The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 18, Ubud, Bali to Bangkok, Thailand

Wednesday, March 18 - Day 43 - Ubud to Bangkok

Our new room was delightfully cool last night and we both slept well. There is no rush this morning, even if it is a travel day, and we head for breakfast about 9AM. Once again, many solicitations of our well being from various staff members. One lady tells us how glad they are that we "chose to spend your money with us." It seems that their occupancy is down some 50% with Australians not coming due to, they guess, the economic condition down under.

The breakfast area is open air and is really a relaxing place. Dick has another Balinese dish and Carolyn has poached eggs and tangerine juice. This morning the temple directly across the gorge is having its purification ceremony and the priest are beating the wooden bell like structures calling the people to the temple. it is a very pleasant, rhythmic sound.

After breakfast, Carolyn goes for an included spa message. The is wonderful and the lady pays special attention to Carolyn's legs and feet. Dick doesn't care for this type of thing and now Carolyn wishes she had had Dick's massage yesterday, but no one though of it. Dick goes back to the room to work on the packing. It has been agreed that they will come for our bags at 11:40 in preparation for a noon departure to the airport. They say they need to plan for an hour and a half for the trip. Carolyn returns about 11:15 and we make final preparations to leave. At 11:55 we are standing by the van with the manager, desk manager and head steward all bidding us fond farewell. At noon we are off to Denpasar airport.
The trip is uneventful and the traffic is fairly light; well compared to what we have seen it is!  We pass by the temple on the hotel's road ans see that it is now all decorated. The sun is out and finally the mountains are showing through the clouds. One of the temples on the way to Ubud is getting ready for its purification ceremony today and the ladies are taking the offering to the temple...a colorful sight. We arrive at the airport about 1:30, unload and inside with two porters helping with the luggage. Carolyn has requested a wheelchair and it appears as we are getting in line to check-in. We are in Royal Silk Business Class and check in is smooth and, with the wheelchair assistant, we move through immigration and customs in the diplomatic/crew lanes. We pay our 400,000 Rupiah airport tax and that is the final hurdle to our departure. We spend an hour or so in the Premier Lounge and eat a light lunch.

Boarding time for our 4:10PM flight is 3:30 and an attendant is suppose to come back for Carolyn, but 3:30 arrives and no help arrives. Fortunately the gate is very close and Dick is antsy so we take off walking. Our boarding passes say gate 1, but as we turn in that direction the Thai attendant catches up with us. Seems as how the gate was changed to 9 and thye are boarding when we arrive. He cuts in line for us and we get on the plane and are soon ready to go. The plane backs away from the gate and stops. Not a good sign...we actually take off late due to heavy traffic. We watch quite a few planes take off and land as we inch our way to the head of the runway. We are finally airborne for our four hour flight about 4:45PM. The flight is uneventful but seems very long. The sun sets well over an hour before we land at 7:35PM.

One would think that the national flag carrier doing an international flight could get a gate with a skyway but that is not the case for us. We park out near Cambodia and have to exit our Airbus 330 via stairs that are rolled up to the plane. There are buses waiting to take the passengers to the terminal. As Carolyn has requested a wheelchair, we are placed in a van with two other groups with similar problems and, once at the terminal, Carolyn is wheeled through to immigration with Dick hustling to keep up. Once again, the wheelchair and airline escort gets us out of the big line and into the Diplomat/crew area. We are through in a matter of minutes, pick up our luggage and head for the door with nothing to declare with the Thai attendant staying with as and handing the luggage the whole way to the hotel pickup area.

The Shangri-La Hotel representative meets us and we are taken to a new, black Mercedes Benz for the limo trip to the hotel. The car is wonderfully comfortable with six way adjustable seats in the back! Surprisingly, traffic is very light and we make the trip in less than 30 minutes. Normally, at night it is at least 45 minutes and during the day an hour plus trip!

One of the nice things about a high-end Bangkok hotel is that the car calls ahead and there are hot and cold running staff to greet you when you pull up. Your bags are unloaded and counted and you are whisked directly to your room, ours is #1658, by a pretty receptionist who takes care of the check-in formalities in your room.

This hotel has also acknowledged our upcoming anniversary and the meaning of this trip by placing a flower petal design on the bed and suspending balloons from the ceiling. Somewhat tacky but Carolyn likes it and it is a nice gesture!

Soon after we are checked in our FedX package is delivered and we now have full electrical plug and charging capability until something else goes wrong! Despite the time, after 9PM, we walk over to the older part of the hotel in search of some supper and wind up sharing a pizza for dinner. Back in the room about 10:30, we enjoy the large bath and get cleaned up and settle in for a good nights sleep.













1 comment:

  1. I think you will find that the reason that Australians are not visiting Bali has nothing to do with an Economic factors which are still fine on the mainland, only Tasmania has troubles, but it has to do with two of our citizens who are about to be executed over there. Many of us feel very strongly about this and have decided to boycott Indonesia including Bali. A trip to Bali for an Australian is very cheap and ends up costing less than a holiday in Australia. Jennie