Remember your first time to Thailand?

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Thailand, oh yes, still an exotic destination for many, including myself. Anyone remember the first time you went to Thailand? I have been 45-50 times inn and out of Thailand, due to my work, but still remember clearly the first time.

Tourist with a Thailand T-shirt, of course. Taken outside the airport in Khon Kaen city

The first you notice after the loooooong flight, is when you leave the air conditioned air-plane, to walk into the jetway, which leads into the terminal. It is for a brief moment absolutely hot as Hell. And then we feel the air con in the terminal again.

Then we start to walk, everyone, like an exodus, walking for a long time. before you line up in front of the passport controls. With sometimes endless long lines.And as always, there will be some who didn’t fill out the arrival card correctly, with the result of a longer wait for the ones behind. Always. Easy to be a bit irritated after such long trip. But it normally goes well in the end.

This should be a very familiar document.

The irritations will soon give way for the more exciting feeling one has, now when we realize we are almost there. One has this feeling of having travelled from far far away, and finally reached the destination. So there we are, a bit impatient, with our passport and arrival card in the hand.After the stamp, we move towards the conveyor belts to pick up the luggage. And this is always a crowded area with lots of Pax extremely keen to get their luggage as soon as possible. Not knowing whether their luggage comes first or last.

Okie Dokie, we have our luggage, and we move towards the Customs check, through the arrival hall, and towards the taxi area.And an ocean with people awaits you as soon as you enter the arrival hall. Kind of chaotic.It feels like some sort of a “gauntlet” with people waiting for friends and relatives, and plenty of people offering you all kinds of nice transportation for not a cheap price. They all offer Limo service, which turns out to not be what most of us are used to when it comes to a Limo. 

Anyone needs a Taxi? I would not use this from the Airport.

Then it is time to get a taxi. Not a Tuk-Tuk, but a regular taxi. Something which used to be an absolute nightmare some years ago. But luckily the authorities learned from years of complaining, and finally implemented a system which works.Hopefully the driver don’t start with the “no meter” talk, which means he wants a fixed rate. A never ending problem with the taxis in Thailand.

Ok, in the taxi and off we go, towards the hotel, or wherever we will stay the first day. And if the taxi is old, one need to tell the driver again and again to please turn up the air condition in the taxi. The waiting in the heat for taxi make you sweat like you never have experienced before. So we sit there pushing our faces towards the fans in the taxi to cool down.It doesn’t take long before it is full stop, and we end up in a traffic jam. Something we learn pretty quickly, is normal in Thailand. Seems like certain areas have heavy traffic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This is a very familiar sight in Bangkok.

Have a strong feeling everything I have written so far, is a very familiar experience for you who has been to Thailand already.

I bet the next post will be as familiar. 

As always, safe travel. Especially these days.

Rgds Sailor

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