We left the states from LAX via China Airlines at 2:30 PM Friday 2/10. Smooth, easy check in and our bags were checked all the way through! (Is this relative to the relationship between Taiwan vs China and the USA? Last year flying through Guangzhou we had to retrieve and recheck baggage and do a customs check, or maybe it was the airlines China Southern?)
LA to Taipei was the first leg of this arduous journey. We were 6883 miles from our 2hour layover. 13.5 hours of fly time at 32-34000 feet in altitude with an average air speed of 550 mph. We landed on the soil of Taiwan the following day, Saturday 2/11 at 4:40 am Pacific time. This time difference is definitely a bit of a crazy maker. This flight took us up the Pacific coastline and we headed across the vast ocean. Flying over the Eickleberg Seamount, Comstock Seamount, Aleutian Trench, Emperors Trough, Kuril Trench and over the land masses of Japan snd South Korea to name a few. There was a bit of turbulence, not enough to turn our stomachs upside down, thankfully. We were offered beverages (the cabarnet wine was surprisingly good for an easy drinker), dinner (options, hot and fairly tasty), several snacks and choices of chinese hot tea or water and breakfast of cheese omelette, potatoes, broccoli, tomato, blueberry yogurt, banana, roll with butter and coffee or tea, yep, not going hungry here. Breakfast actually threw me off because we were landing at 8:30pm local time…ya, the time change is confusing to the brain and the body. Thus the few days of readjustment to start things off in Bangkok instead of immediately striking out to the farther reaches. The highlight of these long flights is the video selection at your fingertips. Let me tell you, if you can connect with your inner child, Pete’s Dragon is a can’t miss to make your heart soar and Trolls soundtrack is perfection 😉
Taipei’s airport is 1st rate, pristinely clean, upscale shops and very friendly staff, plus free Wi-Fi which we took advantage of during our layover.
The flight to Bangkok was painless especially because we actually dozed a bit on this leg. Again, a full dinner was offered but we settled simply for the hydration of water before we had our snooze. No movies without a credit card on this short jaunt. Customs was a long line on arrival to BKK but the passage was a breeze. We followed the signs to the taxi line which works on a ticket system at Suvarnabhumi Airport.As we learned last time while in the “land of smiles”, be well versed and prepared for an attempt at a “shakedown” from all transport providers. This driver did not disappoint us, no shame in trying, we all laughed it off. (He was working to convince us to let him take us to the floating market and then on to Patrata when we leave here on Wednesday, “to take special care of us, only 3000 baht”. Might be an okay deal but with jet lag we knew better then to lock it in.We got his card; just in case.) He delivered us to our hotel, we checked in with ease, showered, unpacked a bit and now I lie here in bed. The final leg of this arrival expedition is an attempt to wind down enough to get a few hours sleep. I’m listening to a bird I recognize from last year. He’s cawing out to signal morning coming on in the same fashion of a rooster…and my stomach is growling. (It’s 5am Sunday here; 2pm Sat PT, so I’m officially penning this from your future;-) Time to get acclimated, seven weeks will fly by. I’ll catch you up again on things mid to end of week. I think I may just go lounge by the pool…85-90 and full sunshine is the forecast and these Idaho bones need to get warmed all the way through!
One line of 20 checking through customs at 2am on arrival in Bangkok.
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