Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Departure, The Arrival

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Day 1 in Bangkok

You know you can never be ready whenever leaving for an overseas assignment. It always happens to me – documents to be printed at the last minute, last minute meetings, last minute rush to the bank, last minute rush to exchange the foreign currency and other last minute etc. Despite that, there is always a feeling that I have missed something.

For the flight to Bangkok, I tried to get a window side seat but you know what, I was late. The flight was full (in fact overbooked and there were people who were on waiting list at the airport) and the best seat (if you can call it “best”) that I got was the middle seat in a row of four.
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* My ride to Bangkok – MAS Airbus. It was little crammed and its in-house entertainment system was nothing to shout about (there was none) but there was proper meal served and the service was good

The flight was great (despite of my uncomfortable seating) except for a short time when there was terrible turbulence when approaching Bangkok. They had to even cancel the serving of hot drinks in the name of safety. We don’t want anyone spilling a hot cup of coffee on his or her pants don’t we? We ended up having orange juice to go down with our meals. My “Mat Salleh” neighbors were gentlemen enough – they were either sleeping or was reading a really thick novel. I can’t say the same for my Thai neighbor – he took off his shoe and was sleeping away with his socks in clear view. Although it was rude but I did not complain though – the socks were clean and were not smelly (unlike some Malaysian who I know).
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* The culprit caught on camera – some people can be oblivious to the sensibility of others

Glancing around the plane for photo shots, I realized that most of them who were sitting at the window side were sleeping. What a waste of location! I quietly put away my camera when we hit more turbulence. Vibrations are the last things that my camera needs. A piece of advise for MAS – it will be calmer for the passengers if a fast paced Mexican music was not played during heavy turbulence. The more I was listening to it, the more I felt like I was in an action movie with terrorist flying to crash the plane (Die Hard 4?).

The touchdown in Bangkok International Airport was smooth. The hiring of the taxi from the airport to our (yes, there are 3 of us here) hotel was even smoother (assisted by 2 very helpful staff at the taxi counter). We just went to the taxi counter immediately after the customs, told them where we want to go, paid about 800 Baht for 3 of us and almost immediately a taxi in the form of a Toyota Camry was waiting for us. We would be staying in different hotels during our stay here in Bangkok. The hotel rooms are fully booked during this season so we had no choice but to hop around (great because then we won’t be bored with one hotel food).
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* Our ride to the hotel – comfortable, safe and reasonably cheap. The taxi driver was one the kindest guy I ever met.

The first was at Riverfront Residence, which was facing the great river of the Chao Praya (in case it rings a bell, read your Geography books). I was given a one-bedroom apartment, which has a small kitchen (complete with utilities), living area and an attached bedroom & wardrobe.
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* The view from my room – the river is partially hidden but I can still see the boats plying up and down the river

We did not dare to venture out much on the first night – language was a big problem here in Bangkok. Very few people speak English – if there is one, it broken English. So we ended up having dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was even great because it was nearer to the river (we can even see the people on the boats). The food was great but the price was not – it was a bit pricey but with a great view, it was somehow worth it.

So much so for our first day in Bangkok - It was time to hit the bed for a better day tomorrow
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* The bedroom – inviting and soothing to weary travelers

(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Other Trips)
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1 comment:

Bangkok Hotels, Thailand said...

Many thanks with your good story. If i have a chance to visit in Bangkok again , i will go to Grand Palace and looking for the hotel around Kaosarn Road. I think that Kaosarn Road is good for young travelers. Around the street, there are a number of old buildings and temples, some of which have been transformed into restaurants and even tattoo parlours, although you will still find quiet family homes if you look deep enough. Aside from some interesting architecture, Banglampoo shows the mix of peoples and heritages that is the character of Bangkok. There are Muslims, Buddhists, Mons, and of course a great number of foreigners in this small area. All of this makes the area an interesting place for a glimpse of Thai life. Thais also appreciate the area for the many types of traditional kanom or Thai snacks and desserts available and the cheap clothing available in the Banglampoo Market.