Be Back Whenever

10/23 Back to Thailand

We flew from Siem Reap to Bangkok, spent 15 hours in the Novotel at the airport, and flew to Ao Nang the next morning. 8:30 AM flights always sound like a good idea until the alarm sounds at 4:45AM for a quick shower, breakfast, check-in, security and a bus to the plane, of course! I’m trying to figure out if airlines pay less for their gates if they don’t get a jetway and just park the plane on the runway.

Now that we know how the Bangkok Airways bag drop works, it didn’t take long to drop our bags, print out a boarding pass and head to the gate at the domestic terminal.  We showed our boarding pass to get to the gate area (no security) and THEN we showed our ID and boarding pass and went through security to actually get to the gate. Our gate was across the aisle from the Coral Lounge (Priority Pass). They have a lovely massage lady who walked around and offered neck and shoulder massages to waiting passengers.  I took her up on her offer.

Ao Nang beach bar. Expensive beer at $2 each since they had a great location for watching sunset
Ao Nang beach at sunset

FAQ for us – What do we do at the beach? Not much but here’s a rundown of the week:

  • Eat breakfast and wonder why Thai restaurants never have big napkins
  • Catch up on the diary, photos, and the website IF the wifi is good enough
  • Drop off and pick up laundry
  • Hang out at the pool or more often in the pool to escape the heat.
  • Watch people at the pool. British guy by us had a bad sunburn, complete with blisters.
  • Get massages – about $30 for one hour
  • Check out the 7-11 and Watson stores. They are everywhere and have interesting snacks
  • With the time difference, we watched college football games on the phone by the pool. Watched Stanford beat CU in 2 OT
  • Watch the rain downpour some days
  • Had to scoop up a little gecko climbing on my suitcase and deposit him by the pool.

Our flight to Nepal was booked from Bangkok and we flew from Ao Nang to Bangkok, spending 5 days catching up on activities that a major city made easier. We used hotel points to stay at the Westin in the middle of Bangkok and spent a bit of time talking to the general manager and interns and restaurant manager. When you’re American and staying more than a night, we stand out. We learned a lot about the hotel and liviing in Bangkok as an ex-pat.

Some tasks we accomplished in Bangkok (other than trying potato chips):

  • Did a little shoe shopping for Nikes for Susan. Found a HUGE Adidas store, Skechers store and Nike store. A very nice guy helped me at Nike. I finally found a pair that fits. Size 8 is pretty popular! This took 12000 steps to accomplish!
  • KFC has green curry chicken rice bowls using fried chicken.
  • Cheesecake Factory is opening in December; Krispy Kreme, Tim Horton already in Bangkok along with dozens of Starbucks.
  • Applied for Visa on Arrival paperwork for Nepal and printed it out in the Business Center. One page says you’ll get a QR code – but it wasn’t on the page they tell us to bring in hard or soft copy. They need to hire me to work on their website!
  • Susan had a massage by the Robinsons grocery store – best one of the trip.
  • Changed our address so we can vote overseas for the November election. Colorado makes it so easy to vote wherever you happen to be.
  • Had our laundry done. I’m not going to want to go back to washing my own clothes.
  • Went shopping for necessities – Qtips, alcohol wipes, and wandered around the department store. I have never seen that many bras in one store. Of course, the biggest size is about 38 equivalent.
Finding a laundry is high on the list of things to do. This one was in an alley in Bangkok. Prices are by the kilo. Washed in cold water and hung in the alley to dry.
Bangkok traffic
Our favorite – Din Tai Fung