Date: 15th November 2012
Here I go again. My third official trip to Thailand (fourth according to my passport). This time though, I wasn’t going to be alone. Ramesh, a friend I have travelled extensively with, was going to join me this time. But since he is working, he could only take a week off. Whereas I would be in Thailand for nearly two weeks.
I’ve been meaning to return to Thailand ever since my disappointment of 2010, when I first tried to capture the Yi Peng Lanna festival. I was still bitter about missing the big lantern release and vowed I would go back to do it right.
So it was good fortune when I landed a return ticket from Bangalore to Bangkok on Thai Airways for just Rs.14,558 ($266/€204)! How? Well, Cleartrip to the rescue again! I have been keeping a check on prices since January. For the first few months of 2012, the price was around Rs. 25k! Same airline and about the same travel period. Which was quite shocking, considering I paid Rs. 15k and Rs. 16k in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Then in early September, I was served an ad banner from Cleartrip promoting a discount coupon where by I could save some money on international flights.
This time the same Thai Airways flight cost Rs. 16k, a far more reasonable fare. I used the coupon code and got a further Rs.1600 discount. At Rs.14,558, this was the lowest I had ever paid for a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. I immediately told Ramesh and he booked his ticket as well.
Ramesh would only arrive in Bangkok two days after I did, so I decided to spend my first two nights in Pattaya since I had seen enough of Bangkok.
After clearing all the procedures, I went down to the ground floor where you normally avail taxis. There are buses to Pattaya on a frequent basis, and I got a seat booked (฿134) for the 8:45am one. I roamed around the airport to pass time.
The bus set off at around 9am and with the morning sun hitting my face, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was already in Pattaya and it was well past 11am. I got down at an intersection and hired a bike taxi to take me to where I would be staying the next two nights.
Check-in was a breeze. The place looked good in the photos and it ended up being alright in person. The plan was to take a shower, rest for some time, have lunch and then go to the Sanctuary of Truth.
I guess the lack of sleep in the plane and then the air conditioning in the room set my tired body to rest. By the time I got up and out of the room, it was nearing 4pm. I was still sleepy, but I was hungry as hell. I walked around the area and wondered what to eat. I ended up walking to Central Festival mall which was pretty close to where I was staying.
I called it an early night as I wanted to feel completely fresh for tomorrow. I had just one full day to go around Pattaya.
Other posts in this series: