Day #121 - Off to the Land of Smiles

We've loved our Bali Hotel (Rice Joglo)
It's transit day again. It does seem a while since we've done one of these. Today we travelled from Bali to Thailand and since we were going from the tranquility of the rural rice fields of the Ubud region to the hussle and bussle of the streets of Bangkok, we knew it would be a day of contrasts. 
First stage was getting to Bali airport which meant jumping on the back of those scooters again and taking the path one last time down into the centre of Ubud to meet our taxi - only this time, we had suitcases and backpacks to transport. Once again, the teenagers that took us rode with skill and able to balance our bags successful meaning everything got to where it was meant to be in one piece. Here's a video of the trip - hold on tight! 
Our taxi driver again was the lovely Krisna who has looked after our transportation all week. The journey to the airport was relaxing although I will never get my head around how at road junctions it does seem to be a free-for-all! I am so glad I wasn't driving. As we neared Kuta and the airport, the roads got busier but also the statues adorning the roads got bigger! 
We purposefully had set out early since we didn't know what the traffic around the airport would be like or what the queues for check in and security would be like. So we arrived about three hours before our flight was due to take off and found that being early definitely has its benefits. We were there when the check-in desk opened meaning no queue; we sailed through security (either they are very efficient or very lax!) and passport control. This enabled us to have a lovely leisurely lunch before boarding. 
We could see the GWK statue we climbed from the departure lounge (next to the control tower)
We were flying with Thai Airways with whom we've not flown before. To be honest, after the last flight into Bali where we were less than impressed, we weren't expecting much. However, we were very pleasantly surprised. Our 777 aircraft was less than half full, we got a lovely hot chicken lunch, wine, whiskey, entertainment and very friendly staff. It was a great flight! 
On arrival into Bangkok airport, immigration was waiting for us! We were sheparded into a large hall with hundreds of other passengers fresh off their flights to begin the soul destroying act of queuing. Since I was a secure area, we couldn't take photos, but it was like the longest queue at Disney World without the magic. We zig-zagged back and forth between the ropes until we were finally called forth. In fairness, the whole process took less than 40 minutes, but it did seem longer. A quick fingerprint scan and headshot and our passports were stamped and we officially entered our seventh country on this trip.
We took a taxi to our hotel which took a little bit of effort due to the language barrier and our hotel being called "SO Bangkok". When we told our driver our destination, he just heard "Bangkok" and naturally wanted us to be more specific. After showing him the address and him calling the hotel to ask where they were, we were on our way. Thirty minutes later we arrived and it only cost us £10! Bargain. 
Our hotel is amazing. Take a look at our room:
We have a corner room and the bed looks out over the city on two sides. The hotel has a contemporary style infused with some traditional Thai flavours including that world famous politeness and hospitality. The staff were so welcoming. 
After settling in, we headed out to explore the hotel, keen to see the pool and the rooftop bar, which we duly found!
Then it was time for bed but not before a bit more True Blood!