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« January 07, 2005 | Main | January 05, 2005 »

January 06, 2005

Amari Airport Hotel, Bangkok (12:46 AM)

I have arrived, bags and all, to a very nice business hotel in the Bangkok airport with lots of hardwood paneling, Thai weavings, and natural fibers. Ran into a gentleman in the lobby who was being flown home by the Australian government because he had lost both his business and his wife to the tsunami.  He had lived in Thailand for 8 years.  The encounter provided a useful perspective on things and a bit of sadness to sleep on...which is exactly what I plan to do now.  Left no wake-up call. Flight tomorrow to Yangon leaves at 6:00 PM.


Bangkok Airpory, Gate 5 (4:30 PM)

Our flight is departing in about an hour and we are just sitting and fidgeting like everyone else at this gate. It's one of those where you don't get right on the plane, but instead pile into a bus and drive to the far end of the airport where the Thai Airways planes to Myanmar are parked. The duration of the flight is only 50 minutes, but the cultural change will be notable as we travel back in time about 50 years to Yangon.


Summit Parkview Hotel, Yangon, Room 533 (9:42 PM)

Made it to Yangon. The flight was full, which was surprising, and our bags were absolutely the last ones to come out on carousel (always disconcerting). The chaos of the Yangon airport was a refreshing change from Hong Kong and Bangkok. Everything looks about 15 years old and a bit shabby, a mass of humanity shouting and grabbing bags, all of the signage is in a script that is completely unintelligible, and that warm, moist tropical air.  No air-conditioned airport for Myanmar. No English, either.

The Summit Parkview Hotel doesn't have the tasteful, understated elegance of the Sakura Residence where we have previously stayed in Yangon, but the hotel is totally adequate and seems more local. The lights in the restaurant are not dimmed to provide atmosphere, but are on high and the pop music from the bar next door is blaring. This is what I am more accustomed to anyway in my travels, and it feels very familiar and comfortable. My solar panel made it through three plane changes in the duffle bag unscathed. The local WCS folks will come pick us up at 8:30 tomorrow morning

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