Have you ever been on those trips that were just meant to be?
U plan months in advance risking the number of leave dates you can take in that month only to save on advance booking fares and then when its time, everything just falls perfectly in place… like you were meant to be on that flight to …well for me Bangkok.
Its my parents third trip to Thailand and my very first. Just back from a short stop to Mumbai in August that lasted just 3 days over a weekend, I returned to an empty house on August 10, 2013 as the rest of my family had been vacationing in India with the rest of the extended family as part of the annual summer vacations. I on the other hand with this new job I got, couldn’t join them this time as I haven’t completed a year of work. Homesick and terribly lonely, I was in tears on most nights just waiting to head back on another short break when I have just barely gotten back from one. For the one week that I spent alone till my sister joined, I looked like a desperate damsel waiting to take another vacation at work. In between breaks I stared at the calendar hoping that a public holiday would soon be around the corner and I would again pack my bags and hop onto a flight out of Abu Dhabi. As I flipped the pages of the calendar one afternoon between my lunch break I noticed Eid al Adha was coming up in October. To my advantage, a job within a government complex would ensure that my office would be shut for atleast 5 days, owing to the fact that government employees in this part of the world are pampered the most with lavish salaries and perks and a long stretch of holidays. For me, skip the lavish salaries and perks but I definitely get a good deal of holidays or maybe this time I was just plain lucky.
Back to that routine afternoon break for lunch, I got in touch with my parents in India and in a desperate voice almost trembling, I was homesick missing my parents and telling my mom I wanted to come back to India on the next flight even If I had to quit my job ( yea, one of those crazy moments again). My mom just laughed and said don’t be crazy to quit your job, wait for a couple of days and your sister will join you. I was on loud speaker speaking to both of them and I mentioned that I would love to book a ticket right away for the upcoming public holidays in October to India so that I could save a great deal on airfares. My mother wasn’t excited, for her heading back to India isn’t something that she gets excited about. Not saying this is demeaning manner, but just that heading back home ( which hasn’t been literally home for us in the last 2 decades or for her 3) means more work for her. Our home back in India is locked for most of the year and every time we visit, we are welcomed by spiders and lizards running around. Cleaning is the first priority before one can even take a seat after arrival. In short, HECTIC.
My dad on the other hand suggested that I rather save up for a trip to Thailand which I haven’t been to rather. It did make sense. I did want to go there and with the time I had to plan I could possibly look up for a good deal. With much negotiations with my parents, Thailand was the choice. For my parents, Thailand is now their only favorite destination. Forget Europe, forget India… Although they had just returned from a trip in August to Thailand, they were ready to accompany me again in October. And there we went. In two days our tickets were booked and we saved nearly 2500AED on each ticket as prices soared in the coming weeks gearing up for Eid.
Savings – Check!
I did make one condition to my dad though as initially I wasn’t all that keen to go to Thailand. I told him that I would join them provided he permits me to visit a Tiger Temple. This idea had been on my bucket list from a long time and I warned him that I would not return unless I had been to the Tiger temple in Thailand. He agreed. My mom who isn’t so fond of animals, sighed in the background.
Adventure – Check!
As the weeks passed, my excitement grew. Two weeks before Eid was approximately due to take place , we received a notice that my office would be given government holidays. The biggest risk I took by booking our trip for a straight ten days now seemed like the biggest hurdle I crossed ever. Yes this did they play behind my back that if my leave was not going to last for ten days, I would have to come up with a whacky excuse to get it sanctioned. Luckily, I didn’t have to. I did a little dance behind my desk and headed straight home after work to break the news.
Leave off work – Check!
Weeks passed and it was time to leave. Although residing in Abu dhabi, Dubai has cheaper flights to almost any part of the world. Booked on an evening Jet Airways flight from Dubai to Bangkok via Mumbai, we left work early that day and headed directly to the airport, 2 hours ahead of our scheduled time to check in. Roads leading to airports were jam packed, the airports bustling with excited crowds all waiting to get on to the flights out of the city. Meanwhile at the airport, me being the aviation enthusiast as well, I couldn’t help but do a little plane spotting .
When in Dubai, spot Dubai’s leading carrier. Emirates.
After a two hour flight to Mumbai and then another 4 hours from Mumbai on a connecting flight .. We arrived shortly after the sun rose over Bangkok. I did manage to capture sunrise 35,000 ft above and its definitely magical. I have always loved early morning arrivals and to Thailand, this was doubly exciting.
After clearing immigration procedures and baggage collection, which took a while as we had opted for visa on arrival, we headed straight to the food court for breakfast. Dinner was the only meal served onboard, so understandably we were hungry. During the last two trips my parents made to Thailand, they constantly praised a small eatery at the airport called S&P. I am still not sure what that stood for, but I had definitely heard a lot about them from my parents, and not just that , mom also bought me the most delightful baked goodies from here on both her trips. So this being my first, I had to stop over.
Along with bakery items this local favorite is constantly packed at almost any time of the day, serving light snacks and freshly brewed coffee to dozens of travelers. Although noisy and crowded, service is quick and the food is top notch.
along with freshly toasted bread!
After a relaxed breakfast we headed towards the exits to get our sim cards and shortly after that caught our cabs to head to the hotel.
Well I do have to head for dinner now, will be back with the rest of the trip and all the food stories 🙂
Until then much love