Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Foray Into Bangkok

 "Sir, wake up! Your flight's landed at Bangkok! " , the petite Air Asia air hostess was smiling at me!
'Wait a Minute', I thought , ' Bangkok?? Really??' , I asked myself!
"No, you dimwit , it's Neptune you've reached", the devil inside my head was sarcastic, at the frivolity of my thoughts!

I remembered being smitten by the new attractive airfares of Air Asia from Kolkata to Bangkok on the World’s Best Online Travel Fair, on their website and planning to buy tickets for a vacation, without thinking twice.....but I had only been on their website..... When did I actually get up on the flight?? 
Or was I having retrograde amnesia??
Or was I in a time machine ?? 
Or...or..or..... Whatever!! 
Time had flown, that was evident , and I had reached the land of the White Elephant, so no more contemplating .....I got up with a smile and proceeded to check out.
Now, I've heard the Thai people can be quite spectacular in greeting their guests, but still, the feeling of being ushered into a foreign land with such generosity?? I was feeling happy! The confusion ,about how I ended up in the glitzy capital city of Thailand, from the Online Fair page of Air Asia, regressed to the very back of my mind!

Grand Palace
Emerald Buddha 
 Things started unravelling quickly, as the imperial KING's PALACE (Grand Palace) stood in front of me. I was barely out of the airport, and had taken a cab , but the first spot I was to visit was already there! The intricately built structure had me awed.......oh, what a start to the proceedings . And as a double bonanza to start off , the WAT PHRA KAEW , within the same complex housed the Emerald Buddha , a stunning statuette that drew gasps of admiration from my fellow tourists too!

Now , the surreal events got even more magnified , as I started skipping from one thrilling tourist spot , to another with whatever in between being blurred from my mind . Was I in some other time warp? Hard to tell, as the things were happening too fast.

Chao Phraya river
            Chao Phraya river: goodness ......I was stunned, as the sparkling blue waters reflected the spell of enchantment that had descended upon me! The majestic WAT ARUN stood tall , and reminded me of all its photos that I had seen in travel books. Just across the river , a ferry ride away, was the WAT PHO , that had the imposing statue of the reclining Golden Buddha .... I pored to look closely at him. I would not believe my eyes, but he indeed seemed to smile at me , and blinked his eyes reassuringly, before appearing as the beautiful statue once again! I rubbed my eyes , was it for real?? No way to confirm, I thought .....but it felt nice!

Wat Arun 

Golden Buddha at Wat Pho

Lumpini Boxing Stadium

The charming home of Jim Thompson , the Lumpini Boxing Stadium , all were specific landmarks that simply raised my excitement quotient . My camera was also working overtime,there was far too much to click all around me!

The FLOATING MARKET at DAMNOEN SADUAK : I was hooked! Now I regretted, oh, why didn't I bring my girlfriend along? She could've had a blast , with all the bargaining that was being possible here at the Venice of the East! The small boats in the canal ,were full of goodies. I looked around, other tourists were making a killing , with some incredible deals they were getting . My bargaining skills had not been honed to perfection, but I still managed to buy some veggies and fruits . The mind once more went back to the thought: ' I had bought tickets for her too....why didn't she come then??' , but were quickly replaced by ,' forget it , this is happening fast! What's wrong with a short solo tour ??'

Before long, I was staring at teeth-baring sharks , that appeared to be swimming above me?? How on earth......uh oh ... The SIAM OCEAN WORLD inside the SIAM PARAGON mall! My word: the marine creatures were all above us, and it was unbelievable to realise that it was the only possible place, where I could actually get to the bottom of their world, and yet be alive!!
The brands at the mall were all renowned names from the world of fashion , but , I was forced to curb my instincts not to spend a fortune there......'some other time', I consoled myself, and got out. It was Saturday, and, my mind was set on going on a shopping spree at the famous weekend shopping place: CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET.

Cool tees, mobile cases, tote bags for the girls in the family , junk jewellery.....all were picked up.. And I started giving myself a pat on my back , for making shopping so ridiculously easy ! Now , I was not a shopaholic , by any stretch of imagination , but the attractions were too much here , and I was bound to splurge ! And I felt that I had conducted my plans to perfection !
Grabbing some Thai delicacies from the street , I munched on happily, deciding , that a Thai spa was mandatory here! So off I went ,for some traditional Thai massage at Ruen Nuad! Ahh....those hands of the masseuse .....felt so nice ! They loosened up my body's hidden knots with panache! I smirked, thinking of the stories that I would have to tell friends back home.

Route 66 Nightclub
It was already dark, and the dazzling face of Bangkok was starting to make a bold statement! The skyscrapers made a pretty picture and glorified the skyline! I was growing restless too.......yes...... The Nightlife Baby! Bangkok is well known for its naughty self, post sundown , and I wanted to get a feel of it ! It appeared that I was on a guilt-free pass to revel in the spirit of glamour all around! ROUTE 66 should be the place to bring a crowning jewel to my day and I entered the nightclub , with the wild side to my conscience gearing up for one hell of a party! The music was loud, the ladies were gyrating , the drinks were fabulous, and I let go of my inhibitions in all the melee ! I completely lost myself, doing the crazy dances, and I did not want to get out anytime soon...........when ........suddenly , I got a thump on the back of my head ! I turned around to look at a rather dark corner, and was stunned to find Mom!!

She was staring at me with a queer expression, ' where were you? Sleep talking?', She asked! 'Bangkok', I replied promptly! 'What? Why were you sleeping on your laptop keyboard??' , she looked dumbfounded by my announcement! The reality check forced me to hastily look around to find my laptop screen , with AirAsia's webpage open on one of my browser's tabs, and Bangkok's famous tourist destinations open on another tab! 
Bangkok had always attracted me with all its beautiful locales, and i harboured desires to visit it some day. I was so attracted by the flight ticket offers on Air Asia's World's Best Online Travel Fair page, that I was on the verge of booking the tickets. In order to plan my trip, I was surfing the web pages depicting Bangkok's tourism . While going through them,I had somehow dozed off, and mentally forayed into Thailand!

Embarrassed , I was at a loss for words to explain myself . From Bangkok's casino , to my room in Kolkata , it was too much of a journey ,and stating that I was 'virtually jet lagged' wouldn't have been an understatement! But I had made up my mind......this dream was not meant to be shelved, it must be converted into reality ....and sooner ,rather than later, I plan this trip to Bangkok, a place, where I have never been , but was on a joy-ride , 

courtesy one incredible offer from!!  

Written as part of the Dream Asian Destination Blogging contest, organised by Air Asia, in association with Ripple Links.

DISCLAIMER: All the photos of tourist spots in Bangkok that have been used in this post, were sourced from Google, as I have never been to Bangkok.

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