A heavenly abode, Thailand: Eat, shop, dance and pray

Cindrella Daryani stopped over in Thailand and filed this report.

If you are thinking about a low-cost international getaway for your family this summer vacation, you can plan a hideaway in Thailand, also known as the ‘City of Angels’ in Asia.

Thailand certainly is a paradise for honeymoon couples, bachelors and adults, and if you are sceptical that it is not a place for kids; think again.

Thailand is a true holiday hot-spot for any age. This exotic and tropical destination is not only filled with the sun-kissed sandy beaches and mesmerising islands, it also has a number of national parks, safari parks, historic museums, ancient monasteries, spectacular Buddha temples and much more to explore within the country.

Lakhs of tourists are attracted to this exotic land throughout the year majorly from Russia, China and India.

Pattaya, KohSamui, Krabi and Phuket are the most popular islands of Thailand, where you can engross yourself in the water reclining on quaint sandy beaches, can explore island tours and get involved with several water sports and related adventures.

Make your stay memorable:

If you have deep pockets and you are planning to travel to the exotic islands on the edge of Thailand then try to stay in upscale beach resorts. Several incredibly scenic resorts provide top-rated amenities to their guests. Moreover, many resorts also entertain your kids with their facilities like a mini water park, gaming and fun-loving activities in their exclusive kids’ zone. At Bangkok, the capital, one can easily get an economical as well as a plush hotels, at the islands, you are spoilt for choice.

Vibrant nightlife:

Thailand is popular for its nightlife, whether at its capital city or any island; the party never ends, though you must have your wits about you at all times. A perfect drink of your choice awaits you at rooftop bars or go-go bars with live music and pole dancers in attendance.

Beware of hanky-panky:

Not everything is hunky dory though and you should be aware of the down side.

The escort business is legal in Thailand, however it does not mean that it is safe for those who want to experience these sensations for the first time. A visitor can get easily trapped by the locals - they cannot be ripped off easily. Secondly, the business is operated by well organized gangs and areell trained in Muay Thai martial arts.

Lip-smacking food:

Food is the primary concern while you travel. Thailand is popular for its authentic Thai cuisine. If you are non-vegetarian you will definitely relish the local seafood. While for vegetarians, one can find many Indian restaurants in Thailand that serve north, south and Jain cuisine.

Shopping at Chatuchak and Indira market:

Thailand is famous among Indian tourists not just for its nightlife. Shopping in Thailand is cost effective and attractive. Among the many markets the two renowned are Indira square and Chatuchak, located in Bangkok that Indians must add into their itinerary. Indira Square, has developed as a landmark for Indian travellers. Here, most vendors are Indian as also the customers.

The benefit of visiting this market is that Indian shop owners speak good Hindi and give good discount to Indian buyers. In this market shoes, accessories and bags can be bought cheaper than at Chatuchak market. Moreover, many Indian restaurants are also located in the vicinity of Indira market and they accept Indian currency as well.

The Chatuchak weekend market is known to be one of the largest and cheapest markets across Asia. Think of any product and you will get it here. More than 10,000 shops provide a wide range of products from clothing, accessories, hand-made Thai products and souvenirs, artifacts, home décor, pets, plants, spices and vegetables, etc. It is a dreamland for shopaholics.

Shopping tips:

Remain vigilant- eyes on your money, pockets and bag backs and beware of pick-pockets in these local shopping markets.
Bargaining with the Thai women vendors could be a task. Be polite with them to get the best deal for your product. If you don’t get a product at concessional rate move on to another stall and you may get it.

Why does the behaviour of Indians’ irk the Thais?

Lack of manners, propriety and etiquette are some of the reasons. “When Indian bachelors visit here, they think they are free birds and can behave, however, they wish. Single youngsters especially boys talk indecently and forget their Indian virtues while they visit Thailand. Here, any random girl is not into the escort business and bachelors should respect them,” says a restaurant manager in Pattaya, Thailand told this traveller, on condition of anonymity.

The demonetisation and GST effect

Demonetisation and GST jammed a brake on tourists visiting abroad including Thailand. However with the required currency back in circulation, people are again beginning to visit abroad.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a popular restaurant’s executive in Pattaya, Thailand told me that they use to cater to nearly 800-1000 Indian travellers a day before the demonetisation and GST. “From the mid of 2017, I see some increment in our business, now we cater almost the half number of day-trippers on weekends and we hope the number of tourists will augment in the coming years”, he said.

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