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Journey to Bangkok

Indochina prequel

View Indochina 2020 on ToonSarah's travel map.

With a midday departure from nearby Heathrow the start of our journey to Cambodia should have been easy, but weekend engineering works on the Piccadilly line of the Tube added a complication. We could have taken the substitute bus service provided by Transport for London but with suitcases to handle we opted instead to take a minicab.

We were at Terminal Two in good time (I hate to cut things fine when flying, or indeed when doing anything else) but long queues at the bag drop desks meant there was just time for a late breakfast before we had to head to our gate. We were flying to Phnom Penh via Bangkok with Thai Airlines so had a long (11 hour) flight ahead of us. Fortunately we left on time and were soon informed by the pilot that with a good tailwind we would have a slightly shorter flying time of 'just' ten and a half hours.

This was our first flight with Thai and I had relatively high expectations based on their reputation, which were on the whole met. Our economy cabin seats had more legroom than on many planes these days, service was friendly, the food better than average for airplanes. I would perhaps have welcomed a wider selection of recent films however, and I found the cabin temperature a bit low - I was glad I had a thin pashmina in my bag!

We were served a meal soon after take-off (lunch or dinner, depending whether your head was on London or Bangkok time) - a tasty Thai spicy chicken dish and a rich chocolate dessert. Immediately afterwards the cabin lights were dimmed, so I guessed we were supposed to be on Bangkok time, but as it was only early afternoon in the UK we certainly were not. So, I found a film I did want to watch, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which occupied the next few hours rather well. By the time it finished we were over halfway there.

I read a bit, chatted to Chris, went for a couple of short strolls up and down the aisle to stretch my legs. Time passed, albeit slowly. Two hours or so before we were due to land, at about 9.00 PM UK time, the cabin crew passed through handing out hot towels, with a cheerful 'good morning', soon to be followed by breakfast, messing somewhat further with my body clock.

It had more to deal with shortly, as we landed in early morning Bangkok just as we would usually have been heading to bed in London! We had to go through a security check but no other formalities. We were struck immediately by the large number of people wearing face masks, no doubt due to the coronavirus outbreak that had recently started in China, and despite the fact that medical experts say that these provide no protection.

We picked up a coffee from a branch of Dean & Deluca but didn't stop to drink it in the café as we weren't sure how far it was to walk to our gate and even with the early arrival we didn't have a lot of time to spare. It turned out to be a long walk (my phone measured it at over a mile) so our coffees were barely lukewarm by the time we sat down to drink them at the gate, and as were to find out a few days later, they proved to be rather expensive coffees!

A red sun was rising over the airport but I still found it hard to get my head around the fact that it was now tomorrow!

Sunrise, Bangkok Airport

Taking off from Bangkok Airport

To be continued ...

Posted by ToonSarah 09:48 Archived in Thailand Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises flight airport thailand bangkok

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Now that is a really interesting introduction - leaving your readers with a cliffhanger to see how you managed your jet lag.

by Yvonne Dumsday

Thanks Yvonne - surprisingly well, as it turned out (and as you will hopefully soon be able to read!)

by ToonSarah

Sarah, it's great to travel with you... Thanks a lot for your story!

by Vic_IV

Thanks Vic, nice to hear from you :)

by ToonSarah

I did wonder how the Coronvirus was going to affect you guys out there, but as I know you are back safe and sound, obviously not too badly.

by Grete Howard

Thanks Grete - yes, it only impacted a little and didn't spoil our holiday at all (in fact we benefitted from smaller crowds at Angkor and elsewhere). It seems odd now to realise that only a few weeks ago we had no real idea of the scale of the problem. We were lucky to take our holiday when we did as I don't think we'll be going away again for a while :(

by ToonSarah

I think you are right Sarah, not sure what the future of travel holds. :(

by Grete Howard

I would not have done nearly as well with such a long flight as you, Sarah. Jetlag is one of my worst enemies! Always love the flight maps you provide, and your sunrise photo is magnificent.

by starship VT

Thanks Sylvia :) Sometimes jet lag hits me quite badly but usually I get away with only mild tiredness, as on this occasion

The maps are a TP feature, I just include a link. It's one of the things I like about this site. It even calculates various stats based on your maps. Apparently so far in my life I have travelled the equivalent of 2.6 trips to the moon!!

by ToonSarah

What did you think about the movie? I had to watch it in two parts, I couldn't keep my eyes open while I first started it and had to cut the watching roughly at the middle of the film..The second part wasn't much better, IMO the movie never really started..

I too, wondered how the corona would effect your trip, luckily not too much! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, and thanks for stopping by. I liked the film and although it was long I didn't find it dragged at all. But I did have a break part way through, as the food arrived and Chris and I always stop any viewing to chat while we eat :)

by ToonSarah

I've done the Amsterdam-Bangkok flight 3 times in one month in 2018. Most of the times with little legroom. The whole thing was trying to get as much sleep as possible during the flight. Love to read the remaining story. PJ

by pieter_jan_v

Hi PJ, great to hear from you! Three times in a month doesn't sounds like much fun :( Hope all is well with you, or as well as it can be in these trying times?

by ToonSarah

Hello again mate,

I didn't even know you were going away again although you always seem to have something in the pipeline.

OK, give me minute to get a brew sorted and then I'm here for a complete binge. Forget box sets, I'll do Sarah sets instead.


by Fergy

lol Fergy I like the idea of 'Sarah sets'

Seriously, we were so lucky with this trip, as we were away just before everything really kicked off, although of course it had started by February. A month later and we wouldn't have gone. Hope you enjoy your reading - I hope to be adding a page every day or two days

by ToonSarah

Great intro to your trip Sarah!

by sim1travels

Thanks Simone :)

by ToonSarah

Just starting reading this as I have been dealing with the disappointment of not doing my trip (very selfish for me to feel that way considering the great difficulties faced by so many) and did not have the incentive to read anything about travel. But I am ready now so look forward to working away at the backlog. I hope you are keeping well.

by Bob Brink

Thank you Bob - yes, we're OK thanks, just bored but as you say, many are facing greater difficulties than that. Just the same, it's disappointing for everyone who's had to cancel a trip, so I feel for you :( On similar lines, I've had to postpone the Virtual Tourist meeting I was due to host next month but we hope to rearrange for next May. Hope you enjoy the backlog :)

by ToonSarah

It was my first flight with Thai as well and although I think their are better airlines, I was also satisfied. Just like you I liked the fact that I had a bit more leg space. I was a bit hazardous in the beginning, scared to have ample space, but it wasn't. I hope to fly with them again one day!

by Ils1976

Hi Ils, and thanks for joining me on this trip :) God to hear you were impressed with Thai too!

by ToonSarah

:-) As you can see, I managed to get back (more on WA). Now I am curious to read about your last trip.

by Trekki

Thanks Ingrid, I'm glad you're back with us again

by ToonSarah

Good to read you are back safe and well. My retirement turned into COVID lockdown. For the time being I'm writing a book about my record collection (the flexi-discs). Still doing a lot of research on that subject. PJ

by pieter_jan_v

Hi PJ, great to hear from you! Yes, we couldn't have timed this holiday better, getting home at the end of February just as the virus started to make an impact in the UK but before it had been bad enough to cause us problems on the trip or see us caught over there!

by ToonSarah

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