This is my account of what a community of 17 people, including 5 families with 4 teenagers can do in Bangkok. This was my first time abroad and needless to say I was excited to the core. I wanted to do as much as I could within the 7 days I was going to stay there. After the whole thing was over and as I was returning back on the plane, I thought back to the trip and was happy to note that I didn’t have a single regret. Not a single one. The trip changed me for the better and for always. Now in this account I have decided to break down the trip into several parts, so that everyone can read what they want to read, whether what families can do there or some really curious teenagers.
Hotels – Decent places to stay.
BANGKOK -IBIS NANA HOTEL
We stayed in Bangkok for one day, before proceeding to Phuket. The Ibis Nana hotel is perfectly in the middle of the city. Right near its red-light area, to be honest. But families needn’t be bothered by that. During the day Bangkok is a perfectly innocent city, amazing roads, not a speck of dust anywhere, decent street food. The hotel is perfectly furnished, with a constraint that each room can hold only two people. This was awesome for me because I got to share a room with my friend Joy, who is 19 and one of the craziest guys I have ever met. This arrangement was perfect because this meant that we could slip out at night and not have our parents know. More on that later. Each room furnished with a TV, an AC, a decently equipped bathroom, a refrigerator stocked with two complimentary bottles of water and two single beds. The rooms are pretty small but it’s cozy. Very Decent. Oh and of course, free Wi-Fi. There’s a hotel nearby called ‘Dubai’, which though expensive, is kinda worth it. It gives Indian and Thai food. Also offers Hookah.
Okay, CC’s hideaway has some sort of tie up with Air Asia, so since we came by an Air Asia flight, we got some combo pack by which the rooms were dirt cheap. This hotel is one of the most awesome ones I have ever stayed in. Brilliant rooms, brilliant view, brilliant staff, brilliant everything. The place really is a hideaway. Located on the top of a steep hill, it has an amazing view of the ocean. It has an attached bar, and a pool. THIS is the quintessential place for a honeymoon. I mean seriously the rooms just scream ‘Romance!’ The closet is stocked up with cold drinks – Coke, Fanta, Juice and snacks – Lays, peanuts. Along with condoms and a highly disconcerting ‘Lube for Men’. Fine this place is for couples, we get it. The pool is open at all hours. So is the bar. The beach is located just a 15 minute ride away. There’s a free shuttle every hour to take you there. Wi-Fi is really fast. Rooms are spacious and really well organized. Beware though, other than the complementary water, you will be charged for all the drinks and stuff you use. I found this out the hard way when I went to visit my parent’s room and told them excitedly about the fully stocked fridge. My dad immediately took a piece of paper out of the closet and handed it to me. It was a list of expenses for each item. So, depressed I went back to the room to find Joy had already finished the Kit Kat and cracked open a coke. But otherwise the place is pretty kickass. There’s a nice buffet for breakfast. It’s not possible to walk to the beach though. It’s pretty far. But you can rent bikes for that so you and your girlfriend can slip out at night for a romantic beach walk.
PATTAYA – SABAI WING
The hotel we stayed in at Pattaya is pretty much the same style as the Ibis Nana. There are two bedrooms in each room. The difference is that though the beach is just within 5 minutes walking distance from the hotel, the nightlife is around a half hour walk. The view from the beach is amazing, waters are pretty clear, and there are spotlights all around the beach so that it’s illuminated even during the night. The hotel again has free Wi-Fi and a television. Since we stayed there only for an evening and checked out next morning, I can’t tell you much about popular diurnal activities there.
Okay, this is specific to Indian’s only. We are oriented to spicy food. If something you offer us doesn’t have at least five spices we will probably not appreciate it. So in this respect Thai Food sucks. Almost all the noodles are bland. There is a dish called glass noodles which taste like they are made from glass. You could try flat noodles. There is something called rice with red curry / green curry which tastes pretty great. Seafood bounds in abundance. I tried squid (not very different from chewing gum). But prawn dishes are great, especially the deep fried ones. And in Thailand almost every menu anywhere has fried chicken, whether it be some hotel buffet menu, at a restaurant or at some street side. So non-veg people can rejoice. We tried a variety of Thai dishes at all the restaurants we went to. My opinion is that while you can enjoy it just for the experience, you won’t like it on a regular basis.
Now there is one thing I can’t miss out on telling. In Phuket, we went to a place called ‘Fanta Sea’. Place is awesome, but I think girls will like it more. But I will describe it later. For now let me describe the buffet you get after watching the ‘Fanta Sea’ show. This was the most brilliant buffet I have ever been to. It’s freaking epic just by variety itself. By my estimation, there were about a 100 dishes. Some which spring to mind are Chicken Drumsticks, broccoli soup, French fries, Thai stir fried chicken, sweet and sour chicken, Crispy Fried chicken, pasta with three different creams, salads with your choice of thousand island dressing, mayonnaise, sweet cream dressing, crispy fish fillet, brownies, watermelon slices, mousses, fried rice, steamed cabbage with cheese(wouldn’t recommend it). Now let me tell you the parable of ‘The Jackfruit and the French Fries’.
Once there lived a jackfruit named Joy. This jackfruit was very, very fond of French fries. So what does the typical human do when he enters a place with a myriad variety of food? ‘Hmm, there’s a lot of food. I have a limited appetite. I shall scope out the place, try taking a bit of all the foods that appeal to me, eat and then go back for some more. Then have desert.”
But not this jackfruit. He thought more among the lines of “hmm, here’s a buffet. Lots of different foods. I am sure there must be French fries here. Hmm, let’s look for French fries.”
So while I got a plate with some French fries, some drumsticks, noodles, fried chicken and some soup, Joy gets a plate heaped with French fries, three pieces of fried chicken, ketchup and for some unknown reason, steamed cabbage with cheese. So I finish my plate and set out to get more food and come back. When I return, I see Joy staring at his finished plate, two pieces of fried chicken left and a bemused look on his face. “Dude”, he says, “I think I am full.” That’s when I shout, “You useless jack…(I was going for jackass but since there were parents around I changed it to jackfruit) Fruit! Why would a person get French fries in excess when there’s so much variety here? You can get goddamn French fries back in India right?” He gives me the saddest look I have ever seen, looks at all the food and then mutters “Fuck”. So that ends the parable. And serves as a valuable lesson to us all.
In the next part, I shall discuss the places we visited.