A good sleep but wake with a slightly dodgy gut, so a precautionary immodium goes down the hatch, like Jack Reacher I retaliate before the next attack.
We’re up early for breakfast, there is Bruce and Aussie Dave then USA David, Dale and I rock on. Its nice to have cereal, toast and yoghurt with a good cappuchino. The others start wondering in, I think the mood is a little sombre this morning as we’re busting up, 6 go on to finish the SE Asian loop flying to Hanoi then travelling through Vietnam, finishing in Cambodia. What a trip. Four go to Bangkok, two stay in Vientiane for a day or two I think and two of us head to Phuket. It’s been a wonderful trip with a great bunch of people from all over the world , with tour leader Naa being the glue holding it all together.
The flight out of Vientiane is a little late leaving, not too late but when things go wrong the lack of luck can escalate. The d…h… in front of me tilts his seat back immediately we’re in the air, he needs a smack in the ear, but I call up the restraint gene and don’t hit him, but I do breathe softly into his hair, it’s so close and I can’t resist unsettling him. But it doesn’t unsettle him, he goes to sleep, the tactics are a failure. If anyone saw me there might be some suggestion of slightly camp behaviour but honest to God it isn’t.
The flight goes ok, nice chicken roll and nice cup of coffee. As we get near Bangkok the clouds are heavy and thick, and the Captain tells us there is heavy rain at Bangkok Airport and we have to go into a holding pattern until we are given permission to land. We are flying in circles in cloud, bouncing around for ages until we finally get on the ground. Our flight to Phuket is awfully close, we’re not sure we’ll make it as we have 1. To go through immigration and get another stamp/visa in the passport, 2.get our bags off the carousel, 3. Check in at Domestic and get our bags on the plane via the heavy parcels area (becayse we are so late) 4. Find the gate we board at (Its B9, about 60o metres from where the carousel was 5. Hope we can get on the plane.
We sprint (well I don’t, I walk quickly) to get out through the crowd and find check in 4 floors up from where we are. The Thai Smile people are great, the Check In for our flight was closed but they got us checked in, the gate was closing so we were last onto the bus before a rude Japanese couple just pushed front of us I did say ” You rude prick” but both he and his sour faced wife ignore me, probably don’t speak English! Finally we are on the plane, a miracle, and we beat the Japanese couple on to the plane.
3 hours minimum you need at Bangkok if you don’t have the same airline all the way through. Anyway I reckon we were 3-4 minutes from missing that plane, we are sweating, puffing, and laughing at our good luck. Dale reckons it was 90% luck 10% good management we got on, but we worked hard to get where we were meant to be. (Thanks Sonya for calling, but we had it under control by then – just)
The flight to Phuket is quick and uneventful, the plane isn’t that full. We land, go to the carousel, and wait, wait, wait, no bags, same story for a lot of people so we go the Thai Smile Baggage desk to report and check, the same Japanese woman pshes in front and I give the “Hoi” and a big F… Off look to respect the order and get to the back of the line, she looks the sort of person who’d steal her Grandchildrens pocket money. Oz our driver waits patiently and finally we get out with backpacks only. There are a lot of bags missing, the staff are stressed.
Its raining and it takes Oz about 30 minutes to get to the Doubletree Hilton (aka The Banthai), our room is nice, first floor looks over the pool,easy to remember Room 1234.
First things first we head to the lane to Patong Tower and there it is Sweet Restaurant – its open, quiet but open and Wal the owner still owns it, he’s sitting there with some people. The beers are good and the beers are better, Its been a long day.
We buy a cheap shirt, get a massage and finally to bed, hopefully with good news about our bags in the morning.
Ciao from Phuket – Pauolo.