Sunday, July 03, 2005


Arriving in Bangkok

We had a short (2 hours) and fairly uneventful flight from Singapore to Bangkok. Despite being fairly modern, the Bangkok Airport is a zoo once one leaves Customs and enters to main arrival lobby. Private taxi company people approached us left and right asking to take us into town. We had read a couple of websites about the taxi/transportation situation at the BKK airport, and even asked out hotel, but the reports were contradictory and, therefore, confusing. As soon as we enter the lobby doors I could two young ladies with “Ask Me” banners, so I asked them. I was told that there are two options, the private taxi companies who are located throughout the lobby area, and the public metered taxi stand outside. I had already figured out that the private taxis charged at least twice what the public taxis charged, so we headed straight outside. Although the line was long, we did save a lot of Baht (our public taxi was only 270 Baht - US$6.75).

The only little glitch we had was when I told the taxi driver our destination, the Radisson Hotel, he had no idea what I was talking about. Fortunately we grabbed a couple of maps in the luggage area of the airport and were able to find the Radisson on the map. At one point he stopped in the middle of the road to look at the map. I don’t think he was very good at reading maps and we only figured it out after I told him the names of some of the streets shown on the map around the Radisson. Other than that he was a safe driver, his hatchback was more easily able to fit our luggage, and he went straight to the hotel without any difficulties.

Fortunately, we are all adjusted to the time change and trans-Pacific flight that brought us to Singapore a week earlier. There are few things that I hate more than arriving in a chaotic city airport (like BKK, or even LAX) and being too out of it to know what all my options are for getting from the airport to the hotel. Long flights like that markedly reduce my mental capacity, and make me easy prey for the private taxi drivers! I hate to think how many times I have ended up paying more for a ride into town than I really needed to! :(

The photo below is of the very futuristic Singapore Airport MRT (subway) station.

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