Sunday, March 20, 2016

Thailand (Phuket & Bangkok) Trip Planning

Hello beauties,

Recently I did a haul post about stuff that I got from my Thailand trip. So, today I am writing our trip planning, some rules we follow and some specific guidelines to keep in mind when visiting Thailand.

Ever since our son was born, we have travelled as group of three musketeers. It does create some limitations, but we try to indulge in different kinds of activities to keep us as well as our kid engaged. We have always planned and executed all of our trips (indian/international) on our own right from booking to visa. We love to plan our own trips, since it gives us the required amount of flexibility and not turn our vacation into an army camp. Also, the vacation begins for us right from the time we start planning, which takes a good month/two. Other benefits: we get to choose our accommodation, itinerary (rather than following and visiting places, which are not at all of interest to us), food outlets etc.

However, trip planning is a huge task and not for the faint hearted. So, I will begin by describing the whole process and then come down to our Thailand trip planning.

We usually begin the process of location hunting around two months before international as well as national trips. Then comes the discussion phase when everything from budget, weather at the destination, flights, places to visit, food, availability of indian food etc. are taken into account. Both me and my husband carry out our separate searches and then discuss our finding to reach a consensus. The best source of all this information is obviously Google, where you type in the destination and it populates a list of places to visit. One can also dig for information from various travel blogs.

Our previous international trips had been cities primarily (Singapore, Dubai, London) and as we were longing for sun in the harsh winter months, Phuket (Thailand) seemed the best nearby option with great beaches. Bangkok was added in the itinerary for two nights and we promptly booked flights and hotels, and applied for visa. 

Phuket is a beautiful city with beaches and hills. It has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty and relaxation that you would never want to leave the place. And of course it is safe to roam, even late at nights. Bangkok is just like any other big city and full of high rises and teeming with people.

A few general guidelines for tourists in Thailand:

· The people of Thailand are helpful and courteous. Thais consider it rude to raise their voices for any matter what so ever.

· Remember to bargain for each and everything thing, from tuktuk fare to food to anything you buy to eat or drink from local vendors.

· Above all always listen to your instincts and keep your common sense about.

· Whenever visiting temples and places of worship show some respect and remember to wear clothes which keep your shoulders and knees covered. However, you are provided appropriate clothing in case you forget.

· Be very careful when shopping any branded stuff as there are loads of dupes for each and every brand in Bangkok for super cheap prices. I decided to stick to local produce and the only expensive purchase I did was Chance by Chanel from Suvarnabhumi airport.

· Bangkok has two airports, a new one Suvarnabhumi and an older airport Don Muang for low cost carriers, Air Asia, Nok Air etc. So, check with your tour operator about your flights and airports. We arrived at Suvarnabhumi and then rushed to Don Muang for our flight to Phuket. There is a free airport shuttle between the two airports from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm (you only need to show your tickets). There are taxis available as well (remember to bargain).

Below, I give you a breakup of flights/hotels/activities with costs (approx.) incurred for our entire trip. I will also try to provide links for everything below (in case you want to check out the places).

Flights (round trip):

Spicejet (return flight Delhi-Kolkata-Bangkok): 22K per person

Air Asia (Bangkok – Phuket): 6K per person


Phuket: Holiday Inn Beach Resort (Patong Beach) Best hotel ever, great location, good food and amazing for kids. Highly recommended (prices vary depending upon the season, for us it was 9500 per night with breakfast). Walking distance to Kohinoor, one of the best Indian food restaurants in Phuket.

Bangkok: Novotel Platinum Pratunam, right above the Pratunam mall and walking distance to pratunam market, night market. They have a daily shuttle to Siam Paragon and other malls. Near to all touristy places. Highly recommended (if you love to shop), prices again vary depending upon the season, for us it was 8k per night with buffet breakfast.

Another touristy tip: Bangkok hotels charge a security deposit of 1000 baht/per night upon check in which is of course refunded upon checkout.

Visa: INR 2500 per person



Must do one of the James Bond Island tour/Phi Phi Island Tour: INR 3600 per person for speedboat. Includes lunch, refreshments, and some amazing views of the sea and islands. We went for the James Bond Island Tour, where you get to do open sea canoeing (amongst limestone caves), exotic and amazing. Highly recommended!

Phuket FantaSea: INR 3600 per person (without Seafood Buffet). Similar to our very own Kingdom of Dreams, where you have a very lovely show wit live animals performing in front of you. Plus if you opt for their very own shuttle, they charge INR 600 per person.

Beaches: Free, if you take a umbrella then 200 baht


The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Budhdha: 500 baht per person. Must visit place for everyone, must visit for the beautiful architect of Thailand and to get a glimpse of the Royal Residences and Thrones.

Temple of the Reclining Buddha: 100 baht per person

Pratunam Market

Platinum Fashion Mall: A shopaholic's paradise, loads of clothes for women, men, and children. However, lacks trial rooms of any sort! The food court houses Mrs. Balbir’s, an amazing Indian food restaurant.

Overall, we spent 1.8 lac for flights + activities + accommodation (6 nights) + visa. If you decide to go for any popular tour operators, it would cost you a minimum of 1.6 lac for accommodation + delhi-bangkok flights (only) + half day city tour, for 5 nights and only if you choose budget hotels.

I would say that the final choice is yours but for us it is always more fun to plan our own trips and design our own itinerary.

Hope this was helpful! Happy travelling!

See ya…

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