Walking to the airport is like watching water boil

Trip Start Oct 28, 2004
Trip End Aug 08, 2005

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, July 7, 2005

In the eight monthes we have been traveling, Molly and I have gotten unusally lucky with our transportation. You might be thinking that our luck came with the purchase of our van but I'm talking more along the lines of air travel, except for the Sydney to Bangkok flight, and our grace with arriving at the airport just in time to take off. We rushed to the gates in Christchurch, we were the only flight to leave Wellington and just yesterday walked two miles to the Samui airport where we were blessed with the opportunity to take our originally scheduled flight.

We left Koh Phangan the previous afternoon and spent a hellish forty-five minutes commuting to Koh Samui via ferry. The weather had recently taken a turn for the worse and the sea was telling us so. We sat below deck and our tiny ship, I feared, was going to be tossed. If anything, we thought the deck above was going to fall on top of us. And in all honesty we would have been okay with that considering the state of our stomachs.

Alas, we made it to shore safetly and just as we've done with this entire Thailand trip, with no reservations or insight checked into a bungalow on the beach. Again the accomodation gods were with us and, in our opion, we stayed at the cutest place yet. We had a fantastic dinner outside on the beach and well, couldn't have been happier.

Our flight was at 9:30 the following morning and we had to be at the airport at 8:30 to purchase the tickets waiting for us. We left our bungalow just before 8:30 because the airport was only 2 miles away, making it just a few minutes trip via taxi. We hit the road, each carring our 10 kilo (about 22 pound) bags and started walking in the direction of the airport. Any other time of day you have to beat the taxi drivers off with sticks. Not at 8:30 am however. It's the perfect time of day if you want to walk around in peace. But we were looking for a taxi and couldn't find a single one. So we kept walking. And turns out a majority of the walk was up hill.

We walked the 2 miles and arrived at the airport at 9am. With plenty of time we though. We were directed to pay for our tickets at one booth, then had to run across the airport to get our boarding pass and check our luggage. The final boarding call had been made when we made it to the gate, only to be told to go back where we originally started to pay a departure tax. Fantastic. And as I mentioned before the airport is completely outside and it was easily 90 degrees. We were a disgusting mess by the time we made it to the plane, but the important thing was that we were on the plane.

We were happy to be in the airconditioning of the plane and eating our in flight breakfast and an hour later we had landed. Couldn't have worked out better for us. We got our stuff to exit the plane but were confused as to why noone wanted to get off. So we sat, confused. Luckily, the American couple behind us was just as confused and as we decided we should just get off the plane we were informed that we had run out of fuel and we were just making a pit stop. Okay, great. So we were back in the air soon after and finally, once and for all, made it to Chaing Mai. The couple from the plane decided to tag along to find a hotel with us. We were succesful in the accomodation search once again and found ourselves in a rather swanky joint.

After our very stressful morning we figured the only thing left to do was to go shopping where Molly had a dress tailor made. Chaing Mai is great so far and being back in the big city we're back to playing the game "count how many old white men are with twenty something thai women." We think we like it better than Bangkok, but only time will tell. Tomorrow we are off to go elephant trekking and I'm hoping to meet the elephants who paint. They recently broke a guiness book of world records record so they might be in high demand.
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