We started planning this trip a year ago since it was Papa’s 2nd last LTC before retirement. For LTC Papa usually contacts a travel agent in Ranchi. Jai Travels gave us various options to choose from. After lots of discussions we finally decided to go to Thailand, Singapore & Malaysia. He arranged our Singapore & Malaysia visa. He did not have enough time for Thailand visa as the Malaysian Visa took a lot more time than he had expected. So it was decided that we would apply for visa on arrival. Papa’s friend Chandan Uncle and his family also joined us. Jai travels added another family from SBI to our group. Finally we were 3 families travelling together.
I took leave for 2 weeks for this trip and went to Ranchi on Friday (18th May). Aftab uncle from Jai travels gave us all the visas, tickets and vouchers that we would need on the trip. He also gave us the final detailed itinerary.
Day 0 – 22 May 2018
On the day of leaving, we realized that all of the international flight tickets had wrong spelling for my name (SAKUN instead of SUKUN). We immediately informed our travel agents. Two of our flights were with AirAsia and other two were with ThaiLion. We called AirAsia call center and raised a request to change the spelling. She said it would be done before our flight to Bangkok. We tried doing the same for ThaiLion Airline as well, but the no. that we got online was picked up by a woman who spoke only Thai. She somehow gave us the no. of English call center, but no one picked up when we called that no. We were now dependent on our travel agents to fix the problem.
Our trip started on 22nd May when we went to Kolkata. We stayed in Hotel Regenta Inn Larica for a few hours. We went for shopping in the evening and mummy bought a shrug. We tried to search for switch adapter for our travel but couldn’t find anything nearby. We went back to our hotel, had dinner and then went to the airport at night.
Day 1 – 23 May 2018
Our flight to Bangkok was on 23rd May at around 1am. So we did not get proper sleep the whole night. By IST we reached Bagkok at 4:30am and Thailand time was 6am. We completed our visa on arrival procedure in the express line since we had our next flight to Phuket in one and a half hour. We reached Phuket at around 10am Thailand time. We met our travel guide Joy at the airport. She had brought 2 mini buses for us. One took all our luggage to our hotel and the other took us for Phuket city tour.
Since we had arrived after such a long journey, she took us to a petrol pump which had basins and washrooms. We brushed & got ready there. We hadn’t eaten anything since our dinner in Kolkata, we were very hungry. She asked what kind of food we wanted to eat (Indian or Thai), we told her we wanted to try Thai food. She took us to an expensive restaurant called Bypass Seafood, so we ended up eating just 2 pieces of garlic pepper prawn. After eating, we started our city tour.
Our first stop was Big Bee – Honey Farm. It was actually sort of a gift shop, the sole distributors of organic honey and a lot of variations made of honey , like tea, coffee, chocolates etc. Joy took us directly to the shop. We tasted a few samples, but didn’t buy anything. We then took a walk in the garden in front of the shop. We were shown a tiny hive with a handful of small bees in it. There was a huge plastic bee hung on the tree in the middle of the garden. We clicked pictures there.
Next we went to Methee Phuket Co.Ltd or Cashew Nut Factory. Not a factory but there was a lady opening cashew nuts which is a long laborious process, one nut at a time. Quite educational but the best part of the tour was being able to taste everything on sale. Since we had not eaten properly at the restaurant, we did not mind visiting another shop which gave us samples to try.
Our next stop was another shop. This time Joy took us to a pearl shop called Pearl Art Factory. It was not a factory at all. At least at Cashew Factory, we saw a few people working on raw cashew and found out how it is processed. This was just a store. So we looked at all the different types and colors of pearls. We were already sleepy, so asked Joy not to take us to any more shops.
She then took us to Wat Chalong. It is the largest of Phuket’s temples, and the most visited.It is dedicated to two highly venerable monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang, who led the citizens of Chalong Subdistrict fighting against the Chinese rebellion in 1876 and with their knowledge of herbal medicine helped the injured. The main temple has three floors. The dragons on the staircase are beautiful. The 360 degree view from the roof of the temple is amazing and worth clicking a panorama shot.
By the time we were done, it was 12:30pm. The weather was very hot and we were exhausted. So we asked Joy to take us to our hotel. We realized later that she was passing our time showing random shops since the check in time was 2pm. We were more tired because of this. We would have been in a better state if she had just taken us to the Wat and then dropped us at our hotel. We could have at least rested in the reception area. When we reached Ashlee Hotel, we found out that one of the wheels of our four wheeler trolley bag was broken. This bag created a lot of problems while carrying throughout the trip. This was very disappointing experience on the first day. When we finally got our room, we straight away went to sleep.
We woke up at around 6pm. We then got ready to take a stroll near our hotel. I spotted a cafe called Central Perk (F.R.I.E.N.D.S) so decided to take a picture while returning. We walked till the end of the road and found the restaurant where our dinner was pre-booked. We turned left on the main road and saw some crabs and prawns were on display. We asked the price and decided to order Garlic Pepper Prawn. The prawns were delicious. We then decided to go back since we had spotted a night market on the opposite end of the road. On the way back I clicked a few pictures at Central Perk. The night market turned out to be Patong Night Market. It was filled with all kinds of stalls ranging from clothes to gadgets. Our favorite were the food stalls. We bought roasted shrimps from one of the stalls. After this, we returned to Restaurant Shalimar to have our dinner. I then realized that since we had booked our tour from a travel agent, all of our pre-booked meals would be Indian food.
Day 2 – 24 May 2018
We woke up at 5am and got ready. We went for breakfast by 6:30am. Our mini bus was waiting for us outside our hotel at 7am. The driver dropped us at Rassada Pier where we got our pre-booked Ferry Tickets to Phi Phi Islands. Ferries take about two hours from Phuket. Our Ferry was called Sea Angel Beyond Cruise and it was at 9am. We were given seats in the lower deck. But they told us we could go upstairs after 9:40am. In the meanwhile, they served us cold drinks and cupcakes. It was raining heavily, so we could not go to the top deck. We had to stand one floor below the top deck. We still got to enjoy the view from there, while we stood near the railing of the ferry.
The original plan was that we would cruise around the major points of interest around the Phi Phi Islands, including Maya Bay, Loh Samah Bay, Pileh Lagoon, Viking Cave, Monkey Beach and enjoy snorkeling. But due to heavy rain they did not take us there. They just showed us Phi Phi Leh islands on the way.
After viewing the amazingly beautiful coastline, we arrived at Tonsai Pier in Phi Phi Don at around 11am. By the time we reached here, the rain had stopped. On arrival we had to pay 20 baht/person as entry fee to the island. We were met by a bunch of merchants holding up banners for tours and hotels. In particular, we were directed by a group of people to some PP Princess Resort. When we almost reached there, we realized that it was the venue for our pre-booked lunch. Since we could see the beach ahead and we were not hungry at that time, we proceeded to the beach.
Loh Da Lum Bay is an amazing beach where the water is knee deep for at least half a mile. It has gorgeous views, and there were tons of kayak rentals. We kept our bags with Papa and went to washroom in the resort. We returned from there and all of us then went into the water. Papa had kept all of our bags together near the boundary of the resort. After a few minutes Papa noticed that a guy was sitting too near our bags as if planning to steal it. Papa immediately went back to our bags and the guy went away. Then we decided to move the bags to the beach side. We kept all of our bags on the sand and covered it with a towel. Papa and the Uncles then decided that one of them would stay with the bags. Mummy, Vibhi & I walked a little ahead from the place where the rest of the group was standing. We really enjoyed that the water was not deep and we could walk so far from the edge of the beach without any fear. We floated on the water and played with each other. Even mummy was able to float without our help easily since there were no waves. Papa needed a little help with floating, but our hard work was successful. We were enjoying so much that we didn’t want to leave at all.
We went to the washroom to change. This time they were charging us for using the toilet since we were wet. So the guys changed on the beach itself and we girls tried to find some secluded spot behind a tree. Although when we started changing we realized that it was not as secluded as we had thought. But we changed there anyway. We were already late when we came out of the water and after the bathroom drama we had to actually rush through our lunch. Since we were late, some of the food items were also over. We somehow finished our lunch and and ran back to Tonsai Pier to catch our 2pm ferry back to Phuket.
We sat in our old spot for a while. After 15-20 mins we were allowed to go on the top deck. We spent the rest of the journey on the top deck enjoying the picturesque view. We reached Rassada Pier by 4pm. Our mini bus was waiting for us there. We finally reached our hotel by 6pm.
We went to our room and tried checking the status of my ticket problem. We went to the reception people to help us out and talk to the ThaiAir call center in Thai as the English call center had not picked up our call. We explained them the problem with great difficulty, and finally their response was that it would not be a problem. We were not convinced, so we tried doing it online too. But we could not find the correct site and correct tab for fixing this. We finally gave up and decided to go out.
We found out that Patong Beach (near Patong Bus Station) was 600m from our hotel. So we decided to walk there. It was a peaceful and quite beach. We walked for half an hour then returned to Shalimar Restaurant for dinner. We were really worried about our ThaiLion ticket because we had not got the confirmation of the spelling change for my ticket. We even talked to the owner of the Shalimar restaurant to help us out. He was Pakistani so he understood hindi well and since he had been living in Phuket for over 15 years he knew Thai too. He suggested us to go early to the airport and try to get it fixed at the Thai Lion airport counter. He even gave us his no. and asked us to call him up if we faced any problem at the airport. We thanked him and then went back to our hotel.
We then realized that we might not get breakfast in the morning since we had to leave by 6am and the breakfast at the hotel started at 6:30am. We talked to our point of contact in Thailand to get confirmation for the same. After lots of back and forth, we found out that they had not informed our hotel that we would be leaving early so that they would pre-pack our breakfast. We went to the reception to talk to them, but the receptionist was very rude to us and did not agree on providing us breakfast.
Day 3 – 25 May 2018
We woke up at 5am in the morning and got ready to leave. We were downstairs with our luggage by 6am. The breakfast buffet was ready but the door was locked. We knocked on the door so that we would at least get bread and butter before leaving. One of the waitress was about to come, but the rude receptionist stopped her. So we left our hotel without breakfast.
When we reached Phuket airport, we went straight to ThaiLion counter. The girl at the counter told us that spelling had been corrected for Phuket->Bangkok flight. We also inquired about our Bangkok->Singapore ticket and she said that it was still not corrected. She suggested that we should go to the ThaiLion counter in Bangkok airport since we would have sufficient time there. We then proceeded to the check-in counter and realized that only 10kg per person was allowed for check-in. We somehow managed our luggage by send the 3 big bags for check-in and left 2 small trolley bags as carry-ons. When we went for security check we realized that one of that bags had Papa’s shaving set. We went back to the check-in counter to get one of our bags out so that we could keep it in the main luggage. But the lady refused to help us. She said we already had over weight. So we asked Panjiar Uncle to come with us so that we could put it in their luggage (they had just 3 small bags for check-in). The counter lady refused to get the bags back. If it this had happened in India, they would have brought us our bag back. She suggested we buy a new trolley bag and put it in. We decided it was not worth it. So we went back to security check counter with the shaving bag and thought we’ll keep whatever they don’t throw away. Since one of the counter was empty, we went there for security check. This time no one stopped us, so we took the whole shaving kit with us. It was a lucky escape. We then decided that we would double check the carry-on luggage next time.
When we reached Bangkok, we went to ThaiLion counter for our Bangkok->Singapore ticket. After searching for the counter for a while, we finally found it. We waited in line for our allotted number at the counter. The lady at the counter told us that we had to pay 750 Baht for the spelling change. We didn’t have that much cash, so Vibhi ran back to Mummy to get cash or Papa’s credit card. While Vibhi was gone, I remembered that our travel agent had sent us some receipt regarding payment of 750 baht. When we tried to make the payment, it was confirmed that the payment was already done by our travel agent. She told us that as soon as they get the confirmation receipt of the payment, they would send the ticket to the mail id that was registered. And sure enough, by the end of the day our travel agent sent us the the new ticket.
Because of all this drama, we started from airport at 12pm. Our driver was waiting for us for at least 1 hour while we were at the counter. It was 2.5 hr from airport to our hotel. We reached Pattaya Loft at 2:30pm. At the time of check-in the reception people kept our Passport and told that they would return it during check-out. We went to our rooms and kept our luggage. We then freshened up and got ready to go for lunch. We had 5pm show ticket for Alcazar show and the mini bus would pick us up at 4pm. It was already 3pm, so we went to Indian Connection Restaurant to have lunch. We ate roti, fish curry and prawns.
We reached the venue of Alcazar Show by 4:30pm. The driver gave us our tickets and told us he would pick us up after the show. When we went inside, we were given cold drink glasses before we entered the hall. It was our first time at the Cabaret show and it was beautiful. It was very well choreographed and performed. It was a dazzling show with energetic acts, bright colors and extravagant costumes. During the 70-minute show we saw 17 acts that showcase culture, dance and song of various countries around the world. The beautiful and colorful stage sets change with each act. The stage kind of reminded me of Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon. After the show, we clicked pictures outside while we waited for the driver.
We asked the driver to drop us at the beach, but he said he had instructions to drop us back to our hotel and would not deviate from it. So we sat in the mini bus and went back to hotel. Since all of us wanted to go to the beach, we decided to walk to the beach which was 1 km away from our hotel.
When we reached Pattaya beach, everyone sat on the sand and were talking. Vibhi and I decided to go for a walk along the beach. We talked while enjoying the walk on the beach. I wanted to click a good picture of Pattaya City written on the other side of the beach. Since it was night and the phone camera was not clicking pictures like I wanted, we kept walking. We did not realize that we had walked too far from where everyone was sitting. When we realized how far we had come and decided to go back, we saw Mummy coming our way. She was very angry at us for walking that far from everyone. We finally went back to everyone and proceeded for dinner.
Our dinner was arranged in a restaurant called Home Pattaya Restaurant opposite our hotel. They gave us buffet with chicken curry, roti, rice, dal etc. The food was not very tasty.
Day 4 – 26 May 2018
We woke up and got ready for the beach. We were instructed to wear short clothes. So even mummy wore shorts for the 1st time. I was so happy seeing her in shorts that I already planned to buy her more shorts for future trips. We had breakfast at the hotel then we went to Pattaya Beach.
Our guide tied red woolen thread on our wrist and wrote some number on our hand. It looked like rakhi, so while she was tying it on the wrist Panjiar uncle was singing “Bhaiya Mere…”. It was quite funny and she obviously didn’t get the joke and felt a little annoyed. She then told us about the activities that we could participate in. Parasailing was for 500 baht, Sea Walk for 1200 baht, the video of sea walk for 700 baht, jet sky for 300 baht and banana boat for 200 baht. And if we decided to do everything we could get a package for 2000 baht, but we had to decide before leaving the Pattaya beach. She only accepted cash, and we did not have enough cash for all 4 of us. So it was decided that Vibhi & I would go for the complete package and Mummy & Papa would go for Parasailing. So we paid 4000 baht for our package. We then got into a speed boat which took us to our first stop.
Our first stop was Parasailing platform. We kept our bags and slippers with Mummy Papa and joined the line. They made us wear the life jacket and parasailing gear. Vibhi went before me. When it was my turn, they called me ahead. They had instructed us that we might have to run a little to fly. But as soon as they closed the hook in my gear, I was up flying. It was an incredible experience. I could see the whole of Pattaya coastline from above. Before I went I thought it would be a little scary, but I was having way too much fun to think about scary stuff. I pretended like I had wings with my hands. They just do one small round. Before going back to the platform, the boat driver slowed down a little, so I descended and my feet was 40-45 inches above water and then he sped back to the platform. I was almost on the edge and I thought I might fall in water, but 2 of them caught me by my leg and pulled me down. I finally landed on the platform with a huge smile on my face. Mummy told me that Vibhi got another round because they were not able to pull him to the platform on time. After Vibhi’s return, we took the phone and Mummy Papa joined the line. Papa went first and Mummy was next. So we decided to divide and conquer. I shot Papa’s video and Vibhi shot Mummy’s. Papa returned after 1 round like me. They could not pull Mummy on time so she went for 2nd round. After her second round, they again tried pulling her but again they failed to do so. So Mummy ended up getting 3 rounds. After the 3rd round all of them pulled her down. After an eventful parasailing trip, we boarded our speed boat for our next stop.
Our next stop was Under Sea Walk boat. We again kept our bags and slippers with Mummy Papa and went to the adjacent boat for Under Sea Walk. We were given instructions about signs to use underwater. It kind of reminded me of ZNMD scene when Katrina gave instruction to the boys about underwater sign language. The instructor also told us that we would feel pressure in our ears when we go underwater similar to flights. If we felt the pressure, all we had to do was fill our mouth with air and then blow it in the water. We were instructed to stand and not try swimming because the helmet would get filled with water instantly. After getting instructions, we stood in line to go inside. We went in one by one. When it was my turn to go inside, they asked me to climb down the stairs. When only my head was outside water, they put the helmet and I went down pretty quickly. The helmet was connected to oxygen supply through a pipe. I felt the pressure in my ears and had to do the blow in water thing 2 times to feel normal again. Though I was immersed fully in water, air remained above neck level and I could breath normally. They had formed a group and we had to link our arms and form a line. There were 2 or 3 divers who guided the group. One of the diver came and fixed my t-shirt and then I realized that my t-shirt had floated up to my belly when I came down. There was a huge coral rock of almost my height. Numerous little black fishes were swimming around it. One of the diver clicked pictures and videos of us while the other guided us. We circled around the coral rock and saw 2 other kinds of fishes. One was stripped black and white and the other had black spots all over. We also saw brown colored sea anemone or the plant that Nemo lives in. They had an anemone which was detached from the coral. So they let us touch it. It was the softest thing I had ever touched. The diver also tried to teach us how to make bubble rings by rubbing our knuckles in a certain way. I tried to do it but failed miserably at making bubble rings. To my relief was I was not the only one. We finally came out of the water and went back to the boat where Mummy Papa were waiting for us. They gave us our underwater walk CD withing few minutes. But they gave only 1 CD since they thought we were a huge family and they would save the CD price without actually giving us. So Mummy asked the guide to give each of us our CDs. We then boarded our speed boat for our final stop. This time I sat in the front seat of the speed boat. It was so much fun.
We finally reached at Koh Larn or Coral Island. The guide gave us our Banana boat & JetSki tickets. We went to stand in line for JetSki while others went in the water at the beach. When I sat on JetSki, the driver took me to the end pretty quickly and then he gave me the controls so try and drive the JetSki. I was a little slow compared to his driving speed. JetSki is always a fun activity in the beach. We then went for Banana boat ride. While returning they dropped us in water and we had to walk back to the shore. Then we went to enjoy the beach with everyone. After lots of floating and splashing we saw the time and decided we had to go back. We had kept our luggage at the shore and covered it with our towel. We saw that some people used our towels to dry themselves. By the time we realized it and mummy scolded them, 2-3 people had already used it. The guide had warned us that if we are late she would leave us on the island. So we got out of water and dried ourselves. We then went to the place where she had asked us to wait. We saw some roasted Shrimp being sold nearby, so we bought it and ate it while waiting. She had asked us to be ready by 2pm but she was no where to be seen and it was almost 2:45pm. After a lot of searching we finally found her and she told us that the boat was late. We sat on the beach chair for a while, then I decided to go back in water till the boat arrived. The guys had already changed and Mummy and I were still wet so we went back and sat in the water. After a few minutes the boat arrived and I again sat in the front seat of the speed boat along with Mummy and Vibhi. We thoroughly enjoyed our ride back to Pattaya beach.
Our pick up from the beach was Baht Bus or Songthaew. Songthaew is a pick-up trucks with two rows of passenger seats in a covered overhead back cabin. It took us back to the hotel. We decided to have lunch first and then go to our rooms. We had to go to the same place where we had dinner previous night. They had prepared the same dishes again or maybe those were dishes from previous night. We did not like the food very much. After lunch, we went back to our room.
Before going to the room we decided that we would go to the hotel swimming pool. So we kept our purses in the room and went back to the swimming pool. We enjoyed the pool for more than an hour and then we finally went to take a bath. We enjoyed the bath tubs in our room and took a long bath that day. After bath, we took some rest and then decided to go for evening walk.
We walked for about 15-20 min and ended up in front of Big C Extra Mall. We decided to go inside and check it out. Big C Extra is a hypermarket in Pattaya offering a grocery store and department store under one roof. The price was very at reasonable. We bought a few t-shirts & tops from there. After shopping everyone decided to go back to have dinner. We did not want to eat dinner at the same place where we had lunch, so we decided to get cash from room and then go to some restaurant.
By the time we were ready to go, it was already 9:30pm. The lady told us that our pre-booked dinner would be served till 10pm. So it was a risk leaving the dinner there in search of an open restaurant. So we asked them to suggest us a good place to eat Thai food. She suggested we go to a restaurant called Leng Kee which is open 24X7. We ordered Large Prawn rice and Sea food platter. The food was very tasty, very flavorful and authentic.
Day 5 – 27 May 2018
We woke up at 7am and got ready. We had planned to leave for Bangkok at 9am. We kept all our luggage in the mini bus and waited for Papa & Uncles to do the check-out procedures. It was taking long so I went out to check and found out that they had not returned our passports and were not cooperating with the check-out procedure. After a lot of drama, we finally left at 11am. Since we were already late, we had to skip Gem Factory which was on the way to Bangkok.
We finally reached our hotel in Bangkok at 1pm. Our Bangkok tour driver was already waiting for us at Ecotel Hotel. He told us that he would take us only to the Reclining Buddha temple and drop us off at the hotel by 4pm as he had some other pick up after that. We had thought that we would be getting full city tour. So we contacted our travel agent and found our that the itinerary that we were referring to was modified during booking. We felt a little cheated that time. But we decided to go ahead and see the places where ever the driver would take us.
Our first stop was Gem Gallery. It was a Jewelry Shop with nice ambiance. As we entered the building, we were given complimentary cup of soft drinks. Then they led us into a small showroom where we saw people working on setting stones and making jewelries. Then just behind that room was a big showroom where the finished products were displayed. The number of choices for jewelry pieces were limitless. We roamed around and saw so many beautiful jewelries on display.
The cab driver then took us to Wat Pho or Reclining Buddha Temple. It’s one of the largest temple complexes in the city and famed for its giant reclining Buddha that measures 46 metres long and is covered in gold leaf. The Buddha’s feet are 5 metres long and exquisitely decorated in mother-of-pearl illustrations of auspicious ‘laksanas’ (characteristics) of the Buddha. 108 is a significant number, referring to the 108 positive actions and symbols that helped lead Buddha to perfection. The temple grounds contain 91 small chedis (stupas or mounds), four great chedis, two belfries, a bot (central shrine), a number of viharas (halls) and other buildings such as pavilions, as well as gardens and a small temple museum. Architecturally the chedis and buildings in the complex are different in style and sizes. A number of large Chinese statues, some of which depict Europeans, are also found within the complex guarding the gates of the perimeter walls as well as other gates within the compound. These stone statues were originally imported as ballast on ships trading with China.
After the beautiful temple visit, the driver dropped us back to our hotel. It was only 3:30pm. We had the rest of the day. So when we finally checked in to our rooms, I started researching places to visit in Bangkok and found out about a bunch off places. I also researched about the best way to travel in Bangkok and found out about river in Bangkok. We finally left the hotel at 4:30pm in search of a cab or tuktuk. We found a few tuktuks outside our hotel but when we asked them to drop us at the river side so we could get a boat, they quoted really high price. After lots of tuktuk driver drama, we finally found a cab which was ready to take us. He dropped us at RiverCity Mall. It had a dinner cruise booking counter. That’s when we realized why the tuktuk people were trying to charge us so much. They might have thought if we could afford a 2000baht/person river cruise then we could definitely pay for overpriced tuktuk rates. Little did they know that all we wanted to do was to go on 15baht/person ferry ride. We could not find the boat pier. So we left Mummy Papa and other Uncle Aunties at the mall in search of Pier to get the boat. When we found it, we took everyone there and bought tickets. We then waited for the boat at Pier 3 (Si Phraya).
We boarded the ferry and enjoyed the view of the city from the river. We then got down Pier 8 (Tha Tien) to visit Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn. It is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. This Wat or Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. In the mythology of Tibetan Buddhism, Mount Meru is a place that simultaneously represents the center of the universe and the single-pointedness of mind sought by adepts. Thousands of miles in height, Meru is located somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality, in a realm of perfection and transcendence. The four-corner prang of Wat Arun, which house images of the guardian gods of the four directions, reinforces this mystical symbolism. The Wat was closed so we could not go inside but it looked mesmerizing from outside.
We had also planned to visit the Grand Palace but it was late, so we took a ferry to go back. We got down at Pier 5 (Ratchawong) which was the nearest pier from our hotel. This pier was close to China Town. We booked 2 tuktuks and somehow crammed 11 people in it.
When we almost reached our hotel, we passed a night market and asked our tuktuk driver to stop. We got down to explore and shops at Neon Night Market. We bought a few clothes from there. We then went to a food stall and ordered Crab and oyster omelette. Both the items were delicious.
Finally we went back to our hotel. We then went for our pre-booked dinner at Andhra Restaurant with everyone.
Day 6 – 28 May 2018
We woke up and got ready to leave by 8am. It was almost 1.5 hr drive from our hotel to our destination.
Our driver dropped us at Marine Park and gave us detailed map with shows and show timings they had booked for us. When we entered, we went straight for the 10:20am Orang Utan Show. Orang Utans played musical instruments, joked around with the show host and did boxing. It was well choreographed and executed. Next we went to 11am Sea Lion Show. It was fun to watch Sea Lions perform tricks in water. The next show was Western Cowboy Stunt Show at 11:40am. There were many stunts and pyrotechnics in this show. A group of Thai men and women dressed in western clothes were acting like cowboys and bandits. It had too much unnecessary violence and we didn’t enjoy the show. We then went for lunch in a pre-booked restaurant inside Marine Park. After lunch we went for our last show in Marine Park i.e. Dolphin Show at 1:45pm. We saw these intelligent and friendly animals perform a number of tricks, playing with balls and effortlessly making somersaults.
After completing our Marine Park exploration, we set out for a jungle safari in the Safari World. We saw the animals like bears, giraffe, zebras, deer, ostriches etc at close proximity, strutting around in their natural habitats, resting, feeding and interacting with their free roaming herds. We saw Lions and Tigers sleeping in the shed or under trees. It was quite a refreshing experience to see the wild animals living in natural fenced habitat from the comfort of our air-conditioned vehicle.
After our jungle safari, we went to Wat Phraya Suren. It had a huge statue of some monk on the platform and a few buddha statues inside. It had a calm and quiet atmosphere.
We reached our hotel and after some rest we decided to go to some mall and enjoy the rest of the evening. When we walked for a few minutes we saw Indra Square and others wanted to go for shopping. Indra Square Shopping Mall offers a range of clothing, accessories, shoes and bags at bargain prices. It is a good place to buy souvenirs, wholesale items and clothing at cheap prices. Since we had already done some shopping the previous night, we did not buy much. We just bought a few chocolates and souvenirs.
We had to get up early the next morning, so we went for dinner at 8pm and went to bed early. We woke up at 5am the next morning and got ready to leave. Since we did not want to repeat Phuket Breakfast episode, we had already informed the reception when we returned from our trip that we would be leaving early morning. So our breakfasts were packed and ready. Our mini bus took us to the airport and we checked in our luggage. We said our goodbye to Thailand and we were ready for our next adventure in Singapore.