5 a.m. alarm. Nuff said.
We made it down to Reception at 5.55 to find that our transport to the airport was already there.
As we collected our breakfast boxes, one of the receptionists queried a purchase from the minibar. As I had paid the extras bill in full the previous night and had not had anything from the bar since, I thought that this was rather petty, particularly after what has been a warm and welcoming stay. Unfortunate.
Anyway, it was dismissed and we were on our way in a very well upholstered minibus.
A hair-raising 50 minutes later, we were dropped off at the airport. Speed limits and lane discipline were treated with utter contempt.
We were over two hours ahead of schedule, to the extent that the check-in attendants weren’t in position. So we queued up …… and Jean decided to go to the loo.
Sure enough, almost as soon as she left the queue, the attendants turned up and started to check passengers in. She made it back just in time.
I pressed once again for an upgrade, but no joy. Full boat.
At least our bags were checked through to Chiang Mai.
We headed for Security, but before we went through, we decided to have a break for a coffee and to partake of the very indifferent breakfast box provided by the hotel.
It was at this point that Jean discovered her phone was missing. A panicked search proved futile, so Jean retraced her steps. No luck at the security check-in, so Jean went to Information. They undertook to phone the loo attendant whilst Jean went to the check-in desk. No luck there, but when she went to the loo, the attendant was checking the cubicles and – praise be – there it was. Much relief all round. It would have probably been a lot more difficult to retrieve it had we actually gone through Security.
We decided not to tempt fate any further, and got through Security unscathed, apart from my metal knee sounding the alarm. I’d better get used to this…..
There seemed to be a little more legroom on this flight, or maybe my knee is actually getting a bit more forgiving, but the flight was uneventful. 70 minutes later, we landed at Bangkok Airport.
We had another two hours to kill, so found ourselves a coffee and croissant, settling down to wait.
Security was actually at the departure gate, and once again my knee set the scanner off. They also picked up the power bank in my backpack, but a cursory examination let it through.
Unfortunately, the legroom on this flight was very restricted. I had at least got an aisle seat on the right hand siide of the plane, so I could stick my knee out into the aisle when time between passengers/aircrew allowed. The flight was only an hour, thank goodness.
We landed at Chiang Mai and collected our bags in jig time. A young lady holding a notice board with our names on greeted us on exit, and ushered us outside. About 10 minutes later, a minibus drew up (with one long legroom seat – hooray)! 15 minutes later, we were at the Anantara hotel.
First impressions were excellent. As usual, staff descended upon us in numbers, all eager to help. Check-in was handled courteously by a lady by the name of Kuu, who showed us to our very nice room. An interesting touch – we had to take our shoes off and leave them in the little lobby outside before entering. Not quite as large as our Nai Harn whopper, but more modern and very well appointed. Decent WiFi connection speed as well…..
Jean had a bath and I a cup of tea on the balcony (no gin in the minibar ☹️). I hasten to add that Jean’s bath was not on the balcony….
I had a shower, which was an absolute belter. I’m going to like it here!
After all this hard work, we took a walk around, having booked a table at the onsite steak house restaurant.
We also arranged a few things via the concierge, chief among which is a half-day tour to the main temple and the silk factories tomorrow morning. Trouble is, it involves an 8.30 a.m. start…..
We then went for our meal.
Both were absolutely delicious. Jean had a pork chop and I a wagyu beef steak. Fabulous. And the triple-cooked chips were to die for. The wine was pricey, but nowhere near the outrageous prices charged by the Nai Harn.
As we’d had an early start, we were both feeling a bit knackered, so returned to the room. We have an early-ish start tomorrow, so heads down it is.
See you tomorrow.