We landed in Bangkok around 11pm, went through immigration, changed currency at one of the many currency booths at the airport, bought a cheap $10 sim card good for 10 days and 4GB of data (so easy – they change out your sim for you – takes 2 minutes – I bring a spare old iphone for this), then took a 15 minutes taxi ride for about 250 Thai Baht ($6). Good thing I had a print out of the hotel location in Thai – it was a bit hard to find.
We checked in at Le Meridien Survarnabhumi and Golf Resort and enjoyed our short time there. The room was nice and had a view of the golf course. With SPG platinum status, we had a beautiful comped breakfast in the hotel restaurant and cappucino/espress in the hotel bar.
In the morning we took a taxi to the Emerald Bhudda Temple (about an hour in heavy traffic). The buildings were very ornate and beautiful but it was so crowded with tour groups and masses of people that it was hard to enjoy our time there.
We then rushed back to the hotel and back to the airport for our Bangkok Airways flight to Chiang Mai. They provide a lounge for everyone on the flight (don’t bother – the lounge is packed, lounge and the snacks looked pretty sad). We were packed like sardines as these short flights have only economy seating. Surprisingly they provided a meal (really, they shouldn’t have!) which was pretty inedible – labeled “chicken” but looked like rubbery tofu) for the 75 minute flight. We then took a 20 minute taxi ride (go to taxi kiosk at baggage claim, give them 150 baht, and get a ticket – taxi drivers wait outside the exit and escort you to their car). Next post: Chiang Mai