I've got one hour of wildly overpriced Internet time (50 kroner - highway fricken robbery) so let's get crackin'.
Marv & I started our superfab Asia tour by taking the 9:11 bus to the airport on Friday. See how pretty I get when I travel?
This put us at Gardermoen airport at 10:40 - a full three and a half hours before
departure. We're mildly overly cautious one could say. Marv had a near miss the last time he flew, with the airport bus getting him to the airport 15 minutes before departure instead of the scheduled 45 minutes. Our other bus option would have gotten us to the airport only 1.5 hours before departure - which is nowhere near enough time to budget for unexpected delays. And we're on a tight schedule, dang nam it! I don't have to defend myself to you people!
My friend Inger was at the airport at the same time, but unfortunately we didn't get to meet up as she got there just as we were boarding our A340-500 on Thai Airways. Can I just say oh. my. god. Best airline ever! Even the captain welcomed us on board with a friendly smile from the cockpit:
That pic is legit! Marv's favorite so far, even before leaving Norwegian soil. I have never been on a better airline, both service and amenity wise. Economy on Thai is better than Business on IcelandAir. Trust me, I know, I've "turned left". Once. For half way between Europe and the States. Because they screwed up our seat assignment.
I got a huge kick out of menus - printed menus - that were given to us. The food came with real silverware and dishes. This is not your typical airline! And the flight attendants: totally hot. Every last one of them.
Not to mention the flight attendant-to-passenger ratio is roughly 15-to-1 and toilet-to-passenger ratio is roughly 50-to-1. Eat that, KLM/Delta.
Fast forward through a wonderfully uneventful 10.25 hour flight filled with wine induced sleep and a few episodes of Glee, and we landed at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (pronounced swan-ah-poo, duh!) airport, at 5:55 a.m., an hour before schedule. Have I mentioned the awesomeness of this airline?
After locating the ridiculously hard to find legit taxi service we got from the airport to our hotel in 20 minutes, instead of the standard 45, thankyouverymuch, Saturday.
But this left us with 5 hours before we could check in to our hotel. So off into Bangkok to entertain ourselves we went. Where did Marv suggest we go? Why here of course:
The Chatuchak Farmers Market. The not-a-tourist-in-sight farmers market. Where we walked around gawking at the exotic wares for sale, such as this:
HA! We could've brought some in our luggage.
And whatever the hell this is, that I was ripped off purchasing:
I thought it was a pastry or baked good of some sort, but turns out it was some kind of fruit with these nut looking seeds in it. 80 baht for this. Damn you, thieving Thai vendor woman.
Marv got some tasty tasties in the form of this:
For 40 baht, putting into perspective just how ripped off I was for the nut fruit. I had a few bites off this but it being spicy kept me away and hot weather makes me really not hungry. Perhaps a few pounds will be lost on this trip? As long as it's not via food poisoning I'm open to the idea.
After the locals-only market we went for a jaunt and got a bit off the beaten path (a.k.a. lost). How far? This far:
Hilarious. I should do a whole blog post on Engrish (the English language slaughtered by Asians) when this whole trip is said and done.
After that we were able to check into our hotel and we immediately showered and crashed, and didn't emerge from our gloriously air conditioned cave until we had to.
At 6 p.m. we met up with our Gap Adventures tour group for an orientation meeting then dinner. I think this tour was a great idea! My least favorite thing about traveling is navigating and figuring out logistics so I'm happy to pay for a tour to do that for me.
Another plus of taking a tour: Built-in new friends! There are 12 people in our group: 8 Brits, 1 Canadian, 1 Aussie, 1 Norwegian and 1 American-that-has-lived-in-Norway-for-3-years. I am pumped by the number of Brits (unfortunately no Scots though). They seem like a fun group, with whom I hope to have many a night of debauchery.
For dinner we went to a 'night market' that had tons of food booths offering different cuisine to choose from. There was also a stage with a karaoke/singing act (we couldn't quite tell from the distance) performed by someone who may or may not have been a lady boy.
We did a quick trip through the shopping portion of the market and picked up a few of these souvenir t-shirts:
Hahaha, an Engrish post is inevitable I do believe.
After that we turned in to our hotel before 9 p.m. which I suspect will be one of very few early nights for us. So don't expect a nice, long blog post like this every day. We'll see what the wifi situation is like at our other hotels.
Tomorrow is a long day of driving, first to the Cambodian border (4 hours) then another 3 hours to Siem Reap. Hopefully the border crossing process goes smoothly. We are the only people out of the 12 of us who got their Cambodian visa online ahead of time. If they try to rip me off and make me pay for 2 more visas I'm going to be so pissed. And helpless. I don't like being taken advantage of, do you hear me evil nut fruit Thai lady?!
I, like the lady boy karaoke singer, will leave you with a song. Our tour starts in Bangkok but we're here only a short time before we make our way on to Cambodia (we'll be back, which is why we felt zero guilt about spending the afternoon in bed). This leaves us one day in Bangkok. Actually, that leaves us one night in Bangkok:
Hope the Western world hasn't crumbled in our absence. Misses & kisses!