To the land of beauty

Its been a week since I have come back, hence got no time to write. To add to this, my phone’s dull battery hasn’t allowed me to utilize wordpress on phone.

Phuket

Picking from where we left in the previous post, I roamed around here and there to beat the time in the airport – Don Mueng. Apparently, Don Mueng happens to be one of the better Airports with all newly built facilities. Sleep at this point has become a long lost friend. My flight takes off at the usual time and reaches on time. I take a taxi and off to the hotel to join my friends.

Now Phuket, it seems, has very few roads and to reach Patong, it took me around 1.5 hours. The roads appeared like they are in South India – calm, breezy, green. I reach the hotel and unpack. As I unpack, I discover that my blue shorts are missing. Damn! I left the blue shorts on the bunker above mine, thinking that it is someone else’s. To add to the loss, there were headphones in the shorts. Ahhh! First learning of the trip, always be careful of the number of clothes that you take out of your bag. Noted! I eat something (my friends – Shobhit and Nishant had saved some food from the morning buffet. Saviours!). Let the bygones be, time to explore Phuket.

In Phuket, if you want to travel around, the best mode of transport is motorbikes and scooters (just like they are in Goa, India). So we book 2 scooters. Now I am not a pro at riding the scooters so I take the role of the guide. We devise a plan to cover South of Phuket with all the beaches and viewpoints. Google Maps to our rescue and we vroom through the uneven roads and bylanes of Phuket to Karon Beach. The feeling of blue water and sands is scenic. The sun is just above us and the heat is little concerning. However, Phuket’s weather changes every second. The beach is overwhelming. We stroll along the beach and realise that our next stop would not have many food options. So we stuff ourselves from the nearby ┬ámarket.

We head towards the Big Buddha Temple, which is on a hill. Now the road to this place is complete uphill. The roads leading to this place had so many scenic places with lush green farms, hills, huts, stray animals, gentle people. Time was at our hand so we utilized it exploring the place steadily, stopping wherever we thought. The breeze and clouds in this part added to the fun of riding a scooter. Once we reach there, the statue of Buddha is phenomenal. The place had a pious aura with Buddhist hyms being played on mics. As we entered the premises, we saw a woman rubbing a big plate and it played huge vibrating sound. This was a thai gong. We sat down tried our hand. This was good fun although one of my friends was not able to get sound out of this gong. We visited the temple. Clicked a beautiful time lapse and came down.

The journey’s next stop was Promthep Viewpoint near Kata Beach. This place was famous for sunset. We took a coconut water break at the Kata Beach and then parked the scooters at Promthep Viewpoint. Now the view from anywhere here was already mesmerizing. We decided to trek down the Viewpoint hill to the end of the land. I was exhausted much but the view kept me going. After half an hour of jumping down the rocks we came to the end. The wind was hitting every part of the body, the sun was simmering down and the ocean roaring its waves. We sat there watching the sun go into the sea. Surreal!

We headed back to our hotel. Had a good dinner and left for thai massage which rejuvenated our broken muscles. The massages are funny because usually you don’t allow people to touch you at places which are restricted ­čÖé However, the ladies were professional and did a good job loosening every knots in the muscles.

A new dawn, a new place, a new plan. It was our island tour today. The taxi taking us to the tour’s ferry place got late, by an HOUR! This was frustrating as we got ready fairly timely. Once we reached the ferry, the fun just started. Nishant had brought his bluetooth speakers and that started our boat party. Luckily we had a good company from our Russian friends Inoor and Margharieta, who sport enough to waltz to our desi tunes. The dance, ocean, islands were all going amazing. We stopped at a beach and then headed off for caves. The caves in Thailand are like an artist’s creation. We were in our kayaks driven by a professional (called chacha by us). Chacha gave us the oars and we took the kayaks for a round. Next we had our personal kayaks which we glided through one of the islands. Learning to sail a kayak was an adventurous experience. Next we headed to another set of caves where we sang throughout. Our songs filled the place with an energy liked and appreciated by everyone around. And then we came back to our hotels.

After a good night’s sleep it was time to say good by to Phuket which treated us with good care. Krabi was our next stop though a ferry.

 

P.S – When you loose your first item it is always painful. However I did not let it ruin my mood.

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Bangkok – Tired + High spirits is a deadly combo

I have been traveling now for a week. Mainly to – Bangkok -> Phuket -> Krabi till now. I’ll pick each place and give you my travel diary. Hope you enjoy it.

Bangkok

It started off bad with only 2 hours of sleep in 24 hours. I was a bit exhausted. My purpose to halt in bangkok was to shop till I drop. So being a smart-ass, I booked a taxi from outside the airport ( I read somewhere on internet that it is cheaper outside). Luckily I got one too. Now to cheers to my naivety, the driver spoke only Siamese/Thai (official language of thailand). Thankfully there was google translate to save me. And you won’t believe, we talked throughout the way about each others lives using the translator. I felt like winning a battle that I never intended to start. The next big challenge was, I booked a hostel for the first time while I was traveling alone. Living in a hostel is one of a kind experience. Although my stay in Bangkok was only one day long, I met a few people. And then headed off for shopping.

Bangkok has some of the biggest shopping hubs in Siam. I was short on time so the game got tricky. I had to choose from a range of super expensive to cheapster malls. I chose MBK mall. This mall has everything that you can think of. From a flea market to high end brands. I started from the flea market. It was a maze for me. I started from somewhere and ended somewhere new. At times it was fun however I would have wanted more control on which market I was headed to. After 4 hours of grilling and few gifts being bought, I was off to Nana plaza – The red light zone of Bangkok. I had my belly full with a exquisite greek sandwich and ice tea and was fully charged up now for some window shopping. Now these streets are a little intimidating. People (if you know what sort) drag you like anything. But I had my intentions clear. The place was bustling at 10PM. I was shit scared intially to roam around in a city, like bangkok, in a shady place, with no experience. Yet I pulled it off. At 12 midnight I came back to my hostel. Luckily my hostel had few people in the room and I had the liberty to pack my bags for flight which was scheduled to take off 7 hours later. Although it is always a good way to travel at night and watch the city in afternoon and evening. Sometimes it gets hectic. You need to space it even taking account of the unfortunate happenings that are inevitable. So I started packing my bags with the heaviest clothes on me ( I was in no mode going overboard with the luggage as I had already paid shitloads on that). And slept around 12:30. Got up at 3:15 (Yeah you read it right) prepared my self by 3:45 and booked the taxi. Reached the airport in 20 minutes which is unusual for bangkok where there were traffic jams almost round the clock. Smooth! Off to next place phuket.

P.S – I left my headphones in my shorts, which was in my checked in bag and there were like 3 hours to kill. Bah!

When you think you will rock this ship

Comtinued from previous post…
People who are reading, firstly thanks guys for taking your time. So my plan was on the clouds and I was beaming with confidence. Kolkata received this guy with a crooked grim. I think if kolkata were a person, it would have been a butcher. Just as the butcher feeds the sheep, cares for it and then “THAK” butchers it, kolkata had its deceptions clear.

A fairly straightforward airport. Now mind you, I have flown from an international airport only once. So I am super concious. Surprisingly cleared the immigration like a boss ( after a few interesting looks from the bong immigration oficer ). Easy peasy. Now I look out for the international lounge. I had a great deal for the lounge. In seconds i find myself inside the lounge. There is food, beer, beverages and what not. Nothibg can go wrong.

At 12:30 in night I started stuffing my belly. Its 1.30 now and I find myself eating. I check the airport updates and I find my flight to start boarding. I rush to the gates and am almost the last guy.

Here comes the “THAK”. The tyre of flight has some issues. And we are being locked inside a chamber with 80-100 odd bongs. With no disregard to the community, I believe bongs are natural fighters with sunny deols in their throats. In 15 minutes the chaos has reached into bashing a glass door, fights with the security. I thought why are these people fighting. What ia more important safety or time. I understand everyone has plans but screaming won’t help.

However, our flight guys had other plans. They knew I loved getting my passport painted so they cancelled our immigration. Took us back to square one and got us to oard the flight. Its 4 am now. Interestingly the night is taking a new turn every hour. I am laughing in my head because I know tomorrow (or should i say today) is going to be another crazy day.

This day last year

Last year this day i was all yellow. Yes, you read it right. Down with jaundice. I think i never had any dangerous diseases apart from the usual common colds. To cope up with the struggles of life and this disease, was one challenge, i will always remember. It taught me who the real dear ones are. This year today I am traveling to Thailand (please start judging me) and Singapore (you might have ignored this place while reading). I take stride to come up strong off the disease and celebrate the fact that I am hale and hearty today.
The trip started with my nervousness taking my last day’s sleep. I know traveling should be fun. But I consider this to be a big investment which will bring a lot of learning for sure. Thanks to my lovely cab drive to office, I could sleep well. Cut to reaching the airport. Somehow airports give me a boost. Whenever I reach an airport, the business traveller in me becomes active. I am smooth as hell. I do the formalities and wander to discover the beautiful IGI airport in delhi which was clad to celebrate independence day. I was checking out on almost every thing – outlets, lounges, food courts, women, uncles everyone. I had enough time to soak in the aura of this interesting place – airport. I talked with my friend, making plans for Singapore. Completely in control. And I feel its time to move to the gates.
As I move to the escalators I see an Indian celebrity Kailesh kher. Now I am sure he is Kailash kher but I move past saying him name on his face – “Abe kailash kher” (I know. Dumbass) Now something in me said put your ego aside and run for a quick snap with him. So I did. Running towards him, asking him for a quick snap just when he was about to reach the downstairs escalators. Nobody had seen him yet. And my grumpy old camera freezes. Bah! But somehow I manage a quick one greeting him. He is such a gentleman. What an amazing start. I am beaming with pride having met someone on my first international trip. 
With this goodness in my head, I head towards Kolkata where my next flight awaits. I write to you from the plane watching at the sky and clouds below me. Truly feeling above the clouds.
P.S – I thought the metro is the only place where people fart. Thanks Jet Airways.