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It so happened that my family was on holiday right at that time and I was scheduled for flying over there on Wednesday 29th, 2011. From TV news and phone calls with my relatives I learned that the airport was closed due to massive floods. The airport is owned and operated by Bangkok Airways which I booked a plane ticket with as well. That airline is actually quite alright, once their planes have taken off. Their off-plane customer support / service is just horrible. Concerned as I was, I tried to contact them on all of the four phone numbers on the HK airport. Nobody picked up. So I called their representation at the Bangkok airport. Nobody picked up. Then I called the headquarter in Bangkok. Again, nobody picked up. I just wanted to know whether my plane actually leaves or not. So I went to the airport and luckily I took off about 1.5 hours delayed.
When I arrived in Bangkok, I noticed that there are not many people at the airport. Yeah well, didn’t expect that, but in fact, there was nobody there except us 20 from Hong Kong (the Airbus A319 was quite empty). So the first person at the airport I told that I want to go to “Bo Phut” beach and I want a Meter-Taxi and don’t wanna pay more than 200 Baht บาท (€4,64) laughed at me and said: “No taxi! Water to here! No taxi!” (pointing at her waist) “Can give you big van for 500 Baht!” Yeah, right! (I thought and said and walked away) Then I got to the next counter for taxis. Again, no real meter taxis there and what do I here? Same same, but different: “No taxi! Water to here! No taxi!” (pointing at her waist) “Can give you big van for 600 Baht!” Wow! 100 Baht more, that one must be good. After 15 minutes of negotiating, trying not to get wet because it was still pouring cats, dogs and little elephants; I agreed.
There was only one driver crazy enough to drive me over to that “Bo Phut” beach and one of the shallower parts looked like this:
He switched off the fan and A/C to make sure no splashed water gets sucked into the car. Yet, it was a funny ride. He was joking sort of: “You know, every year we have Songkran – water festival – can have lots of fun now!” At least they didn’t loose their sense of humor in the land of smiles. Apparently, it was the day after the worst day of floods and news all over the world showed massive land slides, military personnel evacuating citizens and tourists with dinghies. Well, not at our place. We couldn’t get out much the first two days I was there, but despite that there was no problem at all. And later on I even had a bird sitting right next to me, waking me up while I was roasting in the sun.
P.S.: I turned out quite pink, not nice roasty brown.
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