Where culture meets entertainment

Where culture meets entertainment

Travel tale

I can safely say that my backpacking trip to Thailand last year was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. As I had seen most of the countries in South East Asia but had missed visiting Thailand, the travel bug in me craved to inhale the Thai culture and I went there in September. Since I am also into adventure sports, Thailand was one of my preferred destinations as its pristine beaches and untouched lands, gives one the room for such activities.

One of the best things about Thailand is its accessibility.  We first went straight to Bangkok, where I saw a slice of India. It was extremely crowded and bustling. I enjoyed going on the ‘tuk tuks’, though they were very expensive. I was quite happy to see that locals mainly took public transport and felt that our country can learn something from here. Bangkok was an eye-opening experience. The Grand Palace is a complex set of buildings which was once the official residence of the king. Well, we did feel like kings in the palace as we went on a clicking spree. I was happy to see that years of evergreen architecture and culture is still preserved and well-maintained. The ‘Temple Of Dawn’ was my favourite. It is locally known as ‘Wat Arun’ and the Chao Phraya river bubbles alongside. It is easily one of the most stunning temples because of its riverside location and the architecture.  The experience of shopping at ‘Chatuchak market’, a flea market, is also something that stands out in my mind. I could see more than 15,000 shops there and we got some great deals and gorged on local street food too, especially authentic seafood.

The interesting part here is that all the tourist attractions are easily accessible by river. We were ferried around all the places and I loved the journey, sitting back and relaxing amidst the sea. After the Bangkok expedition, we went to the most talked about and much-loved place, Phuket. It was only when I went to the tiny island that I realised why it is on most people’s bucketlist. An array of white sandy beaches and serene spots make it a perfect holiday destination. We went ‘beach- hopping’ in Phuket. We enjoyed scuba diving and the other water games like jet ski and parasailing on whichever beach we visited. Strolling on Walking Street was also a wonderful experience. Commonly called Bangla Road, it comes to life once the sun sets. Street performances are the most vibrant act here, which can make dodging around the salesmen, leaflet distributors, street vendors and ping pong show touts difficult. I miss ‘Phang Nga Bay’ or James Bond Island, another hotspot there. We canoed on the way to the island. I kept thinking whether I would get the same opportunity in India.

 The last leg  was a stop at Pattaya. We spent time at an old temple, which is supposed to be under construction for the next 40 years. Called as Sanctuary of Truth or ‘Prasat Sut Ja-Tum’, it was a beautiful sight and a fascinating Buddhist temple. I feel Thailand is a hidden treasure and after 7 days, I only wondered how many more mysteries I have left to uncover .

(The author can be contacted at nivedithg@nivedithg.com)

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