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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

MUFA Day #2: Seoul to Bangkok

The sculpture at the entrance of Incheon International Airport has been referred to as a giant dick:

It is almost a hundred feet long, was designed by Kim Mu-ki and is called "Flying to the Future."  Anyway, from 2005 through 2012, Incheon International was named the best airport in the world.  As Asiana lost status in 2013 because of its San Francisco Airport crash, I guess this airport was caught in the shuffle.  ICN is 30 miles west of Seoul central and even has a golf course.

From The Land of the Morning Calm, Korea, to the City of Angels, Bangkok, which in Thai is not only the longest name of any capitol, but of any place:

Krungthepmahanakonbowornratanakosinmahintarayudya
mahadiloponoparatanarajthaniburiromudomrajniwes
mahasatarnamornpimarnavatarsatitsakattiyavisanukamphrasit

Reasonably enough, only Krungthep is used.

The KAL Airport Limousine Bus costs around $15 to Incheon International Airport.  I had breakfast at the Asiana Lounge:


Salad, abalone porridge, kim chee noodles, with, at the top, a spot of beer, peanuts and a horrible bloody mary, which I only tasted.  Yes, this was breakfast.

The trip itself was almost stressless, unlike my flight to Seoul from Honolulu.  It did occur to me, though, that I was on the same plane, the Boeing 777, that disappeared a month ago, and I was heading towards the same spot where Malaysian 370 made a sudden left turn.

Thai Air service, of course, is as good as it gets.  The two courses were salmon with black sesame seed and chicken curry "Pa-naeng," which means, with peanuts.  I merely tasted a flute of Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne, a small glass of Montagny Premier Cru 2010 (Chardonnay) and a Singha Thai beer with the meal.  I sampled a Mekhong THAI Sabai and Mekhong Amethyst, sort of whiskeys.  I had to have Ovaltine SWISS, something I've missed for a few decades.

The video system provided a choice of 100 movies, 150 TV shows, 500 CDs, 17 radio channels and 60 games.  I was well occupied putting together my personal juke box.  I did also watch Saving Mr. Banks (80% from Rotten Tomatoes reviewers) and Valentine's Day (18%).

The plane landed at 1PM, I was in my AOT Airport Limousine at 1:30 and at the Sheraton Sukhamvit by 2.  Purchase the fare inside the airport, and make sure to pick the cheaper car.  Their luxury version costs $70, while the pretty good car I took (it was a Toyota Camry, much better and newer than my Honda Fit) was $35.  However, all the relaxation I had on the plane was neutralized by my video game ride into Bangkok, for the driver not only went very fast, but kept zigging and zagging through the traffic.  By the way, there is no tipping in this country

Thailand was Siam until 1949.  There are 8 million living in this city.  The size of the country is similar to Spain, Yemen and France.  Thailand is the largest rice exporting country in the world, with 55% of arable land in this crop.  The national sport is boxing and nearly 95% are Buddhists.  Thailand is seven hours behind Hawaii, but on the next day.  Japan and Korea have a five hour difference with Hawaii.  April happens to be the hottest month in Bangkok, with an average high of 96 F.

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Tropical Cyclone Ita is now at 90 MPH and heading straight for the northwest coast of Australia.


Ita is still projected to attain Category 3 status, but latest models show the storm merely skirting past Queensland.  Too early to really tell, though.

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