This article is part of a series from my gap year in Thailand.
Articles in this series:
This was originally posted around 2012-11-01. Additional commentary has been placed in [square brackets].
[ This is another post where I was trying hard to be funny. I'll let the results speak for themselves. ]
The first plan was to get a lift from Daw’s to Uthai Thani, a bus to Nakhon Sawan, a train to Bangkok and finally a plane to Singapore. We assumed that the only way to Bangkok was the train from Nakhon Sawan since that how we arrived but it turns out that's not the case. There was a bus that goes straight to Bangkok from Uthai Thani and it only takes three hours! The way we were initially planning to get there would have taken over five hours (1 on the bus, 4 on the train and some taxies in between) and would have been more expensive.
Thanks to that last minute enlightenment from our hosts, we arrived in Bangkok (Grung Tep in Thai) a few hours early and were immediately reminded why we had been avoiding it. As soon as we had stepped off the bus there was a barrage of ‘where you want to go?’, 'tuk tuk! tuk tuk!’ and 'I take you see temple!’. We grabbed our bags and pushed through to a shelter in the middle, hiding amongst the dubious electronics.
Luckily there was some sort of Tattoo/singing contest going on at one of the shopping centres which passed the time until the flight. It was entertaining but not exactly enticing, stalls had been placed all round the edge of the crowd where different artists were giving live tattoos to members of the audience. No thank you.
Getting to the airport however was a completely different mater. People criticise Bangkok’s public transport because of it’s failure to cover the majority of Bangkok but once you’re aboard it’s rather pleasant.
The airport was nice too, Clean and empty. I know from personal experience it can be hellishly busy. I’m feeling pretty good about using airports in general now. I’ve developed my own little trick to make it more fun. I now imagine the whole thing as a little game and I can assure you I won that game of 'don’t look like a terrorist or an American’ with a near perfect score 1.
Once we were on the plan it wasn’t quite as smooth though. There was a loud whirring noise coming from the plane in the minutes before we were supposed to take off. Eventually the voice of the pilot boomed down from the air conditioners to tell us they were having mechanical difficulties and an engineer was on the way. His pronunciation was good but I could tell English wasn’t his first language, by engineer he must have meant 14 year old with a high vis’ jacket.
The whirring continued for a few more minutes until it finally changed pitch. This seemed to satisfy the pilot and we set off. 'SINGAPORE HERE WE COME!’ I screamed inside my head…
~ November 1st, 2012
Not looking like a terrorist is essential for every traveller but to not look like an American is more of a personal goal. ↩