Saturday, October 14, 2017

Kolkata to Phuket - Our journey

Our flight was at 00:15 hours from Kolkata international airport. It was a spice jet flight. What I learnt, one must do web check in and then just drop your luggage and go straight to the document verification. Physical check in is painful. Standing long in queue and getting seats at the mercy of the staff there. Everything went smooth and we reached Bangkok very early morning and collected our luggage. Here I must mention, if it was a fly thru ticket with a single PNR, we need not to waste time for luggage collection. In such case the luggage automatically goes to last destination.

However, our ticket to Phuket was separate. After luggage retrieval we went for immigration. It was little difficult as none of the airport staff at Bangkok understands English. Later I learn it is better to communicate with them with sign language. It took time but done easily. A small paper slip was given in flight. We were required to fill that up. That was immigration slip.  We didn't know that. We thought that was a feedback sort of paper and ignored. Luckily we didn't lose that. It was again checked in hotels and during exit from Bangkok. So tiny paper!
First thing I did in Bangkok Airport after immigration, I bought a SIM card with internet. Reasonably priced and worked very well throughout the trip. All settings done at the counter. I purchased DTAC card. One word of caution is don't forget to prefix the code for ISD dialling, otherwise it is very costly. I didn't know, only realized after finishing the initial balance so quickly!
Breakfast option in Bangkok airport is plenty. It is not that costly too, but you need to choose the outlet carefully. Our next flight to Phuket was at 9 am. It was domestic flight , so no more official hassle. It was Thai airways. The difference of comfort was evident. We landed at Phuket at right time around 12 pm.
Phuket airport is small. There are few stalls at the exit who books the conducted tours at Phuket. They started offering their rates and if we book with them transfer to the hotel is free! Not bad! But their rates were not good. I knew the rates and its higher and lower range. I bargained hard and they understood I know the rates and lowered their rate to acceptable level. Still a little higher side I booked Phi Phi Island trip with them for the next day and came to hotel by their van. Phuket traffic is also bad. It took more than an hour to reach the hotel.  my next post will be hotel experience and Fifi tour. Read on... 

Hotel Booking in Thailand

Wherever and whenever we travel, actually we purchase time for that destination, by air or train tickets, hotels, insurance and visa. On that purchased time, we again spend to utilize the same. like sight seeing, food, marketing and so on. I just want to emphasize, time is equally, and if not more valuable than the money. Hotel booking is very vital step for any tour. For foreign tours, application of visa requires hotel booking receipt. Nowadays with so many online sites it is possible to book now and pay later. From my experience, I will suggest book as early as possible and keep a separate note and finally cancel keeping only those you ultimately you stay. If you book from different site kindly keep track of all and it may so happen that your card will be charged for those you booked and did not cancel in time. Booking early is important as most good reviewed hotel usually get booked as early as 6 months before.
When booking hotel or any accommodation, you must know what is your plan there. You should not spend lot of time for commuting and spend few bucks in hotel. Time is more valuable as I have said earlier. Almost all hotels' review are available in the internet. Go through those. tripadvisor reviews are very close to reality. See the photos of travellers. Carefully see the maps around and transport available. Open your uber app and see whether Uber is available in that area or not? See the fares of different locations from that hotel. These are the simple things I do when I book accommodation and for me it worked till date.
Same hotel price vary in different websites and on different days. Better not to book non refundable at an early date just for the sake of low price.
We booked all our hotels online almost immediately after the flight booking and changed many times before finalizing. Pay at hotel is good option, otherwise credit card payment few days before check in works well. Always see the cancellation policy before booking.