December 9, 2007

$1USD=33.56 Baht

Bangkok Day 5-Last day.

Mom leaves for the airport for her flight to Chiang Mai around 8:30 AM and I walk her down to the front of the hotel. The doorman puts her in a taxi and assures me she will be fine as he "knows the driver". I have the rest of the day alone before I need to leave the hotel at 4PM for my 7:30 flight.

I am having tummy troubles again so I go and buy a chocolate croissant at the french bakery and a yogurt at the 7-11 and head back to the room. Mom emails about a problem with the taxi driver, but gives me no details so I am left wondering if she was scammed. I spend some time watching TV and writing. I decide I need to force myself to get out of the hotel for a while, so I leavel in time to catch the 11:30 hotel boat to Taksin pier.

My first stop is Siam Paragon mall where I've heard there is a large, nice selection of Thai handicrafts. I am still looking for cards made with handmade paper. I take the skytrain to the Siam stop and find my way to the 4th floor. The items are indeed very nice and pretty, but also expensive. And I can't find cards at any price.

Bangkok Traffic.

Next, I walk down to MBK shopping mall (see photo at top of page), out on the street. I know there's got to be a way to do it between all the massive malls, but I can't figure it out. it's just easier to go outside. But it's hot and I make it just before feeling like I'm going to pass out from heat stroke.

Inside it's the usual chaos. I check out the 6th floor (no cards) and a small souvenir area on the ground level. Nothing. Time to go back to the hotel. I think, "Someone could make a small fortune here making note cards from handmade paper". Or is that just something I want? I take the Skytrain back to pier where I catch the express boat rather than wait for the hotel slow boat.

Another email from Mom. Apparently, the "friendly" taxi driver stopped about a block from the hotel and said "500 baht to the airport". She told him to use the meter or take her back to the hotel. He used the meter. Go Mom!

My trip to the airport is uneventful and the taxi driver does nothing but turn on the meter and help me get my bag onto a trolley once we arrive. Very nice guy.

Once at the airport, there is no special line for Thai Premium economy and they won't give me a pass to the Lounge, even though I ask sweetly with a smile (hey, it's worth a try!). It takes me about a half hour to get through immigration and then I've got another hour and a half before the plane takes off.

I decide to get some food and peruse all the offers on the D concourse. There's Burger King. No. There are bad NY Bagels. No again. I'm always on the hunt for noodle soup and this time it's soup with pork and won tons at the place across from Burger King. It's not bad, but a bit salty and costs 150 baht.

I spend the rest of the time before going through security trying to find a place with WiFi I can access but nothing will let me in.

Thai airways has secondary security even after sending bags through xray etc. We got wanded and patted down right before walking to the gate.
A man, visibly annoyed at this, said "Do you do this to everyone??". He appeared to be of middle eastern decent and I think he was implying that he was being "profiled".
I looked at him and said "apparently so", gesturing to myself whose bag was being searched at the time, and the line of people waiting behind us. He did not look sufficiently sheepish for my taste even after that.

At the gate area, there are bathrooms and a water fountain and nothing else. I'm so thirsty from the salty soup but I'm afraid to drink the water from the fountain so I tough it out until I get on the plane. In Premium Economy there are water bottles at every seat and I'm so happy when I get to mine.

The flight was uneventful. I sit next to a precocious 4 year old for most of the trip and I try to sleep. I watch a couple of movies and then we are home. LAX is a zoo and it takes over an hour for my bag to show up on the carousel. I am glad I have my phone with me so I can talk to david on the other side. Once my bag appears, it take another 1/2 hour to get through customs and the customs officer asks me why I was in Cambodia. For some reason the question shocks me. What happened to the usual "welcome home" when they see my US passport? He seems to be suspicious and I can't wait to leave. Once outside, I see my dear husband and I'm happy to be home.


Jet lag is a bitch.
It takes me almost a full week to feel normal and not like passing out in the middle of the day. It seems to get harder each time I come back. Or maybe I just get older. Perhaps the solution is to not "come back" but to keep going? I'd love to do another RTW trip someday...

I've had some updates about Koh Ker school and I'm sure there will be more. Check back to the Koh Ker page. I've also updated my packing notes on the first page.

If you've made it this far and you'd like the "guidebook" I put together for the trip (a loose collection of restaurant and sightseeing recommendations I collected from my online research for Bangkok, Siem Reap and Chiang Mai) just email me and I will send them.

Hope you've enjoyed the trip!


Thailand and Cambodia Intro
Thai Air LAX to BKK
Bangkok Day 1
Bangkok Day 2-Tour with Tong
Bangkok Day 3-Markets
Siem Reap-Day 1
Siem Reap-Day 2
Siem Reap-Day 3
Siem Reap-Koh Ker School
Bangkok Day 4
Bangkok Day 5
Our recommended books




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