Headed to the Islands.

Today was he first day that I needed to use my alarm on my phone. Every other day I have either gotten up early or just gotten up whenever. Today I needed to be on the move early. I’m outa Bangkok, and headed for the islands.

Got up, packed the bag, scanned the room, checked out of the hotel, and made my way to the metro station. The metro was a quick trip, straight up the green line, to the airport rail link connector. Once on the train, it was a straight shot to the airport.

It took me about 40-45 minutes from when I walked out of the hotel until when I walked out of the train station in the airport. Its the easiest, and by far the cheapest way to get to the airport. It is also completely internal to the airport building, so you just go up the escalators a couple floors to departures and you’re on your way.

Navigating the Bangkok airport as an outgoing passenger is really easy. Everything is well marked, there are numerous people around to assist, and the lines move fast. I didn’t know how much of a headache it was going to be and ended up getting here super early. They only open gate checkins three hours before takeoff, so there’s no reason to arrive too early. The departure area is also quite nice, with numerous shops and restaurants to chose from.

That being said, some general thoughts about Bangkok …

first, I realize I stayed in the wrong part of the city. The Sukhumvit area is the mainstay of cheap bars, prostitution, and stunning urban depression which is only randomly broken up by clean civilization (usually in the form of a shopping mall).

Bangkok as a whole is dirty, rundown, polluted, and with minimal redeeming qualities. The qualities it has are well on display. The shrines, museums, and places of note are all very well-kept, dispute their heavy tourist traffic. The Thai people, almost completely, are generous and outgoing. They make up for a great deal of other issues.

Still, the good doesn’t outweigh the bad. The pollution, especially the water pollution, is staggering. The traffic is chaos, made worse by the cabbies. And the place is dirty. Dirty on a scale that surpasses other cities.

If there is a good side to the city, I didn’t see it during my travels. I’m sure there has to be one.

These are my opinions. I’m sure others have their own. Still, I didn’t leave anything behind. That way, I don’t have to come back.

PM-

Had a nice McDonalds breakfast at the airport and lingered around for bit at my gate. Plane was full but efficiently run. We left on time.

Its a pretty quick 50 minute flight to the island of Samui (Koh Samui). You can purchase a bus/ferry ticket over to Koh Phangan at the airport limousine stand. Its located right by the exit doors after baggage, and set me back a cheap 400B. Limousine van picked up everyone and took us to the Pier to catch the ferry.

Upon landing in Koh Samui, I finally caught up with the monsoon. Its raining a pretty steady clip right now as I wait for my ferry to arrive.

Okay. The ride to Koh Phangan was great. The taxi lady at the ferry landing was overpriced but nice. The ride to hotel was fairly quick. The hotel was …. dismal. Maybe a little less than dismal. Had to pay upfront in cash. Okay, 3100B for 5 days. I should have expected that. The sheets however, are clean. And that, is what really matters. Okay, on this level of seediness, a room safe would have been nice, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Took a quick walk around to find Phangan International Divers School, which was right down the road. I came here to dive, and diving is what I’ll be doing. Tomorrow. Thanks to the hottie with the hot accent. I really hope she’s a dive instructor.

Back at the hotel, sitting out on the balcony by the sand drinking beer. I realize this place may not be so bad. At least the beer is cold. That, my friends, is step one.

Later!

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