The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Saturday, April 4, 2015

March 27, Yangon to Bangkok

Friday, March 27, Day 52 - Yangon to Bangkok

We enjoy a slow morning with a late breakfast. The Eggs Benedict are wonderful. There is a great shopping arcade attached to the hotel and it includes a nice little museum. We enjoy a relaxing hour or so shopping and looking at the treasures. We find a set of lacquer coasters and a few other little handmade items. Back in the room we pack up our new treasures and get the porter to take the growing luggage pile downstairs. Our driver is waiting at noon to take us to the airport.

Leaving the hotel, we immediately notice the lack of traffic and discover it is the "Army Day" holiday. We wish someone had told us as we probably could have done a little more touring with this lack of traffic. The trip to the airport takes about 45 minutes and we bid our driver, the worst of the lot, adieu and attempt to find the line to check in for our 3:45PM Bangkok Airways flight. We finally find it over in the corner of the terminal and Dick stands in a very slow line while someone gives Carolyn a plastic chair. Surprisingly, Dick requests a wheel chair for her at the counter and is refused when he admits she can walk, but slowly.

We make our way to the waiting area after standing in a long line at passport control. Carolyn’s sore foot is made worse by having to stand in these long airport  lines. Just past that there are a number of shops just waiting to take the last of our Kyats. We have 7,000 so Carolyn looks and actually finds a pin for Jack, a bottle of water to share with the sandwiches the hotel packed for our lunch and some Jade ornaments. Now through the second x-ray search of our luggage we take a seat in the departure lounge. The plane arrives and departs on time and we find that they have changed our seats to the Business Class section so we have two seats and the middle one is empty. We bid Myanmar farewell.

This has really been a hard trip for us physically due to the lack of a modern tourist infrastructure. Even though we are truly glad we made the effort and saw this unique country before it becomes a tourist hot spot, we will probably not be back again. This feeling is in such contrast to our India trip, where we left thinking about what we would do on a return trip. As much as any thing, at our age, the travel was too rough due to the very poor infrastructure even though there were people at every turn offering a hand, except on our last airport stop.

We arrive in Bangkok on time and are asked to wait to debark the plane as a wheelchair is coming. This time a truck with a lift platform pulls up on the right side of the plane and we walk out onto this platform and into an enclosed area. The raised platform is lowered and we are driven to the bus debarkation area where a wheelchair awaits and are at the luggage pickup area even before the people who walked off the plane before us. The man with us grabs a trolly and our luggage and we proceed thorough all the immigration and customs stuff in record time and are in our Shangri-La Mercedez Benz and moving at 5:30PM.

The driver says the traffic is bad and the trip will take an hour. Wishful thinking! It takes exactly two hours to make the 16 mile trip to the hotel! Ridiculous!

We are met at the door like royalty returning and the manager, Mr. Chompoo, is among our greeters. Happy hour is just ending but he invites us to sit, relax a few minutes, and enjoy a drink and some food before it is all cleared away; then we will get checked in. That is a welcome treat as we can and do make dinner out of their dim sum treats during the daily happy hour.

Our new room is #1561 and similar to the one we had last week. We order some satay and spring rolls for supper and get settled. It does seem a little warm but we are tired, the shower calls and we are not long for this world.

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