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Escaping Bangkok Floods; Thai A300 To Khon Kaen  
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 15113 times:


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Photo © Lasse Kaila


Making the best of a very bad situation.

I did a trip reports search and I think this just may be the first dedicated trip to Khon Kaen.


Many of you are probably aware of the severe flooding here in Thailand. It has been the worst flooding in over 60 years to hit Thailand. I’ve been in flash floods before but never had to deal with long term flooding before. Initially I wasn’t sure if my immediate area would be flooded, nor did anyone else but tried to keep up to date about the flooding situation to the north. It’s really difficult to mentally prepare for such an event when never having experienced such. As a rule, it’s best to have at least 5-7 days of emergency supplies stocked up in case of a disaster before you can make your escape.
News outlets were giving all sorts of conflicting information. Some outlets were minimizing the severity of the floods while some was exaggerating and being sensationalist with the news – both local and foreign news outlets.

Everyone I know here in Bangkok was not taking risk and was fleeing the city. Many were staying with relatives in other provinces to the north or south and some left the country. I wanted to stick it out as long as I could since I had work to do for clients outside of the country. I had seen the photos of Don Mueang days before my area had been hit. Then the flood waters started to creep in to my area. It was a surreal experience because usually floods happen pretty fast. In this case, the flood waters were slowly creeping out of the storm drains and coming down the main boulevards from the north. A day before, water was just 1 inch below the water drainage below the sidewalks. I felt a sense of panic in the air and fewer and fewer people were showing up to work. Bangkok was becoming a ghost town without any traffic. Hard to imagine for anyone that has visited this city which is notorious for traffic.




my soi







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I usually walk this way to work but not this day






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boats to get down the main boulevard in my area







Amazing way of transferring buses. This bus line goes from my area to the BTS






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Military jeep escorts down the main boulevard






Even though I live in a high-rise and not at risk of floods, my building’s transformer is at ground level and there was a possibility that power had to be shut down. There was no way I was going to walk up 18 floors only to sit in a condo with no lights, air conditioner or internet and no food. Considering I had no idea how long I had to leave, cost was a major issue. I knew my getaway would not be a fun getaway at a nice hotel. Just about everyone I knew fled town so I felt I should do the same. I packed my suitcase and everything I needed. A good friend of mine offered me to stay at her mother’s place up in the Isan region in a small village outside of Khon Kaen. So I attempted to buy a ticket on Thai Airways to fly up to Khon Kaen. The chaos from the flooding was affecting everything and I was not able to buy my ticket online due to poor internet connection from my building.
Tickets out of Bangkok were selling fast and only business class was available.
So with no internet and rising flood waters, the only way to buy a ticket was to go clear across town to Suvarnabhumi to buy my ticket. I had to wear wader-boots almost waist high to walk down my street to get a military escort jeep to take me down the flooded boulevard to the nearest BTS station which is about 3 kilometers from my place. From BTS, I took the Airport Rail Link to Suvarnabhumi.
It was night time at this point and barely made it to the Thai Airways counter before they closed.

I ended up frightening a lot of tourist that just arrived from Europe because I was walking through the airport wearing waist-high waders. It was an odd feeling walking down through the terminal and people freaking out about my rubber boots and pointing to them with horror in their face. Many had heard about the floods shortly before arriving and many thought it was flooded around the airport and at tourist areas.

There was a lot of misinformation about the floods. The images of the recently painted, but decommissioned Thai Airways A300s sitting in flood water at Don Mueang didn’t help. The area around Suvarnabhumi and all of the tourist resorts up north and beach resorts down south were not flooded at all.

Once I left my condo to buy my ticket, I didn’t plan on returning until after the floods. After buying my ticket at Suvarnabhumi, I crashed at a friend’s place near the airport. He and his wife were leaving for Denmark a few days later.

The following morning I arrive at the Suvarnabhumi and check in to the Thai Airways Royal Silk Business Class lounge. Everything went smooth. As usual, the service was great. The staff was all smiles and the food was good. What I found interesting is that their sausages do not come with buns. Yet I kindly asked for buns, the friendly lounge attendant brought out fresh buns for me. Every time I walked up to grab a sausage, she would bring out new warm buns for me.
I really appreciate this attention to detail.

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Pork buns






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View from inside the domestic Royal Silk Lounge for Thai Airways





We board our flight which was on an A300 HS-TAO, nicknamed Chanthaburi.
Years ago, this aircraft wore the original 5 Star Alliance livery.
The interior was very warm and inviting, just like the wonderful staff at Thai Airways. The entire flight was full. We left on time, no delays or anything.

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SGA Cessna 208 Caravan ahead of us that normally departs from Don Mueang





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We took off from BKK headed northeast to Khon Kaen. After take off, I was able to get some aerial photos of the flooded areas. Some of these are reservoirs and rice fields but the water level is never this high.

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Our meals arrive. Amazing to get full service on a short 45 minute flight.
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We start our descent in to Khon Kaen.

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The Isan countryside.


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The pilot seemed to keep realigning on final approach. Lots of back & forth on the throttle, crosswinds and yaw. At one point it seemed like we were doing a go around because we started to ascend but then descended again. It must have been a tricky approach.




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Probably the hardest landing I've ever experienced

Once we crossed over the piano keys, we plunged rapidly and hit the ground HARD! So hard the plane bounced back up and rattled the entire aircraft and we were airborne again for a few seconds and hit the ground again and thrust reversers were deployed.

We pull up to the gate and exit to a small airport terminal.



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Display at Khon kaen airport





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I ended up getting a ride to my friend’s village but had to get a shuttle to the bus terminal to get to her village. It was an experience.

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The bus to the outskirts of town was rickety but very cheap.
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This place was very country.

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out in the country

Small cinder block homes with no air conditioners and in some case, no flush toilets.

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I knew that this would be a looooong stay after seeing this place. I am still very grateful for my friend putting me up at her mother’s place.



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shower





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squat toilet






Some cultural experiences just really aren’t worth experiencing.
I insisted on buying them a modern flush toilet but she insisted on the squat toilet and boasted about the virtues of squat toilets versus the modern flush toilets. Besides the obvious disadvantages and awkwardness of a squat toilet, my concern is the large container of still water. That can be a huge breeding ground for mosquitoes.

They had an extra motorcycle for me to ride so it was great to have wheels to get around. You need to have a car or motorcycle in this part of Thailand. No subways or frequently scheduled buses or taxis. There were no places that have available Wi-Fi nearby either. Even though I was away from work, there was a lot of work I had to do so having Internet connection was a must. Khon Kaen doesn’t have a lot of hip coffee shops with Internet. I kept riding around town and was able to find Wi-Fi at Khon Kaen University. That was a pleasant surprise. I was able to use free Wi-Fi there and get a lot of work done. The campus was very nice and had lots of trees. It reminded me a lot of Universities in northern California such as Humboldt State but without the hippies.

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Golden Jubilee Convention Hall at Khon Kaen University





Grabbed some pad kee mao moo for lunch (drunken noodles with pork) and my goodness this was so spicy!

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Riding around town, I saw this sign warning people to BEWARE of steam locomotives.
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BEWARE of steam locomotives. If you see one, call the tourist police…

I thought this sign was ironic considering few tourist go to Khon Kaen.

One day I went to one of only two shopping malls in Khon Kaen. I huge contrast from Bangkok that has hundreds of shopping malls. There I found some break dancers in the food court. Interesting that those sitting down eating aren’t even fazed by the break dancers.


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Break dancing in the food court



At this mall I was stopped by a large eyeball.

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A clever way to market Allergan medication.









Ok it was a guy dressed up as an eyeball. It was an advertisement for Allergan.

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At around 5:00 people come to gather in the park near the lake in Khon Kaen. There they have a large open market. Lots of food, drinks, clothes and other random items for sale. People also go there to exercise and play various sports.




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At this park, there is a large amphitheater. There they have a huge outdoor aerobics exercise session. It was really cool and the girls out-number the guys by a 20-1 ratio. Needless to say, I joined in and participated almost every day I was there. Made more friends up there also.
The aerobics instructor/leader was a very flamboyant, over-the-top but very entertaining instructor.
He was Thailand’s answer to Richard Simmons.



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Thailand’s answer to Richard Simmons

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Never mind the elephant. He’s just passing through.
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Found another toy that was so incorrect!

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I had a chance to get in some airplane spotting while in Khon Kaen. There are only 3 daily scheduled flights to KKC and all 3 are with Thai Airways on their A300. Spotting is very easy from the top level of the parking structure. Too bad I used a cheap camera for the photos. This would be a great place for spotters with better cameras to go shoot photos. The sooner the better because the A300s will not be with Thai Airways much longer.






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One day I decided to get out of Khon Kaen and see the countryside. This part of Thailand is mostly farmland with lots of open highway. Luckily there aren’t a lot of vendors and cross traffic and there are a lot of straight-aways so you can go faster on these roads. Much of the countryside reminded me of southern Indiana. It was nice to ride out in the country and just sort of escape it all. It was fun riding along humming my favorite John Cougar Mellencamp tunes without any worries other than the occasional chicken that would cross the road.

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I rode to a lake called Ubonrat Dam. It’s in the Nog Bua Lamphu province on the Khorat Plateau. Just before you get to the lake, there is a series of hills you pass through before you see the lake. The place is beautiful and looks like a mini ocean. It’s difficult to see the other side of the lake due to the mist.
Many locals come here to cool off, fish and relax.


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On the way back to Khon Kaen I stopped at a random roadside stop that had food. It smelled really good and there were several large tractor trailer trucks parked along side the road so I knew the food would be good. I had a huge bowl of chicken fried rice with fried egg. It’s a very common dish in Thailand but this place tasted extraordinarily delicious! They didn’t speak any English. I just saw several big trucker guys eating huge bowls of rice and I pointed to it and said “same same”.
Perhaps it tasted extra special because they slaughter the chickens on the spot so it’s the freshest you can possibly get.
After eating there, I continued on my way and made it back to the place I was staying.


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Later that night, some friends I had made at the University invited me out to a concert. It was out in the middle of nowhere. It was about 10 minutes outside of town in the middle of a vacant gravel lot. There was a huge stage with lights and everything. It only cost 60 baht ($2 USD) to get in. The place was packed with hundreds of people and the live bands were great! This was a full production with many bands performing. The show was mixed with theatricals, acting & dancing and all of the music was played live. I was able to pick out a lot of the words but I didn’t really care what they were saying because the music was great. Everyone was having a great time drinking & dancing. I don’t know what that proper name for this event was so I guess I’ll call it Thaiapalooza. These events go on till 6:00 AM in the morning. I must say these people know how to party!

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Huge variety show out in the middle of nowhere.

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Thailand’s answer to Michael Jackson. He did a perfect imitation.


Most of my stay in Khon Kaen consisted of going to the University to do work on my laptop and calling in to check up on things back in Bangkok.
After more than a week of staying at a place with no air conditioner, squat toilet, outside shower in a wooden bucket, it was time to get a decent hotel. I had got the news that the flood water back at home in Bangkok was starting to subside.
I rode around looking for a few decent hotels to stay. I almost stayed at this brand new hotel called the Glacier. This place was very hip. Almost too hip!
It was very clean and the staff was friendly and the rates were decent. I decided against the place because there is a disco on the ground floor and a place with live music and karaoke next door. There is no way I want to hear that when I’m trying to get some sleep. Seems like a fun place for those who aren’t concerned about noise levels.

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Grape juice and some pretty cool pods to sit in at the lobby of the Glacier


I went ahead and stayed at the Pullman hotel downtown Khon Kaen. It’s a very nice hotel. It’s one of two high-rise hotels in Khon Kaen. Rooms were very clean and the beds were very soft & comfortable. This hotel also has a brewery in the basement at their German restaurant named the Kronen Brauhaus. Another Airliners.net legend (Lufthansa747) stayed here several years ago when it was a Sofitel.


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Check in went smooth and they serve you a complimentary beer at check in. This is my kind of hotel!

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Complimentary beer at check in



The views of Khon Kaen were great from their rooms.
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They also have private karaoke rooms in the basement.

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Kronen Brauhaus Dunkel and Bock




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The brewery / German restaurant was good. It’s listed as ‘thematic cuisine’. They also have a live band that was great! I liked how they took classics by Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Journey and the Beatles and lounged it up a bit.
I thought I’d never hear a lounge, yet hard-rockin’ version of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin.


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I thought I’d never hear a lounge, yet hard-rockin’ version of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin.




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This guy is just all around cool!

Had a chance to hang out with the conga player and brew master during one of their breaks.

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Across the street from the Pullman is a few small restaurants owned by expats. One place I liked to go is Scandinavia restaurant and a bar names Leo. Very low-key and mostly old expats that’s retired here in Thailand. These places come in handy if you want a break from all of the delicious Thai food around you.


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Final night in Khon Kaen.
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It was time to head back home to Bangkok once I heard my neighborhood had dried out. I returned the motorcycle to my friend and took a taxi to the airport. Check in was very smooth. Just walked straight to the Royal Silk business class line and received my boarding pass. Even the small Khon Kaen airport has a business class lounge.
It wasn’t spectacular like at the major international airports but I wasn’t expecting it to be either.
They have self-serve coffee, juice, water and snacks.

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I stayed inside the lounge until it was time to board the plane.
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Thai dish called khao dome. It’s a banana leaf with cocoanut inside.




There isn’t a separate line for business class. Everyone just lines up together. The plane was packed. Registration was HS-TAN, nicknamed Chiang Rai.
Our departure was about 30 minutes late. Could have been due to the extra traffic Suvarnubmhumi is taking in from Don Mueang.





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Push back from Khon Kaen





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U-turn at end of runway





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Liftoff





Khon Kaen has just 1 runway. We taxi out to the very end and make a complete U-turn at the end of the runway. We began our takeoff roll and off we go. It was a bit bumpy at takeoff due to the high winds. Things smoothed out quick as we got above the clouds. In-flight service begins. The food on the return flight was very good and something I’d expect on an international flight. Chicken breast with shrimp som tom along with a muffin and drink. Amazing how their crew can serve full business class meals on a short 45 minute flight.

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In-flight meal on the return flight was really good and spicy.






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Floods in the central plains of Thailand.





Descending in to BKK, I had a chance to get more photos of the flooded area. Some parts to the north are still underwater.

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I had never been on this approach before to BKK.
This time, we flew directly over Bangkok and out over the water before turning back and approached from the south. Had an opportunity to get aerial photos of Bangkok.

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Flying over Phra Khanong district of Bangkok.





I was able to get a great photo of the Kanchanaphisek Bridge over the Chao Phraya River.
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Kanchanaphisek Bridge





As you can see the water levels are high in the wetlands at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River.

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Shortly after this photo, we bank sharply to the left and descend in to BKK

Taxi chauffeur at BKK thought I was Mr. T.

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I pity the fool that thought I was Mr. T.


Once I got back to my neighborhood, there was a filthy line about 1 meter high on every building, wall, gate indicating the height of the flood waters.

Despite all of the problems associated with the floods, Thai Airways was able to come through. So many people have been severely affected by the floods including those who work for TG.

[Edited 2011-12-14 00:24:20]


Bring back the Concorde
45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 15080 times:

Sorry but I'm having difficulties with posting all the details of this report.


Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 15009 times:

I apologise to the 120+ people that has read an incomplete report. I think I've figured out with the problem was posting these photos.


Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27033 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 14648 times:

Hey really nice report and photos. Great to see a TG A300 one . Love the old bright interior. Nice to see in this mono tone age !  

Floods looked bad but lovely photos of Thailand.

Thanks for sharing .

OA260  


User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1204 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 14518 times:

Very interesting. thanks.

I can never post so many pictures.


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2053 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 14427 times:

Hey Superfly

Very nice report, although under not so nice circumstances. The weather is completely whack. We've had the same rains here in Singapore for months, although luckily the sewage system has managed to cope.

Khon Kaen reminds me of Nha Trang, in Vietnam. A really small city, a large village if you will, with few tourists, a few old retired expats, and the surprisingly good Italian, American, and Russian restaurants (plus the two int'l chain hotels). Interesting. Nha Trang is also a beautiful place.

Cheers
Coal



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User currently offlineSOBHI51 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jun 2003, 3479 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 14250 times:
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Hello Superfly
Very nice report. Never knew that the floods were that bad.
Hope your home did not sustain any damage.
That squat toilet must have been hard to use.
BTW it looks that you lost some weight. You look fitter.



I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3284 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 14040 times:

Very interesting report Superfly, thanks. Always nice to see untouristy parts of touristy countries. Great that you managed a flight on the A300. I flew one of those in 2003 BKK-HAN. The whole flight I kept seeing things move out the corner of my eye, before realising that it was just the patterns on the wall!

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
At this park, there is a large amphitheater. There they have a huge outdoor aerobics exercise session. It was really cool and the girls out-number the guys by a 20-1 ratio. Needless to say, I joined in and participated almost every day I was there. Made more friends up there also.

Ha, I rememer seeing one of those exercise things in Bangkok, mostly ladies as well.



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User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6109 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 13968 times:
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Very interesting report. It is a lot different than your usual reports. When I come to visit I don't want to stay anywhere with a bucket shower....

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
I ended up frightening a lot of tourist that just arrived from Europe because I was walking through the airport wearing waist-high waders.

Nice. I once wore some huge snow boots on a plane. I was headed to MKE, which had just had 42 inches of snow and the boots would have taken up too much space in my suitcase.

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
Pork buns

Those look fantastic

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
air conditioners and in some case, no flush toilets.

I could live without the flushing toilet, but I draw the line at no A/C.

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
Riding around town, I saw this sign warning people to BEWARE of steam locomotives.

Did you see any? That would be the spot I would want to hang around. I love steam locomotives.

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
they serve you a complimentary beer at check in. This is my kind of hotel!

That is great! The beer looks fantastic too.

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
In-flight meal on the return flight was really good and spicy.

That looks good too.

It looks like you made the best of a bad situation.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlinesaint1862 From Singapore, joined Nov 2011, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 13901 times:

Hi Superfly,

Thanks for sharing this very interesting trip report.

The black floodwaters can be very deceiving. I had a friend living in northern Bangkok near the Don Muang accidently step into an open drain and drowned. You never know where you are stepping in. Very sad indeed. Good call to leave Bangkok.

Interesting to see life in Khon Kaen. The people there sure know how to life a contented lifestyle. What tourist attractions are there such that they have two such big hotels there?

Those two biz class meals look good for such short domestic flights. I always find Thai Airways service on domestic flights on par with the international flights.

So now that the flood waters are subsiding in Bangkok, is it a good time to go over for shopping, eating and good Thai massages? :P

Cheers,
saint1862


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 13819 times:

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
Chicken breast with shrimp som tom a

Correction; the name of the dish in yum som-o sai goong.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 3):
Love the old bright interior. Nice to see in this mono tone age !  

  
That's for sure!
I hope their A380s keep this colorful interior.
...and in this age of short attention spans, thanks for reading this report!  
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 4):
I can never post so many pictures.

I really didn't mean to post so many. I had no idea until today that there is a 100 photo limit in a thread starter.
I know there are many Airliners.net members that visit Thailand but never Khon Kaen so I felt it necessary to include as many as possible as well as show the magnitude of the floods that attracted worldwide attention and responsible for over 500 deaths.

Quoting Coal (Reply 5):
Khon Kaen reminds me of Nha Trang, in Vietnam. A really small city, a large village if you will, with few tourists, a few old retired expats, and the surprisingly good Italian, American, and Russian restaurants (plus the two int'l chain hotels). Interesting. Nha Trang is also a beautiful place.

Sounds like Khon Kaen is her sister city.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 6):
Never knew that the floods were that bad.
Hope your home did not sustain any damage.

Thanks. My building was fine. The architect designed the building with floods in mind by making a 1.5 meter high bluff as a foundation for the building. The flood water did come within a few centimeters of the lobby.
The only negative effect I had was really bad smelling water from the sink and shower for a few days.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 6):
That squat toilet must have been hard to use.

Never again!

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 6):
BTW it looks that you lost some weight. You look fitter.

Thanks!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
The whole flight I kept seeing things move out the corner of my eye, before realising that it was just the patterns on the wall!

So it wasn't just me then. 
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Ha, I rememer seeing one of those exercise things in Bangkok, mostly ladies as well.

Those are where the good girls are too.  
Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
Very interesting report. It is a lot different than your usual reports. When I come to visit I don't want to stay anywhere with a bucket shower....

No worries.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
Nice. I once wore some huge snow boots on a plane. I was headed to MKE, which had just had 42 inches of snow and the boots would have taken up too much space in my suitcase.
Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
Those look fantastic

I often wear the largest, heaviest item when I travel so I don't have to worry about stuffing my suitcase. I try to travel light as possible and do carry on.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
Did you see any? That would be the spot I would want to hang around. I love steam locomotives.

No I didn't. The silly thing is that the sign was about a kilometer away from the nearest railroad track and this was in a low speed limit area.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
That is great! The beer looks fantastic too.

It was great. Nice to have something different than the usual Singha, Chang, Leo, Tiger or Thai Heineken.

Quoting saint1862 (Reply 9):
The black floodwaters can be very deceiving. I had a friend living in northern Bangkok near the Don Muang accidently step into an open drain and drowned.

Oh my goodness?!?!?  Wow!
So sorry to hear about that!
One of the things I forgot include was that I was most afraid of snakes, crocodiles and electrocution.

Quoting saint1862 (Reply 9):
The people there sure know how to life a contented lifestyle.

That is for sure. They are a very laid back society and its very charming.



Quoting saint1862 (Reply 9):
What tourist attractions are there such that they have two such big hotels there?

None.
My guess is that there may have been an attempt at one time to attract tourist to Khon Kaen and then decided not to or maybe it failed. I get the feeling that maybe the locals don't want to attract tourist. Also the few expats living there are very happy that it isn't a tourist town. I don't blame them either. Many tourist cities near the beach have attracted a lot of drunks that cause a lot of trouble and traffic, yet doesn't bring in much revenue.
The Pullman hotel used to be a Sofitel and my guess is that they pulled out when they realized that Khon Kaen wasn't going to be the next tourist haven. The price I got for the room was a steel!
The other hotel is the Charoenthani which is another nice hotel with good rates.

Quoting saint1862 (Reply 9):
Those two biz class meals look good for such short domestic flights. I always find Thai Airways service on domestic flights on par with the international flights.

That is for sure. There is no way I'd fly on Air Asia and deal with all the hassles associated with that airline when I can fly on Thai Airways and get world-class service. ...and of course build up miles.  
I have yet to find better deals on Air Asia and I'm always happy that I'm not flying on them when I go to the check out counter and see their long lines. Even when I fly coach, I've never had to wait in line for more than 5 minutes when I fly Thai Airways.

Quoting saint1862 (Reply 9):
So now that the flood waters are subsiding in Bangkok, is it a good time to go over for shopping, eating and good Thai massages? :P

Things are getting back to normal.
Come to Bangkok and spend money!   



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinelawair From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 201 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 13238 times:

Love your photos, particularly the scenic ones. I've been to Khon Kaen once before in my life and stayed at the Sofitel there before it turned into a Pullman. That Sofitel's breakfast buffet was the best I ever had. I hope it's still at least somewhat good if I ever want to go back. It's a shame the city still has that skeleton of a tower up there though. It seems like it's a real eyesore.

Thanks for sharing.


User currently onlinebyronicle6 From New Zealand, joined Oct 2011, 425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 12929 times:

Hey!

Fantastic report! Really enjoyed it!
Regional Thailand is just amazing! I haven't been to Khon Kaen, but have been up around Chiang Mai, Pai & Chiang Rai and the countryside up there with the little villages is beautiful!

Surely it's only a matter of time before Thai Air Asia start a route to Khon Kaen to compete with TG, both fantastic airlines.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 10):

The way to get the very cheapest fares on Air Asia is to book in their sales when they release the next block of dates if that makes sense, which is usually about 9-12 months in advance. Have got some great deals with them by doing this. BKK-CNX return with bags for 900THB and BKK-KUL return with bags for 1800THB. Of course service is much better on TG though.

Cheers


User currently offlineN178UA From United Arab Emirates, joined Jan 2001, 1680 posts, RR: 65
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 12716 times:
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Hi Superfly

I love your TR. Always looking out for yours.

Excellent pic onboard HS-TAO and the food looks very decent.

I wasn't realizing your place was affected by the flood, it looks bad, and to give credit to the Thai people, they made the most out of the bad situation.

I hope there may be a stopover on my way from UAE to Sydney in Jan, so we shall catch up again the good old times  

Cheers
Sam


User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1313 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12697 times:

Hey Superfly,

I am sorry to hear about the effects of the flooding in your city, but it seems like you made the best out of it. I hope everything will come back to normal soon.

Your report was great, and the service on such a short flight looks fantastic.

Great view of the Thai countryside, you made me miss Thailand very much!

I was in Bangkok earlier this year, and indeed it's hard to imagine this mega-city underwater.

Thank you for shearing,
Jonathan



"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 782 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 12472 times:

Hi,

I feel sorry for all the people hit by the severe flooding, that all said you report is very nice.

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
SGA Cessna 208 Caravan ahead of us that normally departs from Don Mueang

It reminds me one of your previous report

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
A clever way to market Allergan medication.

the next pic for the thread "January self pics"?  

Cheers

EAS



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12169 times:

Quoting lawair (Reply 11):
That Sofitel's breakfast buffet was the best I ever had. I hope it's still at least somewhat good if I ever want to go back.

It was still good but I'm not sure how good it was back when it was a Sofitel.

Quoting lawair (Reply 11):
It's a shame the city still has that skeleton of a tower up there though. It seems like it's a real eyesore.

Not sure what the plan is for that structure.

Quoting byronicle6 (Reply 12):
I haven't been to Khon Kaen, but have been up around Chiang Mai, Pai & Chiang Rai and the countryside up there with the little villages is beautiful!

I posted a trip report about Pai earlier this year when I flew Nok Air out of Don Mueang to Chiang Mai, then the Nok-Mini Cessna Caravan 208.
Nok Cessna 208, 737-400, TG A300 Motorcyle Trip (by Superfly Feb 20 2011 in Trip Reports)?threadid=185069&searchid=185534&s=Nok+TG+#ID185534

Quoting byronicle6 (Reply 12):
Surely it's only a matter of time before Thai Air Asia start a route to Khon Kaen to compete with TG, both fantastic airlines.

I'm surprised that Nok and One2Go doesn't fly to Khon Kaen out of Don Mueang. Considering that Nok and One2Go are the true budget carriers that are only domestic. The Isan region is the poorest part of Thailand so I'd expect the low cost carriers Nok & One2Go being the two that would service KKC.
I haven't found Air Asia to be budget at all when it comes to price.

Quoting byronicle6 (Reply 12):
The way to get the very cheapest fares on Air Asia is to book in their sales when they release the next block of dates if that makes sense, which is usually about 9-12 months in advance.

That is way too far in advance to plan for such a short flight.
Earlier this year, I flew up to Chiang Mai for Songkran. I got Royal Silk Business Class in the upper-deck of their 747 for 2800 baht ($82USD) and Air Asia wanted 5800 ($182USD) baht each way.
I bought my tickets just two days before the flight.
I didn't bother typing up a report for that trip.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 13):
give credit to the Thai people, they made the most out of the bad situation.

  
Yes indeed!

Quoting N178UA (Reply 13):
I hope there may be a stopover on my way from UAE to Sydney in Jan, so we shall catch up again the good old times

That would be awesome!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 14):
it's hard to imagine this mega-city underwater.

That was a real possibility. Had the Bang Sue canal over-flowed, and breaches on the north side broke that would have happened. Only the outskirts of Bangkok flooded.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 15):
the next pic for the thread "January self pics"?

Possibly.  Smile

[Edited 2011-12-15 22:37:09]


Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineVTBDflyer From Thailand, joined Aug 2006, 379 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 12065 times:

Good thing you got out. My grandfather's house got caught in the floods and he had to be taken out by boat. He's still in Hua Hin while his house in underwater. My immediate family is on Sukhumvit, so no water here, but they still went up to CNX just in case. Fun to see that part of the country although under not so enjoyable circumstances.


Fly Thai
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 11870 times:

Quoting VTBDflyer (Reply 17):
Good thing you got out. My grandfather's house got caught in the floods and he had to be taken out by boat. He's still in Hua Hin while his house in underwater. My immediate family is on Sukhumvit, so no water here, but they still went up to CNX just in case. Fun to see that part of the country although under not so enjoyable circumstances.

Good to see another local that understands what the situation was really like here in Bangkok.
Going up to Chiang Mai was the right thing to do.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11800 times:

Hi

Nice report thanks for sharing! I'm glad you where ok in these times
Congrats on scoring the A300. We don't see them too much nowadays anymore.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineLGWflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 2348 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11773 times:

Hey there Superfly! Enjoyed the trip report, cheers for sharing. Sorry to see the chaos and that caused by all the floods. How is Thailand at the moment, have the floods mostly gone or are there a few areas still underwater?

And on another note I must say that I loved your London T-shirt!!!   



3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 11589 times:
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Nice report and pictures.

Short flights with TG but looks like excellent service.

Nice for you to get on 2 A300's, quite rare these days, my last A300 was also on TG, back in 2006!

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
pad kee mao moo for lunch (drunken noodles with pork) and my goodness this was so spicy!

- Looks very good.

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
they serve you a complimentary beer at check in. This is my kind of hotel

- Now this is my kind of hotel!

Great pictures of rural Thailand, quite different from the capital.

Cheers

Mark



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User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11515 times:

Great report with many nice pictures! These classic interiors on the A300 are just lovely.

Thailand has been hit really hard by the floods. I passed through BKK in early November, but just spent one night at a hotel close to Suvarnabhumi.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineaerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 2842 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11457 times:

More indepth than any news report on the Thai floods. I love how you got to stay in a small random village! TG A300 looked great on this short flight, & the lounges seem nice too.

Thanks for sharing

 



Cabin crew blog http://dolefuldolegirl.blogspot.ie/
User currently offlineSASDC8 From Norway, joined Mar 2006, 758 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11358 times:
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Hi Larry!!

Excellent report from Khon Kaen 

A friend of mine has just relocated there from UBP and Khon Kaen really reminds me of Ubon. I guess now after reading your report I will have to go and visit him there.

I really enjoy TG's A300s and I have had some of my best TG flights on them in Royal Silk. It does feel like one has traveled back in time, when one have a look around the cabin   Really love the "rocket-ship" take offs as well, that can only be achieved on the A300 and our beloved MD 80s  
Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
Amazing way of transferring buses. This bus line goes from my area to the BTS

Thais are really resourceful, and seem to take every situation thrown at them with ease and a smile. A truly remarkable and admirable people  

I'll be in BKK for a week in February so maybe we should go for dinner and a beer or two ?  

Cheers
Stein



2-3-2 is NOT a premium configuration
25 Post contains images Superfly : Thai still has like 18 of them. What other airlines still operate them? Some areas are still under water unfortunately but the water level is getting
26 Post contains images abrelosojos : Thanks for the report - it really is an ode to the bravery of the Thai people. I think it is summarized by the smiling attendant in the lounge with ad
27 Post contains images Superfly : The people are Boeing would be horrified to see the looks of that model A380 I took a photo of.
28 Post contains images abrelosojos : = It has already been sent to at least 2 executives @ Boeing . Saludos, A.
29 LondonCity : Hello Superfly, What a great report. It's good to read about life in rural Thailand. By the way, Pullman and Sofitel are both brands of French hotel
30 christao17 : Fascinating report, Larry. Haven't been up to Issan but looks like TG is the way to travel if I do.
31 Superfly : Perhaps it would put up in their break room for laughs. Thanks for clarifying that. The place seems relatively new so I'm not sure why a company woul
32 717Flyer : Hello Superfly! Reading about the floods in Thailand was very unpleasant news. Your report gave some insight to it and I am just happy to hear you are
33 Post contains images SASDC8 : Still trying to digest Superfly's rash inclusion of Finland into Scandinavia Superfly: Will be in Bangkok from Feb 1st to the 8th. I send you a mail
34 Post contains images Superfly : I didn't do that. The sign in the picture has the Finland flag in it. I'm just the messenger. The owner is from Norway and that is how he wanted his
35 Post contains links and images HELyes : Great TR, thank you! Good to see some Thai countryside here, not just Suvarnabhumi and Sukhumvit, made me missing back to Northern Thailand I like a l
36 Post contains images Superfly : Thanks. That is why I added a lot of photos in this trip report so members could see what that part of the country looks like. I read that report. Th
37 Post contains images BMIFlyer : Wow!! Fantastic report Larry! Looks like I may have to visit Northern Thailand more often! We should head to Bourbon Street again soon Lee
38 stasisLAX : Larry, great trip report and awesome background information on how you handled the tragic flooding in BKK. Glad to hear you're doing well and making t
39 Superfly : Thanks. Keep in mind, this is northeastern Thailand. Northern Thailand is Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan, Pai, Mae Hong Song area. Khon Kaen is in a dif
40 Lufthansa747 : Great stuff from the Fly, I miss TG A300s after always avoiding them in BKK. Sofitel/Pullman KKC is great indeed. As Superfly requested, here we go th
41 allrite : Thanks for the fascinating insight into both extraordinary and regular Thai life. I think there's a charm to many regional cities, sometimes for the v
42 ScarletHarlot : I really enjoyed this TR, Larry. What neat adventures you're having in Thailand! Thanks for sharing them with us.
43 Post contains images Superfly : Is there any TG A300 you haven't flown? That is true. There were a few more silly things I saw but I think I posted enough photos in this thread. Tha
44 Post contains images Saloth Sar : Fantastic report superfly! Glad to hear you made it through the flooding ok. The TG a300 photos look great! The elephant walking down the street looks
45 Post contains images Superfly : Thanks. Sadly people are talking about another major flood this year. It been raining a lot the past week and this is supposed to be dry season. Norm
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