Woke up at the airport, kind of, since sleeping here is hard… and indeed we’ve lost a day due to huge time difference and travel! The days are beginning to blur together already. There are men’s only, women’s only, and family quiet rooms; but we didn’t try any of these this time. They didn’t seem that comfortable or relaxing with so many people coming and going.
2am local time was our flight from Doha, Qatar to Bangkok, Thailand. Due to late seating selections I had to sit next to someone else, a young French girl traveling alone, who had no concept of personal space. She kept elbowing me and putting her feet on my side! Good thing it was a relatively short flight.
We were supposed to arrive at the airport, find our driver, and travel to the hotel which was about 45 minutes away.
The Bangkok airport is a HOT MESS. So many people everywhere without regard for personal space. Immigration is awful. The line was several thousand people long, and queuing is about what I expected with people just walking up to the front of the line. At some point the Royal Police decided the line was getting too out of hand they started letting people go into the expedited priority lines that are usually for Thai Nationals. We got selected for “one time only, special pass for you!” by one of the officers. Still felt like a mistake as the Officer processing things was NOT in a hurry, and still took 30 minutes to process about 20 people. Once through our bags were just on the floor instead of on the carousel since it had been so long.
Next, we had to try and find our driver, and wow… after customs the airport was just a mass of people. I forgot to print out our directions on where to meet the driver, but we saw a large group of drivers holding signs with names, so we stood there for 30 minutes waiting for our name on a sign. Started to get really frustrated as they were supposed to be there, so I took a walk down the long (1⁄4 mile) terminal and subsequently found 8 more stops with drivers standing around! The last one I went to I finally found our name, so I had to trek alllll the way back to the beginning where Chrissy and Aiden are waiting to yet again carry our bags all the way through the throngs of people who have no regard for walking and personal space, especially with the hand carts too; I think I got hit twice by them. I was pretty upset at this point as Chrissy will attest to…
Once we told the person with our sign that we were here, she said “ohhh, you are here! So sorry, but your driver left. He only waited for 2 hours”. I argued with her that why would the 2 hours start immediately when our plane landed? It takes time to come through immigration and find your bags. It took probably 2 hours just for us to get through the immigration. She was still adamant that the car was gone; and I would need to go find my own taxi or car somewhere else and pay for it again! I said no, you find me a car since you stranded me. I was supposed to have Black car service to our hotel, but I”m pretty sure she just called me an Uber like service (Grab) b/c she and her ‘manager” felt bad. Luckily the car came in about 10 minutes and gave us the 40 minute ride to the hotel in downtown Bangkok. I had higher hopes since I booked the car service through Expedia, but we live and learn.
Arriving at the hotel was welcomed, since traffic got a little crazy toward the end with all of the motor bikes weaving in and out of cars with no regard for safety. The porters and reception immediately took all bags out of the car and took us up to the reception office on the 12th floor of the hotel. They offered Thai iced tea to all of us, and cookies for Aiden, but he was so out of sorts he didn’t want anything! He just needed to really sleep. He was in pure zombie mode.
After getting to our room we waited for the butler to bring our bags and then really needed to shower the 30 hours of travel off of us.
I planned on wandering around the neighborhood since it looked very active and vibrant with restaurants, shopping, and several malls but after showers we laid down to rest and then fell asleep for 13 hours, skipping dinner!
The view from our hotel is pretty nice though :)