We’re flying to Thailand!!!
The blue seas, shopper’s delight & Visa stamp again…. well dreams aren’t for real always!! It was Newspaper Conference in Thailand & we had to strictly pack formals & be present at the elite Conference Venue- Centara Grand 9am-6pm daily!!!
So Bangkok was a short serious work tour, but that wasn’t easy to shove down our throat. Our minds had already webbed down a plan to venture out to explore the city. Daily morning impeccably dressed up like obedient kids we went to the venue & made sure to be visible to the entire management team. Making small talks, greeting everyone with a wide smile, basically left no stone unturned to make our presence felt. After this we quietly went to the washroom, changed & ran out before anyone could catch hold of us. Voila!! The smell of Bangkok streets, as if each store was calling us by our name to shop. We successfully managed to sneak out daily at earlier intervals than the previous day & basically when we thought we had outsmarted everyone & decided to move out on the last day, after the first coffee break even before the breakfast, we met several like us at the washroom.
All this while when we were scheming to move out furtively after the breakfast or the lunch, early evening or mid discussions, there were smarter ones walking out right below our nose straight after signing the attendance register. So rather than still grumping over the time lost in exploring the city, let’s tell you about managing our best venture in the utmost time crunch. Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at Central World enjoys a fantastic location right in the lap of shoppers heaven.
Splurge in buying trendy Bags, Jewellery, Shoes & Clothing from malls all around. The major ones are- Platinum Mall, MBK Centre, Siam Paragon & Indra Market. You can either walk around, hire a Tuk-Tuk or even zip through the city in a Motorbike Taxi.
Tip 1- Bargain as much as you can wherever possible from shopping to hiring a local transport to go around.
The good part was we had the evening all to ourselves & we didn’t lose out in pub hoping, de-stressing with extremely affordable Fish Foot Massage & shopping at Pat-Pong night market. We were staying at Eastin Grand Hotel, which had decent restaurants around it’s periphery offering varied cuisines from Indian, Veg, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Mediterranean, Lebanese etc. Personally I don’t like to experimenting with food much, since my tummy reacts to anything averse to it’s natural intake.
Tip 2- When travelling, be careful with the food you eat, upset stomach upsets your travel plans. Am a meat & fish lover, but I always make sure check the way it’s cooked. Always carry medicines!!!
Our Bangkok sojourn was enveloped between the conference, shopping & dragging our tired souls to experience the nightlife. The solace in this entire trip was our last night drive to Pattaya, roughly a 3hr long journey. We managed to regain our lost energies by compensating our sleep during the entire drive.
Pattaya life starts at night & we arrived there at it’s peak to witness the madness around. Walking street stands by it’s name & we were eyewitness to the most popular sex tourism destination of the eastern world. A full kilometer stretch had people thronging the fancy go-go bars, pubs & nightclubs situated on either sides of the road. While few decided to indulge in their fantasies, we didn’t really want to explore any of our carnal desires & decided to enjoy the night on the Pattaya streets by our own.
Sitting on the beachfront, our Bollywood song jamming session & shaking our legs, swiftly invited fellow onlookers only to make it merrier. While we gulped down a crate full of JD Cola cans, we also had a street musician accompanying us with some of the popular Thai songs. I secretly wished that some of the spectators actually paid us, so that I could shop back at the duty free, but in vain.
With the sunrise, our intoxicated minds again decided to play the foul & rather than going back to the Bangkok airport directly we decided to take a detour & drive another 2hours from Bangkok to the Tiger Temple at Kanchanaburi. We had a late evening flight to catch & according to our calculations had enough time in our hands. Though we made it on time, much to our despair the temple was closed & even if it would have been opened, it would be a minimum 4hour affair to loiter around the entire property with close interaction with the tigers. It wasn’t really our day, we rushed back to our cars gaining our senses on the time crunch to reach the airport.
The flight was on time, the driver zipped through the city traffic & safely dropped us at the airport just on time. Phew!! What a relief!! Walking briskly, following the airport protocols we finally reached our boarding gate, trying our best not to be noticed or interrogated regarding our whereabouts.
We had already mastered playing hide n seek during our adolescence with our parents & teachers for various obvious reason. I still giggle thinking, how our old trait helped us explore Thailand.