Location: Thailand to a P&O Cruise
Date: March 2012
|Trent and me in Bangkok visiting the Golden Buddha
Bailey reading a Japanese newspaper at the Narita airport in Japan
We left Japan at 5:30pm and arrived in Bangkok at 11:30pm local time. This time we had to go through immigration which is never really that fun. The minute we get off the plane, Trent likes to power walk as fast as he can to get through immigration before the long lines start forming. Usually all the other international flights seem to arrive at the same time, so we are always racing with others and navigating to the shortest lines. Trent is pretty good at looking ahead to see if there is one officer or two working the lines which usually helps us to make good time getting through since sometimes the wait can be quite lengthy. I’ve noticed that most people avoid getting in line behind us since we have children which seems odd since it usually cuts the line down faster when families go through together versus individuals who go through one-by-one.
Going through immigration always makes me nervous since Trent has so many stamps on his passport to crazy dangerous countries because of his business. Once when we were going through in Israel, the immigration officer didn’t like that Trent had a stamp from Saudi Arabia and questioned him for quite awhile as I sat there patiently trying not to feel guilty for not doing anything wrong. However, most immigration agents are delightful and give a little smile and cordially welcome you to their country, especially when you’ve got children with you like we did this time.
Once we’ve gone through immigration, its time to get the luggage which is quick and easy since usually the immigration line was so long the luggage has been turning in the turnstiles for some time before you get there. This time, we grabbed our bags, put them on big carts, and headed once more through customs and drug-sniffing dogs, hoping we weren’t one of the “lucky” ones to be pulled aside and asked to open our luggage. Luckily, we were among the fortunate ones to get through quickly and start our true Thai experience.
Navigating our way over to our meeting spot, we hooked up with our driver who Trent had arranged to drive us to our hotel. The driver told us it would take 14 minutes to get to the Peninsula Hotel (though it really took more like 34 minutes;). Now the time was going on 1am, and we stumbled out of the van and into the beautiful foray of the hotel. With only a few bellboys awake and one service agent at the registration desk, our arrival was quiet. We got our room keys, traded in some US dollars for some Thai Bhat, and were taken to our rooms.
Since we have Clayton, 9, and Bailey, 13, traveling with us, we got two rooms that connect in the corner on the 24th floor of the hotel. This is an amazing hotel! The push button curtains open and close on demand, and there’s a TV by the bathtub and little doors to tiny spaces where you can put your shoes out to be polished during the evening by some wonderful, little Thai shoe-polishing elf!
We were quickly all showered and in bed in no time and ready to get a handle on our jet lag. Since Thailand is 13 hours ahead of San Antonio, we knew we needed to get on schedule as quickly as possible. To do this, Trent and I try to stay awake on the flights! We try not to sleep, so we can get as tired as possible and go to sleep when we get to the country where we are traveling. It worked perfectly since we arrived so late at night. By going to sleep right away, we were ready (kind of) to start our day today at 7am.
This morning we got up, though I felt like I could still sleep for days and went to breakfast. Our breakfast was an amazing buffet with anything and everything a person could ever desire. I do think that foreign buffets are the best! We again hooked up with the “O”s and since they brought their two children, M, 9, and L, 11, it worked out perfectly for Clay and Bailey to make fast new friends.
|Trent with the Golden Buddha, the largest solid gold Buddha in the world
Visiting the Buddhas
Trent and our friend, W, set up a little tour with our concierge, and soon we were off to see the sights of Bangkok. (There’s nothing like a local to find you a taxi and become your own personal tour guide for the day – so if you haven’t set up a tour, then just create your own!) It was an amazing day visiting four significant sights and temples. We started with seeing the Golden Buddha. He is the largest, solid gold Buddha in the world! Trent got a great picture pinching Buddha’s bootie and was one of my favorite pictures of the day.
Later that evening, we sent the kids up to our room, and Trent and I indulged in a Thai Yoga massage. It was the best massage experience I have ever had in my life! Opposed to a traditional massage where you are undressed laying under a blanket for a strategic working of the muscles, this massage requires a scrubs like outfit that is worn loose as you lay on a 4-6 inch pad on the floor. Since Trent and I were doing this together, our mats were placed next to each other in a room that looked as mystical as the land we were visiting. The floor had water intersects to step over that had river rocks at the bottom with water easily passing over. The lights came down in huge pendulums that resembled illuminated punching bags. The wood work was old and pitted with iron locks and handles that added the combination of old world to the beautiful modern serenity of the spa.
Tuesday, March 7, was uneventful since it was just a travel day. I will admit I woke up early with aches from my massage the night before. I took some Advil, but that only made my stomach queasy from not having any food in my system. I pushed through it, and we packed up our luggage. Still not feeling my best, I laid down to get some rest before our hour and a half drive to the dock where we would embark on our cruise. We were now traveling with four couples since our hotel was our meeting point (some of the other travelers were in other parts of Thailand having started their vacation earlier than the rest of us). By noon, we were off in two vans, and it was a very long drive for me. I would feel good, then sick, then okay, and then sick again. I wasn’t sure if it was all the lactic acid that had been released and now needed to be expunged from my body or if I’d come down with food poisoning from the large amount of watermelon I had eaten at the hotel the first morning of our arrival. At one point, Trent had me convinced I was pregnant but that didn’t make me feel any better.
We finally arrived at port and boarded our ship. We had booked one cabin with four beds since we brought Clay and Bailey with us, but we were grateful the “O”s offered to give up one of their cabins, so their kids could share the room with our kids and Trent and I could have a room to ourselves. I quickly went to sleep, wondering if I was suffering from the massage, food poisoning, or maybe just jet lag from our 28-hour flight. I woke up just to do the ship muster drill, and then I was off to bed for the evening with hopes that the morning would bring a better day for me. Thankfully, that is exactly what it brought!
|I really liked this sign posted in Singapore.
It really summed up the whole trip for me!