My name is Rohit Jain, I work as a Business Analyst in an MNC. Interestingly I have been given the nickname ‘Working Roamers’ by my colleagues as I travel frequently to many places and I am their go-to person to get their travel queries sorted out. I am a budget traveller, who loves to explore places and hidden gems not only in India but even abroad. I have travelled across 20 states in India and 2 countries. Coming to my travel experience, I got the opportunity to experience a reflection of heaven in Thailand. So what is the perfect itinerary to Thailand? Well here’s my 7 days trip to Thailand in ₹42,000 including flight tickets and itinerary.
My Love For Travel
I think I got an interest in travelling from my family itself. My father who is having master’s in commerce, mother an Arts graduate having masters in Sanskrit, a brother who is a dentist and me whose soul has done engineering, but the mind has done masters from IIM-Rohtak. This diverse family background gave me a lot of travel opportunities, which in turn gave me an opportunity to discover myself and a sense of how to become a better citizen of Mother Earth.
I have travelled to Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Kerala, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Punjab. Apart from travelling to states within India, I have also travelled to the Maldives.
We have all heard about many stories of Thailand, but mostly about its famous bachelors or Bachelorette parties and shopping. I had always an imagination of Thailand which includes charming nights with booze, lighting and dance by the beaches, but the hidden natural sights were beyond my dreams, which I have seen only on my desktop wallpapers. To explore the natural bonanza which includes picturized vast horizon, a pinkish evening during the twilight to the turquoise blue and emerald green waters, I along with my friends decided to visit the south-east Asian country- Thailand.
Planning My Thailand Trip
Since childhood, 90% of people dream to go outside India and travel the world. But by reaching the age of mid-twenty they realize it’s very costly to go abroad if they belong to the middle class or lower-middle-class family But through my personal experience I would like to help you all to travel to Thailand on a budget. I would like to express to you that you can definitely roam in Thailand within budget, and experience the majestic natural trails of Andaman sea and south-east Asia.
My four friends and I decided to visit Thailand in the month of October which is the best time to visit the place. Post monsoon time is a good time for travelling to Thailand as the crowd will be less in comparison to the December holidays season when tourists fill up the whole country. Also, you have a lot of festive holidays in India as well. So we went on a 7 days trip to Thailand from 19th October to 26th October 2018.
I gave a call to Just Dial to get the information of tour and travel agencies. Once I got the details of the respective agencies, I called them to get a high-level quotation of the destination place. We decided not to go with the travel agent as they were charging like fifty thousand per person for the whole trip. This gave me a fair idea, that I need to manage my trip in less than the quoted prices. And from this step, came the actual work- The work of travel analysis.
My Travel Analysis
I analysed my trip to Thailand on the basis of the places to be covered, local transport, budget hotels, things to carry, itinerary, airfares and discounts and offers on experiences. First of all, you need to decide which places you need to explore in Thailand. Either you can go to Bangkok and Pattaya for shopping or you can go to Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga for natural beauty. So, my search started on Google and Instagram for finding various hotels and places to visit. After spending around 2-3 hours on social media and Google, I could chart down the place my friends and I wanted to visit. We wanted to go to the endpoint of South Phuket- Promthep Cape, due to its location and southern facing views, it offered a picturesque view of the Andaman Sea. We wanted to visit Phuket, Watt Chalong, PhiPhi Island, Phan Nga and even pursue adventure activities all in a budget.
We also wanted to utilize our day time well on Friday night as well, hence we booked the flights directly from Mumbai to Phuket via Go Air on Friday night. It’s a daily flight at 1:25 AM so that one can reach Phuket by morning 7:25 AM. And return flight from Phuket to Mumbai on Saturday morning 8:25 AM, so that we will be back in Mumbai at 11:40 AM. In this way, one can take rest on Sunday and join the business or offices on Monday. We booked these flights around 2 months before and it only costs us ₹16,000 rupees. While booking the flight tickets please make sure you apply for the coupon codes well and try HDFC smart buy flight to get the lowest costs. So now that you know how we researched and planned for this Thailand trip, here’s the story and itinerary of my 7 days trip to Thailand in ₹42,000 including flight tickets.
As we have booked a budget flight (₹17,000 for the return trip) and of short duration (four and a half hours) they don’t serve anything for free apart from water. So, do make sure your tummy is full or spend more money on sandwiches (₹200 per piece). Our flight took off at a right time 1:25 AM from Mumbai International T2 terminal.
We slept soon as we wanted to view the sunrise and the morning view of scattered islands in Andaman sea. You can see the sunrise in Thailand territory from your right-side window facing seat. Once the flight reached near Phuket, we could view the Andaman sea having several scattered tiny islands welcoming us by peeking in between the cloud beds. Wow! It was like a painting of God which we always wanted to marvel with our naked eye. By the way, did you know Bangkok In Thailand Is The Most Visited City In The World
After landing and post immigration check and visa on arrival check, the first thing we did was to buy the Thailand mobile SIM in 49TBH (₹125) it remained active for 7 days with 8GB internet pack data and 10TBH local call balance. We took it from one of the counters present near the exit door of the airport. After that instead of taking a halt in Phuket, we directly departed to Phi Phi Islands.
You must catch the ferry from Rassada Pier. Again, check from one of the counters at the airport itself for a better price (here you can book the taxi to reach Rassada Pier and ferry for Phi Phi islands along with return journey).
I paid 200TBH( ₹500) from Airport to Rassada Pier via shared Traveler (Toyota 12-seater travellers are present at the airport). And once I reached Pier, I purchased a ferry ticket of 1000TBH (₹2500) for Phi Phi islands along with return journey.
Here is the catch, while looking for the lowest cost, I have seen many articles on google for purchasing the ferry tickets from Rassada Pier at a lower cost. But it is not like that. At Rassada Pier return ticket from Phi Phi will cost you 1000TBH(₹2500) which is costly in comparison to Airport shop deals.
Also, if you purchase one side ticket to Phi Phi island, they will charge 600TBH(₹1409) and when you want to return they will charge 350TBH(₹821). So, make your decision at the airport itself to buy the overall package from Airport to Rassada Pier to Phi Phi islands and return.
The ferry took us around 2.5 hours to reach Phi Phi islands. During this time we enjoyed the beautiful sea, scattered islands. If you love to sunbathe, then the top tier of the ferry is the best place. Also one can have a good photoshoot on the ferry, but make sure you’ve refreshed yourself by taking a quick power nap. Food items and water will be expensive on the ferry so it’s better to have them before.
We reached Phi Phi islands by evening (around 4 to 5 pm after that we directly went to our hotel. We stayed at the Phuphaya Seaview Resort which cost around ₹1300 per head per night.Now the rest of the day we enjoyed leisurely. At night we had dinner at hotel Papaya. They serve tasty Indian food (Kadhai Paneer, Dum Aloo and Parathas) in average rates 150TBH(₹375) per person. Here’s A 7-Day Itinerary To Explore The Best Of Thailand
At Phi Phi islands local transport is not there so you have to walk a lot. Make sure you are doing all the market activities in a single go. One more suggestion, buy the water bottle pack of six bottles from the market on day one itself, as you have to walk more on the island. Anyway, after dinner, we explored the local market and booked the next day sightseeing tour around the Phi Phi island. There are two kinds of tours half-day and full-day islands tour. We preferred to go with the half-day tour so that we could enjoy the sunset while returning. We also booked the scuba diving course next to next day. They charge me around 3400TBH(₹8500).
We started the day with a light breakfast in front of the beautiful Andaman sea. The Phuphaya Hotel looked gorgeous in the morning. And we couldn’t help clicking pictures of the natural beauty.
After that, we enjoyed splashing around in the swimming pool. It’s a great place to capture lovely pictures too. Once we were done, we went on the boat for our tour.
Try to book this long tail boat from a small shop so that they can give a little discount. I got this package in 350TBH( ₹875). This tour took us to the Monkey Beach, Viking caves, Pileh lagoon, Loh Samay Bay and Maya Bay.
Also, it included our lunch meal, fruits (watermelon and pineapple) snorkelling equipment and Life jacket. Coming back to the trip, I couldn’t stop marvelling at the natural beauty of Phi Phi Islands. It was so pristine.
We were back by 7:30 pm. After coming back by having a lifetime of memories, we went to a restaurant and had dinner. We also tried the coconut ice cream in 50TBH(₹125) which is the authentic dessert of Thailand. Post dinner we went to the local beach, where we could enjoy some loud English music and fire show performance by locals. Once we were tired, we came back to the hotel and had a sound sleep. But we didn’t forget to set up an alarm for an early morning the next day as we had to go Scuba diving. You can even Experience Nature At Its Best At Rayavadee Krabi, Thailand
By this time, you will know how comfortable you’re during the boat ride, few people face the seasickness, but don’t worry carry your anti vomiting tablets with you. Have a light breakfast, and go for the one the most adventurous ride of your life. Scuba diving people picked us up and took us to their yacht which was fully loaded with oxygen gas cylinders and underwater apparel. They welcomed us with soft drinks and fruits.
There were around 10-12 people along with us for diving. But don’t worry one instructor can dive with only 2 people with him. And obviously this is a fun dive, so listen to the instructions very carefully. The first dive will be of 60 minutes and after the gap of an hour, the second dive will be of 90 minutes. In the first dive, we learned how to do dive with all our gears on. You will not think much about the ocean, but you will know how to survive in this ocean. But as time passes we got accustomed to the underwater pressure and the techniques.
In my second dive, I touched down the sea, I felt how rough the sand can be and how smooth the fishes can be. I thought scuba diving as an adventure sport, but the encounter of a shark gave me thrill as well as a shock around, 15 meters below the sea level. But we were strictly instructed to be patient as we were going deep into the sea, so we tried to remain calm and make our day memorable.
After your scuba diving, we got back to the hotel by 4 pm. Even though we were under the sea, scuba diving was a calorie-burning activity. We rested for some time and explored the island at night. We made sure to sleep early as have to visit the Seaview point to witness the sunrise.
It was early morning, a bright sunny day. And we were all geared to climb lots of stairs so we freshened up as soon as possible. We left the hotel for sea viewpoint at 6 am.
There are around 100-120 steep stairs you need to climb, to get an amazing view of Phi Phi islands. They charged us around 20 TBH(₹50) per person. We could see the Banana shape of the island and the turquoise waters of Andaman sea.
By 9:30 am we returned to your hotel and got ready for check out, as we needed to catch the ferry for Phuket at 11 am. You must show your existing ticket that you have purchased earlier on for return journey. So we had to keep our tickets safe.
We reached Phuket at 2 pm and then checked into the Club Bamboo Boutique Resort & Spa which cost us around ₹1150 per head per night. The rest of the day was spent swimming in the pool and just relaxing at our resort.
I will suggest taking the room on the top floor of the hotel, near Patong beach with the ecstatic view. Well, that’s exactly what we did and it was really worth it. We had our morning tea or coffee sipped sitting in our balcony and glanced at the seaside mountains.
We spent some quiet time, soaking in ourselves, life and family. We got ready by 10 am for our trip to explore Phuket city. I will suggest, get the rented bike in 300 TBH(₹750) for 24 hours and then visit the Patong beach.
We did that too and we visited the gorgeous Paradise Island, majestic Big Buddha and the Windmill viewpoint. We also visited the Endpoint of South Phuket.
We then visited the Promthep Cape. This is a lookout point and is known for its beautiful sea views. Due to its location and southern facing views, it offers a picturesque view of the Andaman Sea. We paid our respects to the divine at the beautiful temples of Wat Chalong.
The roads are very good in Phuket, and we passed by various beaches which made your journey more joyful. During our return in the evening, we booked our tickets to another thrilling journey of Phan Nga bay which includes James bond island visit, Monkey cave, Tulu island and fisherman village for the next day. We could enjoy the dinner at Delhi Darbar nearby Patong beach. They serve North Indian cuisines having a tingling taste.
I know time flies too fast but how can you miss the major attraction of Phuket- the nightlife. So we gave a visit to the Bangla Walking road in the night around 11 pm and enjoyed the famous Thailand nightlife with full of bars, live loud music and famous disco areas like Illusion or Tiger club.
We got ready with our cap, sunscreen, umbrella, shades as we needed to cover most of the time on long-tail boat hovering around Phan Nga national park. Your shuttle will come to your hotel(in Patong area) around 8 am and it will take you to the Monkey caves.
It was a long journey of 2 hours as we crossed the whole of Phuket in the north direction. The situation can get changed here in the minutes, one time it can be too sunny and sometimes it can be rainy. But the weather was pleasant when we reached Phang-nga Bay.
You will find the dense mangrove forest of Phang-nga Bay, providing you with the great landscape structure. Even you can see the fellow boat riders going on the race with each other and tourist provoking them for the winning it.
Our complete day was be absorbed while visiting the famous James bond island. Vietnam government rejects the shooting request of James bond film in Halong bay.
So they have chosen this area and since then it is adding revenue to Thailand’s government, Tulu island, doing canoeing and visiting fishermen village.
Once we were back, we enjoyed some leisure time in our hotel swimming pool followed by massage 100TBS( ₹250) and dinner. You can get your food from the nearby hotel, Taj Mahal.
We caught the early morning flight for India, but for this, we needed to book our private cab in advanced. They charge the 1000TBH (₹2500) from Patong hotel to Phuket International Airport. We had a great flight back home. I remembered my favourite places in Thailand that were PhiPhi Islands and the Koh Phang Nga provinces of Thailand. I even encountered a shark in Phi Phi islands, which makes it all the more extraordinary. Both these places have their own attraction and beauty. We made so many beautiful memories in Thailand that will be etched in my heart for sure.
My Personal Observation In Thailand
On day 6 while coming from the Phang Nga tour, we decided to have a Thai massage. We heard about it from many friends, stories are shared on social media and from various articles. By seeing a group of boys, that too from India the massage therapists directly said no for massage and shown us the signboard of “No happy ending only massage”. We were very ashamed, as this happened to us 4-5 times. We only want the massage as we were very tired. And after a few rejections, we got one parlour who considered us and told us in strict ways “only massage”. We were very surprised by their reactions, why they were behaving like this with us?
But during the massage I tried to break the ice and asked the question “why are you guys saying only massage? We have asked for that only! The reply was pretty shocking- She said “generally Indian group of boys come to Thailand for their Bachelor parties and they demand everything in the name of massage. Hence you guys were ignored by most of them. So, this is an image that we are setting up in another country. I felt so bad and told we are here for travelling and don’t want anything else. Just an appeal for any tourist, please don’t do such things while travelling anywhere. Nobody knows you outside your country or city or state but everybody knows your country.
Tips For People Wanting To Visit Thailand On A Budget
Tip 1: Flight Bookings
You can book the AirAsia flight directly from Mumbai to Phuket at a flat rate and use coupon codes of booking sites. To save money, pay via HDFC credit card or other cards which provides discounts during booking. You can also use the advantages of first booking from the website. You can also refer your friends to get additional referral money.
Tip 2: Hotel Bookings
Don’t book the hotel without comparing rates on various sites. Get the quotation from various booking website and get an idea which all are good hotels to stay there. For example, MakeMyTrip has collaboration with Club Bamboo boutique resort. So, if you check the rates on MMT for this resort rates will be much cheaper (5days in 5000 INR for standard deluxe AC room) in comparison to the others. Another option is hostels, this is the best option to stay in Thailand if you’re lone Traveler. If you are in a bunch, try Airbnb you can get a villa at very less price. And try various offer coupons, some of them works. In case of luck is on your side, you can get your jackpot.
Tip 3: Visa
Get your Visa done in India only for 15 days is you are planning a short trip. It will only cost you ₹2500, and via Agents maximum ₹3200. As of now, Thailand Visa is free for Indians. Check out Thailand Extends Free Visa On Arrival To Indians Till April 2020 don’t try to take Visa on arrival in Thailand, it will cost you 2000 TBH equivalent to approx ₹4500.
Tip 4: Traveling in Thailand
In Phuket, there is a lack of government transportation. There are many radio taxis- tuk-tuk and Toyota 14-seater Traveler. Prefer the shared Traveler which can take you to your hotel nearby Patong beach from the airport in 200 TBH. Get your hotel booked nearby Patong beach, as this area is the best in Phuket. This will automatically save your transportation money. Check with your hotel for daily transportation services. Club Bamboo has free service to Patong beach
Tip 5: Money Conversion
Get you money converted from bookmyforex. They are the best in the market. If you have the USD, it will be a blessing in disguise. Try to get USD with your friends and convert them at the Phuket market. Don’t buy forex card, as most the shops don’t accept it. Instead, carry cash.
Tip 6: Prefer Thai massage in Phuket
You need to walk a lot in Phuket, so a massage would do you good. But do maintain the decorum and do not ask for weird requests as the localites in Thailand anyway have a bad impression when it comes to Indian men. Now that you know about my trip and itinerary, do visit Thailand as its a beautiful place and has loads of natural beauty to offer to travel and photography enthusiasts.
To know more about my travel stories click here
This article was contributed to Curly Tales by Rohit Jain. If you have an article or similar experience to share, do write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org