Showing posts with label Bangkok. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bangkok. Show all posts

05 September 2013

Love in Bangkok

If you have been to Bangkok you would understand how wonderful you feel as a Bhutanese in that city. The moment Thais know you are a Bhutanese they shout in excitement, "O' you from Butan? Your king Jigme very handsome. He come here. I love your king Jigme". And every shop in Bangkok seems to love our king, and by the grace of His Majesty Bhutanese are welcomed with open arms. You can literally feel Love in Bangkok.

I was given 50% discount at a barber shop because I showed her my graduation photo with his majesty and an angry cab lady suddenly became very polite after she knew we were Bhutanese. Of all the friendly nations Thailand seems to treat Bhutan like a celebrity.

Now things will be different. The moment they see our passport in the airport they will look at us with suspicion. The Bhutanese passport that once brought us friendly smile will now make us look like potential smuggler. All because of the Bhutanese woman who was arrested at the Suvarnabhumi international airport with 4.9kg of ketamine in her luggage. I just hope that the news didn't go viral in Thailand, but given the amount of drug it must have been the hottest news, burning the trust Thais have on Bhutanese.
Pic from: MCOT Public Company Limited
Similar bad publicity was brought home by a young man from Singapore sometime ago. The man was not only living there illegally but caught for numerous theft cases. For a small nation one person is too many. Therefore, Bhutanese travelling, living, studying or working anywhere in the world must uphold the Bhutanese values show the world who we truly are.

I am very proud, on the other hand, that my friend Karma Yonten the founder of Greener Way is flying to London to receive the prestigious Global Environment Entrepreneur of the Year award from Prince Charles. Thank you Karma for taking our country's name to the world stage. May you inspire generations of our youth.

22 August 2012

Suggestions to Drukair

Because I only flew your Airlines twice I don't know if you would take my words seriously, but on the second thought I felt you would appreciate my concerns because I am a Bhutanese who flew only twice and already has something to share.
I have been at the airport over seven times waiting for my sister and for the seven times I wished we had some shelter indoor to take refuge, especially during the cold winter days. Is it not possible to create an indoor space for the people (not the passengers) to wait and eat during the long waiting hours and also during the long delayed departures? It can be a good business as well.
Then during such waiting times, we look at the LCD screens outside for information but the information displayed there are technically short to understand. My sister comes from Bangkok but the screen shows flights from Dhaka and Nepal. Even with the huge screen hanging we have to resort to asking people nearby to know that the flight from Bangkok is the one coming from Dhaka. In big airports they have too many flights info to display therefore they keep it brief but in Paro the big screen as only two or three lines to show and I suggest if you could consider giving clearer information about the flights. Like KB-217- From BKK, Via Dhaka etc.
I don't mind not having tissue paper to over the toilet pot, as long as there is tissue to wipe because I have used dirtier toilets but there are many people travelling some of whom might be very particular. I saw that the chambers in the tiny in-flight lavatory where soap and toilet pot wrapper are kept were empty when I was flying from Paro. Surprisingly they were filled up when I returned. I assumed that you all assume your Bhutanese passengers flying from Paro don't require too much luxury.
There is a need to pay attention to the conditions of the seats. The colors have changed and some are shining with dirt. Armrest from the front seat falls directly on to the knee of the passenger on the back seat, and I am sure this is not supposed to happen. This aircraft I travelled in was too new to see such fate. It is not everyday that our country can buy aircraft therefore stitch in time might save nine.
And finally I had big concern with the departure time from Bangkok. Bangkok is the gateway to Bhutan for people from whole world and their very first travelling experience to Bhutan should not be a sleepless night of waiting and rushing to the airport at dark hours of the morning. Even for Bhutanese travelers returning home, after having enjoyed the whole trip in city the ordeal of early hour flight is like that flashlight in Men In Black that erases all the memories. Please make that flight an enjoyable experience instead of having everybody sleeping on board due to the sleepless night.
So many comments from a man who has traveled only twice might irritate you but let me humbly submit that twice was enough for a man who observes with concern.
Update 23rd Aug: Is it only me who thought Drukair and Civil Aviation are the same thing? Thanks to friends on Twitter for letting me know that they are two separate bodies. Now I know that when I talk about airport services I should be addressing it to civil aviation. And I very happy that Druk Air responded positively on twitter.

11 July 2012

His Majesty's Charm in Bangkok

In Bangkok it's honor to be a Bhutanese; people change their tone and expression when they hear that we are from Bhutan. They come closer and talk like they always knew us. They talk about how they love our 'king Jigme'. From security guard to cab driver, from barber to waiter, everybody knows our king and his beauty.
A cab lady who was driving us from MBK to hotel looked tired and angry until she heard us mention about Bhutan. She suddenly beamed with smile and gave us 50% discount without we even asking. The barber I had haircut at called whole her family to talk to us and they showed us the street through which our king passed.
Thank you your majesty, you have not only given us a great country to live in but also the license to travel abroad with honor and pride of being Bhutanese.
This morning Bangkok Post carries the headline: Bhutan King Honoured. Inside in a light orange box they have news of Naresuan University's honorary doctorate degree in Public Health to our King this month.

Snap shot of Bangkok Post

10 July 2012

Bangkok Diary

Bangkok excitement held us week before but it nearly died when the flight was delayed for four hours. While the rest of the passengers were making hundreds of calls me and my daughter took the liberty to think of the boarding room as our bedroom.
Good Night at Airport
My daughter screamed all her first-time-flying excitement when we finally boarded the plane, she drew lot of attention. She drew more attention when she denied the seat belt. It took three air hostesses and all their management skills to belt my daughter on to me while taking off. We had economy class tickets, but we're seated in business class, yes the place where everybody does their business- near the lavatory. My daughter kept me and an air hostess busy at all times. After a while her flying excitement died and wanted to go out, and we were over clouds to listen to her demand.

I should have asked for standing ticket for my daughter. She never used her seat.
We landed in Dhaka, where my girl badly wanted to go out, and I took her to toilet every time she asked to go out. we set the record of highest toilet visitor on the flight.
At Suvarnabhumi Airport we had to get our visa on arrival, because we were late in applying at Thimphu which could have saved lot of time here. Nu.500 more in Thimphu for express service seemed too much for me who have lot of time to spare but forgot to consider my daughter's mood. She became very difficult and cried the loudest in Suvarnabhumi airport. Her magic worked here as well, her super high pitch cry earned us the place at the top of the long queue. Very systematic Thai service has room for consideration that won our heart right at the gate to Thailand.
Hippi,at the Hotel Finally! 

17 floor above the ground for the first time. Pullman Hotel.
Enjoying the Height
Out of the Baggage. Economiest Class lol

Thaitanic Pose
I always wanted to travel in a boat and in Bangkok you don't have to wait long. We took a family boat and went as far as and as long as we wanted.
Fishing Family
Angry Bird at all times
One place I can't take my daughter away is from the swimming pool. If we are to divide the time between her swimming time and rest of the activities in Bangkok, it would be even. Even as I am blogging my wife is struggling to get her out of the pool.
Her Chill out time, the only chill out place