My visit to Thailand was driven by three things. The first one is it is a gift for my younger brother, who is never been on plane at that time, . The 2nd thing is I am so excited about travelling abroad with my closest college friends as we have been planning since our first year, but never come true with our student money!. And the 3rd reason is Air Asia promo for flying to Phuket, only Rp. 500.000,- (round trip/ person). Yes, I do love Air Asia..
So, we have already got those round trip tickets. Then what?!
Honestly this trip was my first abroad trip for vacation. I have been in Canada before, but for business purpose so the company where I work has taken care of everything. So there we were, 5 newbies try to figure out how to plan the vacation.
We were browsing a lot and sometimes I feel that the more we have information on the table, we got more confused instead of got enlightened. It is required a lot of effort to configure a plan that satisfy 5 different heads. We are taking too much time to discuss, along with work and college tasks, so finally on the last two months before our departure date, we decide to use a travel agent. So, yes, it is not quite close with a backpacking trip. I admitted that..
But we have already a fix plan on hand, including list place to visit, what kind of tour we’d like to take, etc when we went to a travel agent. So, basically this travel agent only helped us to book the accommodation and the tours. It was a good deal, I think. They cost us Rp. 3.200.000/person – all in (including another Air Asia round trip ticket: Phuket – Bangkok).
Okay, Phuket story now. Well, Phuket has beautiful beaches, not quite different from Bali but yes it was a lot cleaner and less crowded. We visit Pha Nga Bay, famous as James Bonds island, as one of James Bond scene was here. Go to Phi Phi island, where Leonardo Di Caprio’s Beach scene also taken. Overall, it was worthy. Vacation with people that you are comfortable with is always great. One tip: to book a tour in Phuket is very easy, they open counters along the beach, so it is much much cheaper to book directly there. Most of tour seller knows English, so you can bargain for a lowest price.
And then we flew to Bangkok. Bangkok is a big city; its traffic remains me so much to our beloved Jakarta. One important detail, Thailand was on chaos when we visited it on May 2010. But, as most chaotic event presenting in the news, not all area were affected. We stayed away from those areas, and we come back safely. Bangkok was famous for its Chao Praya river, so we take a boat tour along the river. To be honest, it was not a very pleasant journey. The river is so much remains me to Jakarta’s Ciliwung, dirty and quite stink. The main difference is Chao Praya has a lot of magnificent temples on its sides where we took-off from the boat to take beautiful pictures. There is also floating market which is quite unique. One tip: souvenir shopping is very cheap in Bangkok, go to MBK (one of the mall) instead to buy at sellers near to the temples.
Another unforgettable memory is when we spent a night at Phuket Airport (we didn’t get hotel) while waiting for our morning flight back to Jakarta. So maybe it can be categorized as backpacking afterall..