. So there was a bit of a wait for check-in. We were still worried a bit in the back of our minds that we would have some kind of issue from the change in our flight. But we checked in smoothly and didn't have to pay for our baggage. We went through customs and didn't get stuck in the country, so that's good. We had a couple hours before our flight so we went to a restaurant upstairs from our gate and had some toast and coffee. We had some VND left, so we bought some snacks for the flight, but still ended up with about $10 left over. There were some westerners lined up at the gate when we arrived, we figured we would line up too. So we were some of the first through and were able to get our exit aisle seats again. The flight went quickly and we were back in Bangkok in no time, actually early. Which was nice, because 7 hours lay over wasn't long enough already. There was no line-up at customs, no problems there. Our bags arrived quick, unfortunately I had a suntan oil explosion inside my bag. If I had to pick a airport that has the smoothest arrival process, it'd have to be Bangkok. We decided to go up to a loft restaurant that was up on departures level and have some lunch. It was nice to have some green curry again. We chilled out for a bit and I cleaned up my bag. Then we decided to try and find a coffee place located in a courtyard down on the ground level outside the airport, to kill some time. We eventually found it, it seemed to be a big hangout for the employees, no English.
I was able to order some iced coffees, for 80 cents each, which hit the spot. We hung outside for a bit and had a few coffees, we couldn't resist. We were starting to feel the 5am wake-up, so we headed back to the departures area and went up to the observation deck. We stayed up there until check-in at 5pm. Check-in went quick and we went into the domestic departures area to hang out in the restaurant there. We had some cheap sushi for dinner and lounged on the couch in the restaurant. Finally we were at the gate and come 7:25 we were waiting in line. The plane ended up arriving 10 minutes after the supposed boarding time, but eventually we were herded on. It seemed as though the plane was super new, this may have been its first flight. It was really nice, we even got exit aisle again. The flight went super quick, again. We arrived in Phuket, claimed our luggage and found our driver. After a 30 minute drive through dark Phuket we arrived at our hostel. We paid for the ride and had no problems with check-in. The place is pretty big, it has a room with a huge tv and movies, computers and a kitchen. Our room is a good size and is very clean. The bathroom does feel like a prison cell (you can see the metal door in the pic) and the smell of the bug traps is a bit headache causing, but no bugs! We're so happy to finally be in the south of Thailand, this is where I have wanted to come for so long. We hope we can relax and be beach bums, we'll be heading to the east coast in a couple weeks. The west coast, where we are now, is in its monsoon season, so we might not have the best swimming here and there will probably be the occasional downpour. But I'll take it if it means beautiful beaches and overdosing on mango shakes and banana pancakes! Ciao for now!
Its 5am, we got up to finish packing, we're leaving Hanoi at 9:15am. We had arranged for a ride to the airport though our hotel. Jes went and settled the bill, while I finished checking the room. The driver arrived on time at 6:15, it takes about 45 minutes to get to the airport. We paid in US funds, so we didn't have to deal with the exchange anymore. Our driver was pretty friendly, should be when we paid top dollar. He drove pretty slow for Vietnam, but that was alright, we got to take in the ride a bit. The airport is just one big building with domestic to the right and international to the left. It seems as though the airlines just share the counters. When we arrived we didn't see any Air Asia signs at all. So we wandered a bit looking around before they put the counter numbers up on the departure screen. Then they put up the Air Asia banners for all to see. There were quite a few Vietnamese tour groups going on Air Asia flights, the clerks were working away on piles of passports