Hello or should we say S̄wạs̄dī from Bangkok!
Where do we begin?! We started our journey on the 18th April. Our families drove us down to Manchester from Newcastle. Rachel and her parents set off early to meet up with her brother Sean and his girlfriend, Amy in Manchester.
I set off not long after, after having a terrible nights sleep. I don’t know if it was my terrible diet leading up to our trip, a stomach bug or maybe nerves, even though I didn’t think I had any. I woke up, said goodbye to my Nanna and other family members and then I packed, double checked, triple checked and then rang Rachel to check again before setting off.
Rach and her family went to an Italian restaurant on the outskirts of Manchester near the airport, called Cocos, while me and my family went to a place called The Tatton Arms, also near the airport.
After we had lunch, our two families met up at the Tatton Arms for a drink and then we headed to the airport to say our goodbyes. There were tears, hugs, more tears, more hugs and lots of well wishes. We’ve both been fortunate to have such supportive families during the lead up to our adventure.
I found saying goodbye quite easy because I thought of it more as a “See you soon”, although I will miss my family, this adventure is something that I, or should I say we have to do. Rach found it a bit more difficult to say her goodbyes as this is the first time that she has been away from her family; but here she is, sat with me in our beautiful apartment in Bangkok!
Checking in at Manchester Airport was very quick. The security took quite some time. We had quite a few electronic items that had to be separated and I took too many liquids, which also had to be separated. Rookie mistake. My advice to anybody travelling is to take as little liquid items as possible and just buy them out there or just put them in your main cargo.
We also had a minor incident after walking through security and waiting for our separated belongings; when we both looked at each other and said “what did you do with the main hand luggage?”. Turns out we both thought the other had it, and it was almost declared as a suspicious/abandoned bag! It felt like we had been sat down 5 minutes and then had to board the plane.
The whole process, apart from our minor incident at security was painless and the Etihad flight was brilliant. The take off was very smooth, the staff were very accommodating, the in-flight entertainment was really good, even the food was good!
We flew from Manchester > Abu Dhabi. The flight lasted approx. 7 hours and 15 minutes. We took off at 8pm and must have only got an hours sleep on that flight. We watched LaLa Land (not worth the hype) and then attempted to watch Star Wars: Rogue One. The rest of the time was spent listening to relaxing music, nature sounds and trying to get into a comfortable sleeping position, which we both failed miserably at. We ended up staying up to watch the sunrise before touching down in Abu Dhabi. We landed at approx 06:45 Abu Dhabi time.
We had a smooth landing in Abu Dhabi, which has a pretty cool airport. The toilet, however was not so cool. My first experience of this type of toilet – The Squatty Potty.
As I mentioned earlier, I was a bit under the weather due to an upset stomach but Immodium works wonders! After popping a few of those, we boarded our flight from Abu Dhabi > Bangkok and we both fell asleep before we had even took off.
It was another smooth take off. The flight lasted approx 6 hours 45 mins. I managed to get a solid couple of hours sleep and woke up feeling much better. Rach watched a movie called Fences and then another movie called Moana. I decided to watch Inside Out when I woke up which I thoroughly enjoyed! It deserved more credit than it received. I actually got emotional watching it! It’s a great movie that teaches kids about mental health issues in a very entertaining and clever way. For the remainder of the flight I was playing Street Fighter 2 and Rach assisted me with a crossword.
After passing through some beautiful white fluffy clouds, we had another smooth landing. We landed at 19:30.
Bangkok airport was pretty straight forward. It was really efficient. We got our arrival and departure visa forms on our flight, so we had filled these in prior to landing at the airport which saved some time.
We spent a few minutes looking for the correct baggage collection point but then as soon as we found it, we saw our bags, there was no waiting around. Before we knew it, we were out of the airport and in an Uber on the way to our Air BnB apartment.
The apartment looks just like it did on the photographs. A very swanky and modern studio apartment with a mezzanine level and a skyline view.
We found a 7 Eleven near by, got some water and food for the night, as we were tired from all of the travelling and here we are! We’ve planned to have an early start tomorrow and then we are going to venture into the city centre to see what Bangkok has to offer.
This is just the start of our journey.
Craig and Rach x