When one dreams of travel one often imagines tranquility peace and relaxation. Or, perhaps adventure and excitement. The seamless transition from point A to point B. With the speed of modern air travel one is swept away effortlessly to a far off land. At times it is not always so. Sometimes things just don’t move along as smoothly as you had planned or imagined. Such was my transition from Bail to Bangkok. It all started when, after a lovely time on the Island of Bali, I decided to fly north to Phuket, Thailand.
For the last several years, and up until this year, nonstop flights from Phuket to Bali and from Bali to Phuket were daily. I had not booked anything in advance because I was not certain just when I wished to leave Bali. My plan was to just secure the next flight when ever the nearest flight became available. I was not in a great rush. I had just spent two weeks in Bali and the outlying islands recovering from the horrors of jet jag. Plus I so prefer to enter Thailand in the small airport of Phuket rather than its international giant, as it services immigration for nearby countries and has less arrivals. At Suvarnabumi, the big international airport in Bangkok, immigration is a nightmare as it services all the major cities of the world. As a result tens of thousands of people arrive each day, day and night. Immigration alone often can take several hours standing in long lines, depending how many planes have recently arrived.
We tend to remember things as they were the last time we were there. We rarely think to double-check every detail of life that could or may have taken place since our last visit. Thus it was for me, and as a result of this minor oversight, began a series of obstacles that only seemed to become amplified as I tried to reduce the negative odds. Given my assumption that there is a flight to Phuket each day I would just book the next available flight, even if it was to take a few days, which I doubted, as there seems always to be a vacant seat each time I have ever flown. Even during high season, it has never been that difficult. Especially if you have the time to wait a day or two. Which was fine with me, I had time and was in Bali, how bad is that?
Wrong! For some reason unbeknownst to me. There are no longer flights between Bali and Phuket. Now what? OK, OK. Kuala Lumpur, then catch a flight from there to Phuket. No problem getting to Kuala Lumpur, but all the flights from there to Phuket are fully booked for days. Try Singapore? Same thing. Now my only route is Bangkok. But Bangkok is over an hour’s flight north and I can’t book a flight back down to Phuket right away as they are also all booked.
But there are, as I remember from last year, many other companies that have flights from Suvarnabumi to Phuket, I remember several counters. So, because the only available flight each day to Bangkok leaves in the mid-afternoon and arrives in the evening at 7:30 P.M. I now have no choice but to book it and take my chances there. Worst case I grab a low-budget Hotel near the airport and begin looking for something the next morning. Off I go.