21 August 2016

1. - 21 Aug: Arrival in Bangkok

Land at Bangkok in the early morning after a relaxing flight.

It is a bit of a nuisance to get through passport control because we need to get a visa on arrival for Lifang. To get a visa we need to get her photos. To get her photos we need to get some local currency 1000 Baht in cash. To get the cash we need an ATM. Luckily one is available in the transit area of the airport. All of this takes time and we are tired and jet lagged but hey it's part of travel. Other than that Bangkok airport is quite efficient and clean.

I booked a room at a hotel near the airport, the Ammata Lanta resort. The hotel pick-up is late, they had forgotten us and I had to call them, but eventually they do come and take us to the resort, 5 minutes away. Very convenient to rest for a day before starting out to Bhutan tomorrow. The resort is huge, we are driven around in open electric vehicles. Rooms are really small villas spread out over a large green area.

Staff at Ammata Lanta is friendly and always available. Our room was large and comfortable if a bit dark. Restaurant offered good Thai food and excellent value. Also a good breakfast a la carte is included in the room price. Our masseuses are OK, but not great, Thailand can do better. Free wifi fast and free.

A large jacuzzi in our villa's terrace is a nice touch. You can sit in the hot water under the rain and watch planes land at the airport!

Nice Thai dinner, a 8pm we're the only patrons in restaurant, which is decorated with sculptures and paintings from all over the world. Apparently the owner is a collector. Baroque bordering on kitsch, I like it.

In the evening it is raining hard so we climb up an observation tower and watch the scene of the hotel grounds under heavy downpour while more and more planes keep landing at the busy international airport. A Chinese family also on the tower is a bit too noisy and spoils the atmosphere a bit, but luckily they soon leave and ...leave us alone!

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