Our 5 Day Tour to Armenia - Travel itinerary for Armenia

Most of us know nothing about this Caucasus country, Armenia. In case you too are clueless about it, Armenia is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia between Europe and Asia. The charming blend of East and West is very apparent here.

Our trip to Armenia started from 15th June to 19th June 2018. We had already booked our flights before a month. Our itineraries were all planned and we have already booked our staycations as well.

We left Dubai on 14th June (night) via FlyDubai from Terminal 1 and reached the Zvartnots International Airport in Armenia on 15th June. We had visa on arrival that costs us AMD 3200.

We were six (three married couples) and therefore hired two taxies from the airport to reach our hotel in Yerevan. Our hotel was around 13km away from the airport and we paid AMD 6000 for each taxi.

We checked in at the Bass Boutique Hotel in Yerevan. Although it's a 4* hotel, there's no need to spend so much amount to stay in Yerevan. The hotel was good but not worth the price. We could have booked a cheap hotel or guest house or apartment instead.

After checking in, we slept for a few hours so that we won't feel tired later that day. We woke up around 8 am and had breakfast in the hotel where we found that there are not much food items to select from. And the food was just ok ok.

After having breakfast, we all got ready by 11 am and went to search for a tour guide. Near the Republic Square in Yerevan, we found a tour guide with his bus, Ofelya Tour Bus (We do not prefer this Bus Tour as our experience was not good with them) at around 12 pm. We discussed our tour requirements with the guy and finalized our tour for the day. He took us to many places which are mentioned below:

Ararat (Charents) Arch

Visit The Arch of Charents in Yerevan, Armenia

Our FIRST DAY in Armenia began with an amazing view of Mount Ararat from the Arch of Charents. It is one of the best places to see Mt. Ararat. This arch is located literally on the roadway. The monument was built in honor of one of Armenia's most famous poets, Yeghisheh Charents. He often used to visit these places and admire the amazing scenery. The Arch of Charents is one of the most popular places to admire the incredible view and take photos.

(Time spent: 1 hour)

Garni Temple (Souvenirs)

Visit Garni, The Only Pagan Temple in Armenia

Our next destination was Garni Temple which is located in the village of Garni in Kotayk Province, Armenia. It is one of the oldest sights in Armenia that survived the destruction of pagan temples following Armenia's conversion to Christianity in the 4th century. It remains a mystery why the temple survived.

Outside the temple, there is a small market selling local produce and souvenirs. We bought some souvenirs there. You can bargain for a lower price as we did. πŸ˜ƒ

The ticket price to the Garni Temple - AMD 1500.
(Time spent: 1 hours)

Geghard Monastery 

Trip to Geghard Monastery in Armenia

Our next stop was the Monastery of Geghard (means a spear in Armenian). Its location makes it an interesting attraction of Armenia. A beautiful landscape of Geghard is framed with towering cliffs. Geghard Monastery is the unique creation of Armenian architecture, carved out of the adjacent mountain. It's one of the most scenic monasteries in Armenia.

We also bought some sweet bread (Gata) from the stalls outside the Monastery. Everyone seems to be selling the same bread but it is not true. We bought from 2 different stalls and the taste was completely different from each other. You can also taste before buying one.

(Time spent: 1 hours)

Khor Virap Monastery

Khor Virap Monastery - Trip to Armenian

Our last attraction for the day was Khor Virap Monastery. Khor Virap offers a magnificent view of Mount Ararat, one of the most famous Armenian sights. Khor Virap is tied with the life of St. Gregory the Illuminator. Gregory was the first person to bring Christianity to Armenia due to which he was prisoned there for 13 years.

Hire a tour guide and he will tell you the whole story behind the Monastery of Khor Virap. We captured the beautiful scenic views of the biblical Mt. Ararat. The holy Mount Ararat is located in Turkey now.

(We were there till 7:30 pm)

The tour bus then dropped us at Republic square from where we went in search of Mozaic Sky Restaurant, the highest restaurant in Yerevan. It is located on the 17th floor of the Elite Plaza Business. Everything we ordered was delicious. Whether it was an Eggplant Roll (Veg.) or a Stewed Lamb With Dried Lavash. The chocolate shake was also yummy. πŸ˜‹

This is how our 1st day was properly utilized by visiting so many attractions in one day. It seems like a hectic day, though it was not at all. We had fun.

Our SECOND DAY tour started with the same guide at 12 pm to visit the following places:

Hovhannavank Monastery

Visit Hovhannavank Monastery on your Trip to Armenia

The Hovhannavank monastery is located in the village of Ohanavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. It has rich stone decoration and many engravings.

The church is cross-shaped and there are two-story sacristies in each of the four corners of the church. The dome has an umbrella-shaped roof, which is unique to the Armenian churches.

The Hovhannavank monastery is not colossal but is as unique as other Armenian monasteries. We didn't spend much time there but didn't miss a single place to take photos. haha! πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

Armenian Alphabet Monument

Plan your Trip to Armenian Alphabet Monument

The Armenian Alphabet Monument is dedicated to the founder of Armenia's alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots. An Armenian architect created the carved Armenian letters near Mashtots' final resting place in 2005.

We didn't really understand the letters, therefore, asked the guide to find the initial letter of our first names. We took photos with our initial letters and that's it. There was nothing more to do there.

Amberd Fortress and Vahramashen Church

Plan your Trip to The Fortress of Amberd in Armenia

Now our final destination for the day was the 7th-century Amberd Fortress and Vahramashen Church (also known as The Church of Amberd), located above sea level, on the Slopes of Mount Aragats.

Visit The Church of Amberd on your Trip to Armenia

On the route to Amberd, there are legends about this mountain route where magnetic or supernatural forces are believed to work. The car without a driver climbs up the mountain itself. All against all laws of physics! It was really amazing for us to experience this mystery. Besides, when our tour guide kept a water bottle on the road, it started to miraculously climb the mountain itself. It was unbelievable and interesting at the same time.

It was already 3 pm when we reached there and we spent around 2 hours enjoying a lot of photography sessions. 😜

After visiting Amberd, we returned to the Republic Square in Yerevan where we had some food at Tavern Yerevan restaurant. It was around 7:30 pm but still daylight. So, we had more time to explore the city for the day.

Lovers' Park

Visit Lovers' Park on your trip to Yerevan, Armenia

So, we went to visit the Lovers' Park that was near our hotel. It's a small and very cozy park, located on Baghramyan Avenue. The park is the most beloved place of young couples. It is a park with some sculptures, mini-waterfalls, and a small artificial lake with a romantic atmosphere.

After taking some quality photos in the park, we headed back to our hotel.

Next day, we had breakfast in the hotel and then checked out of the hotel. For our THIRD DAY, we had already booked two cottages in the Noy Land resort, located on the bank of Lake Sevan. The same tour guide dropped us to Sevan from Yerevan.

(We do not recommend the Ofelya Tour Bus service in Armenia. Our experience was awful with the guide. he charged us more than what it should be, just because we didn't want to continue with him in Sevan.)

Now, we didn't want to make our day tiring, so decided to stay at our resort for the whole day. Another reason to stay in Noy Land was its location. It is one of the top-rated locations in Sevan.
Plan your Trip to Noy Land Resort in Armenia

Check out the verified reviews of Noy Land Resort in Sevan:
Booking.com

It was so calm and peaceful that we couldn't resist its beauty.

We had lunch after setting down in our cottages and then explored the resort. We booked a boat ride for the evening. The weather was awesome and it started raining as well. We enjoyed a lot there.

At around 7:30 pm, we went for the boat ride in the lake. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. The ride was around 30 min long where the lake offered the stunning sunset views. We took a lot of photos and videos around the lake.

After enjoying our boat ride, we spent some time had dinner in the Noy Land Resort.

On our FOURTH DAY, we hired another tour guide who turned out to be the best guide we could have ever found in Armenia. His name is Grigor Badalyan and he has his own tour agency. He was our personal tour guide.

Just shoot us an email at planforatrip@gmail.com if you would like to hire him as your tour guide while in Armenia or Georgia. You can also fill out the contact form for more information here: Contact Us

We have not planned much for our fourth day but the guide was really helpful taking us to the places that were not even in our itinerary.

Hayravank Monastery

Visit Hayravank Monastery on your Trip to Armenia
Image by Arian Zwegers
Our first spot was Hayravank Monastery which is located on a rocky hill of Hayravank village. A fantastic view opens up to Sevan Lake (the largest lake in the Caucasus) and its surroundings from the hill.

We enjoyed the view and had some cool snapshots. It was fun.

Noravank Monastery

Plan a Trip to Noravank Monastery in Armenia

Noravank is a 13th-century Armenian monastery standing out not only with its appearance but also the surrounding marvelous scenery. It is gorgeous and magnificent in terms of both, the location as well as the architecture. It's a holy, serene destination spot in Armenia that should be experienced by all.

The monastery of Noravank is famous for its two-storied St. Astvatsatsin church. We all climbed the narrow stone stairs outside the Church to get a closer look at its dome and it was an amazing experience.

Areni Wine Factory

Visit the Areni Winery Factory on your Trip to Armenia

Our next spot was Areni Winery which is famous for wine tasting in Armenia. They offer all sorts of grape and fruit wines. This small factory aims to produce quality wine and preserve ancestral traditions and techniques.

They offer their local wine to taste with their bread. And the combination is really amazing. After tasting a variety of wines, we took a small tour of their factory where they produce wines. We went to the cellar where they keep the wooden barrels, clay vessels, and the bottled wines. It was a great experience learning about their process of wine production.

We also spent some time in their cafe upstairs where we had Armenian organic tea. The cafe's interior was quite creative with lots of messages and drawings on the wall related to friendship, love, family and more.

We realized that most people were in a hurry due to the time limit provided by their tour guide. If you really want to explore the city without being in a hurry, Grigor Badalyan is the best guide.

Our next destination was the Food Court as we were all hungry at this time of the day. We had some delicious food like veg. Pizza (we asked them to customize for us because there was no veg. Pizza. lol), chicken shawarma wrap, Armenian yogurt drink (it is very similar to our lassi in India), etc.

Artlaboratory 'epicenter'

Visit Army of Stones in your Trip to Armenia

Near the city of Sisjan in Armenia, there is a mysterious group of megalithic stones with unexplained destiny and even age.
In the Armenian local language, this place is called Zorac Karer, also known as
Army of Stones. It is believed to be an astronomical observatory.

We didn't know much about this place but it was a nice place for taking pictures and enjoying the view. We just spent a few minutes there as there was nothing more to do.

Devil’s bridge

Devil's Bridge is one of Armenia’s Natural Wonders
Devil's Bridge is one of Armenia’s natural wonders, located below Tatev Monastery. The part of the canyon, where the bridge is located, is so narrow, that even sun rays can't reach this part. Since its formation seemed unbelievable, it got the name "Devil's bridge". People used to say, that this was the Devil’s work for sure.

Honestly, we didn't find this place that much of interesting compared to other attractions in Armenia. But it was fun to visit such a place and had some photos. 😜

Tatev Monastery

Plan your Trip to Tatev Monastery in Armenia

Tatev Monastery is a 9th-century historical monument and one of the oldest and most famous monastery complexes in Armenia. It is easily accessible by the world’s longest reversible cable car. But make sure that you don't plan to go on a Monday because it is closed on Mondays.

Unfortunately, we planned it on Monday and it was closed. But the tour guide had another long route to reach there that was rich with various wonderful sights, worth seeing. He took us to a viewpoint from where Tatev Monastery looked beautiful. It was worth the long road trip to Tatev.

There's an interesting history that we learned about this place. It is said that the architect who built this monastery, at the end of his work, came to the very edge of the cliff and asked to bring him two wood chips. Taking them he crossed himself, prayed to God and said: "Ogni surb ta tev", translated as: "May the Holy Spirit give me the wings" and jumped into the abyss. Suddenly, the wings grew on his back and he flew away. The monastery was named in honor of this miracle - Tatev, that means "give wings".

There are many versions of this story. Not sure which one is the exact truth.

On our 5th Day (also our LAST DAY), we traveled back to Yerevan with the same tour guide. We had a short stop at a place in Yerevan providing an amazing city view. After a few photo shoots, the guide took us to the Victory Park in Yerevan.

Victory Park

The Statue of Mother Armenia in Victory Park, Yerevan

The Victory Park is dedicated to the victory of USSR in the World War II. Besides wonderful nature, amazing atmosphere and cafe, this park offers a plenty of amusements attractions, museum and the statue of Mother Armenia.

(There is the monument called “Mother Armenia”)

We enjoyed the park view, clicked some great pictures and then exit from the entrance of the park towards the Yerevan Cascade, as suggested by the guide.

People usually visit the cascade first, then climb the stairs up to visit the victory park. But we suggest walking down and not up. (You will definitely thank us for this)

Yerevan Cascade

Yerevan City View from Cascade Complex

Located on top of the Cascade complex, there's a kind of monument which is worth checking out. It gives you a nice view of Yerevan. Since we are moving down from top to bottom of the Cascade complex, we really enjoyed the mesmerizing view of the Yerevan city.

The Cascade is a giant stairway made of limestone in Yerevan, Armenia. Having five levels, the number of the stairs is 572, ascending along 302 meters upwards. The exterior of the Cascade features five levels adorned with fountains and modernist sculptures. At the base of the Cascade is a garden courtyard with statues by contemporary sculptures. There are a number of cafes and restaurants on both sides of the Cascade.

(We recommend comfortable shoes because it's going to be a long walk)

Cafesjian Museum of Art is also situated within the cascade complex of Yerevan. We missed it because we didn't have much time as it was our last day.

After enjoying the scenic view of the city, the guide picked us to the next destination, Erebuni Fortress & Museum.

Erebuni Museum and Fortress

Erebuni Museum in Yerevan, Armenia

Erebuni Fortress, also known as Arin Berd (Armenian meaning: "Fortress of Blood") is an Urartian fortified settlement, located in Yerevan, Armenia. We first visited the Erebuni Fortress which is why we didn't really understand what this fortress is all about. After spending a few minutes roaming around the Fortress, we went to the Erebuni Museum.

The Museum stands at the foot of the Arin Berd hill, on top of which the Urartian Fortress Erebouni has stood. We hired a guide who explained to us all about the collections in the museum including the findings from Arin Berd. The guide also narrated the story behind the Erebuni Fortress as well.

(Our suggestion is to visit the Erebuni Museum before the Fortress)

The ticket price to the museum - AMD 1000 for adults & AMD 300 for schoolchildren, students, and seniors.
The ticket price to the guide - AMD 2500.

Our trip to Armenia was a wonderful experience for all of us. Armenia is truly unique in its culture and history.

Have you been to Armenia? How was your trip? Feel free to share your travel experience in the comments below.

10 Famous Travel Quotes to Inspire You Hit the Road

There's nothing better than exploring the world...whether solo or with your loved ones. Every once in a while we all need some motivation to travel and explore the world.

"If we were meant to stay in one place, we'd have roots instead of feet."

Travel quotes always inspire us to start planning our next adventure. Here is a collection of 10 famous travel quotes we chose to inspire and motivate you to pack your bags and hit the road:

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
- Lao Tzu

You don't have to be rich to travel well.
- Eugene Fodor

Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.
- Matthew Karsten

Take only memories, leave only footprints.
- Chief Seattle

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
- Gustave Flaubert

Travel doesn't become adventure until you leave yourself behind.
- Marty Rubin

Once in a while, it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.
- Alan Keightley

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.
- Paolo Coelho

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
- Martin Buber

Top 7 Things to Do And See in Bangkok (Thailand)

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, mostly known for its chaotic, crowded streets, cheap prices, nightlife, and never-ending traffic. Bangkok is not known for jaw-dropping tourist attractions but it is a city that you will definitely fell in love with. You just need to mix yourself with it and then you will start feeling home.

Check out the top things to do and must visit places in Bangkok while you are there:

Take a Tuk-Tuk Ride

Take a Tuk Tuk Ride in Bangkok
Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash
A tuk-tuk is essentially a rickshaw with a small engine fitted in. Tuk-tuks have become one of Bangkok's most popular transport among tourists and visitors. Tuk-tuks are most ideal for short trips.

If you are thinking that taking a tuk-tuk is cheaper than a taxi, you are wrong. It's usually not. But riding a tuk-tuk will be a unique experience for you. So, do not miss it. Try once at least.

Visit the Safari World

Safari World is one of the top tourist attractions in Bangkok that consists of two parks: Marine Park and Safari Park.

Marine Park:

Marine Park Shows in Bangkok

Marine Park is more of a traditional zoo where there are a variety of marine animals with many shows of trained dolphins, birds, seals & apes, lots of food stalls and plenty of souvenir shops. Do not forget to enjoy the Orang Utan Boxing show which is the world famous and funniest show.

There are many other great shows like Sea Lion show, Dolphin show, Cowboy Stunt show, Spy War, and Bird show.

Safari Park:

Giraffes in Safari Park in Bangkok

Safari Park is an open zoo where the ultimate safari experience features hundreds of wild animals like zebras, deer, giraffes, tigers, lions, bears, elephants and others from all over the world.

You can also feed the Giraffes there which is a great experience. However, you have to pay extra to buy food for Giraffes.

Visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Bangkok

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Bangkok

There are many floating markets in Bangkok but Damnoen Saduak floating market is the most popular one. A trip to Bangkok is not complete without a visit to the floating market. Do not miss it while traveling to Bangkok.

Located around 30-40 minutes from Bangkok in Ratchaburi province, Damnoen Saduak is a very beautiful market with lots of colorful vegetables, fruits, and refreshing drinks. It's an attractive tourist destination to see this old style and traditional way of selling & buying goods.

(Note: Make sure to reach there as early as possible in the morning to avoid the crowds later.)

Visit Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of The Emerald Buddha) & the Grand Palace

Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of The Emerald Buddha) & the Grand Palace

Wat Phra Kaew is also known as the Temple of The Emerald Buddha, regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. It is beautifully housed with the statue of the Emerald Buddha.

Wat Phra Kaew is located within the grounds of the Grand Palace which is a famous landmark of this beautiful city, Bangkok. The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are open daily but close by mid-afternoon, so get there early.

Entrance Fee: 500 Baht per person

Visit Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, Bangkok

Wat Pho is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, located next to the Grand Palace and behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Wat Pho is the largest and oldest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Apart from the Reclining Buddha, the whole Wat Pho compound is full of artwork and Buddha statues. The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is also a training center for traditional Thai massage.

Entrance Fee: 100 Baht per person (free entry for children under 120cms)

Visit Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) in Bangkok

Wat Arun Ratchawararam, also known as the Temple of Dawn is named after the Indian God Aruna (God of Dawn). This temple is located on the west bank of the majestic Chao Phraya River.
It has an imposing spire over 70 meters high, beautifully decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain placed delicately into intricate patterns.

The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang and it is possible to walk a limited way up the very steep stairs of the main prang, which gives an amazing view of the Chao Phraya river. There are many unique attractions in Wat Arun that will amaze you with its beauty.

Entrance Fee: 50 Baht per person

Go for Shopping in Bangkok

If you are a first-time visitor to Bangkok, don't pack too much for the trip because you're definitely going to buy a lot there. Bangkok is a shopaholic's paradise where you can buy quality stuff at cheap prices.

There are many places to go shopping in Bangkok and following are the top 5 places you must visit:
  • Siam Center
  • Siam Discovery
  • Platinum Fashion Mall
  • Emporium and EmQuartier
  • Pratunam Market

A few other things that you should not miss in Bangkok are to try some street food, drink their coconut water, ride an elephant and get a Thai massage.


Top 5 Things to Do and See in Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya has now become one of the most popular beach destinations in Southeast Asia. Pattaya has magnificent beaches and is one of the most enjoyable places to stop for a few days.

Pattaya is often considered to be a destination for bachelors. However, it is not true. Pattaya is more than just its nightlife. It has a lot to offer for families and couples as well. It has attractions that can delight people with varied interests.

We have built a Pattaya trip planner to get the most out of it. Take a look at our top 5 must-see attractions in Pattaya which everyone should visit while traveling to Pattaya:

Coral Island (Koh Lan)

Things to do at Coral Island in Pattaya, Thailand

Explore the beautiful Coral island with a lot of water sports activities like snorkeling, parasailing, underwater walking, and banana boating. Or just sit back and relax on the beautiful beach.

(As per my experience, I won't recommend the underwater sea walk at Coral Island in Pattaya. To know more, check out my Pattaya travel experience here: 5 Days in Thailand)


Walking Street

Famous Walking Street in Pattaya

Walking Street is one of the famous Pattaya nightlife. Being the most exciting street in the world, there is so much to see and do on the Walking Street. 

The street with neon lights and music from the different genre, food vendors, live music venues, beer bars, go-go bars and street events make it the biggest spot in Thailand.

Opening Hours:

The street is free from vehicles daily from 6 pm to 4 am.
And the legal closing time is 4 am.

Alcazar show

Alcazar Show in Pattaya

Watch Cabaret shows (for adults only). The cabaret show Alcazar is extremely popular and one of the major tourist attractions in Pattaya. It is the major ladyboy show in Thailand. 

The show presents a combination of dance, music, and drama with popular Thai and English songs.

Opening Hours:

The daily show timings are 5:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:30 pm.
(The shows run for approximately 70 minutes.)

Art in Paradise (3D Art Museum)

3D Art Museum in Pattaya, Thailand

It is the first and only one illusion art museum with 3D illusion paintings. Try to visit on weekdays to avoid the crowd on weekends.

The gallery is set up perfectly so you can take pictures in a way that it looks like you are part of the painting. If you want to make your photos great, find a cool angle to make 3D paintings alive.

Opening Hours:

Art in Paradise opens daily from 9 am to 10 pm.

Nong Nooch Botanical Garden

Largest Botanical Garden in South East Asia
Image Source: Wikipedia
The beautiful Nong Nooch Garden is a sprawling 500-acre botanical garden and one of the major tourist attraction on Sukhumvit Road in Chonburi Province, Thailand. It is the largest botanical garden in South East Asia.

The garden features a lake, orchid nurseries, waterfalls and a vast, magnificent landscape. You can also enjoy a number of shows like folk dances, sword fighting, elephant shows and Thai boxing.

Opening Hours:

Nong Nooch garden opens daily from 8 am to 6 pm.

Plan a Perfect Trip in 8 Easy Steps

How to Plan a Perfect Trip to Abroad

Planning for an international trip can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Although it should be something fun and positive, it can easily become a stressful task whether planning a short trip or a long one.

It's very easy to get confused in the beginning, especially when you haven't done something like this before.

A lot of information can be found on the internet but the question is where to start. So, here we've created a step-by-step travel planning guide to make your trip easier and less stressed.

Step 1 - Choose your destination (where you want to go)

Finalise a destination where you are going to travel. Think about the vacation you really want. Don't be like "I don't know, I just want to travel". This way, you won't be able to plan a trip that will really execute. So, pick a destination, as it will give you a definite goal. Make sure to choose a destination that fits your budget as well.

Step 2 - Decide the length of your trip

Before you jump to your cost research, decide the length of your trip. Once you've decided whether you want to go on a short trip (a few days) or a long one (a few weeks), it will become easy to figure out how much it is going to cost.

Step 3 - Research your travel costs

Do thorough research on the prices in your destination. Include the following in your cost research:
  • Flight ticket
  • Accommodation
  • Getting around (by local transport or taxi)
  • Sightseeing & attractions
  • Places to eat & drink
This will provide you an estimate of how much money you'll need for your trip.

Step 4 - Book flight and accommodation for your trip

Search for online deals and packages for your chosen destination. Compare the price across various booking sites. And you can save money by booking in advance. Another tip to save money is to travel off-season.
TripAdvisor

Step 5 - Plan and decide your trip itinerary

Start with making a list of all the major places you would like to see. Plan your activities and calculate how much they cost. It will help you make any adjustment to your savings. Ask family & friends who have been there.

Use online resources like Travel blogs, Google and Trip Advisor for ideas while planning your itinerary for your destination. But make sure your research is up-to-date. 

Step 6 - Cross-check your documents

Before you pack your bags, make sure to cross check all your required documents. Mentioned below is the document checklist:
  • Passport
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Flight & accommodation tickets
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel vaccination proof (find out in advance if any immunizations are required for your destination and get vaccinated if mandatory)
  • Credit Cards
  • Driving License
  • A few passport size photos
Please note: Take copies of your important documents.

Step 7 - Pack your stuff

Now it's time to pack your bag. The best thing to do here is to pack minimum because you can always buy the needful there. The more I travel, I realize we don’t need a lot of stuff.
  • Pack your clothes according to the weather at your destination place.
    • Don't forget to add sunglasses, scarf, belt, and socks in your list.
  • Most important toiletries to pack are:
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste & floss
    • Shampoo & conditioner
    • Shower gel/soap & face wash
    • Comb, hair ties & hairpins
    • Towel
    • Deodorant 
    • Sunscreen, face lotion/gel & moisturizer
    • Personal hygiene products
      (Some of the toiletries can be skipped if you are staying in a hotel.)
  • Electronic items like mobile, chargers, laptop/ipad, camera & universal power adapter.
  • A small medical kit including band-aids, eyedrops, earplugs, doctor-prescribed antibiotics, painkillers and hand sanitizer.
  • USB card reader and memory card.
  • Keep your house keys safe with you.
  • Download important mobile applications:

Step 8 - Enjoy your trip

Now the last step is to enjoy your trip and have fun. Take some photos, buy some souvenirs and create amazing travel memories.

You're more likely to have a great vacation if you plan your trip with care. Now, start saving money for your trip and enjoy every single second of it.

5 Days in Thailand - A Wonderful Trip to Pattaya & Bangkok

Thailand Trip

Together with our friends, we flew to Thailand from Dubai on 8th Sep 2016. Since we had already bought a tour package of Bangkok and Pattaya, our trip became easy and stress-free.

This trip was so amazing that I didn't want it to end. I am so glad that I have been there.

When arrived at Bangkok airport, we checked-in and bought sim cards first. And since we've already got a holiday package, the van was already out there waiting for us to transfer from Bangkok Airport to our booked Hotel Mac Boutique (3***) in Sukhumvit where we put our luggage and took some rest first. After an hour of rest, we went to explore the city.

We also bought some souvenirs on the first day of our trip.

We explored the local areas and malls in Sukhumvit and Nana via Metro. You can purchase the token from the token machine at the metro station. Or you can also purchase it directly from a person at one of the kiosks at the metro station.

We enjoyed the street food, window shopping and captured those memories in our cameras. And the most amazing experience was taking a tuk-tuk ride. It seems to be everyone's favorite way of getting around Bangkok. (A tuk-tuk is essentially a rickshaw with a small engine fitted in. Read more about it.)

The very next morning, our taxi driver dropped us from Bangkok to Pattaya as per the itinerary prepared by our travel agency.

Pattaya is most commonly known for its beaches in Thailand. In Pattaya, we stayed at Pattaya Loft which is also a 3*** hotel. (Pattaya Loft hotel reviews on TripAdvisor)

Our actual trip started there. And below are the places we visited on our trip to Thailand.

Coral Island in Pattaya

Coral Island is a paradise with crystal clear water and fine white sand in Pattaya. It's a perfect place for water sports lovers.

Parasailing

Parasailing in Pattaya

We decided to start with parasailing. Everyone in our group seems to be very excited but I am so afraid of heights that I just dropped my plan to go for parasailing. But my husband never fails to make me overcome my fears. He succeeded again. And our guide was too stubborn that I couldn't argue with him while he was forcing me to go for it. So yeah, he was also responsible for me to say yes to go parasailing for the first time in my life. But my heart started pounding when I realized that only one can go at a time. I let my husband go first before my turn as it makes me more comfortable to see him doing something I am afraid to do. He is my mentor after-all. :D

I saw him enjoying the parasailing and that motivated me. Finally, it was my turn. I stepped onto the ship deck and was tied to the parachute. It usually starts going up slowly but due to my lightweight, I just went up in a fraction of a second. Then I suddenly realized that the view was so breathtaking that I forgot about my fear. It was an amazing experience. We all loved it.
Parasailing is a must try activity for those who want to experience flying even if they are afraid of heights. You're definitely going to love this.

Underwater Sea Walk

After parasailing, now it was the time for Underwater Sea Walk.
Underwater Sea Walk Experience in Pattaya

The guide explained to us about the gear and essentials. The way he told us that there's nothing better than this underwater sea walk, we expected a lot. There was a big metal helmet-kind-of-mask put on top of our head to help us getting oxygen supply. The operators were very quick in doing their job where they ended up ignoring people's discomfort or questions.

But when we entered the water, we experienced that the water was not clear, rather it was so dirty that even pictures have come out bad. We came out with ear pain and headache after the underwater sea walk.
Underwater sea walk in Coral Island in Pattaya was worst. Try it on your own risk. haha!

Banana Boat Ride

Banana Boat Ride in Pattaya

After such a horrible experience, we relaxed on the beach and resumed our activities with banana boat riding. It was fun. The goal of banana boat driver was to make it thrill at the end of the ride by throwing us into the water. It was full of adventure.

Jet Ski Ride

Jet Ski Ride in Pattaya

The final sports activity was jet ski riding. We had a good time enjoying the jet ski ride. The guide was also helpful and it was a great experience for all of us.

We had fun on the island with some photo shoots and swimming around... Ah! let me tell you that I was not a swimmer at that time so I just watched my friends swimming while trying to learn swimming. But no success...haha! :-D :-D

Then it was lunchtime that was also included in our package of the day. After lunch, we went back to our hotel. We were so exhausted that we decided to get some rest before exploring the Pattaya streets. At night, we spent some quality time walking down the streets of Pattaya including the Walking Street.

Walking Street

Famous Walking Street in Pattaya

The nightlife in Pattaya is totally happening. Many visitors come here to enjoy the nightlife in which Walking Street is counted as one of the top famous Pattaya nightlife. Being the most exciting street in the world, there is so much to see and do on the Walking Street. The street with neon lights and music from the different genre, food vendors, and street events makes it the biggest spot in Thailand.

We had our next day booked for Alcazar show and Art in Paradise.

Art in Paradise

Art in Paradise, Pattaya

We started our afternoon with a trip to Art in Paradise which is a 3D Art Museum. It is the first and only one illusion art museum with 3D illusion paintings. We became part of the artworks and had fun posing for photos.

If you want to make your photos great, find a cool angle to make 3D paintings alive. Try to visit on weekdays to avoid the crowd on weekends.

Alcazar Show

Alcazar Show in Pattaya

Alcazar is globally famous for the best transvestite cabaret show in Pattaya. Luckily, it was also included in our tour package. We enjoyed the Alcazar cabaret evening show and really impressed by their marvelous combination of music, dance, and costume.

Alcazar show features a small team of male and ladyboy artists who give dazzling and fantastic performances with great music, amazing sets, and stunning costumes to entertain the audience. A trip to Pattaya is incomplete without seeing the spectacular Alcazar Show.

Alcazar cabaret is a must visit show. Don't miss it ever!

Next day, after having the breakfast, our tour guide transferred us from Pattaya to Bangkok. We stayed in the same hotel, Mac Boutique Suites, Sukhumvit.

Our tour package for that day included full day Safari World with Marine Park & lunch in Bangkok.

Marine Park

Marine Park in Bangkok

At Marine Park, we enjoyed all the exciting shows. Orang Utan Boxing show is the world famous and funniest show. Sea Lion show was also great. Dolphin show captivated us with the Dolphin's effortless mastery of the most difficult tricks. Other shows included Cowboy Stunt show, Spy War, and Bird show.

Then we had lunch. It was an Indian food buffet as per our package. After having lunch, we headed towards the Safari park.

Safari Park

Safari Park in Bangkok

Safari Park is an open zoo where the ultimate safari experience features hundreds of animals from all over the world. And the Safari drive was a new experience for us. We had a lot of fun roaming around the place seeing different animals. We also fed the Giraffes and it was a wonderful experience.

Our day ended with lots of fun, laugh, and photography.

Next day, some of us (including me) went to explore the famous temples (wats) and floating market and others went to visit the Dream World & Snow Town in Bangkok.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Floating Market in Bangkok

We booked a taxi and started our day with the famous Floating Market in Bangkok i.e. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. We must tell you that there are many floating markets in Bangkok but Damnoen Saduak is the most popular one. And a trip to Bangkok is not complete without a visit to the floating market. So, don't miss it while traveling to Bangkok.

We hopped on a floating boat and enjoyed the scenery & the peaceful way of life on both sides of the river bank. It was an amazing experience as we had never been to a floating market before. Located around 30-40 minutes from Bangkok in Ratchaburi province, its a beautiful market with lots of colorful fruits & vegetables and refreshing drinks.

We enjoyed the sight and took some photos. It is a very attractive place for tourists to see this old style and traditional way of selling & buying goods.

(Best time to get there is as early as possible in the morning so as to avoid a lot of the crowds.)

Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of The Emerald Buddha)

Temple of The Emerald Buddha

Then we went to check out the wats (temples) out there as a trip to Bangkok is not complete without a visit to the wats as well. Bangkok has a lot of beautiful temples. We started with a visit to the Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of The Emerald Buddha), located within the grounds of the Grand Palace. It is known as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.

(The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are open daily but close by mid-afternoon, so get there early.)

Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)

Reclining Buddha in Bangkok

Our next visit was Wat Pho, one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok. It is also known as the Temple of Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is famous for the huge gold leaf covered Reclining Buddha statue which is the largest in Thailand measuring more than 150 feet in length. The feet and the eyes are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration, and the feet also show the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha.

Apart from the Reclining Buddha, the whole Wat Pho compound is full of artwork and Buddha statues. This temple is also a training center for traditional Thai massage.

The temple is located next to the Grand Palace and behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew).

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Temple of Dawn, Bangkok

From Wat Pho, we took a boat to cross the Chao Phraya river (costs only 3 Baht one way) to visit Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). (The entry fee is 50 Baht.) Wat Arun in Bangkok is surrounded by beautiful gardens with trees and statues.

The highlight of visiting Wat Arun is climbing the vertical staircase to the top level. The climb is very steep, so be careful and hold on tight to the ropes while climbing. And don’t forget to put decent clothes on – no shorts, tank tops etc are allowed. You can also hire a tuk-tuk to take you around for the day to see the temples.

We didn't climb as we were supposed to reach the airport before night. So, we just roamed around and returned to our taxi to reach the airport on time.

It was a remarkable trip. And I wonder why people say that they don't like Bangkok. It's an amazing city. You just need to mix yourself with it and then you will start feeling home.