Thailand Time, Saturday, 12/8/18

The flight to Bangkok is scheduled for 2:30pm, so there’s lots of time to kill in the hotel.  We sleep late, have a leisurely breakfast, and finish up some paperwork (had to get some boarding passes printed).  We walk out the door at 11:00, and Laksme is waiting with the car.  We also have a Memphis Tours contact making sure we get into the airport terminal without problems.

Morning sun fighting through the mist/pollution.

We’ve spent a lot of time in this car since getting off the train in Agra.

 Laksme, our driver for five of our days in India.

Heavy security is again present at the terminal entrances, and boarding passes and passports are required. Once inside I make our currency exchange from rupees to dollars.  I’m trying to hold back enough rupees to purchase a couple of my Starbucks “City Mugs”.

Time to change rupees back to US Dollars.

We moved to the check-in area next. Since I had done web-check-in, we were moved to a much shorter line.  Apparently, not many people are using the web process yet.  They made the discounted Business Class offer again, and after some debate, we upgraded.

The luggage gets priority tags and are the first bags off-loaded.  Immigration and Security both have expedited queues for Business Class, and we sped through.  In no time at all (actually it was a long walk), I was standing at a Starbucks, buying my “Delhi” and “India” mugs to add to the collection.  We’re now carrying 6 different models.

 Delhi Airport art.This is the first time I’ve seen a UN plane.

Now all we have to do is kill an hour, before boarding, and then we’re off to Bangkok.  On the plane, the seats are huge with lots of laying back room and lifted footrest options.  The food is good, and we both agree, we could get used to this.

One last round of Indian food.  Love it!

This is way different than 30 rows back.

It takes a while to clear the clouds, but when we do, the Himalayan Mountains are in full view. This is another one of those moments where I have to pinch myself (there have been several on this trip).  I’m looking at Nepal and the tallest mountains in the world.  This isn’t something I ever expected to see.

The Himalayan Mountain Range!  Pictures don’t do it justice.

Arrival at Bangkok goes smoothly.  I checked with the attendants on the plane about the best way to get into the city from the airport.  They assured me that a taxi is the best option this evening.  They didn’t think there would be that much traffic.  Our other option is the BTS Skytrain.  It’s cheap and there’s a station close to our hotel. But the best I can figure, the taxi will cost about $14, and we’ll get dropped at the front door.  Taxi, here we come.

Business Class customers have expedited lines for immigration, so it goes quickly.  Our bags arrived fast.  Next stop is the currency exchange.  With everything in place, we make the walk to the taxi area. The crowds are light and the taxi area is organized.  Our driver doesn’t really understand what I’m saying, and can’t seem to read the address. There’s a phone number he uses and gets the necessary directions.  The drive takes 30 minutes, and the hotel has everything ready when we arrive.

Bangkok has a much different feel than India.  The modern highways and the city streets are more organized, move quicker, and there’s lots less honking.  We have a day off tomorrow to get ourselves ready for 4 days of touring Bangkok and Chiang Mai with a flight in the middle.  This hotel (Renaissance) is nice and we’re looking forward to our stay.

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