Tuesday, 24 August 2010

On to Bangkok

We boarded the EVA Air 777-300ER at Heathrow in good time, ready to leave as scheduled at 21:35 but the Captain came on the public address to say that he was still awaiting his clearance because of Air Traffic delays in the London area and departure would be delayed by about twenty minutes.

Sure enough, just before ten p.m. the tug pushed us back and we commenced taxiing - a long-winded start-stop process as we were in a queue for runway Two Seven Left, with take-offs about every two minutes. Two separate lines of aircraft were converging on the runway so I counted at least fourteen departures before we hurtled down the runway and took to the sky ourselves. We made a left-hand climbing turn over south London.

It was already dark but there was very little cloud so the full or almost full moon looked like a massive spotlight. Orange artificial lighting identified towns and thin orange necklaces marked the roads. I was initially puzzled by a bright white patch ahead. This resolved itself into the English Channel, reflecting the moonlight.

They served a reasonable supper and then darkened the cabin for the 10-hours plus slog to Bangkok. The electric seats can be configured almost flat and they issued a duvet so I managed a few hours sleep. Considering the wonder of modern flight, it seems churlish to become bored on a long flight but I'm afraid I did. Because of the time difference, it was three o'clock in the afternoon when we landed at what I call the 'new' Bangkok airport (although it's actually celebrating its third birthday at present).

Check-in for the Thai flight to Yangon at the transfer desk was painless and, after a bit of leg-stretching, I made my way to the Thai lounge to give you this update. Incidentally, Thailand lived up to its 'Land of Smiles' tag because the security staff at the X-ray and metal detector checkpoint to get from Level 2 Arrivals to Level 3 Departures were smiling and polite.

More when I can ...