It’s mesmerizing to witness the sun rays steer past the clouds and shine welcoming a new day! Many of the times when I go for a vacation or a trek, I try to witness the early morning sunrise. It’s therapeutic.
Firstly, my love for the sky is infinite. And hence I’m always in awe of it.
Here, I was on my way from Pattaya to the airport in Bangkok.
My family trip came to an end and my kind of was sulking that such an awesome journey had to come to an end. But I have so many memories and while looking at the pictures on my phone and listening to “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” I happened to glance outside on the way to Bangkok Airport. We were almost reaching the airport and the view was spectacular. I quickly get my camera out and capture 2 snaps. One was blurry and the other one was thankfully perfect.
Clicking pictures means different for different people. For me, it’s a way of capturing unique moments. I know of some people who click pictures so in the future when they look back they can remember what all stuff they did on the trip.
But that’s the beauty of Bangkok. I can remember this amazing song because of checking this image. That beautiful morning was saddening because my trip came to an end but I’ll always cherish it for the rest of my life.
For more such of my posts on this amazing theme, CLICK HERE
For the last part of the series I have listed down an itinerary that can help you plan your stay in Bangkok/Pattaya. Since I went on spontaneously, some aspects fell in place but some places needed planning. I did lose out on time and hence would want others to get the most out of their trip. Here’s the itinerary that can help;
Day 1 – Tuesday (Arrival at Bangkok Airport)
My first suggestion to you is to go to Pattaya and then come back to Bangkok so you get more time to shop and also it would take you less time to get to the airport.
Considering that you arrive early morning, I would suggest you to take the Airport link metro. The 7th stop from that metro is called Ratchaprarop. You can get off from there and take a Tuk-Tuk/Metered Cab/Uber which should not cost you more than 100-150 THB. This would take you to Ekamai Bus station. There are buses plying to Pattaya every 30 minutes. The bus is semi sleeper fully air conditioned and very comfortable. The cost of a ticket would be 108 THB per person. The journey would take 2-2.5 hrs.
Probably you would be in Pattaya by say 3-4pm. At the bus station, there are sharing tuk-tuks that charge anything between 50-70 THB per person depending upon how far your hotel is. Reach your hotel and get some rest.
Around 6pm, one of you can go off to get tickets for the Alcazar/Tiffany’s cabaret shows. The shows last for 1.30 hrs and cost anything between 600-1500 THB per person. Go for one or both and have dinner anywhere on the beach road. There are lot of food stalls outside and also McDonald’s/Pizza Hut/Burger King and many Indian restaurants. Walk around the beach for a while and check for packages if possible. There are many shops that provide different packages for major attractions in Pattaya. Check if the costs are better than you going directly by yourself. You can decide your next 2 days and what all you can see.
Day 2 – Wednesday (Roam around Pattaya)
Try to begin early like 9 am.
Visit the Pattaya Floating market. As per the package you’ve taken you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the market. Roam around and witness a new style of a market.
Post that while the car will take you back, ask them to drop you off at the Underwater World where there’s an underwater aquarium. The tickets when bought directly are 500 THB onward. If you go via a package, you can get it for less and also that would include travel to your hotel. Basically, on your first day itself it would be wiser to choose all your packages so you can save money and time.
Next you can move towards the Art in Paradise. Tickets for that are 400 THB per person. You’ll surely be in here for 3 hours as there are over 100 3-D portraits and you can pose for all of them funnily and capture many memories.
Post all these 3 activities, take some time at the beach and catch the sunset view at the beach. Go for a swim or just laze around. Decide on your package for the Coral Island tour for the next day. This would take more than half your day (9am to 4pm). I have mentioned more about this on my previous post (CLICK HERE)
Day 3 – Thursday (Coral Island Tour)
The tour will take up more than half of your day. Once you’re back from it at 4pm, rest.
You can roam around the rest of the day and if you still want to check out some place, then try “Ripley’s Believe it or not” OR “Sanctuary of Truth”. Roam around the beach area and try exploring the place and the food.
Day 4 – Friday (Head to Bangkok)
There are buses that go from Pattaya bus station to Ekamai in Bangkok. If you leave early morning like 8am then you should be in Pratunam before 10am. Settle at your hotel and explore the MBK mall. You can also go to the Grand Palace where the royal family used to reside. The ticket price for that is 500 THB per person. But the place is worth it. There will be a lot of tourists but it’s manageable.
Rest in the afternoon. At 6pm, head over to Neon market which is on from 6pm-12am. There’s also a lot of stalls ahead of the Platinum mall which is a 2 minute walk away from Neon market. You can shop there too. If you want to check for more options then head towards Indra Square. These 3 places will have a lot of shopping options for you.
Day 5 – Saturday (Bangkok Shopping)
You can begin your weekend by heading to the Chatuchak market which is only at the weekend. There are 15000 stalls here and you are bound to find whatever you need. The place is really huge so take your own sweet time and roam around.
Once you’re done there, come back and rest for a while. In the evening you can again go to the usual shopping places and get a massage. At midnight, head to Chinatown (mostly for females) as there is a midnight market where there are handbags and earrings sold at really cheap prices.
Day 6 – Sunday (Last day in Bangkok)
You can begin your day by packing up and keeping your bags ready. At the most if there is any shopping pending, then heading over to MBK mall, Indra Square mall and even Chatuchak market is cool. Check out times usually is around 12-1pm. So shop and come back by that time. Head over to some good food stall to have the local thai food for one last time before you move to the airport. As usual, you can head over to Ratchaprarop metro station and reach the airport within 30 minutes for 40 THB per person. It is better to reach the airport 3 hours prior to your flight time as the immigration line is usually long. It takes a lot of time.
The itinerary here is a time to time based one. You don’t need to do these in order nor do you have to do all the activities mentioned. I’ve made this so you can benefit and plan as per this. Not wasting time will always be a plus point. Hope this helps.
For checking our my previous posts from this series;
After my stay in Bangkok, we bid adieu to Pratunam on the third day and left for Pattaya.
How did we do that?
Transit from Bangkok to Pattaya:
Firstly, you can catch a flight to Pattaya which should cost you a minimum of 4000 THB for a journey that could last anything between 4.5-10 hours as there is a stopover included.
Secondly you could go by road which should cost you anything between 1200-1700 THB for a 2-2.5 hour journey depending on the traffic you get. The earlier you start, the better. Cabs are always ready for this and I insist you bargain as much as possible for this as the driver will quote nothing less than 2500-3000 THB on the first attempt.
Lastly you can go via a semi luxury air conditioned bus. This shall cost you 108 THB per ticket and will take you a maximum of 2.5-3 hours to get to Pattaya bus station. From Pratunam it takes a 2 km cab ride to get to Ekamai bus station. From Ekamai there are buses that leave for Pattaya every 30 minutes. The only thing you need to note is that for every person 1 big bag is allotted. If you have more than 1 big trolley/suitcase you have to pay 20 THB per bag. We went via the bus and the ride was really good.
Stay in Pattaya:
We were up at the Seashore Pattaya resort. They are located exactly opposite the world famous Alcazar show. The resort and its rooms were very decent. They have a swimming pool enough to accommodate over 30 people at once with a kiddie pool at one end. There’s a banquet hall where the food is served all day for those who have paid for it. There’s also an in house massage parlour and a store for the men and women to buy clothes both formal and casual. The beach is a 5-7 minute walk away from here. Overall, we paid a total of 4200 THB for 3 nights with breakfast for 3 people.
P.S – Like Bangkok, here too you only get the room tariff and food is not included. That happens for most of the places. For breakfast, you need to include it as an add on while making the payment.
Things to do in Pattaya:
I shall be listing down the things that we did in Pattaya.
Alcazar Show/ Tiffany’s Ladyboy Cabaret Show. There are 2 shows which are very famous in Pattaya; Alcazar and Tiffany’s. Hundreds of talented performers will be found here. They will be dressed in some amazing costumes and will entertain you with dance and comedy. It’s truly worth spending a couple of hours for these shows. The shows begin post 4pm onward and there are not more than 5 shows a day. It’s best to book your tickets in advance as with different tours arriving each and every day, the theater is always packed. Tickets range from 600 THB to 1500 THB per person.
Art in Paradise:
Truly I say to you, this is the mother of all surprises on our trip. The art gallery has over 10 different themes including over a 100 3-D art works on display. You can pose with funny expressions and be part of the pictures. This does bring back childhood memories when we would be ourselves and not care a damn. That’s the attitude you should carry for this place. Bring out the child in you. I have over 500 pictures in total of me and my parents posing for almost every picture. The ticket costs 500 THB per person and I assure you that you will take more than 2.5 hours inside for sure.
The underwater world has a lot of variety of marine animals which would total over at least 2000 different animals. For those who have never been to any underwater aquarium, this would be a different experience. A ticket will cost you 500 THB if you book directly. My suggestion would be to check the different tour offices which are present in Pattaya on every street. We took the offer of 460 THB per person where we not only got the entry ticket but also got the pick and drop from our hotel.
Firstly, if any of the above don’t interest you, it’s not a problem. But please do go to the beach. Catch the morning sunrise and also be there from 4.30pm onward. The color of the sea along with the sunset is worth every penny.
Secondly, the coral island tour is also something that you must not miss. There are different package deals with the most basic one being the Koh – Larn and Koh Sak Island tour with lunch (9am to 4pm). Here, the vehicle picks you up from the hotel, gets you to the starting point of the speed boat. The speed boat takes you to both the islands mentioned where lunch is served on Koh-Larn and post that you get an hour at the other island Koh-Sak. The water is blue and clean and we had a joyous time swimming.
The packages start from anywhere between 600-800 THB for this. Any water-sports like Parasailing + Snorkeling + Banana boat ride + Sea walking and jetski are available. If you want all of them, the costs can go upto 2500 THB. For few adventure sports, the costs shall vary. If you are in a bigger group like 5 and above, bargaining goes well. If less than 3, then getting a good rate gets tough.
These are the attractions we visited. However we did also want to try out a few more options like; The Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya View Point, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Big Buddha and many more. Visit this link for checking more such activies – Top 12 things to do in Pattaya
Pattaya is more for relaxation. For us Mumbaikars in simple definition, Bangkok is Mumbai and Pattaya is Goa. There are beaches, sea food, adventure sports, old structures and many more attractions to witness. My only advice to you would be to do all your shopping in Bangkok and not in Pattaya as it is on the costlier side. Overall, my stay here was very relaxing and I liked every moment.
Here are the links to my previous posts in this series:
In the previous post I shared details regarding the transport options you can use within the city with the standard rates. Now I shall be sharing the next set of details based on the places to roam and stay.
In my short stay I was up for 2.5 days in Pratunam (Bangkok).
I used a lot of websites for my research and tried to use many permutations and combinations so that we could get to a lot of places and not wasting our travel time. Also, since I was going for this trip with my parents, I needed to get a really good place to minimize them getting tired very quickly. My choice fell onto the area of Pratunam. It’s kind of in the center of the city and if it helps, there are many shopping avenues which fall right besides the area I stayed in.
Stay in Pratunam:
I chose the Metro Pratunam Boutique Hotel for our stay. (Click for Map). This place has very decent rooms, staff that are really very helpful (they helped me with travel prices so I could bargain the right amount) and a concept of shared bathrooms.
A shared bathroom is where every room on the floor uses the same bathroom. At any given time 2 people can use the shower and 2 can use the washroom. Of course, the bathrooms are differentiated for men and women. I did think it was something that was unusual but quite honestly, it does not make a difference. My parents were hesitant at first but at the end of our stay they said that this was not much of a hindrance. Maybe if that’s not your cup of tea, then you don’t have to worry. They do have rooms with private bathrooms.
P.S – Men, Do not be surprised if in the washroom you find a lady cleaning the place. I saw that more than twice and I got to know that here the ladies also clean up the men’s restrooms. They just do their job. Of course I felt odd for the first time (more like a blank face) but kind of understood later.
The usual rates mentioned there are 500-600 THB per bed. The standard rooms are 4 bunk beds. There’s no breakfast included so if you need it, book it and add the breakfast option (charges extra).
Since I used the Agoda App, I got a lot of discounts and ended up paying roughly 4300 THB for 3 nights and 3 persons (including breakfast worth 150 THB per day).
Pros of living in Pratunam:
Firstly, living in Pratunam gives you access to a lot of shopping places nearby within 2 kms. As per my fitness band we at least walked 10 kms per day. My parents would be pretty tired by the end of the day but it was worth it.
The neon market is a 3 minute walk away from the hotel. There are at least over a 100 stalls here that sell clothes, jewellery, shoes, shawls and a lot of food. They also have 4 restaurants with an open space where bands perform so people can enjoy some good music while sipping on their beer. The food stalls are diversified with fruit vendors, ice creams, meat and finally dedicated fish food stalls. The market is open from 6pm-12am. Shops start setting up from 5pm onward.
Stalls outside Palladium mall:
There’s a mall which is a 2 minute walk away from the Neon market. So from the hotel this would take you roughly 5-7 minutes to be here. There are many stalls which sell clothes mostly for a cheaper rate than what you can get within any mall. They also have good options.
Moving ahead after a 5 minute walk is the Pratunam market. Here too there are many stalls that sell a variety of items right from clothes to jewellery to household items and food.
After a 5 minute walk from Palladium mall you can also find Indra Square. That’s a mall with many shops inside selling lot of good stuff for a lesser price. But the main event is right outside with over 200 stalls set up within the area and this too begins post 6pm. However they shut down by 11pm. Mostly, you should get whatever you want in Indra Square.
P.S – They will always quote a higher price when they notice an Indian shopping as we are notorious for bargaining even if it’s a fixed price shopping arena! So take a walk at all the stalls and scan the place for prices. You will always find what you want in many stalls. So scan the prices and then settle for the right price.
Finally, choosing this area gave us a lot of advantage as we could just walk to it and get what we wanted. Clothes are as cheap as from 100-150 THB onward for a tee/shorts (both for girls and guys). There are lots of places to gorge on food of the local thai cuisine too. My best advice to you is to walk and explore. There are a lot of things I discovered and I’m sure you will too.
Transport is always a task when you visit a new place whether it’s a city, state or a country. While it’s also a great joy and the beginning of a new experience, knowing some facts of the place always helps. I agree that in this digital age, we can get all the information online for everything.
Hence I’m also doing my bit for the universe by sharing a few details which I think would be beneficial during their stay in one of the most attractive tourist destinations on Earth i.e. Thailand.
I visited Bangkok and Pattaya last week.
In this post, I shall mention my experiences visiting these places in Bangkok and Pattaya with the transport.
In Bangkok transport, the key will be to travel smart and cheap.
There are many modes of transport right from the local buses, tuk-tuks (their version of the auto-rickshaw), private cabs, meter-based taxis, bike taxis, and Uber.
This is how they range from Cheapest to Costliest for a minimum of 2 kms;
Tuk – Tuk
Meter based taxis
Uber and finally,
The local buses will always be the cheapest for ticket prices as low as 8 THB from Pratunam to MBK Mall.
Bike Taxis are available on almost every crowded street. Here too you need to be cautious as they quote higher prices when they realize you are a tourist. You shouldn’t be paying more than 30-50 THB unless they have a board with pricing fixed.
Also please wear a helmet as being tourists we are easy targets for spot fines which can go up to a total of 1000 THB for one offense.
The BTS Metro line starts right from the Airport and goes on to a stop ahead of Pratunam. There are a total of 7 stops from the airport. To reach Pratunam, you need to get off at the 7th stop I.e. Ratchaprarop. The metro charges are not more than 40 THB per person. It’s smart, effective and the fastest way to reach your destination.
The tuk-tuk is the next cheapest. They should basically charge you anything lesser than 120 THB.
P.S – For a tourist, they play a good game. They’d quote something outrageous like 300 THB. They know you will bargain. You will bring it down to a maximum of 180-200 THB. He will cave into that. You think you saved a lot of money but he still made a lot of money on a smaller distance.
Meter based taxis are a good option as you pay as the meter. The only downfall here is that the minimum fare will begin from 35 THB.
So even if it is a small distance you will have to shell out 35 THB + the fare for an additional 2 km ride.
Uber is a last resort kind of an option when you are begin quoted exorbitant prices from all the above options. You go online and check the cost. If it’s cheaper than all then good for you. If not, then you might have to use your bargaining skills to the optimum to get the correct fare.
Private Cabs are the costliest. They charge a higher amount. The only plus point being they will be dedicated to you only for the day. These cabs are mostly for tour packages and all-day tours and also for transfer from your hotel to either Pattaya / Airport.
My first suggestion is that you take all the information from the receptionist at the hotel you reside in.
They know what are the proper rates and that will definitely help you bargain and use the transport for a proper charge. I did the same. Although for the first evening I did pay more for the tuk-tuk.
For those who would like to go to Pattaya from Bangkok, there is a bus stop which is almost 1.5 km away from Pratunam. It is called as Ekamai bus station. From here Air-conditioned buses ply from Bangkok to Pattaya almost every 30-45 mins. The prices are a meager 100-120 THB per person for a 2-3 hour ride.
I know that once the locals get to know you’re a tourist, then getting the correct pricing is almost like an impossible task. Although I must say I did encounter some good folks who charged me correctly and also helped me with my itinerary.
Pattaya, on the other hand, has 3 overall modes of transport options which I witnessed;
Here, the Tuk-Tuk has a seating capacity for almost 10-12 people. The pricing here is very basic for a tour starting from a minimum of 50 THB. I’m sure the locals are charged lesser but we don’t get that kind of a luxury. For sure you’ll find drivers who will charge you outrageous prices for a small distance but it’s best to keep the information handy by talking to the staff in the hotel you reside in.
I resided right opposite the Alcazar theatre. Here are the places I visited from my place and the costs:
Alcazar to Underwater World – 60 THB
Alcazar to Bus station – 50 THB
Most of the places were walking distance for us hence we didn’t use the transport a lot.
Here too like Bangkok, there are bike taxis and you must ask them upfront regarding the rates. Most of the time they’ll have a board with prices mentioned. Although I did find using the tuk-tuk minibusses more convenient.
There are bikes that can be rented too. I don’t have the exact pricing for this but online it’s mentioned that for a 100-125 cc bike you can get charged anywhere between 150-300 THB per day. Please do carry your license and also wear a helmet or else be ready to pay fines!
There are metered taxis and private cabs too who will help you reach your destination but the pricing would be very high and hence I request you to roam through Pattaya via the tuk-tuk minibusses.
Finally, I hope this post helps those who would be traveling to this amazing country. It’s worth it.
My next post in this series will be on Stay and things to do in Bangkok.