4 days of Thai bus tour
Our group of 30 (with people 5 to 85 years old) travelled to Pattaya and Bangkok for a long weekend!
Day 4 – Bangkok Temples and Grand Palace
SS Tip: Head to ‘Sanctuary of Truth’ on Day 2 instead of shopping …
Click on links for detailed day wise itineraries…
- Private Bus: As we were a big group, we had a private bus booked for the tour. It was super convenient with no hassles about lugging suitcases between hotels and airports
- Public Bus: On our way from Grand Palace to Baiyoke Sky in Bangkok we took the local bus. It was an air-conditioned bus with conductor who came to each seat to sell the tickets. We just showed the address on google maps to buy our ticket.
- SS Tip: Just walk to places if they are close-by – traffic can be really bad and you will just waste time if you are taking cab or bus
- We stayed for 2 nights at Amari Pattaya which is very close to the beach and other tourist attractions in Pattaya. The room was clean and decent but they don’t have any elevators in the “garden” wing (3 floor structures). They have 2 large pools and decent grounds to laze around. Lots of parking space if you have your own vehicle. WiFi was free and buffet breakfast has a good spread. While they have spa in-house, it seemed quite expensive compared to rates advertised in main market.
Holiday Inn Silom
- We stayed for 1 night in this Bangkok property. The rooms were modern, spacious and had good views of the city skyline. They had 1 swimming pool and restaurants on reception level. Free WiFi and decent buffet breakfast. They also have a complimentary Tuk Tuk shuttle to train and bus station nearby.
- Visa: While there is visa on arrival facility it requires you to queue in separate line prior to immigration. We got the visa done before hand and breezed through immigration.
- Phone: Once you are out from customs zone, you will find multiple counters with mobile sim options – starting from 200 THB for 3 days / 299 THB plan for 7 days and so on. This includes Internet and phone credit for making local and international calls. Very cheap so don’t waste money on international roaming plans.
- WiFi: Hotels have good WiFi too and we dint really need the net much during travel (except for checking office mails and social media website).
- Shopping: While branded goods were broadly priced same as what you may get back home, there are lot of good Thai brands which are quite reasonbaly priced. There is a lot of street shopping at floating market, night market, Indra square with some really good stuff at very low prices.
- 7-Eleven: Airport has few food counters including a 7-Eleven so you can stock up on items you forgot and munchies for the road before you head out of airport. There are a lot of convenience stores like Family Marts and 7-Eleven on nearly every street in Pattaya and Bangkok.
- Food: No dearth of food options including vegetarian/indian restuarants
While we normally don’t do group tours, this was the first time I travelled with set of families on an international trip ! It’s a very different experience compared to when you are traveling solo/ couple…
- Pros: Everything is taken care of right from travel, hotels, restaurants, tickets, etc. Its all paid for and there are no surprises. SS Tip: Have a shopping budget decided upfront when you travel to places like Thailand!
- Cons: Itinerary (including wake up time) is sort of ‘set’. SS Tip: Steal some time by skipping something or use ‘rest time’ in between to explore something on your own
But most important aspect of group tours is you get to meet new people and spend time with your loved ones…
You get to bond with people when you are out of your typical routine life. New experiences help you make new memories worth cherishing …
For Next time…
Plan to go back to Thailand but will just head to a new place like Krabi or Koh Samui for relaxing vacation on the beach!