Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened - Dr Suess
22.10.2016 - 26.10.2016 30 °C
It's hard to write an end to a holiday. Although our travels in Bhutan concluded today, we still have a few days in Bangkok before we head home. We could not sleep in as John had planned a last minute trip to Drukgyel Dzong. The Dzong is in ruins today, but it was built in 1649. It was named Druk (Bhutan) gyel (victory) to commemorate the victory of Bhutan over Tibetan invaders in 1644. Unfortunately restoration work and equipment made it difficult for him to photograph the site to his satisfaction.
Decided to risk a light breakfast before finalising our packing and preparing for our flight to Bangkok. Checked out and headed to the airport, arriving our customary three hours before departure time, only to be told that the flight check in did not open until two hours before. Started a queue and waited for nearly an hour until they opened security to allow us to check in. After checking in we proceeded to immigration but did not go through after processing. Instead we headed to the lounge which is in the pre-immigration side of the airport to wait for our flight. The Druk Air lounge was a nice surprise - comfortable seating, wifi that worked, light refreshments and even a cold beer for John. There was no public boarding call announcement, just a polite personal announcement that the plane had started boarding. We strolled back through immigration, went through another security scan for our cabin baggage and proceeded onto the tarmac to board the plane. Take off was actually 10 minutes early which apparently is not uncommon. If the weather is good they board the passengers quickly and take off as soon as possible in case the weather should change rapidly like we experienced on arrival.
This time our transit stop was in the city of Guwahati, Assam, India - a place I had not heard about before. It's airport is tiny, not unlike the airport at Paro. We picked up a couple of passengers and were on our way again in 40 minutes.
Enjoyed a nice lunch complimented with a Gin and tonic for me and a beer for John. There is no inflight entertainment on Druk Air but that didn't bother me as the view from the window was interesting and I had a good book to read. We landed in Bangkok a little earlier than expected, once again being bussed from the plane to the terminal. Immigration was very quick and our baggage came out quickly too.
We had no trouble getting a taxi to the Royal Orchid Sheraton and made such good time to the hotel that we arrived in the middle of the cocktail hours. Whilst checking in I was served a lovely glass of white wine and John received a cold beer. This was a bonus as we expected to arrive well after the cocktail service had finished. We just love coming to this hotel and it didn't disappoint tonight with a friendly welcome and top class service. We were allocated a room on the 27th floor with stunning views over the Chao Phraya River, facing towards the famous Wat Arun.
Our four night stay in Bangkok was all we could hope for. We spent our days browsing in the markets and shopping centres, cooling off in the swimming pools, cruising the big and small canals of Bangkok, indulging in delicious breakfasts, wicked afternoon teas and fun filled evening cocktails and dinners in the Club Lounge of the Sheraton. We unwound and relaxed and are now looking forward to returning home to our family and friends, arriving home just in time to celebrate our dear little grandson's first birthday.