Pt 1 – Mumbai to Chiang Mai

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Today marks the end of the first leg of our honeymoon. We made a lot of great friends while touring Nepal and India, and now we were preparing to leave Mumbai for our flight to Bangkok. It was still dark outside when we gathered our belongings and met with Carmel and Amelia in the hotel lobby. We were planning to share a ride to the airport before going our separate ways.

We’d ride along the Arabian Sea with many of the buildings decorated in string lighting from yesterday’s Republic Day celebration. I’d stare with amazement as a man jogged down the sidewalk. He must have lungs of steel to exercise in Mumbai’s smoggy air!

The airport looked like something out of a sci-fi flick with its white honeycomb walls and ceilings. It was a gorgeous airport in a futuristic sort of way. We checked in for our flight and spent our last few minutes eating breakfast and watching the crows fly around the ceiling with the Aussie sisters. We’d grown so close with them that we felt like they were siblings of our own. We were going to miss them. We were going to miss everyone. We had one last emotional farewell before battling the long lines of security and customs.

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Birdwatching at the airport

After the voice over the loudspeaker ordered us to switch gates, we settled in our seats on the plane. Like our noses at the time, the plane was stuffy, but it would only be a 3-hour long flight before we landed in Bangkok.

We’d catch some nice temple views as we landed. We finally made it to Thailand, but still had a ways to go! Bangkok would be explored at a later date.  For now, we were focused on exchanging the remaining Indian Rupees we had left for Thai Baht, then making it to the gate to get processed for our second flight to Chiang Mai.

After killing a good deal of time exploring the airport, eating and drinking expensive beer (airport prices and all), we’d quickly learn that one, Tiger beer is better tasting that Singha, two, we were still confused about tipping after giving a generous tip to our crossdressing bartender out of habit and three, we had no clue where our gate was in the airport. Eventually we located our gate and got on our merry way to Chiang Mai.

The flight was short and comfortable, but we were curious what happened to the hotel driver we had requested for online. Fortunately there wasn’t a charge for it because after a lot of searching and an announcement over the loudspeaker, there wasn’t one.

Once we assumed the obvious, we tried to figure out how to get a taxi to the Victoria Nimman Hotel where we’d be staying. The lady at the front desk handed us a slip and told us how much to pay the driver before sending us outside to join the other less confused people in the queue.

Our driver was friendly, but was clearly disoriented. Although the exact words were lost in translation, he was babbling to himself in frustration. After asking for directions, he’d drop us out front, we’d get checked in, and then we dozed off in bed after a long day in transport.


Jump Back to India: Part 33: Republic Day Hangovers and Final Farewells

Jump Ahead to Thailand: Part 2: Punch Buggies, Cats in PJ’s & Buddha Etiquette

OR

Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Don’t Forget to Pack Your Anxiety

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