelling with parents, for business meets or at least as love dipped honeymooners to any of the bizarre land since the world turned out as a plain sailing approach with the proximity of bulk of cheap holiday packages and through unique promotional activities by tourism boards.
Excitement at its peak
Whatever the excuse it was but my luck didn’t strike well for crossing the borders until I got my 2nd renewed passport in the month of November which had to be applied after the expiration of my old one. Reminiscing the day I was weighing up my thought to my father that “Don’t know why but somehow I’m getting an intuition that my new passport will soon gonna stamped”. Unbelievably, just after a week when I was mapping out for Namaste Thailand event in Delhi but had to skipped for the reason of family priorities. A mail popped up along with the title of Invitation for Mega FAM Trip to Thailand, the moment 🙂 , that very moment made my dream comes true. In the fullness of time, destiny knits the connection with your smiling stars waiting for too long to dust down love on you at the appropriate time. 🙂
This trip would gonna be my first international trip even not as a personal leisure experience but through the invitation from Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) which was an honor for me and cherry on the top my Birthday would be falling in the duration of this week long excursion i.e. on 1st April (and no, nobody was making fool of me by this mail 😀 ). TAT New Delhi organised press tour including print media and travel bloggers to the journey towards Eastern Thailand Region on the concept of “Open to the New Shades” to make acquainted with assorted facets of hidden Thailand apart from its mirror image of partying destination. So, to let have the fresh hand experience for Indian travelers and tourists this trip was to cultivate the fresh prospective among them. To allure the bigger slice of fast growing Indian travel market towards the offbeat sight seeings of Thailand, TAT New Delhi had designed our itinerary for Bangkok- Chantaburi- Rayong- Chonburi (Pattaya).
I’ll always cherish the charm of my memories for getting my passport stamped first in my lifetime by the visa of Thailand and even why you should consider “Land of Smiles” as your first international destination.
17 Reasons for choosing Thailand as your first international destination
While making plans for far-reaching vacations people give preference to some indispensable focal points as per their personal needs and why Thailand ensures the qualification as the perfect gateway in respect of captivating parameters for the first timers.
1). Visa on Arrival Country: Gone those days when unwillingly you’ve to become part of dreadful queues, have to do R&D on the never ending documentations and a long wait for a green signal before stepping out the borders which were enough to make the joyful experience into a nightmare. Along with several other countries Thailand offers visa upon entry to passport holders of 19 countries provided :- The visit should be restricted to tourism purpose only and a person must have confirmed return ticket to show within the tenure of 15 days of entry with a nominal fee of 2200 THB (Thai Baht) p.p which is payable upon entry. That makes the entire procedure hassle free. [ Please check detailed information on the site of Thai Embassy] With less time left in my kitty I’d still like to run across onto authentic visa procedure. There, a humble executive lends her helping hand while insisting me to go for visa upon entry option due to time restrictions which proved as an effortless course of action to me straight after landing in the country.
2). Round the corner international destination: If you opt for air route to travel Bangkok from the common departure points like Delhi, the distance is 2943 kms/1829miles and from Mumbai is 1883 kms. From both the cities flight take approx. 4.5 hours to reach international airport of Thailand. While from Chennai the distance reduced to 2220 kms which makes travel time limited to only 3hrs 20 mins and on the other hand from Kolkata (the nearest city) the distance is 1640 kms so that you can hopped on to within 3 hrs 20 mins. What else you want?? Hitting any foreign land less than the time frame you waste in metro’s traffic jam.
Daily abundant flights wing their way from India to Thailand (even within airports of Krabi, Phuket, Chiang Mai & Bangkok) that evoke charm of common people towards this; on the doorstep country full of varied shades of enriched culture, fascinating history, relaxed beach life, glittering temples and ever comforting Thai smiles. Book well in advance your ticket among ample of options available that saves your time for after. [Tip: For best view take right side window seat where you can fling over the amazing view in the daytime and charismatic aerial view of the majestic lights in the night of Bangkok city as if the city never sleeps.]
3). Economical to pocket- Slightest difference in currency: Thai Baht is bit above than Indian Rupee that turned out the destination cheaper and favorite in the crowd of other alluring nearby places among trendy shopaholics and fashion trend setters. [1 Thai Baht = 2.12 INR ]
4). Traveler friendly: Tourism is the vital economic contribution to the Kingdom of Thailand .The global average for tourism revenue is 9% of GDP. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) using the slogan “Amazing Thailand” to promote Thailand internationally from 2015. The authority has also plans to become the hub of Buddhist Tourism in the South East region and is also expanding its wings in Medical Tourism, Gastronomical tourism, Shopping Hub (the major one), Elephant Tourism (Being an animal lover, neither I like not I promote any kind of animal tourism. Any tourism board can survive without abusement to these innocent lives)
5). Shoppers Paradise: From impressive range of fashion style to authentic Thai handicrafts to the shopping of genuine vintage items or as a one stop center for electronics; Thailand is a shopping paradise. Either you can go for street hopping for wholesale purchase or prefer mall concept Thai markets win every shopper’s heart. Though you can find easy access to plentiful markets but to save your time:- In Bangkok— Platinum Fashion Mall, Chatuchak Weekend Market (one of the largest market in the world), Pratunam Market, terminal 21, MBK Centre are few to opt from. In Pattaya— Central Festival, Central Centre Pattaya, Pattaya Night Bazaar (known as Made in Thailand Market)
6). Favorite priority among Indians: On arrival visa, superior flight connectivity, close cultural links among Thailand and India, fondness of Indians for beaches and as an affordable location for destination wedding; Thailand is already raised the hype among Indian tourists.
7). Heaven for food and fruit lovers: Lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and exotic flavors like use of pungent lemongrass, plump seafood and blazing chilies have increased the significance of Thai delicacies. Thailand food needs little introduction, careful blend of tantalizing tastes attracts food lovers to the country. Easy availability of tropical fruits like mango (the yummiest I ever had), Mangosteen, Rambutan, Durian (one having craziest features), papaya, dragon fruit etc. not only in the comfort corners of soaring stars hotels but also on the street side stalls can bound you to drool on.
8). Festivals: Bunting and festoons, colorful festivities never fail to amaze the people and the chance to peek into the glimpses of country’s heritage and traditions. For that you must become a part of Songkran festival (Thai’s New Year celebration derived from the Sanskrit word Sankranti) or Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Phuket Vegetarian Festival, Fruit Day in Chantaburi and immerse yourself in the traditional Thai culture.
9). Feel like to be fit in: Extended geographical connectivity with north east region of India via Myanmar gives fellow Indians a feeling of fit in foreign land despite of having separate boundaries and laws. The South eastern countries have so much in common with the North Eastern part of India. For example: Songkran in Thailand and Sangken in Arunachal Pradesh are weaved together by being rooted in same cultural and traditional practices. This sameness creates feeling of oneness with one another. The vast majority of Thai people are practitioners of Buddhism.
10). Safe for solo women traveler: Violent crimes against foreigners is extremely rare and that’s why Thailand is largely safe for solo travelers of both genders. I’ve known couple of female travel bloggers personally who had visited the country 5 times or even more than 10 all alone in Thai territory. This is not a recent development, Thai land has seen the sandals of thousands of independent backpackers over the decades. Thailand is perfectly safe place to travel.
11). Same rituals, religion and beliefs: As I mentioned earlier about the similarities between Indian and Thailand culture and belief system which I got to know in detail from out tour guide Pat when she told that 90% of names of Thailand population has been given by monks and it must not relate to Thai royal family neither it can be changeable similarly at most of the time in India we request priest to name our children with sensible meaning. In both the countries, pattern of doing salutation is quite same here we do Namaste and there they greet Sawasdee Ka . There are more interesting rituals which I would cover later.
12). Benefits by government to promote tourism: The Thai government strongly supports the tourism industry as it is the key industry that employs the large part of the workforce and generates employment opportunities that’s why provides interesting offers and benefits to stay high in the market.
13). Known sightseeing: Top tourist attractions in Thailand are Koh Phi Phi islands, The Grand Palace in Bangkok, historic city of Ayuthhaya and Floating Markets, means a prolonged list. While my itinerary has covered some of the offbeat destinations like Asiatque The Riverfront, Art in Paradise in Bangkok, Suan Lamai in Wang Chan District of Rayong, old Town Chanthaboon Waterfall in Chanthaburi, Cartoon Network Amazon in Pattaya, Ramayana Water park in Pattaya (hailed as world class outdoor water park), KAAN show, Madame Tussaudes Bangkok (itinerary elaboration to be done in following posts.)
14). Thai Massage/ Thai Silk/ Thai Fruit Soap: The authentic Thai massage is a 2500 year old ancient healing system combining acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principle and assisted yoga postures known as “Nuat Phaen Boran”. Here, you can find every next shop as Thai massage center so I was in no mood to exempt my weakness i.e. Foot Massage and last night before leaving for India, at the occasion of my B’day I squeezed the time and stretched my legs to relieve my muscle tension at 1 o’clock in the midnight. Isn’t it crazy?? Well, introducing you with an amazing fact that here masseur gives you massage with Tiger Balm and not with oil or any cream. Another staple of Thailand’s economy and culture is its silk industry, genuine Thai silk is so unique. With vibrant colors and divine smell nobody could resist themselves towards fruit shaped Thai soap. I’d purchased 2 flowery fragrant and 1 watermelon fruity smell soap.
15.) Climate: Thailand has tropical wet & dry climate that divided into 3 distinct seasons. Hot season- Mar to May Cool season– Nov. to Feb. & Rainy Season- from July to Oct with high humidity. Thailand gains popularity as a in vogue tourist destination coz of its round the year benign climate but avoid monsoon period as tropical storms/cyclones are very likely during the season.
16). High end hospitality sector: If you would like to live your unattended dream of staying at a luxury ocean front private suite having breathtaking view at the backdrop surrounded by unbelievable tropical gardens, hygienic quiet beach to relax while having taste of exotic brunch in the pleasing company of friendly and smiling staff then you should promptly head towards Thailand. But in case, you’re a shoestring fanatic or devotee of budgeted home stay then also the country won’t let you down. In fact Thailand falls into the categorization that offers comfortable stopovers for all budget range where travelers and tourists mutually dig in the activities like city and island tour hopping, diving, trekking or even indulging in world class spa treatments.
During my itinerary I’d experienced the luxury accommodations at Montein Riverside Hotel in Bangkok, where stunning view of Chao Phraya River from my room at 25th floor had stolen my heart. Rayong Marriott Resort & Spa in Rayong where you can experience a beach vacation at this amazing property and 2 nights in Avani Pattaya Resort & Spa in Pattaya where I splurged my day amidst the bustling crowd of city.
A week long experience couldn’t get fit in a single post and demand blow-by-blow narration. So stay tuned at this space for more compelling word pictures. Till then keep updated with all my travels with #theflyingwayfarer and #prisinghxtravels on Instagram.
Hope you enjoyed the post
“Disclaimer: I was invited on press trip to Thailand by TAT New Delhi, Tourism Authority of Thailand however my views are unbiased and honest. “