in the land of buddha

Thailand has been one of the most common international holiday destination I had heard my friends go to. The photos shared by them spoke a thousand words about the country. And finally, God gave me a chance to view his beautiful creation through my own eyes.

I landed in Phuket with my office team and husband. You may be wondering if this was an official or a personal trip. Well, it was an official trip where we were allowed to take our better halves along. What better way to bring both the worlds together.

The first experience of any city is how seamless the airport experience is. In our case, I found it to be chaotic. It took us more than an hour to navigate our way out.

Once on the roads, the journey was smooth and similar to my previous experience of being in Philippines. Clean roads, orderly driving, no honking, no bumps – these are things which are luxury on Indian roads but things which are a matter of fact for our South Asian neighbours.

We were served a welcome drink of coconut water and I found the taste of coconut was quite distinct from what we get in India – much sweeter and with a peculiar aroma. When we entered our room; the breathtaking views from the balcony made the journey totally worth it. The greenery, beach view and the birds chirping is not something we witness everyday. And when they all come together, we feel totally blessed.

View from our balcony
View at night from the room

Being a typical tourist and having done prior research, I rented a car and me and my husband explored some key points in the city. It was quite later when I learnt that self driving would have been much cheaper. I had read on the web that it is risky to self-drive. But a few of my colleagues who did that found it completely easy and convenient.

The temples of the city had a unique architecture. The old Phuket town cannot be missed if you happen to visit Phuket.

We woke up to the chirping of birds. Few of them came sportingly to us during breakfast and took food from our hands with complete perfection. We spent the day just relaxing on the beach, doing nothing. The feeling of doing nothing; of being in the present; of not trying to tick the boxes; of being one with water made the day memorable. This was the first time I experienced weightlessness in water. With hubby’s full support, I was able to lie still. He made me comfortable and the feeling of being safe when he is around made the experience complete.

In the evening, we visited one of its kind cultural show ‘Siam Niramit Pukhet’. Even though we did not understand much, the show offered a spectacular combination of culture, technology and emotions to educate visitors about Thailand’s cultural heritage.

On the third day, we visited a few islands on speedboat. Our guide was quite friendly and supportive. We did snorkelling and enjoyed the transparent waters and aquatic varieties. Hubby’s training on the previous day made me comfortable with the waters. I also had a guide who made me snorkel for close to half an hour and guided me to deep waters.

On the way back, we visited a night market which was very similar to the street markets we have in India.

The team building activities in between helped me meet families of my colleagues and get to know them on a personal front. I also observed the bachelors in the team and how they were bonding with each other much more than some of us family folks. I smiled thinking of the times I was on that side. And how, we would play games overnight. This time, with our families being around; we struck the right balance between personal time and professional connections. The people in the team who organised the entire tour left no stone unturned for us to have a great experience. Right from Indian food to an amazing resort and activities, the trip was planned to perfection.

Some of the lessons from our previous travels helped us. We carried enough packaged food so that the lack of a good variety and taste of vegetarian food did not take away most of our attention. We also carried dry fit clothes which helped as we soaked in the waters without worrying to get sick.

Even though it was a short trip, it gave us memories of lifetime.

Author of "My Beloved's MBA Plans", "Because Life Is A Gift" & "Corporate Avatars"

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