Our transit time in Dubai airport was 2 hours 15 minutes and we needed to take the Sky Train to Concourse B for our connecting flight. I wasn’t really hungry but we sat down in a cafe for a tasty snack and a drink to keep us awake as well as passing a little time. We then wandered around the terminal, window shopping in the high end stores whilst taking a little exercise.
The flight to Bangkok was again on an Emirates A380 airliner but on this occasion we were seated on the lower deck as upstairs was reserved for Business and First class passengers. Awaiting to board with us was the Thailand Wheelchair Basketball Team who had been taking part in a tournament here in Dubai.
The configuration on this flight was 3-4-3 but we were fortunate to have an empty seat next to us, so once again we were seated on our own. Prior to dinner being served I watched ’45 Years’ with Charlotte Rampling which was reasonably good. I then pulled out my iPad and sent my first ever in-flight email. Emirates now offer 10MBs of free access and a further 600MBs for a token US$1, I only used the free access as Wi-Fi is unavailable whilst flying over India and also China for our subsequent flight, and I really preferred to watch some films. It was fun though being able to take a photo mid-air and email it home. Sadly, I didn’t receive an on-board reply as they were sleeping but they would of course receive the message at breakfast time. After dinner, I managed a few hours sleep then had just enough time to watch Maggie Smith in the Alan Bennett play adaptation ‘The Lady in the Van’ which I’d seen at the theatre some years ago but still enjoyed watching on film.
Again, the flight arrived into Bangkok promptly at 7.00 pm local time, immigration was reasonably quick but our luggage was almost the last to appear on the baggage carousel. Before leaving the airport, we obtained some Thai Baht from a cash dispenser then bought tickets for the Air Shuttle train into the city centre, these cost 90 Baht for two (about 45p each), there was step free access to the train. From here, we connected to the BTS Skytrain, two tickets for the single journey costing 76 Baht (only cash transactions permitted for Air Shuttle and BTS). No step free access here so we had to manoeuvre our luggage on the stairs. We needed to change at Siam Square which was a very busy interchange station on this, a Friday evening and there didn’t seem to be a lift here either so we had to struggle once again with our luggage on the stairs to find our platform. There was high level security at each barrier with police officers running an electronic ‘wand’ over our luggage as we entered and exited the stations.
The train to Surasak station was very crowded and few passengers seemed to want to leave at our station so it wasn’t easy getting off with our luggage – but somehow we managed it. We’d checked out the route from Surasak station to our hotel in advance on Google street view so we had some idea of where we were heading. The heat hit us on leaving the station and wheeling our luggage along Bangkok’s pavements was a challenge, uneven paving stones, obstacles in the way and sometimes no pavement at all made us wish we’d opted for a taxi but we finally made it and soon the concierge of the Holiday Inn, Silom was taking care of our luggage whilst we checked in. It was interesting to note that there were groups of Emirates cabin crew in the foyer so they obviously use this hotel for air crew stopovers between flights.
We’d arranged to stay for 3 nights and our spacious room on the 5th floor was elegantly furnished and ideal for our short visit.
After freshening up after our two flights we headed back downstairs to enjoy a drink in Harri’s Bar where a duo were performing. It was relaxing sitting in the cosy bar and as it was already late evening we decided to leave exploring until the morning. After unpacking and making a bedtime cup of tea it was off to bed shortly after midnight, falling asleep as soon as our heads touched the pillow.
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