After the long hiatus imposed by the pandemic, the allure of adventure beckoned us, and Thailand, being one of the first countries to reopen its borders to tourists, became our resolute choice. My dearest friend and I, confined to our homes for nearly two years, seized this opportunity with eagerness.
However, the downside of traveling during this time was the substantial expense — we had to fork out a whopping 19,000 Bangladeshi Taka just for the COVID tests on our first night.
Fortunately, the sun rose on a brighter note, and we were declared free from any COVID concerns the next morning. With a newfound sense of liberation, we embarked on our exploration of Thailand.
As we stepped onto the streets of Bangkok, a new world unfolded before us. The first enchanting sight was the ubiquitous “tuk-tuk,” a three-wheeled vehicle that was a unique mode of transportation for us newcomers.
In stark contrast to the pre-pandemic hustle and bustle, the markets were surprisingly uncrowded and, in some cases, not fully open. Nevertheless, the serenity allowed us to immerse ourselves in the essence of the city at our own pace.
After our initial day in Bangkok, we decided to venture further and hopped onto a bus bound for Pattaya. Nestled near the captivating sea beach, Pattaya proved to be a haven for tourists. We managed to find an affordable hotel offering a delightful buffet breakfast and access to a swimming pool.
Upon checking in, our first stop was the serene shores of the sea beach. There, we spent an enchanting evening, captivated by the mesmerizing sunset painting the sky with hues of orange and pink.
Pattaya is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, with countless pubs and clubs coming to life as midnight approaches. I was still tethered to my office responsibilities, so during the day, I diligently worked from our hotel room. However, as the night descended, we embarked on a whirlwind adventure, exploring the city’s nocturnal wonders.
Our Pattaya escapades also included a visit to an intriguing tiger park, where we had the extraordinary opportunity to touch and photograph these majestic creatures. Additionally, we explored the nearby islands via ferry or high-speed boat, indulging in various activities and relishing lunches by the crystal-clear waters.
When it came to dining, we embraced the diverse culinary offerings, sampling a wide array of menus, cuisines, and libations. Thailand’s rich culinary tapestry provided us with delightful gastronomic adventures throughout our journey.
After nearly a week of revelry in Pattaya, we reluctantly bid farewell to the seaside paradise and returned to Bangkok a day before our departure. While Bangkok typically boasts bustling markets brimming with souvenirs and trinkets for tourists, the subdued number of visitors during our visit meant that these markets were not operating at full capacity.
Our adventure in Thailand, post-COVID, was a journey filled with unforgettable experiences, breathtaking landscapes, and the joy of discovery. It was a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and our enduring desire to explore the world, no matter the challenges we face.