Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Day 6: Good-bye, Singapore. Hello, Bangkok!
Sorry for not updating this blog yesterday: for one reason or another, I could access it but could not update it from my hostel in Bangkok. In any case, all is well, and today there are a lot of new pictures available for everyone to enjoy. The one to the right is of a real ad I found in one of this week's editions of the Bangkok Post:)
I should note that I almost missed the so-much-written-about flight from Singapore to Bangkok. Apparently, right after check-in, I realized that there was more free Internet hotspots available in Singapore, so I was online until literally 45 minutes before departure. As I stood up to walk up to my gate, I overheard on the load speakers that "All passengers boarding FT3504 to Bangkok should proceed to the boarding gate immediately." I still didn't think it was that big of a deal--after all, it was 45 minutes until take-off--but when I looked on the TV screen it said "Air Asia, Bangkok, 3.45 p.m., gate closing." S-H-I-T! I was told that there are no refunds if I miss the flight, so I began panicking. I ran to the gate as fast as I could and made it--and I wasn't even the last one. The gate closed about 10 minutes thereafter.
Having made the flight, I realized that the plane was not full. At best, it was 3/4 full, but what it definitely was for a budget airline is superb! I mean the whole atmosphere: leather seats, music playing before and after take-off, cheap drinks and food sold throughout the flight. and beatiful flight attendants. For a budget airline in the U.S. or Europe this is unheard of. Therefore, anyone trying to save money and flying in Asia, I highly recommend Air Asia in all aspects.
Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, I boarded the shuttle bus ($5) to my hostel. Luckily I didn't take the taxi, since traffic was atrocious, taking me nearly two-and-a-half hours to reach my hostel. The first thing that I noticed was that in Bangkok, as in Singapore, the drivers sit on the right side of the car. I cannot fathom as to why, though. At least in Singapore, a former British colony, it was to be expected, much as in India or Japan (which was not a colony but that also drives on that side). But why Thailand, which is the only country in South-East Asia never to have been colonized, I believe? Anyone?