The Bangkok International airport was awesome. The peculiar design of the horizontal stretch and the 3 floors, with all the glass structures, makes it absolutely stunning. Maybe there would be more beautiful airports, but this was the first most beautiful I ever saw. After getting stamped the on-arrival visa, which cost 1000 Baht (1 Baht = 1.5 INR) , and exchanging some rupees to Baht from the exchange counter, we moved out of the airport, where the Thai guide, Mr. Bas, was waiting for us with our bus.
Two days were allocated in Pattaya, to where we were heading. It was around 2 – 2.5 hr journey from Bangkok airport to Pattaya. The highway was absolutely the highway, with long stretches, with only the tolls in between and just green land on the sideways for a very long time.
The breakfast was served while taking a travel break on the outskirts of Pattaya, or rather midway between Bangkok and Pattaya. As if meant for the travellers, there was a sideway with series of fast food restaurants and also a Indian restaurant, managed by Punjabi’s (they had those turban n all, so I guess they are from Punjab!). We bought a temporary Thai Sim card too to keep in contact with our families. Being the only mobile “heavy” user, that I am, the calls, and sms’es were made by me, and I had a good time pass! And yes, sms was cheaper to India to send and receive rather than calls.
It was nearing afternoon, by the time we reached Pattaya, and we checked in at the Hotel Erawan. After lunch, we moved onto the Gem Factory at Pattaya. Cameras and Videos were not allowed inside this factory. As if the kids go on a train visiting all the toys, we were taken for a trip inside a cave on a small train, to reveal the story of hows gems are made, and the working methodologies of the workers, the history, the various famous gems, artifacts, along with man-made modelled sites of work. After that, you would be taken to the actual factory, where you can see people cut, polish and shape the small gems, and the tools they use. There is also a large gem jewellery shop, but which are too expensive. There is also artifacts or gift shop, of gems, and some normal jade bracelets which comes around, say, 200 Baht.
From the Gem Factory we went to the Alcazar Show. Its a musical presentation with dance, colors, arts, and comedy, all performed by females, who were born as males! I had not ever seen such a show before. Who sees such ones in India! The colors were bright and beautiful, but the concept was too much of mocking at times. The historical plays and music was worth checking out. The show we went was the family viewable one, though I really doubted about it at times!
Few photos from the Alcazar show!
Flash Slideshow of the album, containing some videos too:
PS: Hope you enjoyed this post. Watch out for the beach adventures at the Pattaya, to be covered in the next post of this series!