Bangkok / 2nd - 5th September 2016
Day 1 (in chronological order)
Day 2 (in chronological order)
Conclusion: Reflections on trip to Bangkok
Thai Lion Air SL104 DMK-SIN (Economy Class)
My journey to Don Mueang airport in a private hire car (Grab) was interesting but once I reached the airport and alighted the car, (i.e. while in the airport, in the waiting area, in the plane) everything was very uneventful.
I had to go to Don Mueang (DMK) airport for my return flight to Singapore, not Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK). There was no Airport Rail to Don Mueang (DMK). So the only wisest choice I had was to go to the airport in a taxi. But the problem was that I am allergic to taxi drivers who touts outside hotels. The touts outside the hotel looked genuinely heartless from afar. How do I know? My senses could pierce through their pretense, right into their dark scamming souls. lol, just kidding.
Also, I just didn’t feel like taking an ordinary taxi. I felt like travelling like a king to the airport. I was thinking, perhaps in a BMW, an Audi or a Merc. Something more comfortable. And gladly, I saw one BMW 5 Series outside the hotel. Yay!
So I asked the concierge how much it would cost to get me to DMK in that black stallion. They said 2700 baht ($78 USD).
I said forget it, I’ll try Uber instead. Unfortunately, Uber had 1.5x surge pricing for their UberBlack cars and the estimated fare quoted to me was 1600 baht ($46 USD).
I said forget it to Uber, I’ll try Grab instead. Grab premium quoted me only 560 baht ($16 USD). Much cheaper.
Taking the car was the wisest and fastest option to Don Mueang Airport (DMK).
The driver arrived in 10 minutes, in a Toyota Fortuner (sigh), and shortly after, I was on my way to the airport. The conversation I had with the driver, even though it was only for a couple of minutes, was super hilarious.
Just one part of it below.
Driver: Wherecha from?
Driver: AAAAAaaaaHHHhhhhh Singapore! Nice place nice place. Girls so beautiful. So beautiful. White white, very white.
He said all that while swiping a his right palm all over his left arm, up and down, repeatedly, as though he was spreading Nutella all over his left arm. I was shocked that he did all that, both hands off the steering wheel while driving the car. What?!?!?!
I was heaving in fear as I responded to him. I wanted to calm him down.
Me: No no lah. Where got? Not beautiful! (sorry ladies) I think Thai girls more beautiful. Much more beautiful.
I responded to him as calmly as possible with my both thumbs up. I also made sure he saw my petrified face off his rear mirror. Hoping to keep his excitement in check, he went bonkers instead. He almost jumped up his seat. I sensed he is the type that cannot be proven wrong. He wanted to continue to debate with me and prove that Singaporean girls are more beautiful than Thai Girls. Oh no!
Driver: No no noooooooosir. Noooooooooo sir. Singapore girls, Chinese Chinese, white white, very beautiful. Thai girls, dark dark. Not white white.
And there he was, again, swiping imaginary Nutella all over the whole length of his left arm.
I made sure he placed both his hands on the steering wheel before I began again. But I was confused. I didn’t know how to respond to “white white”. What’s up with this dude’s fascination with white skin? And so I said.
Me: But there are also Malays and Indians too in Singapore. Equally beautiful.
Driver: AAAAAaaaaHHHhhhhh yessir yessir. But white white, Singaporean, Chinese Chinese, beautiful beauuutiful.
What?!?!?! Hands off the wheel again.
Ok ok, I get it. So, he likes fair skins and as for me I am accepting of people with all kinds of skin colours. But who cares right? Totally not worth risking my life debating inane things with him to the death of both of us. So I just kept quiet.
I gave up debating with him because I realised in the interest of my safety, I should just stop talking to him because every time I get him excited, he lifts up both his hands off the steering wheel. And every time he does it, the car took control of itself and veered slightly left and right. So, for most parts of the journey, I just kept quiet and stopped making him excited over beautiful Singaporean Chinese girls.
So, in the midst of silence, and in no time, I reached the airport after paying 120 baht worth of tolls. Didn’t know the tolls were not included in the fare quoted by Grab. Luckily I had some money on me. I tipped him 100 baht and ran away.
Honestly, he was such a friendly person. He told me he works in the Army.
Don Mueang Airport looks as budgety as it can get. Pretty much exactly like the old LCCT Airport. Nothing much to say about it. Nothing much to do here except try and stay away from tourists from China who seems to don’t mind blocking everybody’s way and rush everywhere without a care for people around them.
Sirs and Madams, make way for us to pass through please.
Sadly, the Lion Air check-in counters were closed when I arrived at their counter. I had arrived 3 hours before the flight scheduled at 3:40pm. I had planned to check in early because I do not want to be stuck in a long queue and I also wanted to visit one of the lounges at Don Meung airport (DMK).
Perhaps, the ladies at the check-in counters were too mesmerised with my choice of words or my squarish jaw? Because when I asked them if they could open one of the counters so that they can check me in (not “out”), they said yes of course. Without much fuss at all, I was checked in. I believe I was the first person to be checked in for this flight. Yay! What a proud achievement.
The queues at the other counters weren’t that bad honestly.
I had to go through security to get past these gates.
Past immigration, I asked the information counter where the lounge is. They said the lounge is in Terminal 2, the domestic departures terminal, not in this international terminal. And I went, ‘ugh, ok, but is there another lounge though? I am willing to pay.’ They said no, sorry, and so I had no choice but to walk away. I went almost crazy and I couldn’t accept that fact that for the next three hours, I was going to be lounge-less in an overcrowded budget terminal. I just needed some quiet time very badly.
Shopping spree for the tourists.
Luckily, as I walked, I saw Starbucks. It was 80% empty. I went horray, went in and ‘choped’ a seat. Probably ‘choped’ the best seat of the Starbucks outlet because my seat was facing the airplane “parking lots” and the taxiing area. So it was a joy to see very clearly, up close, cute narrow bodies slotting themselves in and out of terminal building while I sipped my Macchiato and consume the latest Bangkok news.
Clear view of the ‘parking lots’.
Clear view of the taxiing area.
But I was alone with my Macchiato. 😢
…and my Bangkok Post.
And so I stayed in the Starbucks outlet until it was almost time for boarding.
It was very crowded at the boarding area. I didn’t have much choice but to sit together amongst a group of boistrous Danish youths conversing loudly about their Bangkok escapades. To be honest, they were an unsavoury bunch I must say. And rude.
One of them dropped his passport on the floor and I alerted him about it. He simply picked it up and looked away without any thanks or a smile. He seemed annoyed about the whole situation. Ugh?
This was the plane I was on.
No aerobridge. As budget as it could get.
Hello pilot. I hope you are well-trained. Why did I say that? Watch this video.
They gave me a bar of chocolate and a cup of water.
My seat was a bit cramped but I did arrive at Changi Airport safely.
This wasn’t the longest time I was away from my family. The longest was 8 days when I was backpacking alone across Western Europe. I was so homesick after only 8 days.
This time, the 4 days I was away from them felt like eternity.
Not sure why. Perhaps, I have grown a lot more sentimental with age OR …
… I may need more practice traveling alone. lol.