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Published: February 4th 2012
The "line-ups" for immigration at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Being in transit between countries (and cities) definitely has its ups and downs.
Some of our flights have been really smooth (like our flight from Hong Kong to Singapore), and some have had a LOT of turbulence (Beijing to Hong Kong, I'm looking at YOU). I've never had motion sickness in my life, but was grateful for the airsickness bag immediately after landing in Hong Kong. Nothing significant, but I was unimpressed. I found it amusing though, since Griff had said I looked completely unaffected during the landing (he says I have a good poker face?).
In some countries, immigration and customs have been really simple (China - surprisingly so, considering I needed a visa for entry). Some have been okay (Singapore -- easy immigration, but then my bag had to go through security before departing the airport for an additional inspection). Thailand immigration was awful. There were no structured lines (in other countries, people lined up in single file, regardless of if there were tensa-barriers present), people tried to cut in front of others ("I have a connection to catch!" "Oh really, then why didn't you go to the connecting flights part of the terminal?" *long awkward pause,
Instructions in Any Language
The signs in Singapore were in four languages. I'd like to point out here that Griff and I went to our boarding gate precisely 30 minutes before our flight, and were told it was the last boarding call for our flight. Yikes!
followed by sulking and walking back to the back of the line*), and people were just irritable in general. We waited for nearly two hours to be seen by someone at immigration, and that was with us holding our ground in line. By the time we made it through, our baggage was no longer on a carousel. I'm grateful that my red backpack stuck out.
Last night, we took the bus from Bangkok to Phuket. It was a 12 hour journey. Getting to the bus station was a bit of a headache. We’d been waiting for a bus to get to the bus station for about twenty minutes, and traffic had hardly moved. We decided on a whim to flag a taxi, because we didn’t want to miss our bus. The bus terminal is quite large, with dozens of buses. We took a second class bus to Phuket (first class VIP was recommended to us, but unavailable). It was alright. We received snacks and drinks. The only negative parts of the trip were that the man in front of me decided to recline his chair ALL the way back and restricted my leg room. If I wasn’t trying to sleep, I would’ve been really frustrated. The other negative part was the gross squatters during our rest stop. Using a squatter doesn’t really faze me, but those ones were not well kept.
This morning we took a tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaw) from the bus station in Phuket to our hostel. It wasn’t quite like other tuk-tuks I’ve seen, but that’s the closest description I can think of.
Our hostel rents out motorbikes. I’m still debating if I want to give one of those a spin…
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