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Half-day in Bangkok


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large_5550_14705399799449.jpgThe border to the east does look a bit low.
I had booked a private transfer from Patong [Patong-travel-guide-1312477] to Phuket airport that was cheaper than most. The driver took the coastal road north before cutting inland closer to the airport. It was slow but still gave me plenty of time at the airport.

That gave me some time to chat to the driver who was Thai Malay (known here as “Yawi”) originally from the troubled Muslim south-east, the home of the separatists. They are distinct from ethnic Thai Muslims who are very integrated into Thai society.

As with many from the area, his Thai wasn’t as good as his Malay dialect. Actually he says his standard Malay was even better than his Thai. We spoke for about an hour in Malay and I learnt a bit about the life in the south-east.

Historically parts of northern Malaya had degrees of Thai control at various times, but the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 (which superseded other agreements) settled it once and for all. It appears the final border between Thailand and Malaysia left a lot of Malays north of the border. The eastern-end of the border does seem a bit low.

From Wikipedia:

The agreement effectively divided the northernMalay states [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_states]into two parts.large_5550_14719802759450.jpgHehehe!The area around modernPattani [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattani_province](Malay [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language]:???? (Patani)),Narathiwat [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narathiwat_province](Malay [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language]:????? (Menara)), southernmostSongkhla [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songkhla_province](Malay [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language]:??????? (Singgora)),Satun [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satun_province](Malay [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language]:???? ??? (Mukim Setul)) andYala [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yala_province](Malay [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language]:??? (Jala)) remained underThai [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand]control, while Thailand relinquished its claims tosovereignty [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignty]overKedah [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kedah](Thai [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language]:??????? (Saiburi)),Kelantan [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelantan](Thai [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language]:??????? (Kalantan)),Perlis [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perlis](Thai [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language]:????? (Palit)) andTerengganu [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terengganu](Thai [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_language]:???????? (Trangkanu)) ...

At the airport, I managed to bag-drop swiftly avoiding the check-in queue with Thai Airways. The short flight to Bangkok [Bangkok-travel-guide-632148] felt awfully long, strangely. We were offered a hot spinach wrap, presented in a cardboard wrap plus drink. We parked at the furthest gate which meant a long walk to the carousel. Luggage finally arrived about 50 mins after arrival and mine turned up about after an hour.

I had a 12h transit before my night flight to Kiev and Vilnius so I stored my bags and took the time train to the city before returning to the airport around 2200. I took the train to town, then the MRT. I even got around by motorcycle taxi before using the same cheap modes of transport back to the airport.

Back at the airport, even though it was 3h30 till departure, the check-in desk was open. As I had done a web-check, I could bag-drop straight away (not that there was a queue otherwise).

Security and immigration was relatively swift, but distances at Suvarnabhumi Airport [Suvarnabhumi-Airport-travel-guide-1336847] are long. I got rid of my excess Baht, converting them to Euros. But I was left with about 100 Baht which could buy nearly nothing at this overpriced airport. I finally found some mooncakes at 100 Baht, which is surprising as it is cheaper than bags of shit like Kit Kat.

Once I had that over and done with, I went to the Louis Tavern lounge closest to my gate for a glass of wine and a snack. I didn't have that much time left despite having bag-dropped 3h30 before departure. This airport really does eat up one's time.

5550_14705399799449.jpg5550_14719802759450.jpg

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Thailand

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