Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Returning is so much easier

As we left our plane from Saigon, the signage and halls of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport had a welcome familiarity. Immigration was quick and hassle-free; our bag arrived shortly after the carousel started, and the customs clearance was a mere wave.

As we turned out of the arrival hall, a sign with our names on it greeted us: we’d arranged online for a car to bring us to Pattaya, and she was there waiting for us. A few minutes later, we were ensconced in the air-conditioned comfort of a new car, and our 21-year old woman driver was whisking us along the highway.

We’d booked a room at the Orchid Guesthouse—again online with only email confirmations—and were greeted at the gate by Brian, the new manager. We paid the driver, checked in with Brian—and were settled into our room less than 2 hours after landing.

Online bookings help make travel so much easier—but returning to a familiar place certainly helps take the edge off of arriving!