Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Bangkok - Berlin - Bangkok

Bangkok to Berlin

Sunday, 05.04.2015 

Wait for taxi on Sri Bam Pen Road: one taxi with "free" doesn't stop because it is full (after some seconds of wondering I have an epiphany: he has a fixed fare tour!); second taxi I announce my destination (Suwannaphum) to driver, put suitcase and backpack on back seat, buckle up and wait for him to start, one second, two seconds, three seconds, announce destination again, driver asks for 500 Baht, I say no and get my luggage out. Finally third taxi takes me to the airport (21:17-22:05, 285 Baht, 34 km, 10 min slower than 6 km/h). There was slow traffic on Ratchada, we passed MRT Phetchaburi 21:40, I should have agreed to expressway!

Arrive at airport 22:05. Still people getting taxi from departure despite barriers.
Queue for check-in 22:08-29
Queue for security 22:33-38
Queue for immigration 22:39-23:08
Arrive at gate 22:19

Monday, 06.04.2015
Scheduled departure time 01:20, real about 01:40. In addition to delayed departure, there was head wind, resulting in arrival in Kiew 10:05, my connecting flight was 9:25. The plane has already left. I inquire and staff writes 'gate 12' on my boarding pass and tells me to hurry, but there is no flight to Berlin as I could see from the display. From the very beginning I thought this is a ruse to occupy me for half an hour and after that I will go to someone else with this problem, and I was right.

Inquire elsewhere about new flight and boarding pass. Staff takes me and few other passengers with related problems through immigration (now I have two stamps from Ukraine on last page of my passport), to luggage reclaim and Ukraine International Airlines UIA counter, where I get a new boarding pass. There are no more direct flights, I get flight Kiew-Frankfurt/Main-Berlin. With this boarding pass I go to check in: flight overbooked! Staff tells me to wait for an hour. Miraculously, after an hour, I get a seat!

As a remnant from division of Germany, there are still no direct flight from Berlin to Bangkok (some years ago there used to be some flights during winter by airberlin?), only from Frankfurt and Munich.

Rest of the trip without problems. Arrive at my parent's place 10 pm instead of 2 pm.

Berlin to Bangkok

Friday, 08.05.2015

Largest railway strike in history in Germany, but it delays my trip from hometown to airport by only 15 minutes. Flight (Berlin-Moscow-Bangkok with Aeroflot) without incidents. Finally, on the flight Moscow to Bangkok, a movie selection!

Most interesting seat neighbor ever. With travel experience in Asia, but not so much in Thailand and Cambodia. He asked the right person how to get from from Suwannabhumi to Cambodian border (Aranyaprathet / Poipet) for under 3 USD, and then continue to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh!

I always wondered about the headphones in the plane, the cables are connected and you tear them apart at the end with the phones. If they are single use (that would be a horrible waste), why do they collect them? If they are multiple use, how do they connect the cables

On some planes, you can turn the armrest on the aisle side up (there is a button under the armrest that you have to press first). This is very convenient for getting up, especially when the table is down, just turn your body 90 degrees to the aisle. I couldn't find the button on this plane, or the armrests to the aisle are immovable. 

Saturday, 09.05.2015

Scheduled arrival 8:20, announcement in airplane for arrival 8:29. 
8:17 spot Koh Kret right of the plane, then Government Complex and Don Mueang Airport. On a previous flight I sat on the left side, I could spot Wat Phra Thammakay. 
8:29 touch ground. 
8:39 airplane at gate. 
8:45 I am out of the airplane. 
8:52-55 immigration. There are officers who check your arrival card before you reach the desk, entering an address is compulsory ("Khao San" seems to be sufficient, as far as I could overhear conversation of other tourists).

Tip: get a second departure card and fill it out at home, much more comfortable than in the plane or at the airport.

8:57-9:00 luggage reclaim.  
9:11 at platform for City Line
9:18-39 train to Makkasan (45 Baht).
From there taxi to my room in Sathorn 75 Baht + 5 Baht tip. 
(That's 125 Baht total, if I had gone all the way by taxi it would have cost about 300.)
10:10 in my room.

Copyright 2015 ChristianPFC


  1. Love the part about someone asking you how to get from the airport to Poipet for under $3. What was your answer ?

    That's 101 baht.
    Now when I took the train about 8 years ago, it was THB 46.
    Then the Tuk tuk to the border was 60 baht, which blows the whole budget.

    I suppose the cheapest way is to:
    (i) Walk out of the airport to the nearest OLD rail station (the railway runs under the elvated line). Wait & catch a train to Poipet. Well, let's hope you can be waiting at around 6:00 am. This avoids the obscene expense of the airport rail link into town. I guess the fare must be over 50 habt by now to Aranya Prathet.
    (ii) Haggle with the tuk tuk drivers or take a baht bus to cut the cost of getting to the border.

    I'm convinced this can be done for under $3, I just don't ever want to be doing it that way.......

    1. No joke! (3 USD is too serious to joke about.) He told me he has 3 USD in small change (which he wants to change to THB) and the rest in big notes (which he doesn't want to change in to THB). He would pay food with credit card.

      First I wanted to send him to Hua Lampong via ARL and MRT, but that would have been over his budget. And then I realized that the train to Aranyaprathet drives past the airport and stops there (Lad Krabang Station), that's what I recommended (when I took train Aranyaprathet to Bkk last year, it was 48 Baht, and songtheo from border to town 15 Baht).


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