March 30, 2007
We arrived late at night at Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi Airport. The long walk through the airport was rewarded with the customs allowing everyone through unchecked.
However, when we walked into the airport lobby touts swamped us. We ignored them as Sam kept an eye out for his friend, Mr. Chachai.
Mr. Chachai came to New Zealand a few years ago and met Sam at a meditation retreat. Another acquaintance is a Chris, a Thai student whom Sam also met at the retreat.
Both were standing in the lobby, and Mr Chachai hailed us. After exchanging brief hellos, we were off to a mediation centre some distance from the centre of Bangkok where beds and a room were already set up.
We would use this centre as a base, and catch taxis into town to meet with Chris and Mr. Chachai. Despite being at least 40 minutes away by taxi, the total fare would be no greater than $15NZ.
The next day we met Chris for lunch at the nearby “Horse Barn” restaurant. The staff there spoke very little English, so we relied on him to do all the ordering. Afterwards, he took us into Bangkok to start our sightseeing.