Saturday, December 27, 2008

The First Step Out of My Motherland

21st December: Mom kept chanting “Prothom baar desher baire jachchi, thakur dekho kintu!” as the 9W0066 soared up into the sky. On board was Sushmita Sen which made me quite excited and I kept looking for an opportunity to take her autograph. Menu Cards were distributed and orders were taken. 17F (do I need to say that’s me?) placed an order of Indian Non-Veg Platter with a glass of cognac! It tasted horrible (not the food of course!) and I gulped it in one go...a Thai lady beside me thought me to be a regular drinker am sure! ;D I watched half of Mamma Mia! in the flight....Thailand is so close to Kolkata that I couldn't even finish a 130minutes movie in the flight. :(

16.10 We arrived in Suvarnabhumi International Airport and were escorted by airport officials via VIP routes (Neither my parents nor I have a clue as to why we were given this treatment) to the gate where our car waited.

At 19.30 we reached Best Western Pattaya Hotel and were given a suite which had a toilet with glass walls! Now what sort of a nation can plan to have a toilet with glass walls????? But Thai food is lovely!

22nd December: I started missing Prothoma as I saw the breakfast spread. Thai people have “chicken fried rice”, steamed rice, stir-fried chicken, seafood in oyster sauce, Thai soup with lemongrass, sausages, ham, bacon, fruits, buns, croissants, cakes etc etc for breakfast! I thought the buffet from last night's dinner was left.

Now it’s time for dad to chant “Thakur Thakur” as we wore our life jackets and settled inside a speed boat. 1st stop was in mid-sea for para sailing. We had to climb on to a bigger ship which had a platform for the parasailers to take off.

I went flying too! 2nd stop was scuba-diving. People wore huge oxygen masks for 1800 baht and went inside the sea to take a walk and touch some fishes and corals. I decided I better shop for that amount! ;)

3rd stop was Koh-Lan or the Coral Island Beach where I went swimming in the sea with an old couple from Mombasa.

Transvestites can also be damn sexy is proved by the famous transvestite cabaret show--- The Tiffany’s Show! These people even danced to "Dola re Dola re" in bikinis. All the above poses were granted to me courtesy 20Baht per pose. I was a bit apprehensive while taking the above pic as after all the person with his arms around me is a guy. Someone was so correct while saying "Looks can be deceptive". What bigger proofs do you need?

23rd December: Noong Nooch Village which means Young and Beautiful is a tropical garden in Thailand with a mini zoo inside it!

Mom and Dad didn't dare go closer than that.

This stupid thing wouldn't reveal its face without 100Baht.

Initially i was a bit scared..Now who wouldn't be?

Then I stroked its neck a little and it closed its eyes! :)

That's a Tuk-Tuk made of clay cups. I learnt driving for 2 weeks before going to Thailand. I can even show you my Learner's License.

Then we were inside a cage full of wild crows, peacocks (both blue and white), horn bill and some strange huge birds. The birds had their freedom of movement and we were moving about with cautious stealthy steps.

After that we entered the Dairy Farm which had sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, horses and buffaloes. A greenhouse full of various kinds of orchids and butterflies was our next stop.

Then we entered the Thai Cultural Show Arena where they put up a mini-battle between two kings on elephant back, some Thai dances and a Thai-boxing show. Elephant Show at Noong Nooch Village is a huge attraction for both adults and children. The brightly decorated elephants danced, played football and basketball, tried their aim at darts and gave massage to people willing to go and lie down before their feet. My camera ran out of charge as we entered the Thai Show. :(

13.00 we were back at our hotel for lunch and at 14.00 we were off for a visit to the Sriracha Tiger Zoo. This place was not a part of our itinerary. Mr. Wat our guide for the Coral Island Day persuaded us to visit this place... Sriracha Zoo has entry fee of 500baht per head!

First Stop was the Crocodile Show. I was so scared for the lady and the man who were jumping around with the crocs. He put hand inside the crocs mouth and the moment he took it out the croc snapped its jaw, he slid across the floor and inserted his head in the crocs mouth and he even gave it a kiss!! The lady too gave a pose on croc back! Let the pictures speak now....

Second Stop was the Tiger Show. 9 big Royal Bengal Tigers performed all sorts of tricks. It reminded me of the circus' i had visited as a child.

Oh! I forgot to write about the crocodile Kebabs being sold. Our guide tried to convince us to have some but Crocodile Flesh was too much to experiment.

Even Crocodile teeth, tail and penis were on for sale.

Third Stop was the Scorpion Lady who had some 25-30 scorpions on her. Her name is there in the Guinness Book Of World Records supposedly.

A bench meant for tourists to sit down was occupied by 2 deer, 3 rabbits and 2 orangutans. There was an enclosure named THE HAPPY FAMILY and truly it was because the inhabitants of it were a pig, a black labrador and a royal bengal tiger.

Fourth Stop was another Elephant Show. Similiar to Noong Nooch Show but at the latter one my camera had ran out of charge so look at some pics from the Sriracha Elephant Show.

For 350Baht we could feed milk from a feeding bottle to a baby tiger. But my mom didn't let me do that. :(

After all this when we returned to our hotel at 19.00, my mom took me and papa out for shopping! God knows how she gets so much of energy...Sigh....

24th December: We leave Pattaya for Bangkok. 15.00 we reach the Baiyoke Suite Hotel and check into a room on the 22nd floor. Maximum Potential Energy Level where I stayed for more than 3 days.....

This night's itinerary had made me very excited from the start. Christmas Eve Dinner Cruise on Chao Phraya River aboard the Chao Phraya Princess. But the moment I reached Bangkok my tummy lost its control...I ate only 2 pieces of papaya from the huge buffet. :(

The Cruise started at 20.00 and travelled twice the length of the River along which the city of Bangkok was located. We could see some Bangkok temples, the King's Palace and some other monuments all brightly lit from the boat.

25th December: Merry Christmas! Today we have half day temple tour but before that we had breakfats on the 43rd floor of our hotel. A view from the 43rd floor restaurant....

We visited the Reclining Buddha Temple where the statue is 46metres long and 15metres high! It is called Wat Pho in Thai and it is the oldest and biggest temple in Thailand. Mr. Min our guide for the day was awesome. I even had small crush on him. :P He clicked the photo of the three of us in front of the golden buddha. ;)

The entire evening we shopped like mad people and had candle light dinner on the 43rd floor restaurant. I tried eating sushi and sashimi, beef steak and another weird thing, the name of which i have completely forgotten. Anyways, the sushi and sashimi ensured that i puked a lot that night. :(

26th December: Welcome to the Safari World and Marine Park!!!!

We first went for the safari which claims to have the biggest herd of giraffe in the world.

It also had Zebras, Ostriches, Camels, Water Rhinoes, the endangered Gaur, Watusi, Blackbuck, Oryx, lots of Deer and a large number of migratory birds!

The next section of the safari had Black bear, Lions and Tigers. There is something called a Feeding Show in which these tigers and lions are fed pounds of flesh from a jeep while the animals climb up all around it. But we missed it courtsey our stupid guide Mr. Kom who forgot about it.

The World Famous Orangutan Show was next in the list and we saw a bunch of them form a rock band! 2 of them showed us Thai Boxing and the cheerleaders were also orangutans.... :D

Then we went for the Sea-Lion show were these cute creatures danced, clapped, jumped out of water to hit a target, bounced a ball and at the end of the show came a 1 month old baby sea lion!

Next we were thrown into the world of the wild western cowboys as we stepped into the Western Cowboy Stunt Show. These wild people did deadly stunts of jumping from 20ft high structures, drowning themselves in a well and blasting the entire set at the end.

We were pretty hugry by now, so we were escorted to the Jungle Cruise Restaurant where we had Japanese and Thai delicacies to fill up our tummies!

Soon after lunch we rushed into the Beluga and Dolphin show where 4 dolphins and 3 whales entertained us with their tricks.

Polar Bear Show was closed for repair work and so i couldn't experience the -15 degree C show of the first polar bear cub to be born in Asia.

Then we went for the Spy War Show which was like a Sci-Fi Hollywood movie.

There was so much of fire and explosions, water bikes, aerial stunts etc. Last we saw the Bird Show where large flamingoes, parrots, macaws, kites showed us their skills at singing, doing maths, cycling and catching prey.

The Macaw Aviary was full of brightly cloured macaws all left free to fly.

Huge walruses devouring fishes, Sting rays, giant catfish, lemur etc. We missed the Hornbill aviary and Eggs world. In Eggs World we could have seen newborn parrot chicks in incubators and feeding of baby parrots.

Last we went to the Safari Terrace from where we fed giraffes.

One of them licked mom's arm... :P Everytime i fed one of them with a banana they licked my hand as well.

In the evening mom again shopped.... My mom is mad!

27th December: We left our hotel at 6.30 for our flight back to Kolkata. Dont be suprised because mom shopped in the airport as well.....Alls well that ends well....Our tickets were upgraded to Premiere Class and I came back home sipping Champagne and watching the remaining half of Mamma Mia!