My journey to Cambodia starts on April 10. I fly from Berlin to Frankfurt and from there to Bangkok. Not much happens during this trip that would be worth reporting. I tend to find long distance flights rather annoying and this one is no difference. In Frankfurt I find that my luggage is checked in all the way to Phnom Penh, while I want to stay in Thailand for one week where I will need my stuff. I talk to the people from the airline and they ensure me that they will make sure that I get my bags in Bangkok. I try to get a seat at the window but no such seat is available any more and I find myself between two mid aged men who appear to be sex tourists and spend most of the time sleeping and snoring.
We reach Bangkok very early in the morning of April 11 and like all the other travelers I wait for my bags at the luggage claim. Unlike them I wait in vain. So I talk to a number of airport staff. These people are very helpful and after about half an hour I get my bags. A person from a tourist agency approaches me on my way out. What he offers is a taxi to my hotel now together with a sightseeing tour in the afternoon with a private car and tour guide for about 30 Euro. The taxi to the hotel would cost me about 8 Euro anyway. Moreover, it is weekend and a guide seems to be a nice thing to have for just one day in a city like Bangkok. So he and his numerous colleagues manage to persuade me, not least by showing me certificates that appear to show that the services of this company are audited and recognized by the Thai government.
The ride to the hotel takes about half an hour, during which I get to see very urban environment with many skyscrapers, multistory highways and significant traffic jam.
Road just outside the airport.
Road just outside the hotel.
The name of the hotel is Central Point and it appears to be fairly luxurious compared to what I would have chosen for myself. This accommodation was chosen and booked by my organization at UN rates and I have to pay only modest 25 US$ per night. My room in the 8th floor is generously sized and air conditioned. There is a huge bed, a small kitchen, a sofa and some chairs, TV and stereo, a balcony and a safe. I have a few hours of rest before I prepare for the sightseeing tour in the afternoon.
Views from the balcony.