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    Tropical Storm Tour: Thailand Part 1

    Thursday, June 4, 2015
    Bangkok, Thailand

    China Airlines flight 7 from Los Angeles, California to Taipei, Taiwan.
    China Airlines flight 7 from Los Angeles, California to Taipei, Taiwan.

    If you’re ready to embark on an international trip of intrigue overseas, don’t do like me and start packing up your backpack and / or luggage a mere two hours before the Super Shuttle to the airport arrives–unless intense stress is your best friend. After frantically packing, changing into my tropical weather-worthy clothes and sealing up my truck for four months of extended parking, the driver showed up right on time–even though I needed at least 10 more minutes–and drove around the building looking for me. (Of course, whenever I’m ready on time, they’re always 30 minutes late.) Finally, after a bunch of wild arm waving, I managed to flag him down, and off we rocketed to the airport, tailgating every car possible the whole way. At least I didn’t get killed right when my trip was just getting started–you know, like those engaged couples who get hit by an 18-wheeler a week before their wedding.

    The Amazing Technicolor Sleeping Chairs at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan.
    The Amazing Technicolor Sleeping Chairs at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan.

    China Airlines flight 835 from Taipei, Taiwan to Bangkok, Thailand.
    China Airlines flight 835 from Taipei, Taiwan to Bangkok, Thailand.

    The TSA checkpoint at LAX was a shit show. Only a couple of lanes (out of many) were open, and I put my stuff on the conveyor belt without trays because I couldn’t find them (they were right behind me). So, as I waited for a pat down (I refuse to get scanned by the cancer-giving body scanner) my boots got knocked down on their way through the x-ray machine. The only problem with that was my wallet, iPod touch and other valuables were in there. As I asked one of the TSA agents to stand my boots upright again, she said she couldn’t leave her post. I was having a mini-meltdown inside. Luckily, some guy in line stood them up for me. Then some other agents searched my messenger bag after I got a pat down, which is really just a free massage as far as I’m concerned. Thank you, TSA! Finally, I was on my merry way.

    Siam Square in Bangkok, Thailand.
    Siam Square in Bangkok, Thailand.

    The 13-hour China Airlines flight to Taipei, Taiwan was pretty dang good, as I took a book to read and poked around on the neat-o iPad-esque touch screen monitors on the seatback in front of me. Aside from the usual games, movies and tv shows, they have some rad videos about Asian destinations–including an amazing 45-minute one on India and a 10-minute one on Bali. If you’re ever thinking about flying to Asia from the United States, I highly recommend China Airlines. I’ve never had any problems with them. My seven-hour layover in Taipei went well, thanks to a book about Bali I’m currently reading, free and open wi-fi that actually worked, and the always appreciated Amazing Technicolor Sleeping Chairs, which are a breeze to doze off in.

    Thanon Khao San in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.
    Thanon Khao San in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Arriving in Bangkok 24 hours after I left home, I caught the silky smooth airport rail link to Paya Thai, followed by the SkyTrain to Siam Square, then finally a good old bus number 15, which was packed to the gills and has no air con, to the backpacker haunt of Thanon Khao San in the Banglamphu district. After settling into a fan room at the Nat 2 Guest House, I headed over for a bowl of fiery Panang Curry at May Kaidee’s vegetarian Thai food restaurant, then called it a night, instantly falling asleep at 11:30 pm after a long day-and-a-half of tiring travel.

    Panang Curry at May Kaidee's in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand. The main ingredients of Panang Curry are tofu, mixed vegetables and mushrooms.
    Panang Curry at May Kaidee’s in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand. The main ingredients of Panang Curry are tofu, mixed vegetables and mushrooms.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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