(20/21st April 2015)
I had an eight hour transit in Colombo airport (Sri Lanka), where I ate my complimentary dinner, looked round all the shops and smelt every perfume on offer within the first three hours, and then slept awkwardly bent over a chair handle onto a cushion on the next chair for the remainder of the time.
Bangkok airport confused me. It’s a lovely airport, don’t get me wrong, but it was 6am and I wasn’t fully awake.
I saw a guy from my flight filling in a visa on arrival form, so asked him where he’d got it. He pointed me down a corridor that seemed to be under construction, and I went into a hall that was total chaos. It was like being back in India in a train station- pushing, shoving and minimal order, and full of Indians too! I had no idea what to, so I joined a sort-of queue and waited for a few minutes, then asked someone else where they got the form and they pointed to another sort-of queue. So I went over there, but then saw people filling in the forms at a table. So I went over to look and found a spare one. I filled it in then noticed at the bottom I had to pay in Thai Baht. I went back out to the main concourse to find a currency exchange, where I exchanged my spare US dollars, I also asked the lady behind the desk if the photo machine beside the exchange could be used for visa pictures, and if I had to pay extra.
She then told me that UK passport holders get a free visa on arrival and I didn’t need any of the forms. If I’d had the Thai baht before going out to the exchange I’d probably STILL be in Bangkok airport.
I took a taxi to my hostel. It was the first day back to work after Songkran (a water festival in Thailand) and the traffic was at a stand-still. If I’d know I would have taken the train, but instead it took us over two hours to get to my hostel. When I arrived I couldn’t check on as it was still early morning, so I read on a sofa and fell asleep. Later in the day, once I checked in I went to the malls at Siam Square. There are so many gorgeous shops there that being on a budget was really tough.
I met two Canadian girls in the hostel who were keen for a wild night out. I was tempted, but exhausted! What to do? I went to bed.
Even after an early night, I slept until after one of them did. They’d had a completely wild night full of racing tuktuks and ping pong shows (gross). There had been two girls in my dorm that night but when I woke up they were gone. They must’ve been super super quiet.
After dithering about and trying to decide what to do I eventually made a decision. I took the sky train to Lumphini Park, a huge park in the centre of Bangkok. I thought it would be a nice thing to do on a hot day. Well, at almost forty degrees in the shade it was not! I sat in the shade by a lake for a while, watching a turtle poking its head out of the green water, and spying a lizard creeping along the side of the lake. In the end though I decided to head back to the sky train and go back to the Siam Centre to take advantage of the AC. On the way back to the train there was a water lorry coming along, hosing down the pavements with a huge jet of water. I thought walking in the puddles would be a nice idea, but only a minute after it touched the ground it was scalding hot on my feet. Ouch!
The first time I arrived in Thailand was almost two years ago to the day. I was shocked at the noise, smell, dirt and chaos of Bangkok. This time, arriving from India, it was a reverse kind of a shock… It was so clean! So quiet! Where are all the goats/cows/chickens/piles of burning rubbish? I missed India already.