My passport finally arrived with my new visa the week previous to my departure. The process was pretty fast an uneventful except for the fact that the Thailand embassy called me to have me explain in writing why I wanted 2 entries. I got nervous for a couple of days and thought I wasn’t going to get my passport on time.
Anyway, I got my passport; but my head didn’t really sink in the fact that I was moving to Thailand for 3 months until the day before of my departure day: when I had to pack and decided to bring all my scuba gear in case I decided to do some diving and maybe a quick trip scape to the Phillipines and use up that trip I won in LAUPS.
I also brought an extra camera and a bunch of lenses to be ready for a lot of opportunities. All of that equipment only left me space for a few pieces of cloathing. Good sneakers for walking and some make-up in case I find mermaids. I fitted just under 50 lbs in each of my gear trunks. My camera, laptop and
lenses always travel with me. That becomes and use when Im taking all my lenses, 2 cameras, ipad, go pro…So I organized my carry on with main camera, flash, go-pro, harddrives, cash. About 15 lbs. The rest I distributed so It wouldn’t look too heavy. My computer bag with laptop and ipad and my camera vest with my second camera a few lenses and 2 sola lights. I boarded the plane in Miami for a 3 hr flight to Houston, Texas. Then from Texas 14hr 35 minute flight to Doha, Quatar. Where the hell is Doha?. Yes I asked the same question.Doha
is the capital of Qatar
in the Persian Gulf. It is a modern and rapidly developing city and, considering the money being poured into construction, Doha looks set to become one of the premier cities in the Gulf within a few years. Doha International Airport
) is becoming increasingly important in the Persian Gulf Region. Local carrier Qatar Airways
is building a worldwide network from there and already connects the city with destinations in Africa
, Indian Sub-continent
, North America
and South America
. Saudi Arabia is the only country that borders Qatar and it can be difficult to obtain permits
Its all on the floor but would it fit on the trunk? ....yeah it has to!
to drive through Saudi Arabia. But If you could travel by land to Dubai from Doaha tru Saudi Arabia it would be 664 Km (7hrs by car)…The cool thing is that in the future they may build a bridge to communicate the two….Doha is really modern and developed and of course I felt like traveling to the UAE.
My layover was only 2hr and 20 minutes to board my 7 hr flight to Bangkok, Thailand. If it wasn’t for the fact that the spaces on the plane were small I didn’t even feel the transfer across the ocean. I watched a few movies, had all the wine that I could, the food was delish, tasty and fresh and the flight attendants super sweet. Nothing compared to the rude service that you get in the USA. I love getting out off!
I arrived in Bangkok at 7:30 am on Friday morning. It was the best option as opposite to arriving at 1 am for first time in a crazy city like Bangkok. Everything went smooth. Immigration officer let me in with a smile, I cashed my first $500 bucks at a good rate (30.95 Baht
per dollar).In the Texas airport they would have given me 26 plus service fees.
My checked in luggage arrived with me. Perfect. Now get to my new home. A little loft with a roof top pool in downtown Bangkok by the beautiful Lumphini park didn’t soung like a bad idea to me and that is exactly what I got. I found it on airbnb, which I always use lately. Evan, the host/owner sent me trasportation directions to get to it. And I took a photo of his instructions so I could have it with my phone with me. Evan, metioned that the cab ride to the place should be just about 400 Bahts and to not let them trick me into using the meter and settle for a flat fee. The driver had a big van for my big luggages so I settled at 450. It was only a $2 difference. Initially at the taxi counter they wanted to charge me more for a bigger vehicle but Im Colombian and I bargain it is my culture. Later I learn that some American ladies get charged 7000 Bath for a cab ride to the area I was going.
It was like a one hr ride but it felt longer because the traffic was insane.
When we pulled up at the building Evan and the bellman were waiting for me and took my luggage to the 14th
floor in seconds. The apartment looked just like in the photos and the area looked safe. The roof top pool is awesome clean water and no one uses it so I will be spending a lot of time up there. The view is gorgeous at night and I will be posting photos of that later.
Eventhough I was tired I wanted to force myself to stay awake to get used to my new schedule. So I decided to go for a walk in the neighborhood and go figure out if I can use wifi in my iphone 5. Evan sent me to a mall called MBK which is 3 stops in the sky rail from the loft and where I could find anything I needed and inexpensive. The walk to the skyrail was longer than I thought and under the heat of the mid day sun, I was quickly missing my hat!. Luckyly there are vendors
MBK Center - Bangkok
Camera Stores and Electronics in 4th and 5th floor! Candy for me!!
with fresh squeezed juices and fresh cut fruit for like a $1 everywhere in the streets.
It took me a little bit to figure out the fair for the skyrail but the directions were pretty well displayed inside and outside the trains. But once I got there I did not recognize the building I was looking for and I must have just missed it and went into another building that took me like 1 hr to walk thru to get back to where I needed to be. I tried to ask but the only person that spoke English told me: Go to the 2nd
floor go across to the other building from there go to 3rd
floor and then go to the next building and then you see it…well that took me 1 hr…Once in MBK I walked each floor full of stores, phones and wifi, clothing, food, make-up, perfumes…everything. I went in several camera stores trying and testing O rings for my new 35mm. I finally found one that I really liked a lot and also bought a super awesome diffuser for my speed lite. I could not figure out the phone because they kept telling
Keys to my flat
Testing a speed light....I had to explain...
me that iphone 5 is unlockable and doesn’t have a simcard. My only option at the moment was to by another phone. I wanted to hold off on that and I was hungry and started getting a headache. I needed to eat so I decided to get back home and look for a place to eat around the neighborhood and If I felt like it go and walk the beautiful park.
But I got enough walking for the day. I got back to my station of origin but could not find the street I came from. Without a map or gps it was very hard to find just by the name and obviously didn’t recognize it. Some of the vendors had left and everything looked different. Dang…. I normally take pics as I go and that actually helps me find the way back. I did take a photo of the front of the building that had a number and a pretty door forge in iron. The number of the building was not in the address given to me by Evan so I only got like lets say the street name and Im walking back and forward…then I
remember I took a photo…looked at it and bam! I figure it out. ..After a long walk around I found the apartment building…I passed it to eat something. I had a delishious Green papaya salad with crab (little shrimp) and sticky rice. Yum!! for 65 Bath…about $2 ….then went to the 7-11 to provision for toiletries, water and coffee for the morning.
I opened the door and I see my new roommate’s smile. A super sweet girl from Singapore. She invited me to dinner and a party but of course I had to blow her off. I sat on my bed and passed out until I got up to write this and start my blog for Thailand!!
At the beginning of the day I was nevous about getting my camera out of my bag thinking I might get mugged or that people wont like it if I take photos….like in New York or Paris. Well street vendors specially the food ladies smile if you are taking a pic….so I guess I will be doing a lot of street photography…and hope something good comes out of it.
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