- Why did you select Thailand (Bangkok) for your holiday destination?
We selected Thailand because Thailand is a child-friendly place and since I was travelling with my siblings and all their children, we decided that Phuket will be something fun, very child-friendly and easy for us to do. It’s pretty safe and there’s lots of fun stuff for toddlers to do there.
- First impressions of the city?
Well, I first went to Thailand in 1999 so it’s been 20 years since I’ve been going regularly to Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Ko Samui, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Pha-ngan. Every year unfortunately I just feel it gets dirtier, more touristy, crowded and polluted but it’s still a very affordable place to go to for a vacation. You get pampered and the best thing about it is that the food is awesome, the massages are super, and it’s an easy quick go-to place.
- Which are the must-see places in Bangkok?
Must see places in Bangkok, hmm… there is Central World which is awesome, there is MBK which is a medium mall and they have Siam which is also a nice mall, so malls are obviously a thing to do because shopping is fun there. They also have fun theme parks which I would highly recommend. There are amazing restaurants. The first Michelin restaurant in Thailand called Gaggan is there which I feel is a must-go to place if you are a foodie.
- People travel to Dubai for shopping or to Nepal for a peaceful getaway. What is the specialty of Thailand? The differentiating feature?
Thailand is the perfect hybrid of both Nepal and Dubai. You can have the peacefulness and zen if u like that kind of vacation and you can also have the lovely shopping and food if that’s what u feel like doing too.
- Tom Yum and Pad Thai are two of the many famous dishes. Did you try these? What difficulties did you face in general while finding yourself healthy, halal food?
Tom yum Kung is my father’s favourite dish and pad thai with chicken is my favourite dish. There are lots of other delicious Thai dishes like chicken green curry and Massaman Curry. I love their basil chicken mince. I think Thai food is definitely in my top five favourite cuisines. I love Thai food!
- What did you enjoy most about the city?
Personally speaking what I enjoyed most about Bangkok was the food. I’m not a very big fan of Bangkok because I just prefer going to these islands when I’m in Thailand like Phuket or Ko Samui. I would much rather hang out at a nice beachy place and do scuba diving then hang out in Bangkok which I think is a bit dirty. But it’s still fun!
- Any funny incident that took place on your trip?
Not one particular incident was funny but one thing was definitely happening. My dad who is a very responsible man really had his bad luck that every day he kept forgetting something. One day he forgot our suitcase at the airport, another day he forgot his t-shirt at the pool side, then he forgot his wallet somewhere and kept forgetting his phone at some places too. So we were just laughing and laughing because it was just funny how my dad being such an extremely responsible man just kept forgetting everything everywhere. So as a family we were just tickled about it.
- Communicating with the Thai can get tough at times. How did you cope up with the language problem?
Luckily People in Thailand all pretty much know the very very basic English like come, go, see, where, how and then you always have some hand gestures to help you along. Communicating was difficult only if you wanted something very specific or out-of-the-ordinary. Otherwise, for basic things like directions and food questions everyone would understand enough English that we can get by on.
- Will you be bringing any souvenirs with you?
I’ve been to Thailand a lot – like this is my 11th trip -so I dont get any souvenirs. I did get a fridge magnet though because I’ve started collecting them. So now I just try and get unique and fun magnets wherever I go. This time as a souvenir I got a Tuk Tuk as a fridge magnet!
- Crazy shoppers are always looking for things they MUST have. What would you suggest they should buy and from where (If you know a particular place)?
I’m not a crazy shopper so there isn’t anything I would say that you absolutely must have when you go to Bangkok but I have to tell you that Thai food is something that you absolutely must must must try there. And then the massage (not the thai massage, I feel it’s a bit harsh for the skin and a bit hard on the bones) but I do recommend the Swedish oil massage. I think in all of Thailand, the massage is a MUST try!!
- One word to describe your experience?
The one word I would use to describe my experience is ‘memorable’
Because, we as a family – me, my parents, both my brothers, both my bhabis, and I have five nephews and nieces Mashallah. All 11 or 12 of us now, we do this as an annual trip. We’ve been to Turkey, we’ve done a European cruise, USA and now we’re doing Thailand. These are the most precious moments of my life because I truly truly believe that life is all about making memories and creating wonderful experiences. It was exhausting and tiring but it was memorable and I wouldn’t exchange this memory for anything in the whole world.
- What is the one thing that you always take with you on your trips?
The one thing I always take with me? Well, money obviously and if you want to stray from the typical things like phone, money, debit card, credit card, passport then the one thing I will always take with me or try to take with me is my Stevia which is my sugar.
- Where were you staying and was it comfortable enough for you? What do you think is the current situation of the accommodation in Pakistan? (In comparison)
We were staying at the Marriott Beach Resort in Phuket which is on Merlin Beach. It had its own private beach. The resorts in Thailand are incomparable and world class, they can’t be compared with Pakistan. The hotels in Pakistan are not extremely fancy, they do not have resorts and private beaches so you can’t make a comparison.
- Suggest a few ideas which in your opinion would enhance the traveling experience in Pakistan?
I think Pakistan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We could improve the standard of tourism in our country. We could make new hotels, new tourist companies, tour companies, and we could have proper safety procedures. We could have entertainment like when we go to North there’s nothing to do there except eating and enjoying the scenery. We could do zorbing, cable cars, skiing, there’s so much that could be done. We could make resorts up in the mountain. Possibilities are endless endless endless…