Sunday, 12 November 2006

Back from BKK (and Cambodia, and Laos..)

What a shock, coming back from 32° and tropical sunshine to 9° and the typical Brussels November grey drizzle - although it could be worse, I'm sure the plane was skating on the frosty runway when I landed at Vienna yesterday morning.

I hadn't been to Bangkok in 16 years and it has changed quite a bit, I would say for the better as it is great being able to whizz above the traffic on the Skytrain and walk above street level on the Skyway. But I don't like the new Suvarnabhumi Airport (pronounced Suwanapum, as you can hear on the video on that site) that opened only a few weeks before I arrived: it was fine on arrival when I merely had to leave it for the city, but on departure I discovered it is very hard to find the airlines' lounges, which are clustered in side-concourses off the main one: for one thing, as there is nothing to identify where you are, if you lose track you have to come back to the central area to tell whether you are in A, B, C, D etc., for another while there are heaps of signs to "airport lounges", these are spread over several concourses and the signs don't refer to specific airlines, possibly because their location isn't yet definitive; so you have to search down each concourse for the exact lounge you want. I actually managed to locate the Bangkok Airways lounge, but then went off somewhere and couldn't find it again! Worse, coming back from Luang Prabang, and needing to check in with Swiss/Austrian for onward flights to Europe, we found "international transit/transfer" signs pointing in both directions, and an information official sent us the wrong way despite our specifying the airline - and it's a very long way to go to find out you need to be right at the other end of the airport! It turns out that there are 2 transit/transfer desks, at opposite ends of a very, very, long concourse, one for Star Alliance airlines (though you have to look hard to see this below the Thai Airways signs) and the other for all other airlines, and just to confuse matters, the Star Alliance desks are next to the domestic transfer area, so you think you must be going the wrong way because of all the domestic transfer signs.

The photo below is of the view, across Lumphini Park, from the swimming pool of the building my friends have just moved into - lucky things! Their apartment is directly below the pool so it's almost like having their own.


At 14/11/06 02:43, Blogger b o o said...

nice. did u go for a dip?

At 15/11/06 11:12, Blogger qaminante said...

No I didn't, didn't have a swimsuit with me! Maybe next time...


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