Sunday, December 01, 2013


This one has taken a long time writing, but here it is finally:

A trip was long pending and Thailand seemed a decent enough place to head to. We had 5 days in all and - as we understand now - this is not enough time to see Thailand. Even the little bit that we wanted to see. But no complains. We had a fabulous time.

A couple of friends gave us some great tips about planning the trip, so for a change we had a plan

The plan:

- Give Bangkok and Phuket miss, except for transit
- See as much of Phi Phi and Krabi as possible
- Relax and see more of one place rather than little of many places

Indians do have the "luxury" of a visa on arrival in Bangkok, but we chose to get a visa in advance. It costs slightly more but definitely helps avoid queuing up for a visa in Bangkok and it was quite easy to obtain:
  • Visit the visa site here, fill up the form (make sure you pick the Chennai one if from South India or the Delhi one if from the North), head to the VFS office, and you are done. 
  • You just need to make sure to book hotels and flights in advance. If you are not sure about the hotels, just book some cheaper ones that allow full refund. Get the visa and then cancel the bookings.
  • Make sure you submit the application in time, as the embassy asks for at least 7 days to process the visa. You should get it back in 4-5 days time though.
Our itinerary looked something like this

Day1: Bangalore > Bangkok >Phuket.
Reach Phuket at around noon. Spend the second half doing some local sight seeing.

Day2: Take the early morning boat to Phi Phi Don. 

Day3: Take the afternoon boat from Phi Phi to Krabi

Day4: See more of Krabi

Day5: Leave for Bangkok from Krabi and from there back home.


We had booked into "Deevana Patong", in the patong area. While the hotel is very nice, it is a little distance from the Patong beach, so it is advisable to get a place to stay near the beach if you prefer a taste of Phuket's night-life.
We took the shared mini-bus from the Airport to Patong which cost us 180Baht per head and was much cheaper than hiring a cab. However, be prepared to stop for about 10 minutes mid-journey and listen to a sales pitch about the attractions in and around Patong. 

Phuket has the infamous Bangla road, a crowded Patong beach, a Giant Buddha, a show called Fantasea and some day trips that you can do to some of the nearby islands.

Since we just had an evening we decided to go see the Giant Buddha, which sits atop a hill and affords some good views of Phuket. We hired a 'tuk-tuk' which was a cheaper alternative to hiring a taxi, but took that much more time to climb the hill. The Buddha was still under construction so parts of it were covered, but the view from the top were quite nice.

We visited the Fantasea show in the evening, and this was a mistake. The show/play had no script and was extremely boring. I hate animals being used in shows, and this one had elephants and other animals on stage, that were forced to do some tricks. Waste of time.

Since we did not have that extra day in Phuket, we missed doing the James Bond Island tour that is touted to be a must-see place. We also missed going to Bangla road, but that may not have been such a bad thing.

Phi Phi Don

Phi Phi is a lovely island, about a 2 hour boat ride away from Phuket. We took the morning boat from Phuket to Phi Phi. The day was rainy and it was drizzled through the entire boat ride.

Since we had planned to take the boat to Krabi eventually from Phuket, we bought tickets accordingly. These are flexible tickets and you get them for cheaper if bought together than if you were to buy each trip separately.

Phi-phi don is a tiny island that has no motor vehicles, so if you get a hotel, make sure you get one in walking distance of the main beach (Ton Sai Bay) where the jetty is. The roads are easily navigable by foot and though we stayed at a place in Loh Dalum Bay, the walk was not too bad, as long as it isn't raining.

Phi Phi was awesome, we hired a long-tail boat that took us for a half day trip to the islets around, which included the fantastic Maya bay and the serene Mosquito island. Fortunately the skies had cleared up and we had a great time.

The next day had us scuba diving in what was the beginning of a storm! Both Amruta and I cannot swim, but love the water, so we were happy to dive into the boiling waters under an overcast sky. The experience was fantastic and our instructor was very helpful and patient. I did realise that my ear does not adjust very well to changes in pressure, but it was good fun.

 We went diving via "World Dive Centre". The boat took us to the dive site in the morning, we had two dives, each lasting about an hour with lunch in between. So worth the time and the money.

We ate almost everyday in "Ton Sai Bay Seafood"  restaurant, which had some great sea food options. Internet reviews show this restaurant in a bad light, but the food was amazing so I would highly recommend this place. The food is easily washed down with a couple of pints of the local Singha Beer :)

The two day stay was just perfect in Phi Phi Don and we left for Krabi by boat that very afternoon.


Krabi is a quiet town, great for just lying back and relaxing. We did stayed at the fantastic Mercure Krabi Deevana, located in Ao Nang, the prime beach area in Krabi. The hotel itself is  a little away from the main beach, but it wasn't a hassle.

The four islands trip which lasts a day is a MUST DO. It was fantastic and included a bit of snorkeling near one of the islands.

We spent the evening shopping and eating at the open market, also called the "Krabi Town Market" which is open till midnight on weekends.

The quail eggs, cocktails in a bamboo and the pork skewers were amazing.

The last day was spent in a spa, getting a much deserved Thai massage and we were ready to head back.

Over all Thailand is a fantastic place, with some very friendly people.We definitely plan to go again. There are loads of places to see and things to do. So make sure you plan a trip there if you haven't already!