Taipei with a Fine Delay
Taipei Travel Blog› entry 32 of 94 › view all entries
China Airlines Flight 07, a Boeing 747, took just over fourteen hours to get from Los Angeles to Taipei. I must have dozed on and off since the dreaded flight passed surprisingly fast. Daylight was just breaking at our 6:00 a.m. arrival. My original ticket, purchased back in May, showed a two hour layover here in Taipei then a direct connection into Phnom Penh, Cambodia, arriving at 9:00 a.m. Perfect. But that flight had since been discontinued and my new routing was to Bangkok via Hong Kong with a Thai Airways connection into Phnom Penh this evening.
My first stop in the Taoyuan International Airport transit area was for a cup of coffee to sip in one of its newly refurbished smoking lounges. The smoking lounge looked more like a module on the International Space Station with its sliding glass door, futuristic stainless steel design, and blue stained plastic décor.
When boarding time arrived for my next flight, I was told of the airport closures in Bangkok and directed aside with a dozen or more other passengers. A China Airlines agent issued us meal tickets and instructed us to report back to the same gate in three hours.
After a ham and cheese croissant with a Coca Cola, several more miles of pacing the terminal, and a few more cigarettes, I and the others were led to two busses that took us to the nearby City Suites Hotel. Others were distraught by their lengthy delay while I was rather thrilled. They also fretted the whereabouts of their checked baggage while I toted mine. The free night in Taipei broke up my long trip nicely and the hotel provided 4-5 star comfort. The drawback was that we were confined to its premises and our passports remained at the airport. There was really nowhere to go anyway though several of the stranded passengers managed to sneak out to a nearby 7-11 to purchase beer.