Day 9: 2nd June, Bangkok
The week we spent abroad almost felt like living a dream. It was now time to get back to reality and regular life – back to Mumbai. It was slightly disheartening that the trip had come to an end. I was absolutely in no mood to leave. The biggest (and maybe the only) upside, however, was that we had the entire day to ourselves and could spend it the way we wanted. For once we enjoyed the breakfast in leisure. We checked out of Atrium a couple of hours later.
Our agenda was to visit the Fortune IT Mall, which is basically a huge mall dedicated mostly to electronic items. It was almost 1 in the afternoon when we reached there. This mall (unlike the Indra Mall the previous day) had the actual original branded stuff. We spent quite some time there exploring the mall and having lunch.
We had a hilarious experience at McDonalds. Being all vegetarians, we had to tell them particularly to not add any fish, meat or beef. We also told them that we wanted tomatoes in our burger. Although the lady who took our order confirmed it thrice, our burgers lacked tomatoes. I guess mentioning just the exclusions would have sufficed. 😛
The best thing available in the mall was salted pretzels. I really wish I had chosen pretzel for lunch instead of the burgers. After a little bit of shopping, we decided to leave for the hotel.
We witnessed another random act of kindness from a complete stranger, who helped us find cabs back to the hotel. Although she spent 15 minutes of her valuable time trying to find us cabs, there was nothing but a pleasant smile on her face. We just couldn’t thank her enough. I guess that is the best part about Thailand and Singapore – the people in general are really friendly and kind. We reached the hotel just in time to collect our luggage and proceeded to the Suvarnabhumi Airport for our 9.30 pm flight back to Mumbai.
We reached the airport three hours before departure. Although it was a wise decision I wish we had gone there a little earlier. The richness of Thai culture was visible in the artwork displayed – the huge statues near the check in area. It was just grand.
Thailand lies between Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. Cambodia was ruled by Indian kings and hence having Indian influences in Thai culture is not really surprising (If you notice, the name Suvarnabhumi is Indian and it translates to “Golden Earth”). Thai culture also follows Chinese traditions. I was pleasantly surprised to find images of Samudra-Manthan (The Churning of the Ocean) on the way to the waiting area. The king of snakes – Vasuki had a Chinese touch in the image.
As we boarded the plane awaiting take-off, I couldn’t help but wonder about the experience we had in the week. Going abroad, meeting new people, exploring new places, seeing and learning a little about the culture of two countries, and of course, shopping was a really enriching experience. I recalled the little things (like the friendliness of the people) that played a huge role in the experience all the more special. I understood one thing – the simplest of smiles transcends the greatest of language barriers. It just seems to make the world a better place.
As the plane took off we saw the surroundings shrink and the city of Bangkok slowly fade into a network of lights. Although I was more than sad about the trip being over, I was looking forward to see the Arrival lounge of T2 Terminal in Mumbai.
I want to specially thank Cox and Kings for planning the trip out so well and ensuring that everything went smoothly.
Here are a few tips which might be helpful:
- I don’t know about other countries, but in comparison to India, most of the goods were less expensive in Thailand. However, that being said, do check the authenticity of the electronic goods before you purchase.
- VAT refund is available for tourists at the airport for electronic items. If you plan to buy any electronic goods, it is advisable to talk to the seller about it.
- I have said this loads of times earlier. Food might be an issue for people with special dietary needs (like vegetarians or vegans).
- Airport Rail Link is available to Suvarnabhumi Airport and is an express mode of transport. Although we couldn’t give it a try, I have heard that the experience is good.