I've had crazoid travel schedules before but on Thursday when some o'youse were celebrating Chap Goh Mei I inadvertently got sucked into a travel itinerary of James Bondian nature. I had a meeting inVientienne, Laos. I had to take AirAsia but the problem was the next flight back to Malaysia was only on Saturday. So I found myself the odd Chindian out in a foursome of distinguished gentlemen in a road/air trip that saw us cross 3 borders, hit 4 airports and with a van ride through the Laotian and Northern Thai country to get back to our respective countries by Friday. Below is a re-cap. Times are accurate approximations.
10.40AM (Laos time). Arrival at Wattay International Airport, Vientienne. We're greeted by bruahaha as its AirAsia's first flight to Vientienne.
As usual AA puts up a nice show with a very entertaining emcee. Didn't take pictures as there were too many media bustling about. I just wanted to enjoy my very first trip to Laos and especially the Mekong.
7.20pm. Arrival at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. We leg it through the massive airport like scalded dogs across the endless Australian outback! We say our hurried goodbyes as some stay back in Bangkok while two of us head off to our respective departure gates back to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. No time to give the straining bladder a break as we have to check out and check back into the airport to get onto our respective AirAsia flights!
8.10pm. I make it by the skin of my teeth as passengers are already boarding when I stumble into the departure lounge desperately trying to placate my pissed off bladder. Due to one runway under repair, we're left sitting on the tarmac for 45 minutes. Thank god there was a WC in the departure lounge... : )
11.45PM, 21st February 2008. Touchdown Low Cost Carrier Terminal, Sepang, Malaysia. Am surprisingly not that tired. It was probably my sampling of my first roti canai and teh tarik on a flight! (the curry is nice but the roti needs some work).
There was no time to really take in much. The country side, the people. The photos were taken on the run as you can see but it WAS an intresting trip and it well beats my last record of 4 countries in 5 days.
In the bright sunshine on the banks of the Mighty Mekong, as the chili red AirAsia banners and the white tents flutterred with the wind, Dr. Surin started his speech with, "Ladies and gentlemen, distingushed guests, today, I am the happiest man on the banks of the river Mekong..." He spoke on ASEAN and how collectively if we stand together as one we the nations of South East Asia are an economic and social force. As I looked around and saw the faces of Laotians, Thais and Malaysians sitting under one tent for one unifying reason I was tempted to be the most hopeful Chindian on the banks of the Mekong River...