As our flight wasn't until 7.30pm I arranged a late check out of 4pm. This enabled us to almost have another day in Bangkok. As we wanted to be back in our room by 3pm to shower and pack, we decided to stay within walking distance.
The Sky Tower only showed up as 1.5 miles away on Google Maps. Nice and easy we thought as we sat in the air conditioned restaurant having breakfast. Despite everything though we had forgotten quite how hot and sticky it would get. It was a slog, not helped by the Google walking directions took us through what is now a construction and through some dark alleys where they appeared to have stuck another market in for no good reason. These Thai's they do love a good market.
We arrived at the tower to be totally bewildered by the ticket structure. The fact was there didn't seem to be one and they seem to be making it up on the spot. After some deliberation and moans by Karen that we were being totally scammed we settled on a combi-ticket for the view from the 77th & 84th floors, a complimentary health drink and a foot massage (which we had talked about trying but all the street ones looked less than salubrious).
The view from the 77th floor was very good. We also had some fun with the artefacts on display that you could climb onto. We then went to the 84th floor for the outside revolving view. This was undergoing repair so we only got a ride ¼ way round before it was stopped for the workmen to continue maintenance (hopefully replacing a bearing or two as it was making a terrible grinding noise).
After this we headed down to the 20th floor for our massages. Karen still wasn't certain and thought she would observe to begin with. However the set up was much better than we thought, more reminisent of somewhere like Sprowston Manor rather than a Thai back street. So we both got on the recliners for our first ever massage experience. And I must say we both enjoyed it, probably Karen more so as she couldn't stop talking about it afterwards. We also 'enjoyed' the health drink afterwards but had no idea what it was.
On the way back to the hotel after stopping for the obligatory Starbucks we found by accident a large and really interesting Food Hall that we wandered around. We were back in the room by 2.45pm.
The Hotel reception said that leaving at 4pm would be more than sufficient for a 7.30pm flight. Well it wasn't.
We waited 20 minutes for a taxi. Then once we were moving he claimed that it was a standard fare to the airport, which I knew it wasn't. But as he only quoted 50 Baht more than we paid to get from the airport I let it go. Interestingly as we got to the airport he put the meter back on.
The traffic was awful. The queue at baggage drop worse. The queue at Security not too bad. The queue at Passport control to exit the country absolutely awful. Then 3 more checkpoints and even more security checks before we made it to the gate just as boarding commenced.
Karen gets stressed at airports under normal situations. When time is ticking and everywhere is hot and there is lots of pushing and shoving and queue cutting her stress gets worse. She is paranoid about not getting her overhead locker space. Plus we both knew we had long long flights ahead of us.
Now one of my pet hates is the whole process at airports. I have no problem with security as it is there for a purpose. I just think it could all be done more efficiently. Not just this airport but all of them.
I have often wondered about a Thunderbirds approach. Where passengers are loaded into their seats in a Pod at the gate and then the whole Pod just slotted into the plane. This would keep planes moving quicker. I know what I mean anyway even if no one does and I am sure it could work.
Also the sooner we all get chips implanted into us for recognition etc. I'm not bothered about Big Brother watching us, if you have nothing to hide etc etc. Technology is the answer in my opinion.
And so it was goodbye to Thailand until the return trip and onto having a nice relaxed entry to New Zealand - or so we thought....