Hmmmm where to start?!?!?? We have been traveling for over 24 hours and have just finished up our first Jet lagged day in Bangkok. I could start with some of the super nice cool people that we met or maybe the free drinks I got on our first flight or maybe our first scam attempt complete with written words on a leaf and a tuk tuk driver or maybe the Presidential Palace in all its glory or maybe I should just start from the beginning?!?!? Yep that makes sense. Remember I am writing this after traveling and hanging out in Bangkok with about 7 hours sleep in the last 48 hours so it should be interesting and full of mistakes.
Friday morning we headed to the airport at about 8:15. Our flight to Chicago was at 10:19 and we were playing it safe by arriving at 8:30. My Dad and step mom Joanne picked us all up and dropped us off at the airport. If you remember for the first two weeks of our trip my sister Julie will be traveling with us. Anyway as usual there were no crowds in the Greensboro airport so we were through security and at our gates in about 10 minutes. Now I must admit that I am not scared to fly in the least but over the last few years I have become a little bit claustrophobic and really do not like being in tight places. So being enclosed in a small place with a lot of other people is not my favorite thing to do. Well when it came time to board our plane to Chicago we ended up on a super small plane. You know the one that has one seat on one side of the aisle and two on the other. I literally had to duck just to get down the aisle. As we boarded I mentioned to Lyn that I did not think this was going to bother me since it was a short flight but it sure is a small plane. The stewardess overheard me and said she would check in on me and she actually had a trick that would make it a super easy flight. Ok we will see about that. We got settled in and backed away from the gate here comes the stewardess with an orange juice in her hand and a little bottle of Tito’s Vodka. She said “I fixed you a double and I am giving you an extra bottle if you need it. So here we are taxiing out and I am the only one with a drink in my hand. Well she was right and it worked like a charm. We had a very uneventful 2 hour flight and landed in Chicago without any problems. What a great send off from Greensboro thanks to this very kind Stewardess! Awesome start. We had a long layover in Chicago and just killed time talking eating and sleeping. Lyn and I brought leftovers from home and Julie grabbed a quick burger. About an hour before our flight on Qatar Airlines we checked in at the desk and got our boarding passes. She told us that she had to weigh our bags before we boarded and if they were over 15 lbs they would have to be checked. We were shocked that this was happening on an international flight but luckily they all weighed in just under the limit. Awesome! Finally we boarded with 100’s of other people of all nationalities and ages. It really is fun to me to hear all of the dialects being spoken and just watching all of the people. We really are more alike than we are different but I really do embrace the differences. The stewardesses were super helpful I mean like you cannot imagine helpful. They were always smiling and solving problems with ease. The plane was nice and had interesting mood lighting and even had baby bassinets that the people on the front rows with babies could use. I saw more than one stewardess hold a baby while the Mom and Dad looked like they had there hands full. Finally we took off for Doha Qatar. This flight was going to be a little over 13 hours long and while none of us were looking forward to it….it had to be done. The crew on the flight made it such a good experience that I will try to fly them in the future for sure. The food was very good as well. We had two meals and a midnight ice cream snack. Yum Yum. We landed in Doha about 45 minutes late but we still had plenty of time to make our next flight. The airport in Doha was over the top nice and right in the middle of it was a huge stuffed teddy bear. We hung out there for about an hour and then boarded another great plane with another crew of people and had exactly the same great experience and landed right on time in Bangkok seven hours later. We made it through immigration in about 10 minutes and the next thing we knew we were getting a little money out of the ATM. We planned to ride the train from the station and then catch another one to our hotel. With a lot of smiles and a little broken english we were able navigate the system and find our hotel. It was about 8AM and we were hoping that they might have a room available even though it was way before check in time. I asked the man behind the counter and he said it looks like you have come to the wrong hotel. Oh dang I was so proud of us……..anyway it turns out they were sister hotels and instead of just telling us where to go, he insisted on walking with us and walked behind his hotel to our hotel and then explained to the front desk what we needed. Before he left he made sure we all had chocolate chip cookies that were fresh out of the ovens in our hands. He did not leave until we had a room. I swear this world is filled with the nicest people and every day we just keep meeting more of them. Our room was nice and on the 18th floor with a great view. We decided to take showers and then head out and see Wat Pho otherwise known as the sleeping Buddha.
Instead of using Uber we used a program called Grab that works pretty much the same way as Uber but you can still use cash to pay the driver. The driver came in about 10 minutes and we were dropped off about 30 minutes later in an area that had several temples and a very cool shopping district. We decided to walk through the shopping area and then head to the temple. Lots of people approached us to buy things or to give us a ride. It was pretty cool seeing all the sights but the one thing that was not cool was the weather. It was blistering hot! I mean crazy hot as in sweat through your clothes hot. We decided to grab lunch and try to figure out exactly where the temple was that we wanted to see. It turned out that we were dropped off about a half a mile in the wrong place. After lunch we started walking the half a mile to the Grand Palace and just about the time we had it in our sights we were approached by a very nice man who asked us where we were going. Once we explained he said that we would love it but that it was closed for the next hour for prayer services. Right away my scam antenna went up but this man appeared to have nothing to sell us. He just gave us good local info and even wrote us directions and some local phrases on a leaf to help us avoid the “scamming” tuk tuk drivers. Well eventually he became too helpful and out of nowhere a tuk tuk driver pulled up to “help” us. Anyway it became obvious they were working as a team and much to their dismay we moved on and did not use their services. I had read before that many people would tell you the temple was closed and try to get you to go to other places just to get your business. It was harmless enough but the entire charade was a pretty well-played and showed us that we needed to be on our guard pretty much like you should be in any big city. We finally made it to the palace and went inside for a tour. We joined thousands of other sweating tourist and just walked around taking in all of its beauty. Finally we decided beautiful or not we could not take anymore of the heat. We left the palace and caught a cab back to the hotel. By this time we still had about 5 hours to stay up. We decided to go for a swim in the pool and then head out to dinner. After swimming for a few hours and taking a little nap by the pool we decided to go to dinner. Lyn and I had seen a pretty cool local restaurant that was also a laundromat. It had that local look and feel and we did not see any tourist so we all agreed to give it a try. It was really good and all three of our meals together plus drinks came to about 11 dollars! Yum yum!!
After dinner we decided to get a foot massage from a place right across from our hotel. The place looked super nice and a 1 hour massage was only $9. I cannot put into words how relaxing this was. We all really enjoyed the massage and by now it was about 10 PM. We had finally made through our first day jet lag and all! We went back to the hotel and remembered that we had a free drink voucher. We took our voucher and headed to the pool outdoor lounge. What a great way to end our first real day of our trip. Tomorrow we have an early flight to Krabi and then a two-hour bus ride to our next hotel in Koh Lanta Thailand. Thanks so much for coming along! I am hoping to post every few days or so about our trip. I will always post the newest entry on Facebook but you can also subscribe to the site if you want to be notified by email when the latest post is up.
More pictures of our first day.