Headed to Thailand

It’s been a long year, and an even longer month or two. We anticipated that though, and booked a trip to Thailand for the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas. Code for Good was the weekend before the trip, so we planned the flight for the second day of the event, leaving towards the end of it so I could be present for as much of it as possible. Knowing how long the flight was going to be, I managed about 3 hours of sleep and hoped that would let me sleep on the plane. (Nope! It was a nice hope though)

This first leg of the flight was to Beijing, where we had a 2 hour layover. It was just enough time to clear through security again and make it to the terminal with about 30 minutes to peruse before boarding again. China is definitely a different kind of place, if the airport was any sense of it. It almost felt like how I would expect Russia to be, although I’ve never been there either. We did some browsing and then hopped on the second leg of the trip, a 5 hour flight to Bangkok.

Both flights went incredibly smoothly, and it was definitely nice to be on the ground after the second one, knowing we could finally go lay down shortly. After clearing customs, we got a cab and headed for the city, which cost us all of £4 or £5 for the 40 minute journey. Incredibly cheap compared to the £80 that probably would have cost in London.

The hotel for 2 nights ended up costing near to nothing, although it’s very basic and doesn’t even have a window. But in a city such as this, that may just be a blessing in disguise. No noise, light, or smells, we slept incredibly soundly after 18 hours of travelling.

First day in Thailand, and after a good night sleep, we headed out to explore the city. In many ways, Bangkok is much like any other big city. Tall buildings, busy streets, the usual. But there are also some marked differences. There are street stalls to be found everywhere, and lets just say, the regulations around cleanliness could be better. The living standards are definitely far from those of most Western countries, but then again, that’s just in the main city.

By our standards, there’s poverty to be seen all over. Next door to gorgeous shopping malls and offices there are small stalls and tents of people sleeping, there’s litter piled everywhere, and public transit busses look to be from the 70’s. But in many ways, this isn’t poverty to many of them. Those sleeping on the streets, maybe, but for the rest, that seems to be the “middle-class”.

We had one full day in Bangkok before flying over to Krabi, so we made the most of it, walking along the
main road and visiting all of the malls along the way. MKB was the final destination for shopping though, a multi-floor centre with a huge market area in the back filled with knockoffs at incredible prices. A bagload of items and a carryon suitcase later, we had spent about £50 and were ready for the next two weeks of beach and sun.

That night’s hunger took us to Robin Hood, a local bar that was filled with Americans, Brits, and Aussies, all of whom were taking part in a pub quiz. We happened to stroll in at the middle of it, and settled down for dinner whilst listening in to the questions and seeing how many of the answers we knew. A little taste of Western culture in the middle of Asia.

An early flight the next morning meant crashing early, and we did just that. Next stop, warm, sunny beach!