My First Trip to Thailand – Contiki #FindYourPeople

I’ve been exploring India from over 3 years but this time, I got a chance to step out and explore our neighbouring country, Thailand. And who presented this opportunity? – Contiki!!

I couldn’t say no to the tempting offer of exploring a part of another nation for 4-long-days! The cherry on top was the fact that it was to be a FAM trip involving 15 bloggers from different niche.

It all gave me a rollercoaster of emotions – excitement, for it was to be my first International trip independently; nervousness, for I’ve never travelled with so many known faces before; curiosity, to unearth the experience of a luxury trip! So. many. things!!

Good thing is, it all rolled out smooth and I had a mad time with Contiki for #NorthernThaiHighlights! Want to know all about it? Read on!!

Necessary Selfie before I head back to India

Begin The Thai Adventure!

I can’t put into words the adrenaline I felt before boarding the flight. From the hassle of dragging a trolley bag to leaving home at 11 pm for a 3 am flight, to worry about meeting new people… My mind worked like a chaotic mess until I got on the plane.

After that, it felt like everything has fallen into place. It’s where it belongs to be. I was more confident and really eager to intake the bird-eye view of Bangkok.

Visa Requirements for Thailand (Indians)

If you plan to venture on such a trip, remember to check the visa requirements. Because my stay was being managed by Contiki, I didn’t have to worry about the bookings. But usually, to get the visa-on-arrival you have to show –

  • Bookings of a hotel for the number of days you are in Thailand.
  • At least 10k Thai Bhat (currency) per person or credit card or 3-month’s bank statement.
  • Passport

After collecting the Visa, we were free to roam in the streets of Bangkok. I utilized that time in getting a good Thai massage and window shopping. 🙈

During dinner in the hotel, Contiki representative Aaron gave us a brief about all the places we’ll be exploring in the days to come. All those places listed below with my experience described. 🙂

Grand Palace, Bangkok

Grand Palace, Bangkok

Waking up in Thailand was followed by getting ready for the day-out with Contiki. And our first stop was The Grand Palace.

It is probably one of the most crowded tourist spots in Thailand. Reason being; its grandeur, architecture, historical importance, art and culture.

The palace is a complex of buildings surrounded by four walls. It’s been the official residence of the kings since the late 16th century.

Currently, it is partially open for the public as a museum but remains a working place with several royal offices situated inside!

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Keep In Mind –

  • To reach as early as possible to avoid baking in the sun amongst hundreds of tourists.
  • To take a ferry ride on Chao Phraya River and not the road. It will save you from mad traffic on the streets of Bangkok plus you can get close to the beautiful Chao Phraya River.
  • To wear clothes that cover your shoulders and reach below your knees. Avoid wearing transparent dresses or distressed denim to enter the palace without any hassle. Respect their customs.
  • To reach before the closing time, i.e. 4:30 pm. The palace is open 7 days a week.

River Kwai Jungle Rafts, Kanchanaburi

The River Kwai Jungle Rafts

Our next stop was an eco-friendly habitat by the Kwai River in Kanchanaburi. And it’s one commercial place I’ve been to that produces no carbon footprints!

We drove from Bangkok to Thao Sao for 4 hours and took a boat ride of 20 minutes to reach the River Kwai Jungle Rafts. A unique experience of slow life with no screens and electricity by the River Kwai.

Apart from the taste of this marvellous way of living, the cherry on top was witnessing the play of colours in the sky due to sunset. After a few hours of wandering in those quarters, we had our dinner followed by Mon Dance performance by the kids of Kanchanaburi.

Erawan Waterfalls

Leaving the Jungle Rafts, we made our way to Erawan Waterfalls which took some 3 hours of bus journey. Then, it takes a few minutes of walk to reach in the interiors of the National Park and get lost in the wilderness.

The park has waterfalls in 7 tiers but Erawan is a major attraction which is accessible through various trails and footbridges. If you are going there in a group, stick together to avoid wastage of time in finding one another.

When we reached the waterfall no 3, all the tiredness from my body just vanished. I slipped under the waterfall and what replenishment it provided! That feeling just can’t be put into words! You’ll have to go and live that moment yourself.

Ayyuthayya – Cycle tour across the ancient town

Contiki had planned to give us a mix of history, nature, culture – basically all the flavours of Thailand in 7 days. And so our next stop turned out to be the ancient town, Ayyuthayya.

This archaeological site is on an island between 3 rivers, about 80 km from Bangkok. The complex has palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. It is one of the most beautiful historical structure I visited in Thailand.

Because we were asked to cover legs to enter this Ancient Site in Ayyuthayya, and I could only find my dry towel to do so lol. #fashionhacks

But what I liked more than anything was cycling for about an hours in that quaint town. I was so happy with it that I actually could have cycled all the way to Bangkok if allowed!

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If you visit this mystic town, do take the cycling tour! It’d be one of the best parts of your trips if you are an absolute nature and history lover.

Chiang Mai

Our days in the land of Thai were inching closer to an end. So before we bid adieu to this beautiful country, Contiki took us to Chiang Mai via a local train!

Instantly I started comparing the conditions of Indian railways to that of Thailand. The similarity was that our train was running 40mins behind schedule.

Differences were plenty! The train there was digitized with neat and hygienic compartments. We weren’t in any First AC coach; the whole train had such comfy & cosy beds and was spotlessly clean.

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So after an overnight journey, we woke up in Chiang Mai.

Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai

at the Elephant Nature Park

There’s plenty to be done in this city situated in mountainous northern Thailand. We began with exploring the Elephant Nature Park first.

A quick bus ride led us to the venue and oh! These 🐘 colossal beings are so adorable; how do I even explain!!

The park is a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants, spread for over 8 km. Here, you find elephants as old as 70 years and young ones if they’re hurt or left unattended. The place also has some birds and domestic animals, but the attraction are elephants.

The setup is such that you can not only feed but go close to these beings and touch them! I watched them play in the mud for at least 30 minutes.

My friendship with the guide of the park and these cute-hearts grew so much that I am actually planning to go there next year and volunteer for a month or something.

If you happen to visit Chiang Mia, do remember to kindle a friendship with these powerhouses of love and care-free behaviour.

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Coming back to my experience, we headed to our hotel to have a night to remember.

For the last night, we witnessed the most unique experience – the LadyBoy Show. It is a Carbet show where transgenders perform and that was to be our farewell party.

What a fabulous show they pulled and what fun I had! The trip was a thousand times better than what I had anticipated. And guess what? I Found My People. 👯

For visual experience, click here.

You can book your next trip with Contiki and avail US$100 discount using my Unique promo code – PRAKRITI100

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