Sunday – February 13, 2011 –
After a 14.5-hour flight, my Delta 777 arrived at Tokyo-Narita International Airport around 16:00 p.m. Japan time this afternoon. It was strange losing an entire day!
Since I was only passing through Japan, I only had to go through security and not Japanese Customs. Technically I was in transit and not officially in the country. After clearing security, I grabbed lunch at McDonalds. They even had McSushi – how cool is that?
During my 2-hour layover, I had the opportunity to do a little bit of shopping. I didn’t buy anything, but there are some great stores and a mall at Narita. Personally, I geeked out over the latest Canon and Nikon SLR cameras and equipment in a camera shop. These were models that were not yet on sale in North America. Then I chilled out in a nearby lounge before my 18:00 p.m. flight to Bangkok.
My Delta jet was late leaving for Thailand, so the almost eight-hour flight didn’t put us into Bangkok until 12:15 a.m. instead of 23:45 p.m. We flew over Taiwan, China’s Hainan Island, Vietnam and Laos before arriving in Thai airspace. It’s always interesting to follow the journey in real time on the plane’s GPS flight tracker.
Upon arrival in Bangkok, I was impressed at how nice Suvarnabhumi International Airport was. This airport is massive and the busiest airport in Asia. Even with the moving sidewalks, I couldn’t believe how long it took walking from our gate to customs. It must have taken at least 20 minutes, but it helped wake me up.
After clearing customs and grabbing my bag, I caught a taxi from the public taxi stand from Suvarnabhumi to the Nana area of Bangkok. I had to insist on the meter after the guy kept pretending not to understand that I wanted him to set the meter.
After about a 30-minute drive on toll roads, we arrived at Soi 4 off Sukhumvit Road. I couldn’t believe how busy it was on a Sunday night on the steamy streets of Bangkok. I saw things I had never seen before! Near the BTS (Skytrain station) I saw all sorts of vendors selling Thai cuisine from food stalls. I saw everything from grilled chicken to insects being turned on grills. I also saw a number of bars where Thai bar girls were plying their professional trade with Western tourists. Welcome to Thailand, I guess.
When I arrived at my hotel, I was exhausted from the journey. I checked into the Royal Ivory Nana Resort Hotel at 73 Sukhumvit Soi 4 Road for the next three nights. The hotel – which I found on Expedia – was nice and only cost me $125.70 for three nights! It had an indoor pool, air conditioning and included breakfast. What a bargain! I noticed a few Thai women being taken back to rooms by westerners. In fact, I heard a girl and guy going at it pretty hard in the room next door. However, it didn’t bother me too much. To each their own. I went to sleep around 1:30 a.m. and was excited to see what Monday would have in store.