goodbye bangkok, hello tokyo

April 20th, 2014 / by / in: travel / No responses

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On our last day in Bangkok, I woke up with a cold so I didn’t really feel like doing anything. I got some cold medication at a Thai pharmacy for something like $1 and spent most of the day being lazy. We got a late 4pm checkout at the Conrad thanks to my Hilton Gold status, so that was nice. (I’m not big on hotel loyalty, but I should be!)

I seem to get minor illnesses* in a lot of countries, so my medicine cabinet at home has cold medication from around the world. It’s interesting because most countries have the kind of pharmacies where you tell the pharmacist what’s wrong with you and they give you medicine. I think I like that system better than the North American buy-all-the-drugs system. I find that it works especially well in countries where you don’t speak the language — it’s easier to mime or figure out how to say “sore throat” than to try to read bottles on a shelf.

(Of course, your results may vary — in Japan, I think I acquired about five different kinds of allergy medicine from five different pharmacies.)

* I figure I’ve traded a weak immune system for an iron stomach in life, which seems more than fair to me. Mike gets the regular travel-related  gastrointestinal problems but I’ve never had food poisoning and I eat allllllll kinds of weird stuff.

Anyway, after a day of lounging around in our hotel room, we headed off to the airport.

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We had lots of time to waste at BKK, since our flight wasn’t until after midnight. So once again, I decided to eat at Maisen even though I was in Thailand. I can’t help it. I love Maisen. Even in Bangkok their cabbage is delicious.

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Sorry Thai food, but… tonkatsu.

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Hanging out (angrily?) in the Thai Airways lounge.

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It was pretty empty when we arrived but got steadily more full as the evening progressed.

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Thai ginger ale!

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The BKK-NRT flight was only five hours or so but ANA gives out these food goodie bags at the beginning.

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The cutest little sandwich in the world (the chips beside it are mini-sized), water, Kit-Kat and a “refreshing tissue.” Also kind of weird: French fry-shaped chips are standard in Japan, but these Thai ones came with a packet of ketchup dip, which I’ve never seen before. ALSO, always remember to get ANA’s kabosu drink (香るかぼす). How many airlines have their own specialty drink?

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 And before landing, breakfast. I tried to keep sleeping, so this is a blurry photo of Mike’s breakfast. Decent for economy.

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My picture-taking gets a little sporadic around here (sleep deprivation related, I’m sure), but I’ll explain what we did. After landing around 6am, we headed to the Narita Hilton to drop off our luggage. The day rate is 6000 yen ($60) per person, but I got the “spouse stays free” perk for being a Hilton Gold, so it was only 6000 yen total! (This entry is full of Hilton Gold perks.) After dropping off our luggage, we took the free hotel shuttle to the nearby Aeon Mall in Narita. If you ever have some time to kill in Narita, this mall is a good option. The photo above is one of my weird Daiso (massive Japanese dollar store) finds.

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The mall also has an arcade, so we used up all our 100 yen coins. I was obsessed with this machine full of Unari-kun, one of my favourite Japanese mascots. He’s the mascot for Narita (the city). He looks like a bird, but he’s actually an eel (yes, really).

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Mike won an Unari-kun with his elite UFO catcher skills he perfected while we were in Japan last year.

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Across from the mall is a Kurazushi, so of course we had to eat there… again. I’m the worst Japanese tourist.

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BUT NO ONE CAN RESIST 100 YEN SUSHI.

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  We also had soup because it was cold and raining outside.

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We never actually eat any of the sushi on the conveyor belt. We order everything from the electronic screen. An interesting thing about this Kurazushi was that they had English instructions for foreigners. I’ve been to numerous Kurazushi locations in Osaka and Tokyo and this one was the first one that had any English. In Narita, of all places! (Maybe they get a lot of tourists from the airport.)

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Thumbs up for cheap sushi.

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Mike took this photo from our hotel room of an Air France A380. After we were finished at the mall, we came back to the hotel to take a nap. SWEET, SWEET SLEEP. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

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Essential snacks from the hotel conbini. Including vanilla chocolate coated potato chips. Because… why not?

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  I love the Suica Penguin so I needed this tote bag.

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Back at the airport for NRT-DEN on United. Ooooooooooooh, 787 windows. No shades! They dim! So fancy.

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We sat in the bulkhead and there was no one else in our row, so it was pretty roomy. The best part of the 787 (besides the windows) was that it was so CLEAN. Most United planes are kind of old and grungy, but the 787 was sparkling.

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Mike briefly falls asleep.

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Almost to DEN. The IFE on the 787s is also really nice. One of the most responsive ones I’ve used. (You may have enjoyed the frustration of continually having to jab the Air Canada screens to get them to work.) It’s so funny because the whole experience on the United 787 is so different from their (very old) 747s. I mean, the 747s don’t even HAVE seatback IFE.

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But really, the windows. They’re so big. I love them.

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The view from a completely dimmed window. You can still see outside, which is cool.

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Landed at DEN. DEN actually has a decent restaurant for an airport — Root Down in Terminal C.

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They have lots of vegan/vegetarian options (rare for an airport!) and everything was tasty.

Our layover at DEN was something like five hours, and I barely even remember the flight from Denver to Toronto. I’d been taking cold medication constantly for about 24 hours so my memory is fuzzy. The good part about being sick was that I didn’t even notice any jet lag. By the time my cold was gone a couple days later I felt 100% fine. (I think most people give into jet lag too easily anyway — I find that it’s totally manageable by sleeping at the right time when you arrive or get home. I don’t have time for this “one day per time zone” thing — I take really short trips and need to adjust immediately!)


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