New city, old country

A rushed morning as I tried to get more work done, then wolfed down a KFC and directed another wayward soul towards the Vietnamese embassy before grabbing my bags and walking over the road for the Airport Express bus.

Now, the problem with this service is that it’s “every 40 minutes” but doesn’t run to a timetable. So you could potentially just miss one, and have to wait ages. Then there’s the fact that traffic fluctuates so it could be more than forty minutes that you end up waiting. Like I did. I got to the stop next to the Sofitel on Silom a shade after 1pm. The bus finally heaved into view at 13:50.

Wherever you are in the city there’ll be a stop for one of these buses (there are 4 routes) nearby – the best thing to do is check with a hotel or hostel for the nearest. Strangely, the fare back to the airport is 100 Baht, when it’s 150 Baht to come the other way. We made good time once we got through the traffic and I had plenty of time to check in – a good think as the queues at immigration were very slow-moving.

I gobbled a hot dog from Dairy Queen and picked up some face cream for Ria (one of my hosts for the next couple of nights) and strolled right onto my Air Asia flight which left dot on time. A lovely comfy plane, punctual arrival and easy trip through immigration at the Malaysian end.

Mike and Ria live out past Johor Bahru, so I had to get a taxi there. The flat rate is 60 MYR (around a tenner) but as the journey to their place took about an hour I didn’t think this was too much. I’m sure I could have caught three buses and walked a couple of miles to get there for less but I’d not have made it till the next day.

Once there, I dropped my luggage, took a proferred beer and had a great meal. Thank you kindly to Mike, who’s a great chef! Beer, wine and cognac flowed before we retired for the night. It really was pretty late and I appreciate them waiting for me to arrive before dinner. Last thing before bed, I sorted out my flights and accommodation for the next leg of the trip. Two years delayed, here I come Borneo!

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