Contiki Thailand: A Whole New World
Sometimes life takes you by surprise. Even more often than not, you take yourself by surprise. Life is not in the day-to-day doldrums that follow what you post on your IG or the 10th Starbucks coffee cup you post on your stories. Life is in the adventures taken and the stories you live through.
Like most instances and incidents, there’s a first with everything and boy, this was a big one. Our first ever group tour and we had a different kind of excitement bubbling deep inside. We were nervous, excited and filled with all kinds of wonderment. And questions. So many questions. Who would we travel with? How would we get on? Surprisingly enough, it didn’t take us much time at all to get comfortable and discover what amazing company we’d have for the rest of our adventure. A diverse group of cool kids from different parts of the country, all different in every way imaginable came together for what would be one supremely epic trip. We mingled, we sang, we loved and how, making new best friends from an adventure of a lifetime.
Now this is where it gets really cool. This is what we think to be the essence of Contiki’s vision. Which is really just getting together people and bonds and creating unforgettable experiences. What we loved most about our time is the utmost care with which CONTIKI not only curates the trip, but also cares for the places. There’s absolute respect for the cultures and the traditions. The communities are chamioned and the local environment and wildlife is also supported and encouraged.
Like they say, life is captured in its moments. While we had an extremely short trip with a tight schedule, it was insane juggling and hopping between places. But that’s almost where we had the maximum fun. High-octane craziness met excitement to a very very fun trip. We knew we were time freaks but it’s only when you travel with a troupe that you realize how essential time management is. So much so that we literally almost missed our group twice and let’s just say – lesson learned! Yet that gave us such a sense of freedom and independence. Figuring out the locales, the streets and finding our way back to the pack.
The adrenaline was from the get-go but it’s only when we rode bikes together, chilled all night on the train and had super long but fun bus journeys, that we all truly became much closer.
Now, coming to the beautiful country itself – THAILAND!
When you think of it, the first few images that pop in your head are luscious lagoons, pristine waters that make you want to sip cocktails by the beach. Bustling streets with shopping bags piled on both arms, food markets with steam and aromas that beckon you from far away. Little did we know that the country had so much to offer with its natural countryside with lush greens, native cuisines and the lovely people.
Our first day was relatively relaxed, getting to know the cool folks who we were to spend the next few days with. There was a lot of free time that DEFINITELY included going shopping and tasting local treats. We got to know our trip mates a lot better that really set the tone for the rest of the trip.
A quick sleep in and the next morning we set off to the Grand Palace. A stunning Thai landmark that is known for being home to Thai royalty. It’s also currently housing a beautiful emerald Buddha that it is more popularly known for. Getting to see this grand architecture really got us to see more of Thailand’s cultural nuances as opposed to the fun and amped up vibe it’s generally visited for.