The 2010 Bangkok Tales-Part 1 (The Beginning)

Posted by Fico , Friday, July 30, 2010 2:59 AM

.......... time has comes for me to pack my things in a 50 liter back pack and start a brand new adventure!


Bangkok and Singapore here comes FIKA!!! ciiiaaaaattttttttt!! (gaya kung pao master!)




Bangkok




There was something about Bangkok or Thailand that i like. I don't know how to describe it, but i found it romantic, with all of its bustle and sound, also smell and the look of lady boys (he he he). I found it all very fascinating. Tuk tuk, taksi the wat's chao phraya, the humidity, the heat, the sweat, the dogs... ohhhh... all about Bangkok hate and love, made me want to go there again!!



At 2009 i book a flight through Air Asia, with their FREE SEAT, i got flight from Jakarta to Bangkok with price of Rp 30,000,- (about US$ 3,-) well it should be free, they actually charge Rp 30,000,- for my extra 15 kg's luggage. (Lu boleh jealous dah ! huahuahuahauhauha!!!!)
Nope, i sit in a leather seat, full ac, and its not a single 80 years old propeller plane. Its normal 100-200 seated flight (maybe fokker, i don't understand this one), but its normal plane for sure, no plastic chair, i don't have to sit on the floor too, or jump off the plane with a parachute!! (yeah they tease me with these when theyt found out about my flight price!!).

My flight start from Jambi at 11 am with Batavia air. There were delays for 30 mins, but its normal in Indonesia (geezz.. i dont know how i see delay as normal... but it is pathetic!!). When you said "delay" as a "not normal" thing ladies and gentlemen... if you're an expat, you better know, this is one of sign you've been TOO LONG reside in Indonesia. If you are an Indonesian, please peeps... change this mind set, DELAYs are not OK!!!!



I arrive in Jakarta on lunch time. Switching terminal from domestic to international, using the airport free shuttle bus (yellow bus). And go down in Air asia counter, check my flight from the small monitor on every each air asia counter. Theres several lines already.


After check in at Air Asia counter and pay Rp 150.000,- for airport tax (around US$15/Person), oh i got help from two pretty lady in red, on self check in machine infront of traditional checking counter, it was very easy and comfortable! All i need is my booking number (ticket print out) and passport number. No need to queue, less than 5 min they gave me the check in sticker that printed on that machine, i attach it to my printed ticket, all i need to do after that just goes to "special queue line" that had big banner said "self check in" to scale/drop my bag, tag it and thats all! next will be finding an official fiscal office, not far from the counter.

I get my "free fiscal stamp" at my boarding pass from fiscal booth near immigration door on the same floor not far from there (about 100 meters from Air Asia Counters). I don't have to pay "fiscal" when ever i leave Indonesia since i had my NPWP. These days everyone that work have to had NPWP, even my youngest who wasn't work last time she went to Malaysia she made her own NPWP card at tax office and its very easy! (Read my writing about fiscal rules).


I fill in the "Indonesia Departure card" that was given to me by air asia counter/check-in guy (you will always had this card when ever you leave or enter a country, every country had their own departure/arrival card, oh its just one card by the way) and go to immigration queue line (for Indonesia passport) for stamp in my passport (hand off the departure card to the officer when you give the passport).




Oh, another tips i could give is, use the air asia "web check in". It is the best resolution for people like me i think. I get "lost" on my way to airport sometimes. But the rules is it could only be done 2 days up to 4 hours before departure. You could do this with your cellphone too. So there's no chance for you for getting late to airport for check in as the counter will closed 1 hour before departure!!

I still had at least one and half hour to go before my flight. It was a great time for having the most expensive sandwich that i ever had in my life and a bottle of water at Soekarno Hatta-Jakarta International Airport. I know i should stick to Mc D or or other junk food joint.


My flight with Air Asia was at 4 pm afternoon. My fingers are cold, because i was too excited to start this all!! i ask the check in counter if they could seat me near window seat so i could take pictures. Hehe.. she gave me emergency exit seat... good for my long legs!! hehe thanks JKT Air Asia crew.. no worry guys... i am tough enough to open those emergency exit, God Forbid that happened, but yaaayyy!

I fed up with local girls with their caucasian bf/guest/daddy what so ever, if the age gap over 25-30 years, thats not normal, and uuuhhhh... i hate too much PDA (Personal Display of Affection>> kissing smooching, grabbing, hugging tight, petting, etc). Whats wrong with these people!!! I had to listen to whispers and giggles, its disgusting! and its still Jakarta to Bangkok.. and Patayya is on my list.. i roll my eyes.. what ever... i use my eye patch and listen to my MP3 until time the stewardess minds me to turn off my MP3 because its nearly landing.
Oh... i take Nasi Lemak Pak Nasir as my dinner menu on board, not bad actually... pretty nice. Its because i am hungry too! I landed nearly 8 pm at SuvarnaBhumi in Bangkok, i was amazed. Wow.. pretty clean! and futuristic, a little bit like Changi tho...



 
It was the very first time i landed in Suvarnabhumi. I went to Thailand several times but i was landed in Phuket, Krabi, or leaving from Changi. So... never been to SuvarnaBhumi. The arrival gate and the immigration check is quite far, and wow... its bigger than Changi! the lines consist of Thai passport and International passport. I pick the one that on the very left part, as the first 4 on the right was very looooonggggg! the immigration officer pretty helpful for traveling family with small kids, they short of made them priority as they come to them one by one and guide them to the "special boot" for the kids. Ok thats pretty cool when you had more than 3 kids running around or crying... you wont think its nice to stand on queue over 35 people. Its nuts. So yeah.. good for those mums and dads.


 
And i learn very good thing... please don't laugh ok... first i have to explain how small my town airport is: Jambi airport only had two luggage belt at the arrival, and its only less than 20 meters long (got the view?).

Here in Suvarnabhumi you will see over 25 luggage belt. Its huge, its crowded and.... confusing!!!
I was jump around, try to see my flight number on the 3 belt that i just passed until a guy short of ask, what the hell i were doing that time, and i said it, i don't know which belt my luggage was! and he point at an electronic board, just exactly the same as the flight announcement (well.. ok.. i thought it was a flight announcement board) you know that blinking board that said which flight and numbers and arrival or departure time??? yepp... that one.



This one show the flight numbers, city of departures, and time of arrival, and ...bingo!! the luggage belt number!!! But i guess i am not the only one who look the luggage the "traditional way" which ill call "visual check" way hahahahha! Well it only work if you only had at least 5 belt lines!!! but over 25??!! ok that wont work buddy!



I was the first one who arrive on the belt! hahaha! pretty cool.. i took my luggage and goes to the "green" line exit which said "no goods to declare".


Outside, i go to the atm for the cash in baht as i didnt change my money to baht before. I just use my ATM from BCA well.. i use that for years since 2006. I went to 2nd floor to Starbuck as i see many people use laptop there... i thought they had free WIFI.... but i was wrooong!



Even Suvarnabhumi look as sophisticated as Changi but they don't have that free wifi!!! come on... even Jambi had free wifi!! why there is no wifi!! as the gadget freak, i feel so upset there!
After a mocca latte grande and sitting for a while at Starbucks try to made a draft for this blog, finally Lee come with her big smile! she looks pretty like a super model just the same like i met her before in Singapore (remember the Ryan Cumpston and Richard Stewart "journey" back in Singapore?? the US navy guys from DDG 82/USS Lassen??). We sit for a while, and she order her cup of coffee.

Anyway, we walk down and we finally see free internet at THAILAND TOURISM boot on the first floor! there are two computer that people could use for free for browsing internet! and i ask for a Bangkok map also use the computer for a while, the girl could speak moderate English, convenient thing to know actually..... , and we met an Oz girl that very nice, she browse flights for Lee, but we had lack of choice as the flight price goes up to 3000 baht (to Singapore). When we go to level 4 for AirAsia counter, it was closed already (it was 11pm i think), so we go back down on basement to get a bus to our hostel.





To get to the bus station to town, we had to go to the exit number 8 near the taxi boot on first level, just look up for the sign said Airport Express Bus. We took the bus direction to Silom Area (AE1). The price for the bus to Sala Daeng Sky Train are 150baht (our hostel at Decho Rd not that far from "PATPONG" area!). It is cheaper than if we go by taxi, which is 400-500 baht and it still depends on the traffic too! so it could be much more!

The hostel name is
Lub.D. I would highly RECOMMEND you this hostel, due to lots of reason ill tell later hehehe.... Oh i book the hostel from the Hostel Bookers website. They got he cheapest price and no additional charge too! I would recommend bus for airport, as the bus is very fast, and its comfortable and clean too. And i do think its safe! I do heard there was MRT from airport to city centre too, but the service is only until 7pm, so its not an option for us.

We leave the airport with the bus at nearly 10pm. The journey began with Lee. The city at night was very calm. I had my camera ready on my hand, i want to see pictures of what left behind the deadly demonstration few months ago. What Bangkok looks like in the eye of visitor/tourist for the very first time after they land in SuvarnaBhumi? It turn out to be a normal night in Bangkok city. Nothing that i see wrong, its not that Bangkok a spotless place, but there are things that not rihght and you could spot it easy as the prostitute and lady boy walk on the street or on a motorcycle. But its still one of the city of Bangkok "landmark" hehehe... so.. nothing strange about it.

Then i see it the burned malls stood in the dark.. covered with some green nets, looks like they're moving forward and try to fix it as soon as possible.... ok... its very fast actually.. Indonesia took longer time to recover from Bali bombing. Of course it was something different.... but still.. it was burnt few weeks ago but everything looks so normal, and feels normal too!

We were arrive around 11pm at the Sky train terminal. But its actually quite shady area, some local Thai guy drunk, come closer to us and we decide to go inside a 7/11 to ask direction. Because ts common for me to be disoriented at very first day when i was i arrive in a new city. And alas! the 7/11 cashier not speak english that well. And i forgot my other Thai 101; Thailand people never say "no" or "don't know" (sorry i generalize Thai people here...but that's the fact i experienced so far!), when we ask something they will try to point a direction or just pretend they don't really hear what we said. Geez... so instead of lead us to the right way they often get things even worse!

We finally took a taxi from sofitel hotel, if only we know its so close!

The room we stayed in is a dorm, when we arrive theres none there. But its 8 bunk bed there. And we could see the bed "tag" (like the bag tag from airport) from the hostel show only 4 of the bed are occupied.

We went out at 2 am since Lee want to have a sight of Patpong and we dont even feel sleepy! So we walk around and see small traditional market not far from Patpong, its all GREAT! we walk until the end of the road and decide to go back to hostel since it was 4 am! and even the drunk girls are on the way back home. It was safe to walk at night in Bangkok.

Well... matters safe or not actually it depends on us, how we carry our self, how you behave how you dress, how you talk, etc. If you use your best "i am not into trouble" look/behaviour, i think it will be ok anywhere.

Its was pretty funny to see the drunker walk back home, you could see their drunk smile, walk tipsy, some are cute, some are just sleazy (haha we only spot guys! hahah!).

Over all my first night are pretty awesome!!






Untuk yang baru merencanakan jalan2 ke LN ini yang aku lakuin di airport:
1. Siapin passport sama uang Rp 150.000,- untuk airport tax (Soekarno Hatta segitu nominalnya). Check in di counter penerbangan (air asia, tiger, garuda etc). Dapat "Departure Card".

2. Siapin copy kartu NPWP, pergi ke loket "Pelayanan Pajak" di dekat pintu masuk cek imigrasi. Kasihkan passport, boarding pass sama ticket trus fotocopy kartu NPWP tadi. Nanti petugas bakalan kasih stempel di boarding pass. Kalau punya NPWP bakalan di stempel "NO FISCAL" kalau gak punya hehe... bayar Rp 2 juta!!

3. Isi form/kartu keberangkatan/departure card selengkapnya (perlu liat passport dan tiket, buat ngisi nomor passport sama tanggal expire, trus nomor flight yang ada di tiket/boarding pass).

4. Ngantri di imigrasi, liat line untuk "passport indonesia" kasih passport sama kartu keberangkatan, boarding pass, ticket.. semua dah!! Passport di stempel sama boarding pass/fiskal

5. Sudah di stempel, tinggal pergi ke "gate" keberangkatan alias ruang tunggu. Kalau masih banyak waktu bisa liat2 toko2 di sana, harga "katanya" sih lebih murah sebab duty free alias bebas pajak...

6. JANGAN SAMPE TELAT BOARDING! hehehe... keasyikan window shopping kadang buat lupa waktu. Gate air asia rada jauh, jadi yah... tolong diperhitungkan lah waktu buat jalan ke sana!

7. Adios! Bon Voyage! jangan lupa oleh2 cerita nya yakk!





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