Part the first ; Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

I’ve honestly never seen BKK so quiet there were obviously still quite a few people around, but not nearly the number I’m used to seeing here. When arriving at 7.15 am I had expected it to be packed with the usual queues around the block for the check in, but we walked straight up to the desk and checked in. Not one person in front. Granted quite a lot of people had already gone through, but even so it was very quiet.

We flew up from Chiang Mai last night having waved a tearful farewell to Bertie, (who will be enjoying a few weeks of hassle free digging and chewing at Lucky Dogs ) and ensured that final instructions for Matilda were imparted to her carers, (make sure she doesn’t escape and keep her food bowl topped up). As our original flight had been re-scheduled due to lack of passengers, we found ourselves with a couple of hours extra to fill before departure so we headed to my favourite restaurant for my favourite dinner before our late check in.

All went according to schedule and we enjoyed a remarkably smooth flight, flying above the most spectacular lightning storms for most of the hour and 15 minutes in the air. The only turbulence was, of course, when supper was served.

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We touched down at BKK a rather lovely 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Sadly no one seemed to have told the people who deliver the steps that we were coming in ahead of schedule and all the people who stood up and got their bags ready in the aisle as the plane was about to park were beginning to regret their haste as they were left standing like lemons for almost half an hour waiting for the doors to open. Now while I’m all for getting off the plane* as quickly as possible I see no point whatsoever in rushing to stand and stare at the swishy curtain when you know it will be at least 5 minutes, because it always is, before the door is open, and that’s when the steps are there waiting for you.

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(*I point blank refuse to use the work ‘deplane’ it’s just a made up word and quite frankly it sounds ugly. Whatever is the matter with using ‘disembark’ or just ‘get off’?)

Anyway after a nice comfy sit down for half an hour we disembarked* and boarded the busses that would deliver us to the terminal. Then we got stuck in a traffic jam. One of the baggage trucks had broken down and our bus had to wait behind it until it was towed away. In fairness it didn’t take long and as I am a packing genius and small person and I are traveling with hand luggage only ( 2 people , 3 weeks , with a ‘coming home rucksack’ inside AND gifts for my parents- go me!) we breezed through baggage collection and went to join the queue for the taxis reflecting on the fact that it took less time for us to leave home, eat dinner in town then get to the airport and check in than it did from us touching down in Bangkok to reaching the taxi queue. Except there wasn’t a queue. Not one single person waiting for a taxi. That taxi system at BKK is usually very efficient and swift, but still there are still normally hundreds.

One swift taxi ride later we arrived at our lodgings for the evening the very lovely night staff checked us in, booked our (complementary) transport back to the airport in the morning and took our bags up the room and 10 minutes after we pitched up at the taxi queue we were getting into our pyjamas and getting ready for a nights rest.

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The hotel definitely deserves a mention here ( I will also be reviewing on trip advisor in due course). I booked us in at ‘The BS Residence’ primarily as it was advertised as being ‘less than 5 minutes from the airport’. It is less than 5 minutes from the airport. As it was a budget airport hotel I wasn’t expecting a huge amount from it, but it was only one night ( little more than a few hours to be honest) so I figured as so long as it had beds it would be fine for us. I was pleasantly surprised by the light and airy reception with full compliment of comfy sofas, small cafe ( although rocking up at 23.15 it was of course closed!) and a bank of computers. The staff were courteous, jolly, very helpful and spoke at least 3 languages ( the morning staff had an impressive 6 between them). Our bags were taken up to our room, and what a great room it was. Very large and extremely clean, a lovely shower room stocked with multiple toiletries. The room was well appointed with TV and DVD player, aircon, safe, dressing gowns and slippers in the wardrobe, a fridge and a well stocked mini bar, super comfortable beds with lovely bedding and something which made me very happy indeed and has become a bit of a rarity in most European hotels; coffee and tea making facilities. When I discovered the little balcony overlooking the pool I almost wished we were staying longer. And all this for the princely sum of £12 ( including taxes and booking fee). This little gem of a hotel outstrips MANY we have stayed in over the years for a fraction of the price.

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I thouroughly recommend this hotel if you need a stopover between flights to and from BKK. I’d even say that if you come for a holiday in Bangkok and arrive late afternoon or evening it would be worth stopping here for your first night and traveling into the city the next day after a good nights sleep.

Anyway….
After not quite enough sleep our alarm call told us it was time to get up and head off. While waiting for the airport van I was talking to the receptionist telling her that I enjoyed our stay and she told me that due to cancellations they had closed one whole block of the hotel and were still under occupied, and that rooms could now be booked for even less….. As Thailand enters her 3rd week under martial law it seems that many people are heeding their foreign embassy’s advice and going somewhere else.

And whilst today we are amongst those going elsewhere, we will, most assuredly, be back. But for now we begin our European adventure. No doubt the price of a cup of coffee in London will give me the dry heaves but I am so looking forward to spending time with my family that I will, probably, not mind that much.

The only problem with living so far away, is that its so far away.

Jer Gan Mài

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Author: hillywillyworld

Living as an 'ex-pat' in Thailand with my daughter Moo and sometimes my Hubby too (when he is not bringing home the bacon from Macau). Sometimes it's funny. Sometimes it's tough. Sometimes it's confusing. Most of the time it's just...random. Join me as I struggle and giggle my way through this thing called life.

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