Friday, 22 May 2015

Can't Make it? Then Fake it...

 #Thailand    #Miscellaneous

We all love shopping and personally whenever I am upset I shop... it naturally brings smile to my face... However what we all buy varies from individual to individual, some people like clothes shopping, some like shoe shopping, some go for some kindda gadget and people like me buy small things that may or maynot be useful in day to day activities... 
Shopping is bliss isn't it? But it turns into a misery when what you want doesn't sit in an affordable range. For most people (esp. in India) its not even about affordable range, usually people have money but we don't want to spend that much on something. We would rather settle for not having it, then spending too much... Isn't it?

When we shop we look for many things but apart from all the regular things there are many others that are aspirations, like you may want Rolex watch, or Louis Vuitton purse or many other things... These things are of course are just aspirations and not in everyone's affordable range... Market is flooded with so many things that most middle class can't even dream about them. There are so many shops in malls today that feel like money drain... so many manufacturers just put a label called 'brand' on their products and charge skyrocketing prices for them... There are people who can buy them but well most population can't afford! But do they need to satiate for non-branded things  or average products that doesn't make them happy? Well, thats not the case...

I have certain friends who own most premium products available around, be it sunglasses, watches, bags, etc. This luxury for a person with same earning range makes you wonder hence I asked them the source and the answer was in 1 word, 'Thailand'
We all know Thailand is one of the world's top shopping destination but what most of us don't know is what you buy from Thailand will not necessarily be real. In fact most products are fake and only the experts can tell the difference. I personally prefer proper branded products but for most people you know, dil hai ki manta nahi (the heart doesn't understands). If you fall in this category who doesn't care if the product is authentic or not, you can try Thailand. Well honestly, counterfeit is so popular these days that you may buy a thing at full price and never realize if its real or not, so maybe it's worth the try...

I am not saying that go to Thailand every time you want something,  but if original or fake doesn't
bother you and you have long list of desires (materialistic of course) then plan a trip to Thailand... by the way other desires are legal in Thailand but be very cautious because you never know who you might end up with...!!!
Coming back to original topic, going to Thailand is pretty easy for many reasons (in comparison to other countries)
  • It has visa-on-arrival policy so you don't have to go through long waiting process of Visa (which is a tedious process for Indians)
  • If you plan well in advance you can get a return ticket for as less as Rs.10,000 (Going to Kerala would be more expensive)
  • You can easily find a decent stay within normal range
  • And for most Indians, Indian food is very important (esp. if you are a vegetarian). In Thailand  you will get the second best homemade food ever (first being mom's food always)
Also, Thailand is a beautiful travel destination. At one time Phuket was considered to be the best honeymoon spot but now it's very commercialised. However, there are many other less commercial places in Thailand that can visited and enjoyed. Well checkout the image here, isn't it heaven...

How to travel in Thailand?
There are many options available, like taxis, tuk-tuks (auto-rickshaw), public buses, canal and river boats, motorbike taxis, the Skytrain (BTS) and underground (MRT). Given the traffic in Bangkok, boats and trains are good option. However, do try river boats, they cover many historic places of Thailand and it is a great way of sightseeing

What security measure to take in Thailand?
Well, all normal travel rules apply in Thailand as well. It is pretty safe however it is recommended not to flaunt money or other products. Also make sure to take care of your belongings while you shop, if you leave something behind or in taxi, its very unlikely that you will find it again

Let's talk about places in Thailand that you can go & shop.
Image of Patpong Night Street
We already know the reasons to come and shop in Thailand, however, one should know (and I re-iterate) they all are counterfeit products, be it Ray Ban, Monte  Blanc, Guess, Rolex, Prada and even Apple products etc. Name it and claim it... :). Also I can bet my money on fact that if you put original and Thai product together, you can't tell the difference (well unless you are an expert)
There are many places to shop and you can get similar stuff everywhere. However, find a street market as you can there bargain heavily (don't be rude like people are in India, use smile & polite approach, prices will go down). Only malls, supermarkets etc have fixed price, rest all is bargained. I would recommend asking hotel guys to tell you which place to go and shop so that you have convenience. However there are many markets like Train Market, Platinum mall, MBK Mall etc that you can visit. My friends recommend night markets as they are very popular. Some good night markets are,  Khao San Road, Patpong market etc. 
One word of caution, when you shop make sure the product you buy is in good condition and is of good quality. You don't want to end up with used or damaged product.

Anything else?
Lets see, we covered travel to Thailand, food, travel within city, security measures & shopping destinations in brief. The only two things I can think of are popular lying Buddha temple and some translations.

Lying Buddha temple i.e. Wat Pho temple is one the most famous temple of Buddha in Thailand. It has the largest reclining Buddha and largest collection of Buddha images. There are 108 bronze bowls in the corridor indicating the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. People drop coins in these bowls as it is believed to bring good fortune, and to help the monks maintain the wat. The shopping area of this temple is also pretty awesome...

Language translations
Thai people speak Thai, they know English only a little so it is important to know all important slangs, below is list of a few...

Hello - Sawasdee ka / krub *
I'm just looking - Pom / chan kae duu **
Let me have a look first - Kor pom / chan duu kon **
That's pretty - Seuy dee na ka / krub *
How much? - Tao rai?
Too expensive! - Pang maak na ka / krub! *
Can I have a discount? - Lod dai mai?
Do you have other colours? - Mee see eun mai?
Do you have a bigger size? - Mee yai kwaa nee mai?
Do you have a smaller size? - mee lek kwaa nee mai?
Is this from Thailand? - Tam nai pra ted thai rue plao?
No thanks, I'm not interested - Mai aow ka / krub *
Thank you very much - Kob Khun maak ka / krub *
You are so sweet! - Khun na rak maak!
* 'ka' if you're female, 'krub' if you are male
** 'pom' if you are male, 'chan' is used for both sexes

I hope this articles helps you get through Thailand when you plan to visit. 

Till then
Take Care

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