Our flight to Bangkok was at 10am, so Mum and I headed to the airport nice and early. The international terminal at Sydney is pretty cool, with lots of worthwhile shops and free samples. The problem is that whenever we are at the departure terminal, we’re about to embark on some exiting adventure and don’t really want to carry around the results of a shopping spree. Mum was feeling anxious about leaving so many people at home (it was the first of time just the two of us travelled together) and was still trying to figure out how she could get my brother to come with us, but I tried to assure her tha it is too late to book someone on a trip when you’re walking toward the gate. After some practical purchases of noise-reduction headphones and an SD card, we made it to our gate where our lovely Thai Airways plane awaited us.
Our flight from Sydney to Bangkok was about 10 hours, but it was a really good flight. First of all, the seats were a rotation of purple, gold and pink, so I was impressed before I even sat down. We had plenty of leg room, individual screens, I had a good book (A Game of Thrones) and Mum had a friendly Indian man sitting next to her. The time flew by and we soon arrived in Bangkok at about 4:40pm local time. After that, the adventures started. We were supposed to have landed at 4pm, giving us plenty of time to take a taxi to our hotel where we had a group meeting for our tour at 6pm. We collected our backpacks (which survived their first flight – yay!) and made our way to the taxi bay. As we stepped out into the sticky heat we saw about 6 lines with at least 20 people in each. We chose the shortest and waited 15 minutes without moving forward when Mum said she remembered something about there being instructions on our itinerary for taking the train. We were in Bangkok and feeling adventurous, and well, to cut a long story short, it went well but we were running late to our meeting. When we finally found the Bangkok Centre hotel, it was well past our meeting time, but we did manage to find our CEO (Chief Experience Officer), a Thai man named Pan Pan, and the rest of our group members. They had very thoughtfully waited for us before going out to dinner, an early sign of how great these fellow tourers would turn out to be. After a damn good Pad Thai and many introductions we went to bed to get ready for our first day of exploring in the morning.