Thailand: Getting Here & Getting Settled

Long haul flights have got to be the bane of every traveller’s existence. Maybe those select few flying first class feel differently, but for the rest of us poor schlubs in economy, these nightmarishly long periods of captivity, squashed in uncomfortable seats, & sharing the air with far too many others are just a necessary evil to be endured.

24 hours of cars, trains, planes, & shuttles took us from Canada to Thailand. Here’s an unexpected newsflash: the trip wasn’t 100% Hellish!

Vancouver to Bangkok map

In the past, Karen and I had given our business to Air Canada. Flying from Winnipeg, not wanting to switch airlines when connections were required, and a desire to support Canadian business had limited our choices.

Last year, good old Air Canada had us squashed like sardines on the Vancouver to Sydney leg of our journey to Australia, offering less space than we enjoyed on the domestic flight. We were determined to branch out.

This year, after spending time on Vancouver Island, we flew from Vancouver and let Cathay Pacific take care of us. What a difference! Not only did we have more leg room, but the flight was quite under-booked. An empty seat between us let us take turns stretching out! With 14 hours in the air, that was huge.

Please note the mix of shock & glee, as I celebrated the empty seat. I’ll also point out that never have I ever enjoyed airplane food like I did with Cathay. See that empty pasta dish? I could have licked it clean. I came close with the gelati dish, too. On the flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok, we were treated to Hagen Daz ice cream. The beverages were free flowing, and the wine was actually decent. All of this, plus an assortment of snacks were available at all times at the back of the plane. Perhaps you think I’m making too big a deal of the food, but after many nearly inedible meals, this was a pleasant surprise, indeed.

One source of stress was that this first flight to Hong Kong was delayed by two hours. We were assured that, without having to go through customs and immigration, we should have enough time to catch the next flight. Close to landing, the flight attendants agreed to move us closer to the front of the plane, giving us a head start at the arrivals gate. Once more advantage to flying carry-on: we made our flight and so did our bags.

Leaving the plane in Bangkok was a shock to the sleep-deprived system. It was midnight, as we stepped into the hot, humid air. What would it feel like mid-afternoon?!

We breezed through immigration, found the hotel shuttle, and soon had alarms set, ready for a few hours of sleep before we made our way to meet our newest buddies.

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This is why we house sit. Could there be a better cure for jet lag?

While we are interested in exploring this exotic country, Bangkok, itself, didn’t hold a tremendous allure. It must be pretty obvious that green spaces, beautiful scenery, and a bit of quiet are what we most often seek. This house sit gives us a soft place to land as our bodies adjust to being on the other side of the world.

After a couple days of recuperating and getting to know our hairy hosts, we ventured out to Chinatown. What an introduction to the city!

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Chinese New Year celebrations and observances are still in full swing. The streets were loud and busy. Thick pollution hung in the air, irritating our eyes and throats. The sights, sounds, and smells were, quite frankly, overwhelming.

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After having our senses bombarded for a few hours, we relented. The joy of this style of travel is that we are able to slip home to a cold beer and the quiet hum of the air conditioning. No guilt for not winning the Gold Medal for Tourism. We have a job to do, after all.

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Too hot, tired, and jet lagged to tour? Sometimes Option B is just fine.


In-Flight Entertainment Report: The Three Billboards is an excellent movie. Podcasts and audiobooks via earbuds block out the most annoying children. Downloading Stranger Things on Netflix before the trip was a brilliant move, if I do say so, myself.

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17 thoughts on “Thailand: Getting Here & Getting Settled

  1. Way to go, you two! I’m super excited for your new adventure. We’re headed to England for 3 weeks, at the end of March. Any suggestions would be great! Love your posts!

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  2. Thailand looks beautiful! Great travel tips! I didn’t realize you could download Netflix shows. Like you, I love to have Audio/Podcasts ready if needed on planes. The pets are very sweet. Have fun!

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  3. Well, now. We’ll have to chat. Where are you going in England? What do you hope to see and do?

    So happy to have you both along for the ride, and we’ll be looking for your posts about England. Who knows, one of these days, maybe we’ll even connect in person, again.

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  4. Not all Netflix shows are available for download, but there are enough to get you through a long flight or two.

    Go to the top left of your screen, click on the menu tab (3 or 4 horizontal bars), and go to Available for Download. If you wifi is like any I’ve used, it takes a lo-o-o-ng time to download, and you may have to retry, but I think it’s worth the time and patience.

    Good luck with that!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, thanks for teaching me something new! I use OverDrive from the library to download books. I have to see if I can download videos too. Before I go on a trip I download quite a few print/audio books – a real life saver if there are flight delays, etc. 🙂

    Keep posting about Thailand. I’ll enjoy hearing about your trip.

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  6. I use Overdrive, as well. Great service!

    My podcast app is Stitcher. I can download there, as weel, using Listen Later. I don’t mind falling asleep during podcasts, because I can always back up.

    I’m glad the Netflix tip was helpful.

    I’ll keep posting. After gping to Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and the Grand Palace today, the big challenge will be picking the pictures!

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  7. Well worth the airline change on that evidence.
    The new furries look sweet – though it’s some time since my foot was savaged like that!
    Enjoy Thailand 😃

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  8. I really enjoyed reading your post! I can totally relate to the joys of having an extra seat on such a long flight, I once have 3 seats to myself on a flight to Dublin, HEAVEN! Will be going to Thailand for three weeks and can’t wait! Can anyone be a house sitter? I’ve heard of it but never thought to doing it as a way to travel around.

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  9. Abrie,

    3 seats for the whole flight??! Nice! We saw some people stretched out on our flight, and I really had to work to focus on the positive of our shared three, and not turn green with envy!

    With regards to housesitting, I would say that anyone can do it, but of course, you need a few skills. For the websites we belong to (see more detail in this post: https://traveltastecreate.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/housesitting-how-to/), animals are the big focus, so you should have the background to care for them. Of course, you would pick and choose the animals you feel comfortable with. We love and have cared for dogs, cats, chickens, fish, and birds. Fabulous experiences! I don’t have experience with horses, so I’ve not even considered applying for positions with those beautiful animals.

    Also, you want to have some basic home maintenance skills (the requirements vary wildly from place to place, and all can be discussed during the application process); there are times when we need to work with some house systems that are quite different from what we’re used to.

    You should, ideally, have a clean criminal record and some good references, whip up your profile, and start applying. It sincerely has been the best thing we’ve done to add to our travel experiences. I highly recommend it.

    Thanks for reading the post and for your comments and question. I appreciate the feedback. Leah

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