Happy New Year!

Hope you all are doing fantastic. I’ve been travelling lately and I have just recently returned to India from a lovely vacation with my mother to Thailand.

It was a much deserved vacation for both of us after a hectic 2019. I am so glad we took the decision to travel to Thailand and explore South-east Asia for the first time. Thailand has been on my wishlist for 2019! Check my blog post – Countries To Visit In 2019 – Visa Free Entry or Visa On Arrival for Indian Passport Holders to know more. Especially when one hears so much about how Thailand is affordable, 4-5 days are enough to visit the country, the mecca of shopping and what not.

Through our trip we actually got to explore the real Thai culture and the beauty of Thailand on a budget. The trip was planned by me from scratch. I will be sharing all the details with you through the series called “Unconventional Thailand“. I will be breaking various myths, share tips and all you could need to plan a trip to Thailand.

Before I go ahead, I must admit that whilst I was doing my research for this trip I could hardly find any good blogs or posts talking about travel from India to Thailand. All very generic and touristy. Hence, my endeavour is to share an all exhaustive tea you could possibly need to plan a budget trip of your dreams!

[su_note] Disclaimers: This trip is self-funded. Suitable for children and senior citizens too. Lot’s of travelling, adventure and relaxation filled schedule of 15 days. [/su_note]

15 days Traveller’s Itinerary To Thailand

Tourist Visa: 15 days – Visa on Arrival

Our Visa process was rather smooth I’d say. Didn’t need an agent or anything. Indian passport holders require the following documents to avail the Visa on Arrival service: 

•    Airline Boarding Pass

•    A passport that is valid for at least 6 months following your departure date with at least 2 remaining unused pages for any necessary entry and exit stamps that may be issued

•    A completed visa application form available at Immigration checkpoints in Thailand

•    One recent photograph of 4 x 6 centimetres headshot not older than 6 months 

•    A confirmed airline ticket showing the departure from Thailand within 15 days of the date of entry. Land exit from Thailand will disqualify you for Visa on Arrival.

•    A completed Arrival-Departure card, which the airline staff will distribute before landing in Thailand

•    The travellers will need to carry 20,000 TBH or 500 USD in cash per person as a proof of means of living in Thailand.

•    Visa on Arrival application fee of 2,000 Baht*

*We were exempted from paying the visa fees are Thailand had an ongoing visa exemption scheme/policy for few nations and India was a part of that list. So we got lucky!

Caution: However, when we got to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok it almost took us an hour and a half to get done with our immigration and visa-on-arrival process. It’s time consuming, so be ware of keeping sometime in between your connecting flight from Bangkok to elsewhere. We had kept 2-3 hours gap before catching out flight to Chiang Rai from the same airport. Had we not kept this gap, we would have missed our flight without a doubt.

Travel to and fro: Mumbai, India to Thailand

Most of the flight bookings I’ve done online. Wherever I found cheap deals, I went for them. Therefore, there is no particular website I can guide you to. Just keep your ticket bookings on alert and the moment you get an alert the price has dropped, go for it. Book it.

Month of travel: December – January

Thailand, believe it or not was hotter than Mumbai during our entire trip. The nights were cool, but days were hot. A good 32 Degree Celcious was a constant on any regular day, regardless of the city you are in. So I’d say this time of the year is almost like summer there? No rains. That’s for sure. We didn’t get any rains through out our trip.

Good time to get tanned though 😉

Destination: Thailand – Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Krabi (Railay beach, Koh Hong, Koh Phi Phi etc) and Bangkok

Quite the unusual choice of places right? I know. It was a conscious decision on my part actually. The day we decided that we are going to Thailand for Christmas and New Years, there’s no way I am going to go for those stereo-typical-touristy-over-crowded places. No. There is no 4 day trip to Bangkok and Pattaya happening here. I’m sure Thailand has much more to offer and this is the trip I came up with.

If you notice, we’ve gone all the way from North of Thailand to South and then finally ending at the Centre of Thailand – Bangkok. We went from mountain valleys to emerald ocean to dynamic city. A bit of everything – traditional and modern.

Duration of the trip: 15 days

Give the locations and the length of our visa, we only felt it right to spread our trip through out the duration of our tourist visa. This was the first time we visited Thailand and we wanted to make the most of it.

We visited 4 cities in 15 days very comfortably, without any glitches.

No. of excursions: Eight/8 spread across the trip

Well, well, well! These eight excursions gave us beautiful memories for life. What do I say! I will talk about them in detail. However, I did all my booking through www.klook.com . No scam website, I had no difficultly in booking and they are very popular in Thailand. Great co-ordination and contact from any country. Very very helpful. Their iPhone App is fantastic. Very easy to find your bookings and barcode you need for your trips. I am glad I found it!

Accommodation type: Hostels and Guest House

As we were on a budget trip, I did not want to spend a fortune on accommodation. We either had activities lined up or on days off we were planning to go shopping/massage. So it only made sense to allot a smaller budget for good accommodation. Mind you, we did not compromise on any of our accommodation. My mom was on this girls trip with me, there was no way I’d stay in a less than comfortable and clean accommodation.

I mainly used www.hostelworld.com for my bookings. There is another website called www.booking.com too which comes in handy. But, I already had an account with Hostel World and some refund was pending in my account with them from one of my previous trips which is why I did all our accommodation booking through them. An absolute winner when it comes to accommodation according to me. Their app is very easy to use too. Again, very handy and responsive team.

Travel: 5 flights and 1 bus transfer

The flight tickets were booked from multiple websites, however the one bus transfer we had from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai was through www.12togo.asia . This is a local Thai website. They do booking for all sorts of things. It was pretty easy to do the booking. Nothing complicated at all.

Cost: Rs.1,40,000 per person ie. 59,385.31 Thai Baht (rough estimate) inclusive of flights, travel, accommodation and activities
Cost exclusions: Food, airport pickup-drop, shopping, excess luggage and others

This is pretty much it, when it comes to the skeleton of the trip bookings. In the following posts, I will share more details with each destination, crazy events and more. I hope you enjoy!