Thursday, August 29, 2013

Journeys

Leaving the villa we made good progress until we got to the second ferry (there is a ferry from Koh Lanta Yai to Koh Lanta Noi... which we drove straight on to; but there is a further ferry from Koh Lanta Noi to the mainland). We boarded the second ferry, but is just sat there for about 20 minutes until it was good and ready to leave. The Gorse Fox supposes we were lucky really, apparently during high season the delays can be several hours. The sooner they build some bridges, the better.

We had to ensure the hire car (a Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - 7-seater 4x4) was filled up before returning it, so some 50kms later we turned onto Route 4 and stopped at the gas station recommended by CH and CC. Three quarters of a tank for just over 1200 baht (£24) seemed like a bargain. With a full tank we set off on the final stretch to Krabi AIrport. In all the 90km took about 2 hours - which in the scheme of things seemed pretty good.

Having arrived at the airport in plenty of time, we went and found a place to grab a bite to eat. Then we sat an 'people-watched' until it was time for the next leg of the journey - the flight to Bangkok.

We saw the German family who had been on the dive boat with us on Tuesday. They were heading back to Frankfurt and said how much they had enjoyed the diving. We also saw what the Gorse Fox can only describe as a furniture salesman from Bolton with his Thai rent-a-bride (who may just turn out to be a rather ugly lady-boy).

The flight to Bangkok was uneventful - though we did have to re-route round a rather large thunderstom in the Gulf of Thailand. Suvarnabhumi  Airport was as impressive as ever. Once through the transit gates you are present with a vast shopping complex.
Perhaps one of the more starling images of this airport 'mall' is the huge centrepiece...

As you wander on down the various thoroughfares it actually becomes clearer that actually there are hundreds of shops - but they are all selling pretty much the same things. Mostly high quality Thai products or international brand names - but there is huge repetition.

Exhausted by the shopping experience we made our way over to the First Class lounge (CIP Louis Tavern) - which courtesy of our NatWest bank account was available to us even though were were travelling economy. This was a welcome haven for a couple of hours before the gate opened. A nice choice of fruit, of sandwiches, of soup, of nibbles, of ice cream and a full free bar made the experience very satisfying. The hushed tones of the lounge and the fact that it was fairly empty were very soothing before the final hurdle - the flight home.

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