Day 26 – Bangkok

4.15am I wake up after a fitful sleep of hourly checking the clock so I don’t sleep through the alarm. An uneventful checkout and a dark drive in an old boxy Volvo to the airport (free as part of the accommodation).

Go to the kiosk to try using my barcode checkin to print my boarding pass but it tells me instead to go line up with everyone else. I get to the counter, feeling pleased ive got it all under control when the lady points out that the visa isn’t valid today – but tomorrow it’s ok. While she checks with her supervisor, I start racing through backup plans, reorgs and a bucketload of swearwords. Pausing only to tweet how stupid I am, I go to change my flight details. No point in changing anything else until I know I can get to Vietnam. Hoping I could catch a late night flight that arrives early I am dismayed to see there is only one a day and that is why I’m at the airport so early. They rebook me for tomorrow, with a nice extra fee and pricier fare and send me off to wipe up the ashes.

A hurried email to the hotel that was sending a car to pick me up hoping I’d get them in time (3 hrs notice), an email to my Vietnam tour lady who booked my hotel and halong bay tour and some agoda surfing for a hotel for the night. All this while I had a coffee and sandwich for breakfast.

Not wanting the same hotel I was in – everything was good except the bed and that was really bad, I chose the hotel I’d walked past while staying there. Meant to have more stars and at a similar price I figured I knew the area. I also knew I would be in the middle of nowhere again and my options for sightseeing would be hampered by the lack of my beloved skytrain.

Caught a taxi to the hotel where the driver tried it on. At they airport they give you a slip to complain about the taxi driver. Stupidly I gave it to him when he asked for “the ticket” (he was smooth) then he quoted 300 baht. I insisted on the meter which he grudgingly agreed to and then I proceeded to apologise for it being a short trip to indicate I knew where we were going. Ended up costing 100 baht plus 50 which is an airport fee.

Safari kept crashing when I tried to book on the iPhone so when I arrived I tried to get her to price match. She told me to book agoda and let me use the pc in the office. Booked, key, room. Chatted to Pauline and Kelly for a bit debating what I should do for the day and decided I’d sleep on it. Minutes in I get a phone call to say I’d booked for march not February. Aaaaargh! Was this a test to show how stupid I really am? Luckily agoda has a self service where you can change the dates but I spent the day waiting for an email to confirm it had changed.

The Ivory Suvarnabhumi Hotel

The Ivory Suvarnabhumi Hotel

Decided I wasn’t going out at all with this kind of luck so spent the day google reading (only English channel on tv was christian), listening to iPod and trudging up to the shops I visited yesterday for food (which was pretty good actually – Thai chain food stores seem to have real chefs rather than teenagers waiting to finish high school).

The Paseo

Black Canyon Coffee

Now that i’m leaving Thailand for almost 2 weeks, I thought I might summarize some of more observations with some generalized comments:

1. Thai people are mostly skinny but geez they have a sweet tooth. Ice cream stores, donuts and sugary Thai ice coffees are everywhere

2. Thailand doesn’t seem to be crowded – unless u catch a BTS at 8am

3. Uniforms are big here. Security guards for shopping malls look like military police.

MPs at the entrance to a shopping mall?

4. Thai people make the best brooms ever and use them for everything

5. There may not be any traffic rules obeyed here but I bet you Thai people are better drivers than Australians. Much more alert and reactive I bet.

6. Thai tv soaps contain a lot of face slapping, injuries and blood. It’s like a fight club home and away. Mostly it’s the women doing it too.

Tomorrow I will try to go to Vietnam. Ciao

Accommodation: Regent Suvarnabhumi Hotel

Tweets of the Day:

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2010-02-10 22:09:08
amyob: Fat lot of good my wap checkin was. Even with a barcode they still made me ย go to the counter.
2010-02-10 22:18:48
amyob: FUCK!!!!!! FUCK!!! My vietnam visa is for tomorrow!!!!! I can’t fly today!!!
2010-02-10 22:40:28
amyob: New flight booked for tomorrow. Total cost of fuck up so far is $94
2010-02-10 23:12:56
amyob: @digitiel yeah. That isn’t until the 14th. Just puts halong under strain. Waiting to hear back from travel agent in a couple of hours.
2010-02-11 00:34:00
amyob: Checked in to hotel down the road from where I stayed last night. ย $42 added to my fuck up but maybe I won’t get charged for Vietnam hotel.
2010-02-11 00:35:20
amyob: Other hotel was better, but their bed was the hardest yet. This seems a little better in terms of softness. Another day in hotel room?
2010-02-11 00:39:39
amyob: Pretty sure stuffing up my visa dates is my biggest travel fuck up ever. ๐Ÿ™‚
2010-02-11 02:07:09
amyob: Aw shit. Now the hotel booking I made for tonight was actually for 11 march. Could I be a bigger idiot? Hopefully agoda won’t charge me.
2010-02-11 02:16:35
amyob: The irony in all my travel stuff ups? That this date is special in my mind cause it is my sisters birthday. At least I got that right. ๐Ÿ™‚
2010-02-11 03:46:48
amyob: Still in stasis regarding my Vietnam plans and agoda booking. Wondering when I should start being concerned.
2010-02-11 04:28:28
amyob: @sleepydumpling you are right. My worst was probably vomiting on the boat from phi phi don due to hangover. ๐Ÿ™‚
2010-02-11 04:29:18
amyob: @j3thr0 now I get up early again tomorrow! Yeah!
2010-02-11 04:42:11
amyob: Suffering from checking email every minute illness. Waiting for 3 important messages that will impact my next three days in Vietnam. Anxious
2010-02-11 04:59:08
amyob: Just heard about my halong bay cruise. She can change it to one night only. I’ll take what I can get. 2 more mails to go!
2010-02-11 04:59:49
amyob: @nicolejensen it’s a horrible tension isn’t it!
2010-02-11 05:00:54
amyob: @Contendo I hope the worst is behind me. Looking forward to the tour where I can just be a passenger.
2010-02-11 05:17:42
amyob: @Contendo geez, mine is simple in comparison. ๐Ÿ™‚ My toughest problem now is that the only english channel is the christan one.
2010-02-11 05:41:48
amyob: Stranded in Lat Krabang in Bangkok is like being stuck in PInkeba, Brisbane. *sigh*
2010-02-11 06:33:39
amyob: @borogirl You never know, Pinkenba might seem glamorous to a thai watching a thai friend travel? ๐Ÿ™‚
2010-02-11 06:48:05
amyob: @borogirl ย I don’t know, that long stretch of road to the poo farm can be glam to drive if you imagine you are on the bathurst straight
2010-02-11 07:11:31
amyob: Not even google reader, twitter, and an ipod can distract me from my constant email checking. I am going insane!
2010-02-11 07:12:10
amyob: Hoping at least @Kelsbells is having a great day since I’m not. ๐Ÿ™‚
2010-02-11 08:35:50
amyob: Want to start a low fizz drink movement. Restaurants should serve more drinks that have no bubbles an aren’t booze.
2010-02-11 09:54:22
amyob: Been assured by an agoda agent that my booking is ok and they will be resending the voucher. Phew.
2010-02-11 11:22:37
amyob: @Kelsbells did you have cake?

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For more photos, check out theย Flickr set.

[flickrset id=”72157623499411469″ thumbnail=”square”]

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