We arrived at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport around one o’clock this morning. We were a couple of hours late due to airport construction and the associated air traffic congestion. After boarding in Tokyo, we sat on the ramp for an hour, then idled another hour over Thailand in a holding pattern. In the airport, everything worked just as planned. Immigration and customs were non-issues and we just sailed through. In the terminal we quickly found the DTAC mobile phone shop and obtained a couple of SIMs for our phones. Then we wandered down to where the hotel touts were holding court and the representative for our lodging was there and had our name on the list. We were in our rooms by 2am and blessedly horizontal shortly thereafter.
The pool at the curiously named BS Residence was very nice. It is one of the largest pools we have encountered at a hotel, and Ethan and Eryn had it to themselves.
At noon we took a taxi to our flat in Bangkok itself. We are at Rama III overlooking the Chao Phraya River. It took an hour for the drive, passing through two toll stations (25 and 45 baht). The taxi fare was 215 baht (about US$7). Upon arriving we walked around the corner to the 7-Eleven store and picked up some bottled water. Eighteen baht (about US$0.60) for a 2-liter bottle.
We could grow to like these Thai prices.
Thais generally tend toward the left side of the road when driving. However, there is some flexibility in driving rules in order to fit more vehicles on the roads. It occurred to us that we will not be in a right-driving country until we arrive in Argentina next January. It also occurred to us that having a taxi driver take us through town can be a real aid to intra-family civility. Our next chance to drive ourselves is in Australia in August, but that should be relatively benign given the wide-open spaces of the outback.
The time changes are interesting, if that is the right word. From Seattle to Tokyo is a 10-hour flight. We left at 1pm on Wednesday and landed at 3pm on Thursday. We arrived 26 hours after departing Seattle, what with time zones, date lines, and general relativity.
We had been warned about hot temperatures in Thailand, but so far things are not too bad. Today is generally in the 80s Fahrenheit, with 50% humidity. Warmer than we are used to in Oregon but far from unbearable.