It’s a 7-hour drive, via minibus, from our resort on Koh Chang to Bangkok airport, plus an extra 15 minutes shuttle to the airport Best Western where we spent the night before our flight.
Tuesday morning, therefore, we awoke early, had breakfast, and were the first people picked up. So we got the best seats. The minibus gradually filled up, here and there, and then we arrived at the ferry.
Bye bye, Koh Chang!
At a potty stop sometime after the ferry, one of the passengers switched to the other minibus. He was being a jerk to the driver and making the rest of us wince with shame, so no one cried when he left.
We arrived smoothly at the airport, and transferred to hotel shuttle. I can’t remember the last time I stayed at a Best Western, probably at WGT in Leipzig at some point, but I need to look up ownership now. They had news stations from numerous countries on the TV, but the only US representation was Fox News. Ugh.
The food at the restaurant was delicious, the space pleasant, and we had a nice evening. There was classical music blasting in the upstairs hallways, so Matt and I performed interpretive dance every time we went back or forth along the corridor on our floor. I hope someone was monitoring the security cameras. 🙂
We awoke even earlier on Wednesday morning, catching the 05:30 shuttle back to the airport. I overstayed my visa by a few days due to simple oversight, so knew I needed to plan extra time passing through immigration.
The fine for overstay is 500 baht per day, and they charged me for 5, although it could have been 6. Therefore the total wasn’t much more than the extended visa would have cost me. The funny part, though, was signing the document which stated that I had been arrested for the crime of immigration fraud, a jailable offense, but that I was accepting a fine settlement instead. That was in duplicate, so I thought I’d get a copy, but I didn’t. I got a receipt and a notation of payment in my passport. So long as I don’t make a habit of overstaying my visa in the future, I should be fine.
The flight from Bangkok to Helsinki was 10 hours, and it was OK. You can’t really expect great from a 10 hour flight, and we were near the toilets, which is never fun. But it wasn’t as bad as the outbound flight, so it counts as good. Hurray!
Our takeoff was delayed because a tire had burst and needed to be changed, and our transfer in Helsinki was therefore quite rushed, but we made our flight home. Home, home home! I can’t help but miss Cat, though. This is the second trip I’ve returned from without his presence to welcome me, since he died over the summer. I love how he was always anxious for our arrival and would run (when younger) and bump (when older) down the stairs to meet us at the closet landing, meowing like crazy. 15.5 years with us–it was January 1998 when we adopted that frostbitten youngish stray in the middle of the night. 😦 Sad.
We had exit seats on the Helsinki-Amsterdam flight, which is always nice. Uneventful, also a boon.
And… Wait for it… Arrival in Amsterdam! Smooth, smooth, and the IAmsterdam sign is even currently at Schiphol to welcome us home. 🙂
We got home, ordered pizza, ate it, now off to shower and bed! 🙂
Next travel: Porto, Portugal. I’ve forgotten the dates. Sometime in April. Just a weekend away. I’ll try to blog about it too. 🙂