Bangkok | Scorching Shade and Mega Malls

(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.

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2 thoughts on “Bangkok | Scorching Shade and Mega Malls

  1. Good old Colombo airport… brings back some memories.

    There are a few tricks to navigating around Bangkok airport (I assume you arrived at Suwarnabhum airport?) If the immigration area is full, keep walking down the hallway and you will find a second immigration area… it is unusual for both to be congested at the same time. For many countries (inc UK, Scandinavia, US, Australia, Canada etc) there is a free 30 day permission of stay. You do still need to fill out the basic immigration form though, and keep the second half of your form in your passport until immigration removes it on departure (many hotels will look for this form in addition to your permission to stay stamp when you check in).

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    • It all worked out in the end! Thank You πŸ™‚ the first hall was nearly empty – I was just a bit confused as I saw people filling in that form. (The last two times I’ve entered Thailand I’ve been on a work permit). It all worked out in the end!

      Liked by 1 person

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