Singapore to Dubai
Starting the day off at 7.30am we showered, packed and walked down to Ronins cafe for some toast and freshly squeezed OJ for me and poached eggs with bacon and avocado and a hot chocolate for Lew - we had some cash to burn as it cost more than dinner for the last two nights! Despite the cost the food it is top notch and the busy little cafe is filled with smarty dressed business people. We highly recommend it.
Finishing up the final packing in our room and double checking all the nooks and crannies we checked out and made our way to Clarke Quay MRT station. I have to admit it was a lot more difficult than usual with all our baggage navigating stairs and multiple escalators. You had to be very fast when you had two wheeled bags as you had to span yourself across three steps - one for the front bag, a step for you and one more behind you for the other bag. Quite the skill and I didn't get it right one particular time as the escalator was very busy and my large 30kg bag almost toppled down taking everyone with it. Thankfully the man behind me pushed it back up onto the step for me and the crisis was averted. Getting to Changi airport from Clarkes Quay area meant having three different trains but it was by far the cheapest option costing us only $5. Plus it wasn't as stressful as the day we arrived as it wasn't peak travel time at 9.30am and we felt a lot more familiar with the MRT system itself. Even I could get around by myself if need be and that's saying something as I'm horrific with direction - make a note never to give me a map and ask to get somewhere. Lew is absolutely the team leader in this combo and without him I'm not sure we would have been in one piece after Indonesia!
In the end it did take us about an hour to get from our hotel to Changi airport and we arrived at 1030am with out flight to Bangkok leaving at 1225pm. I returned our visitors train passes back to the office they gave us our $20 bond back. Coming back up the elevator Lew has managed to load up both bags on top of each other and was wheeling it towards the corridor telling me to hurry up! I thought perhaps we were short of time before check in but in fact he needed to go to the toilet asap 😂. Once he returned we were supposed to get to terminal 1 and there was a train that took you from terminal 3 where we had arrived into to terminal 1. Lew was fast walking like nothing else and I couldn't keep up. When we got close to the train entrance I could see that it had arrived and that in a short moment it would close its doors. I started running because no doubt Lew would get on and I would have to wait for the next one if I didn't hurry up. As it was the alarm for doors closing was going as I managed to drag both bags across the gap before the they shut on me. As it was my large bag had rolled as we entered like it was celebrating the end of a running race very unnecessarily.
Terminal 1 was extravagant and it took a awhile to find where the Thai Airlines check in was hiding. On the way it was hard to not to notice this very beautiful moving art piece made of over 1,000 bronze droplets. It looked as though it belonged in a museum as opposed to an airport terminal. Thankfully at check in we yet again had a 30kg luggage limit but had somehow lost a few kg as our bags now weighed about 26.5kg each. We had our fingers crossed that our last leg into London also had that luggage allowance and we would be sweet getting our only possessions into London.
We did found our gate and it wasn't until then we realised we had only been through customs and not security. Instead they do security checks at each gate before you board the plan. We thought this was probably a waste of space, equipment and staff but were also pleased we could pass through security without the usual rush. We were flying a 747 through to Bangkok which would take us 2 hours. The boarding process was super quick and the flight wasn't that busy at all. Lew and I were very happy to find we were right down the back of the plane in a row of two. The big old bird was quick taking off but everything rattled and even some of the overhead compartments opened up and a couple of the flight attendants had to do a made dash up the plane to shut them as we were climbing swiftly. Rather amusing to watch I might say!
The flight went quickly, I watched some Netflix and Lew had a nap after lunch. Landing in Bangkok airport took me back to when Krystie, Steph and I traveled to Finland for the International Ice Hockey Federations (IIHF) Women's Development camp. We had flown via Bangkok and us three girls all round age 16/17 had to navigate it by ourselves!
All I remembered was the airport was very white and seemed to span for miles. Exactly what it still is today. Passing through security again we walked up and down the terminal checking out the shops. Lew was still hungry and ordered a Burger King burger which he said was the nicest take away burger he had ever had. I must admit it did look rather nice. We hung around the gate waiting to board for at least an hour. Lew was watching Apples keynote speech about all the new technology and devices they are about to release. I started watching a Netflix show called Orphan Black that my parents had recommended I watch.
Finally we boarded at 4pm and we were super happy that once again we just had two seats together. The best of both worlds, you can use the toilet when you want and you also have a view. It's mainly a bonus for me since I'm the smaller one and always have to sit in the middle seat. It would be cruel to put lews large legs there anyways. It was strange to be lining up with lots of women wearing Burkas and head scarfs and there was at least two Muslim men that had brought his three wives with them! 6 hours to Dubai and we shall see what it's like to live in such a country. Looking at the temperature today it was supposed to be 41 degree eeeek!!
Arriving in the airport they really hadn't set the airport out for such a large number of people entering. There were many bottle necks and the line for customs took about half an hour. For us back in Singapore time it was around midnight now so we were starting to fade rapidly. We got through customs with no issues despite being concerned everyone else seemed to have pieces of paper accompanying their passport. We realised they must just have been work visas or some sort. Claiming our bags we planned to pick up at Uber but it was very difficult finding the pick up area. They was on a role and just kept walking up and down corridors looking for A1 and I was struggling to keep up with his speed. I couldn't even stop to ask someone where it was as I would be left behind. After being outside for 5 minutes in the 35 degree heat at 7.30pm we were feeling rather sweaty. It was surprisingly humid an we were pleased to get in the back of the Uber. This time we have finally arrived in a country where they drive on the right!
It wasn't very far to our hotel and all we could really see was big lit up buildings including the famous Burj Khalifa. On check to the Crowne Plaza in our room was upgraded and we found out we had breakfast supplied each morning!! All is well 😁. Our room was on the 10th floor and had its own kitchen, lounge and was just about 5 times the size of our place in Singapore. Talk about glamping it on our OE! Lew worked out that it cost $770 NZD per night for this room! After showering we headed to bed ready for no doubt a big day tomorrow