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Getting to Bangkok

Written on: Friday July 6th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

We flew to Bangkok with Thai International Airways, and ended up sitting next to the emergency exit, which was great as we had all the leg room we could want! The flight itself was pretty turbulent, with the seatbelt sign flashing on more times than I was comfortable with! My left thumbnail got pretty much obliterated throughout the flight, and my knuckles were white at times with gripping the seat, but we made it safely, and the captain redeemed himself with an excellent landing!

Once we got into the airport, we could feel the heat immediately - 7pm, and 26 degrees celsius! Suvarnabhumi airport was absolutely massive, and we found it easy to get lost! We had to go through customs, having our photo taken, before being allowed to get through to the baggage carousels. Most of the bags had already been taken off, so we had to search for a while to find ours, but once we had them in our possession again, we headed out on our mission to find DHL! Our bags had become far too heavy to carry, and the plan was to send a certain amount of stuff home. Sounds easy enough, right? The DHL office in the airport was apparently in an entirely different building, and the lady at the information desk couldn't guarantee that it would be open at that time of night, so we decided to give it a miss and try the next day. I was also getting frustrated at my mobile, which still wasn't working, despite T-mobile having assured Martyn that it would definitely work in Thailand. I tried to buy a Thai simcard, but my phone was restricted when they tried it, so cue much cursing of T-mobile!!

After all that hassle, we thought our best bet would be to just head to the hotel, as it was getting late by that point. We got a prepaid taxi for 450 baht, and set off to New World Lodge Hotel. Straight away, the differences between Thailand and Nepal were apparent. The roads had organisation, the drivers knew that the horn didn't need pressing every 5 seconds, and best of all, the taxi had air-conditioning! Bliss!

The phrase 'The car in front is a Toyota' is very appropriate here, as pretty much every car is a Toyota! Other Japanese favourites seem to include Honda, and Lexus (Lexi for the Alan Partridge fans!).

Upon arrival at the hotel, we were pleasantly surprised to see how luxurious it was! By most standards, it wasn't that amazing, but for us it was the Hilton! The room had air-conditioning, the beds were clean, we had a hot shower and a balcony...couldn't get much better! We even had a phone in the room, so I was able to phone people back home. It was at this point that Martyn informed me of T-mobile's cock-up - they hadn't actually set my phone up for international roaming! He had asked them to turn it on, but they refused, saying that there was no password on the account. Interestingly, when I rang them, this didn't seem to be a problem - despite my mum phoning and pretending to be me, setting a password, they didn't ask me for one when I rang back. Bizarre. Anyway, the point of the story is that my phone could have worked right back from the beginning had I known, but if anyone wants to contact me that way, it's working now!

Unfortunately, I was still vomiting on the first night, so we missed dinner. I was up in the night as well, which was a bit disappointing, but my main concern was that I wouldn't be well for the next day!! Luckily, I was ok in the morning, and we were able to go out exploring!