The holiday season is right around the corner and the most important phase of vacation planning is zeroing in on the destination. The ‘right’ destination may translate into different things for different people – luxury, relaxing, adventurous, wild, shoppers paradise or a bit of all!! Thailand is one such country that offers a bit of all!! Easily one of the most beautiful and popular holiday destinations in south east Asia – Thailand.
The Suvarnabhumi International airport is beautiful and the christmas decorations only added to its glory. So here we were, all set to begin our Thai vacation during christmas!!
Our first stop was Bangkok. Bangkok is like any other Indian metropolitan city , and is blessed with a good metro service. We decided to visit The Grand Palace – home to the famous Jade Buddha. The Grand Palace is ‘grand’ and boasts of magnificent architecture. Scores of tourists visit this place each year to admire its beauty and symmetry.
Buddhism is the main religion in the country and therefore is home to many Buddhas. One of the other popular Buddhas is the golden Buddha. Sadly, we could only get a glimpse of him from outside since the place was closed for renovation. Nevertheless, the tiny peak we managed to get was wow-worthy.
The malls of Bangkok offer tourists a wide range of choices in every category. The christmas decorations elevate the mood to another level!!
The SIAM Ocean World is a nice place, and is a must-see especially for kids for the spectacular sea creatures!
Other places of visit in Bangkok include the famous night flea market and the Jantuchak market. Both these markets offer variety in clothing , shoes and accessories at affordable prices.
Pattaya – the fun wild city in Thailand is situated about 150 kms from Bangkok and can be reached by road in 2 hours. It has a beautiful beach and an enviable skyline. Koh larn and Koh Samui are islands which can be reached from the Pattaya shore by Ferries. Both these quaint islands offer a variety of watersports – jet ski, parasailing and many more!! Put on your wet suits and soak in the fun!!
A tiger enthusiast in India is a tiger enthusiast anywhere. Pattaya would not be complete for us without a trip to the Sriracha Tiger zoo. It is a big, well maintained premise and houses many animals – tigers, pigs (by far the cleanest and cutest pigs I have seen ), monkeys, elephants and more. Tourists are given an opportunity to feed tiger cubs with feeding bottles and carry them as well. The coat of the tiger felt like velvet and smelt beautiful!! A once in a lifetime opportunity to touch these majestic creatures
The Sanctuary of Truth is another stunning structure in the outskirts of Pattaya. It is less popular compared to a lot of the other tourist attractions in Thailand. The entire temple is carved from wood, from the pillars to the roofs, from the walls to the ceilings.
Every minute detail is finely carved. It has a blend of Thervada, Mahayanist and Hinduism influence.
A few hours from Pattaya is the quaint village of Kanchanabhuri. The town is very underdeveloped and pretty much impossible for a vegetarian to survive!! The major attraction here is Erawan Falls, a waterfall named after Erawan -the three-headed white elephant of Thai mythology.
We took the only mode of transport available in the village – a truck! So there we were in a closed truck just the two of us, a lady driver and driving through sugarcane fields to reach the Erawan waterfalls!!
The seven-tiered falls are said to resemble the Erawan. The water is emerald green in colour. The trek upto the highest tier is adventurous and a must -do.
Also located close to the village of Kanchanaburi is the infamous tiger temple. The tiger temple is actually a monastery run by monks who also happen to rear tigers. The temple is open during the hours the tigers nap and photos can be clicked with the tiger in very close proximity during this time. However, the tiger temple was forced to shut down and all the tigers have been since released into the forest of Thailand.
After a wonderful stay at Kanchanaburi, we returned to Bangkok ready to board our flight. However, we do regret not being able to visit the picture perfect Phuket due to lack of time. Thailand is a great holiday destination offering a variety of things to do in a single trip, its affordable and definitely a go-go!!!