Saturday, January 9, 2010

Seoul to Bangkok to Phuket

Incheon International Airport – Seoul, South Korea. It’s Christmas day and keeping up with our tradition we stopped at Caribou Coffee after passing through security. White Chocolate Mocha, shot of hazelnut, and moose it (extra shot of espresso), we were up way too early! The only thing missing is the chocolate covered espresso bean that you would normally get in most US locations. Mmmm.. tastes like heaven, what a great way to start off a trip.

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We have been through this airport many times before, and with the amount of times we’ve flown in general one would think we have finally nailed down the proper preparations when taking a trip. Guess again! Here’s a helpful tip if you’re ever in this airport, go to an ATM BEFORE you pass through security! There is no way to take out cash otherwise. You can buy anything on that side with a credit card or Korean cash card but good luck trying to get any extra cash in your pocket.

Incheon airport does gain points aside from having a Caribou Coffee though, and that comes from having a free internet lounge complete with netbooks and comfy chairs to relax in while waiting for flight departure. All the netbooks have built-in webcams so you can chat with friends and family, next time we’ll have to get there earlier to take advantage of this.

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Our first flight was 6 hours non-stop to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok via Thai Air. The food on the plane was decent and we kept ourselves occupied while watching Ice Age 3. After arriving in Bangkok we tried to find a way to kill a 5 hour layover. Or get rid of it. We attempted to get an earlier flight to Phuket, but if you’ve ever been to the Suvarnabhumi airport you will know that it is always busy with people trying to get an earlier flight or just a flight. On our way to attempt to get a better flight, we saw Jean Claude Van Dam also trying to do the same thing!

The airport cost an estimated $3.8B US, I think the money went to concrete, steel and asphalt only; being inside the airport is like being inside a dingy warehouse, at least on the domestic side… With the lack of colour it was certainly not aesthetically pleasing. So what does one do while on a layover? Drink beer, of course. We made our way to the food court to see what the cost of food and drinks were. Yup, you guessed it! Ridiculously overpriced as usual. A bottle of Beer Chang was at least 200 baht (about $6US). Maybe $6 doesn’t sound like a lot compared a beer in an airport at home, but it is when you can buy the same beer at 7-11 for 25 baht ($0.75) or 50 baht ($1.50) elsewhere in the airport.

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OK, Beer Chang in hand, now to find a place to sit down and relax. What? No chairs in an $4B airport? Well the chairs that were lined against the wall were occupied by individuals sleeping on 4 chairs at a time. So what do we do now? Well that’s obvious, go stand at the suggestion box table and drink with another guy who would like to borrow a pen and fill out a suggestion ballot regarding the lack of a areas to relax and drink. So instead we had a great time at our own standing bar.

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5 hours are up! Time to board our flight to Phuket! Wrong.. we are delayed for another hour. What do we do? Well that’s obvious, we walk 5 minutes to the other end of the terminal and pick up more Beer Chang.

Dammit Jay, you’re not suppose to smoke in the airport!

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Jana hid in our suitcase, she really wanted to escape Seoul during Christmas, we thought it would be nice to help her out.

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We finally arrive in Phuket around 10pm and make our way outside to catch a mini bus to our hotel in Karon Beach for 180 baht each ($5.40US). After an exhausting ride, we finally reach our hotel near midnight. We made it!! We quickly dropped off our bags and explored the streets to find a Christmas dinner. To our surprise, no one was serving food. So what did we have for dinner? Beer Chang and pizza from 7-11.. ooooh so exciting! But you know what? IT WAS! After a full day of travelling we were finally at our destination! After all, it could have been worse, we could’ve been in Seoul freezing in our apartment. Tomorrow’s plans? Beach day!

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Happy New Year everyone, we hope you had a wonderful Christmas!