We got lucky with our flight from Doha to Bangkok, the plane was half empty, and I could occupy a whole row in the middle to stretch out for sleeping – a blessing after the slightly cramped airport sleep. I also finally go to watch “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”, a movie I absolutely enjoyed – brilliant acting and directing, great characters and an engaging story, lots of laugh-out-loud moments. Time again passed quickly, and soon we arrived at Bangkok airport, 0:30 am local time. Being very tired, Anne and I headed straight to the recommended sleeping area on the first floor, looking for the comfortable benches. There were lots of people sleeping at the airport, the more secluded areas of the floor in the basement looked almost like a campsite. We found many metal benches without armrests, so it was possible to lie down and stretch out. We picked a pair facing each other and cozily close together, and after getting a quick snack of water and yogurt at the Seven Eleven (I think yogurt will be my comfort food for this trip) we settled down for sleep. Backpack under the head, day pack with camera cradled in my arms, I tried to sleep. Unfortunately this night proved even more uncomfortable for me than Doha – after a while on the bench I would have preferred the floor, as even with my towel folded up triple the holes in the bench dug in to my bones, and after a while my arms or legs got drained of blood. I woke around 2:30 am feeling very cold from the air conditioning, even with a woolen jacket and long trousers. I tried using the towel as a blanket, but couldn’t get warm again, so around 3 am I gave up on sleep and wandered down to the seven eleven again to get a hot drink. After a hot chocolate and some cashew nuts I felt better, but still couldn’t sleep. So I spent most of the night reading, sorting through my pictures so far and writing. I would have loved to go take pictures as Bangkok airport has some interesting architecture angles, but security was rather tight, and I didn’t feel like causing commotion or be suspected of intelligence gathering for terrorism.

Around 8 am Anne finally woke up – she had been able to sleep quite well, lucky her. We went to have coffee, and treated ourselves to a bit of luxury at Starbucks. We then tried to book the flights with Air Asia back from Yangon to Bangkok. The girl at the Air Asia counter said we should book via their site, it was cheaper, and the system was down at the moment anyway. So she wasn’t more lucky than us, apparently there’s some trouble with Air Asia for booking. After this unsuccessful try we looked around the shopping area to find some hair conditioner for Anne. Being more successful with this, we went up again to our check-in counter on the 4th floor to get rid of our backpacks. After a short wait the check-in opened, and now we got really lucky – our flight was overbooked, and we got an upgrade to Business class. That totally made our day, first time for me to get an upgrade like this, and after the trip so far Anne and I could use a bit of comfort.

Our Bangkok airport WiFi access chase started when checking the prearranged visa – having no more paper back at home, I had only printed the page of authorization and the page with our names. What was missing was a third page that had somewhere at the bottom the date of entry. I showed the girl at the counter the page on my phone, but she said I had to print it, since immigration would want it printed. There was a print shop on the sixth floor, and we would get our boarding passes once we could show her the page. So we walked up, and at the print shop were told in order to print we had to send the document to an email address. As I had read something about airport WiFi and had wanted to use it anyway, I convinced Anne not to use the computer in the print shop but get WiFi access. I had seen an airport WiFi booth on fourth floor at the other end of the airport, so we walked over. There no one was present, but a printed flyer informed us that free WiFi was available only after passport check. Prior we would have to purchase access, and the print shop on sixth floor sold access. So we legged it back – we would have had to anyway to fetch the printed page.

Bangkok airport is quite huge, and there are some distances to cover as we soon found out… Asking the girls at the print shop, they said they didn’t sell WiFi access, but the bookshop did. Slightly annoyed, we went to the next book shop – and four salesgirls looked slightly bewildered at us, telling us they don’t sell WiFi access, so sorry, the print shop does, or maybe at Starbucks on the third floor. On the way there we stopped at the airport information, and were told the bookstore on first floor probably sold WiFi access. Hiking it down, I told Anne to wait for me, as it probably was still a bit of a walk. At the bookstore the girls told me the expected lines – no, we don’t sell WiFi access, the print shop on 6th floor…or get a sim card for roaming. Even more annoyed I tried the airport information 1st floor, and explained the girls the situation, that in order to get through passport check and use the free WiFi I would need to print a page from my phone, so I need WiFi, and I’ve been at the print shop and bookstores and everything. The girls looked at me with big eyes and first tried calling the airport WiFi booth on 4th floor, which still wasn’t staffed. After some thinking (they really put some effort into helping me, I must have seemed desperate) they came up with the idea that there is a Thai eating place in the basement, next to the seven eleven, which has a hotspot… hallelujah, saved. So I ran downstairs, got a bottle of water at the place to consume something in order to get the WiFi code, and sent that bloody email for printing. I was really fed up with the organisation of WiFi at Bangkok airport, compared to Doha or any other airport this was a laugh. Anne said she felt like in the Asterix cartoon movie where Asterix and Obelix need to get some form filled out, always running after a signature on a form.

From there on things went smooth – we got our boarding passes, went through the – overwhelmingly huge – duty free shopping area, and soon were ready for take-off to our the destination that should start our southeast Asian experience – Ho Chih Minh City.