Koh Samui : Airport Mission
Koh Samui Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
September 18th, 2004 – by: siamesekiwi
Finally, the stressful period had passed. Our wedding took place just the day before, it was touchy and weary. It was the honeymoon trip we had been waiting for, and although it was never going to be a particularly romantic trip, that whole year had been hectic and we really needed a bit of R&R on a beach somewhere.
Personally, I’m fond of the west coast of Thailand where beautiful islands like Phi Phi or Surin or Similan are situated. However, we can’t really resist the fact that free stuff is temping. We got a complimentary stay at the Boathouse Resort in Samui for 2 nights as a part of wedding package. So there is no fuss over the destination.
Moreover, my in laws had never been to Samui and it seemed to be more convenient for them to get to Samui rather than the west coast, as there was a direct flight from Bangkok to Samui.
For this trip, I naturally assumed the title of guide for this honeymoon- like- tour. Well, I am the only one who can speak Thai, so who else would be best?
9 of us; 4 couples and my brother in law David who’s just broken up with his girlfriend, were going to experience a Thai style honeymoon. No rules, just to have fun with lots of people, that's it. This was the first time for everyone, me included, to fly domestically within Thailand. Everyone seemed to leave their lives in my hands.
Not even on the plane yet, I was confronted with a confusing situation, as Don Muang domestic terminal was to play a funny trick on me. Seeing a sign stating “Departures” after we entered through the taxi drop off point, I naturally assumed that this was the check in point.
It eventually became clear as to why some other domestic airlines were all situated at the Arrivals area. Thai Airways has dominated the Domestic Terminal for so long, that nobody could ever contemplate that there could ever be any other competitors who would dare to compete with them, hence why the floorplan and signage was so confusing. Since then, our main airport has become Suvarnabhumi Airport which is a lot bigger than Don Muang, and hopefully things will continue to improve there. I will be there next in June and hope to be able to provide a glowing report.
We still had about an hour before the plane took off, so my husband Matt suggested to his friends, Euan and Erin, that they should have a quick bite before getting on the plane. They wanted Burger King. Unlike the International Terminal, the Domestic area didn’t have any type of food court or restaurant like Burger King or Black Canyon available. I was my responsibility to find out where the Burger King was. I swear I won’t ever try to visit Burger King from the domestic terminal again. It took us about 15 minutes to get there, which included a long walk, an escalator ride, having our passports checked by officials, then being submitted to x-ray and security checks, all in order to get a burger!
What situation would arise next? I was already feeling tired worn out.
Oh dear… there are two of them on Chaweng Beach!! Then I told her “No worries, I have a print-out in my bag which I will check for you”.
When we arrived at Samui airport, we separated into 2 groups. Matt and I went to the reception desk which was just next to the luggage belt to enquire about a taxi while others were busy collecting luggage. There were 2 ways to get out of the airport, airport shuttle (they called it "Limousine") or a taxi which was actually a pick-up truck with 2 bench seats.
We decided to take the airport shuttle which cost us 100baht(US$3) per person. It was actually about the same price as the other option. The difference being that you don't have to get out of the airport area to call for a taxi and you don't have to share it with other passengers either (unless your group is big enough or you're willing to pay more). Normally, these receptionists will attempt to sell you accommodation too, often quite insistently. In my opinion, it's far better to book hotels beforehand as they will try to put you in some hotels from which they can receive the commission from, and which usually turn out to be average at best. I prefer to make my own decision rather than having no choice and having to rely on the limited selections.
We arrived at the Boathouse at 8 pm. Again, there were unexpected complications as the reception didn’t get the message from Bangkok headquarters that we would arrive, so they told us to come back in half an hour because they had to prepare the room for us. That’s ok, I had to drop the others off anyway.
Fifteen minutes later we arrived at “Chaweng Resort”. There was no problem here except that the first impression looked a bit funny due to the bright pink entrance. I was afraid that I would disappoint my tour members. But as they say, you can’t judge the book by its cover, with their waterfront bungalow being gorgeous.
My mission wasn’t finished yet. We still had Euan and Erin left. We didn’t book any places for them as we thought that it would be easy to walk in like last time we were there. They wanted more of a budget style accommodation which can’t easily be booked online. The easy and reliable way to get accommodation such as this was to visit the tour agency, where people also rent motorcycles, and use their internet connection. We finally got a place with air-con for them for 800baht($25) a night.
It was 10 pm, and time we headed back to the boathouse by the 2 row pick-up truck, 50baht($2) per person. Finally we were able to check in, take a deep breath, and put the hectic day behind us. We need to sleep now….
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