We have been planning this trip since about April and we bought all our plane tickets in May. I have been reading about a system called TripIt.com, this website / allows you to log every bit of your itinery with the option to share it publicly or privately. Barbara and I pumped in all the holiday data meticulously, it helped to hype us up and get us ready for our adventure.
For the past few years consecutively we have been to Thailand, so this time we thought we would try something new. We are starting off this trip in Bali with 10 day mountain bike trip that will take us around the Bali island. After Bali we will be heading back to Thailand for a Xmas trance party on a lake in Kanchaburi, then head to Koh Tao for a New Years trance party called the Experience and finally we will finish the trip on Koh Phangan.
Barbara had to train for the mountain bike tour, she prepared for a few months before to make sure she would be fit for the tour. I am extremely happy that she agreed to do the tour, not many couples I know do sports activities together and I believe its a great bonding experience.
Due to the fact that we are travelling in peak season we have had to plan every bit of accommodation before leaving, most places are fully booked leading up to Xmas and New Years, so you don’t want to take a chance.
We flew out of Cape Town on the 10th December 2012 from CT to JHB via SAA. When we checked in for our flight to JHB we were given the option to book our baggage all the way through to Bangkok, our gut feeling said don’t do it, but we decided it was convenient and went ahead anyways.
We landed in JHB domestic and went over to the international terminal to catch our Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi. It was bliss, no need to worry about our bags as SAA had assured us that they would sort our luggage out. We landed in Abu Dhabi after a 7 hour flight and very little sleep. We had a 3,5 hr overlay before we could the next Etihad flight to Bangkok.
Whenever we are at duty free we make a point of shopping for perfume, whiskey and gin! It’s tradition! So this was no different. We had time to kill so we shopped… Our flight to Bangkok was on time and we boarded for our next leg which was a 5hr flight. So far so good, no hiccups, no fuss and Etihad was an amazing airline!
When we arrived in Bangkok it was a welcome site to see our favourite airport. We knew exactly what to do, where passport control and then where luggage collection was. Unfortunately there was no luggage to collect as SAA had fucked us with a sandy dick, thanks SAA you are a bunch of useless twats! We should have listened to our instincts and picked up our luggage in JHB and checked it in ourselves.
Thank goodness Thailand is organised and the airport staff are super helpful. I doubt the South African airport would have been as helpful and effective. I went to the lost luggage people and
logged a case, they said to me to contact them again in 30min.
We were not happy campers, but there was nothing we could do but wait for assistance. We went to get Dunkin Donut and Chang beer, another tradition whenever we arrive in Thailand. This allowed us to kill 30min. I went back to luggage control and the lady who had helped us had managed to track down our bags, they were still sitting in JHB, as I said SAA are useless.
I was issued an incident report and 2500 baht compensation for our troubles. Thailand you beauty! We arranged for our bags to be sent to Bali. There was nothing further we could do about our bags, so we decided to head to our hotel which was called the Amari Don Meuang Airport Hotel next the Don Meuang airport where we would be flying out of to Bali at 6am the next morning. Outside the airport we landed at there was a free shuttle bus to Don Meuang, public transport in Thailand is so organised!
Our hotel room was pretty comfi, we showered and headed down for some Thai food. After that we hit the sack and tried to sleep… Unfortunately our body clocks were not working properly and we had to get up at 3:30am to get ready to head to our next flight to Bali was with AirAsia.
It was our first experience at the Don Meuang airport, we crossed a walkway that connected the Amari hotel with the airport. Once we got through flight checkin and passport control, we went through to wait for our flight to Bali where we would kick off our holiday properly. Exciting adventurous times lay ahead!