How not to get ready for 27 hours of travel

Trip Start Dec 07, 2009
Trip End Sep 26, 2010

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Where I stayed
Lamphu House Bangkok
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, June 4, 2010

A fairly uneventful 16 hour train ride and I found myself back in Bangkok. All the problems with the protests have cleared up so it is was safe to be back and that was good since I didn't have a choice whether I came back or not, after all I did have a flight to catch in a few days.

When I arrived I wasn't able to stay in my preferred guest house so I had to book into another I had stayed before which was decent. I made a reservation for the next day at my favorite place so I had that sorted out for myself for the last 2 nights I was in Bangkok. Since I had 3 more days before I left Thailand for good, I decided to try and get everything done in Bangkok that I still had not accomplished in my other 4 visits.

I spent a lot of time at Khao San road doing some last minute souvenir shopping, and I picked up a number of good small items to bring home and to help me on the rest of my travels. There is nothing like getting a new pair of designer briefs for 2 bucks! I of course still had a decent amount of free time on my hands so I watched some movies, and also spent some time reading and getting the last few books about the Thai prison system before I jetted off on the next part of my journey.

The second last night I had in Thailand, I decided to make my way back to Sukhumvit to visit Soi Cowboy and gawk at the sex tourists. This is a very famous street in Bangkok and since I would be leaving I figured I had to go and see it for myself at least once. (When in Thailand...!) That was an interesting experience and it was fun taking local buses to get there since I am now a veteran of the transportation system in Bangkok. Saved myself about 10 bucks getting to and from just by using a bit of brainpower and having a little patience for the local bus system.

My last day in Thailand I decided to go visit Wat Arun, the temple of the dawn. It is another of the famous temples here and I thought it would be really interesting to go since the way to get there is via river taxi, which I had not yet done in all my visits. This was a fun experience in itself cruising down the Chao Phraya River. Wat Arun was also very nice, and had some really good viewpoints as you could actually climb most of the way up the temple on some very steep stairs if you were so inclined and brave enough. I went up and got some pictures of the city and the river and spent a few hours standing on the top of the temple just enjoying life and reflecting on my time in Thailand. After I took the river taxi back I sat in a riverside park and watched the break-dancers practice their moves before grabbing a last dinner at Roti Mataba. It was one of the first ever meals I had when I first arrived in Bangkok and I always remembered it as one of my favorites, so I figured it was a good way to end my time there as well. I had two small rotis with a simple curry and it was just as delicious as the first time.

The last day went by fairly quickly and I soon found myself trying to get a few hours sleep before heading out my guest house at 5am on Monday morning. 140 km/h and a one hour highway trip later I arrived at the airport. I was not at all looking forward to my transit to Nairobi since it would be 30 hours from my Bangkok guest house until I arrived in Kenya.

First flight to Mumbai: full, loud, noisy. Apparently Indian people all come to Thailand for the sole purpose of buying flat screen TV's and taking them home since that is what nearly every person checking in seemed to have with them. Managed to get a seat with extra leg room for my next two flights. Got one hour sleep on the plane which is a miracle in itself.

Mumbai: 7 hours to kill here. Luckily Mumbai airport was nice, and I managed to curl up on some comfy chairs in a coffee shop in the transit lounge and pass my time this way reading and organizing. No sleep.

Second flight to Dubai: full, loud, noisy. Indian people do not sleep on planes and they enjoy chatting with anyone and everyone that is anywhere remotely near their seat in a volume that is entirely too loud for a regular conversation. No sleep.

Dubai: 6 hours to kill here. This is the nicest airport I have ever been in. And the busiest. I am impressed. I am not allowed in the transit lounge until midnight so I have to spend the first 4 hours wandering around duty free and in the main part of the airport. I find free internet. This is good and I am pleased. I have also been awake for over 30 hours at this point, minus the one hour of terrible sleep on first flight. I am tired.

Third flight to Nairobi: It is 2:15am when we are supposed to take off. We leave at 3am. Kenya Airways is OK, but not as nice as Jet Airways. I manage to get extra leg room and think this is a bonus. It turns out to be bad, since apparently the seat with extra leg room is also beside the only air conditioner in the entire plane. Which is on. Full blast. The entire plane ride. I am cold and shivering, and three blankets do not help. No sleep. I am tired and not amused. 5 hours later, I look out of the window to see the sun coming up as we are starting our descent. Soon after this we touch down in Nairobi.

I will have very fond memories of Thailand. It was one of my favorite countries so far. The food and the people we're all wonderful, and traveling with C for most of my time in Thailand also made it much better. I will miss Thailand and will probably return at some point in my life.

As for now, the next part of my journey is about to begin! I have arrived in Africa...

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