Voyage to Bangkok

My trip to get to Bangkok was over 20 hours of travel, starting with my quick trip to Seattle for a work training, then back to SFO to catch my Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong.

I decided to treat myself on this trip, so I bumped myself up to Premium Economy. Essentially this is domestic First Class. You get a bigger pillow and nicer blanket than basic Economy, a seat that reclines about 6 inches farther and a WONDERFUL foot rest. But before I even got to enjoy my seat I had been given an invitation to the Cathay lounge, so I hopped right on that!! I hadn’t eaten dinner so I grabbed some snacks, a Sprite and sat down to watch Grey’s before my flight.

It was a 15 hour flight, I slept for about 10 of them. I know dinner was served because I saw the menu, but I don’t even remember the safety video, so I know I crashed quickly.

The foot rest saved me. My back only was uncomfortable a handful of times and quick adjustment to the pillow situation solved that problem!! When I woke up (around 7am PST) I wasn’t tired enough to go back to bed, even though I had only slept about 6 hours. So I watched Wonder. (good movie) I crashed again after that movie until breakfast was served.

I forgot I had ordered a special meal, I thought it was just vegitarian but in fact it was vegan….sad day. Anyway it was noodles with veggies, for breakfast. Blew my mind, at least I got a blueberry muffin – I had to ask for it, but still.

Upon landing in Hong Kong I realized I had only 2 minutes until my next flight started boarding, to make matters that much trickier we landed at gate 69 and my next flight was out of gate 69, but first I had to go through the transfer hub that was a 10 minute walk in each direction. Once I got through the transfer hub I learned my flight was delayed so I ran to the business class lounge that somehow I got access to and took a yogurt and a Sprite and ran back out. If I would have known the flight was going to be 45 minutes delayed I would have sat and had a real meal -that lounge was awesome. I realized that compared to American airline companies, the Asian airlines pride themselves on service even if it means the flight will be delayed they clean every seat, change every pillow case and provide amazing service. It’s not about cattle hearding or how quick you can turn a plane around, it’s about the treatment of your customers. And I for one, will be using Cathay Pacific as often as I can!!

My flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok was short, only 3 hours. But we got a meal, and guess who got vegan noodles again for breakfast – this girl!!

I had a 15 minute walk to immigration and then stood in line for about 20 more minutes. Painless with no visa needed!! I waited for 30 minutes for my suitecase even though it was marked priority. I was starting to get worried that it wasn’t going to be there because the sign said last bag and mine still hadn’t come up – luckily there were about 7 of us that had bags come up after the last bag was called.

I had read that there is an app called “Grab” it’s the southeast Asia version of Uber (in fact they bought the Asia Uber). So I used the app and grabbed a ride to my hotel. They drive on the left side of the road here….it always takes a minute to get used to that.

Upon arriving at my hotel, I realized it was just barely noon and my room wouldn’t be ready for a couple hours. I checked my bags and checked in and then I started walking around near the hotel. I realized I wasn’t going to find anything interesting near where I was so I tried to hire a Grab car again but no one would come get me. So I walked back to the hotel and called one from there. I ended up at the Grand Palace. It was pretty cool – gold everywhere!! And also I never actually saw a palace. Just tons of temples. With gold. So much gold. You must take your shoes off before entering a temple, I’m thankful I had socks on because it was 96 outside and the ground was on fire. Those socks kept my feet from burning when I needed to walk to and from my shoes.

It happens to be the Thai New year right now and they do a big water festival too. So at the Grand Palace tons of Monks were there blessing people with Holy water and people were putting Holy water on all the Budha statues outside. The Monks were having fun beating people with reeds while they were blessing them with the Holy water. It was interesting.

After a couple hours I was done with the crowds so I started to walk back to the hotel. It was going to be a 3 mile walk in 96 degree heat. A tuk tuk offered me a ride to a long boat dock for 20 baht (less than a dollar) and I decided I’d go for a long boat ride. I over paid but got delivered close to my hotel and got an hour boat ride too. I saw the sound of Bangkok and the beauty of Bangkok, the old and the new, the dirty and the clean. It was cool just to sit and watch.

When I got back to the hotel I checked into my room, organized my stuff and showered for the first time in 48 hours….felt like so much longer.  I went to a little restaurant and got Massaman curry, it’s like a mix of red and yellow curry with peanuts. I paid $8 for curry, rice, spring rolls (6!), And a bottle of water. Woohoo!!

I’m back in the hotel room, relaxing until 7pm at which point I’ll let myself go to sleep. Nice room for $40. Got a king bed and tv, I call that a win!!

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