Sunday, September 10, 2006

The longest flight from old Don

Since i last posted i seem to have been everywhere, and nowhere at all! The major achievement during the last 2 months for me has been to take a brief 2-stage holiday in Thailand, first down on Ko Lanta with an old friend of mine from University and then over to Ko Chang for a really relaxing time playing around in the waves all day at lonely beach.. I can't say that i did a great deal during my time off, but that is exactly what i set out to do! before that i was back in Germany, the US and China working pretty hard so to spend time concentrating my mind only on playing cards and working out what to order from a menu for a week and a half felt like a medicine missing since last Christmas when my family came out for their hols!

The end of my vacation has somewhat predictably coincided with yet another trip to America. In my last post i said that New York is a long way East or West from Thailand, but this time i took Thai airways' flight TG970 direct to JFK and this makes it in just under 17hrs! The route heads due North from Bangkok over Laos, China and Mongolia and then across Russia to loop around the North Pole and down to the US over Canada. I can definitely now recommend this as the preferred way to get to the East Coast from SE Asia as i have done it via many different connections and this is certainly the easiest to handle. I left after having a couple of beers with some friends in Bangkok on Friday evening and now i have just finished lunch in Rhode Island on Saturday! The jet lag seems to be much more slight than usual as you go to sleep at midnight Bangkok time and have one very long nights rest before waking up at first light, ready to arrive into the US. -this of course if you can sleep on planes, so i can also recommend that you book using Premium Economy or Royal Silk class if possible!

So this trip is going to be (maybe counting my chickens to early here) my last in and out of Don Muang airport which on the 28th will be officially be replaced by Suvanabhumi as Bangkok's main airport. I have seen countless photos of the new airport and i flew over it very recently and actually i think it is quite an exciting prospect to go there soon and really have a good look at the place. One thing that perhaps will be missing will be the atmosphere that Don Muang has, it is probably undesirable to replicate the slighty peeling, musty and humid ambience of the old airport but there is no denying that Don Muang has a definite character to it! During my holiday i flew down to Krabi on Thai air, and being ushered through an indistinct door and the VIP domestic departure lounge, sitting amongst politicians and others before walking through almost covert corridors direct to the metal detectors had a 70's spy-era feel to it at Don Muang! i am not sure that the glitzy new terminal building will provide an equal experience now the modern and high tech has replaced the old guard but it will be a fantastic new airport for the region.


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