No matter how excited you are for a vacation, the impending 13 hours of travel (at the airport and on a plane) is never something you look forward to. There are always hassles and headaches that can push you in one direction or the other…and lucky for us… today fell on the positive side of the travel-track.
Like good little travelers we left for the airport 3+ hours before our 7:25 am flight, which had us leaving our apartment at 4am (yuck). After the typical lines, customs, and passport checks we found ourselves on a short commuter flight headed to Doha. We arrived in Doha as “quick transfer” passengers and were taken on a bus across the terminal, through (more) customs, to another bus that funneled us onto our Qatar-airways flight to Bangkok. Phew, only 6 hours away and sitting in some of the best seats we could have asked for.
We somehow lucked into 10th row seats, directly behind first class and with plenty of leg room. From what we could tell, this row is reserved for families with infants since we were surrounded by little ones to our left and right (we were in the middle row). The neat feature of this row was the optional bassinets that could be hung on the wall for your baby. I have honestly never seen anything like it.
Every child on the plane received an awesome activity bag, while the adults received a sleep kit – complete with eye covers, socks, toothbrush & paste, and even earplugs. I watched two movies on my personal tv and the food was pretty decent (and that’s saying something for airline food). There was hot hand towels given out three times during the trip, snacks of candy and pita pockets, and even lotion + body spray in the bathroom.
On top of all that, there were stickers denoting how to care for you. Simply stick the appropriate sticker on the seat and the stewardess will treat you accordingly. Cool, right?
With such a great experience on Qatar-airways, I’m hoping to fly with them for all of our upcoming trips.
We arrived in Bangkok to a dark sky glowing from the lights of the city. We waited in the looongest and slowest line to get through passport security but quickly and easily walked through customs.
For the final leg of the trip we had to navigate our way the first hotel we would be staying in – the Paragon Inn. Let’s grab a taxi! We quickly hopped in a cab and the driver immediately asked:
- “how much you pay?”
- Jordon and I looked at each other confused — “ummm what?”
- “You pay 200!? ” he half yelled, half questioned.
- Automatically I said “no” thinking we were being ripped off, but not sure what to suggest instead.
- Jordon gave me one of those looks that said, “not everyone is out to get you.”
We went back and forth with the taxi driver for at least 5 minutes of stressful confusion. I eventually pointed directly to the meter and the driver finally switched it on. Gosh, why didn’t I buy an English-to-Thai translation dictionary before the trip?
The driver had trouble finding our hotel… but he eventually found his way down a long side street where the Paragon Inn was located. After all was said and done, the taxi total came out to be less than 200 baht (even with the extra 15 minutes of driving around lost) but we decided to give him the full amount anyways.
We checked in to the Paragon Inn and immediately sat down for our first authentic Thai dinner (pad thai + basil shrimp).
By the end of the delicious meal Jordon’s eyes were getting heavy (after staying awake for 36 hours straight) and we slowly walked back to our room. Overall, I can’t complain about our first day of travel…. and that’s pretty great if you ask me!