Flying back to Thailand from France in June 2021, including quarantine.
After 14 months I am finally flying from France to Thailand again.
France got me bored, the winter was like living in a cave with nothing open, nothing to do and so depressing!
I have spent a maximum of time with my parents which was the main purpose of the trip. I came back the 10th of March 2020, and all the airports were closed 1 week after. We spent the lockdown with my parents in the same house and in the summer I moved into my own flat in a village of the south of France named Montagnac.
The contrast with Pattaya was immense. I left an over crowded and polluted Pattaya to arrive in a small village with almost only old people 1 bakery and clean air.
I enjoyed the nature, but after 1 year there I was about to die out of boredom! Living in France in the countryside is not far from living at the Lao border in a small Isaan village. Dumb people, everything closed at 6pm. People fighting for anything, talking loud in the streets, laughing at mask and covid, IQ level non-existing.
Despite having beautiful vineyards, the place was not for me. Paying an old salad at Banette 250 baht, and eating cheese with everything is the daily life.
Yes the government is helping people, but what it gives you in one hand, it takes it from the other. The electricity bill for example was a shock. While the government is pushing the “all electric” politic in all Europe, France is the 4th most expensive country in the world about electric. Four time more expensive than Thailand!
In May-June 2021, in order to flight back to Thailand, you had to pay for an Insurance that is covering 3.5 million baht for covid, have 2000 Euros on your bank account for 3x months, have an ASQ hotel reservation, have another hotel reservation for after the ASQ quarantine, have a fare for your flight with return dates, and of course being tested negative max 72 h before the flight.
My flight was changed 3 times, forcing me to change the dates of my reservations accordingly. I decided to go with Green Park resort in Pattaya and they changed the reservation without asking a question. My last change was moving my departure from the 1st of June to the 5th of June! I had to change the ticket to match me dates, and add one stop in my travel. So I will fly from Montpellier to Paris, then Paris to Amsterdam that seems to be the hub for leaving Europe, then Amsterdam to Bangkok.
18 hours total! With the taxi is it a 20h trip.
I had to live my small apartment and sell everything at “Le Bon Coin”. The bed was the worse, it is hard to sell a mattress!
And say goodbye to the locally produced fruits and vegetables.
I will be travelling with Air France / KLM… let’s go!
The flight from Montpellier to Paris.
The departure from Montpellier started very badly. There wasn’t anyone waiting at the terminal, and only 2 ladies doing the boarding, luggage, were sitting behind their computer. A fat small guy supervising, looking like a huge ego on two legs.
My 2 luggages were not registered on their system, which was a bug from their own statement later on, and they tried to charge me 100 Eur more for my second luggage. They would not let me embarq without me showing “the bill” of my fare, which was obviously online. After finding their error (no excuses of course) the small fat guy started to show his power.
“What is your imperious reason to leave the country?”. Tourism was not in the list: https://leparticulier.lefigaro.fr/article/la-liste-des-motifs-imperieux-qui-permettent-de-voyager-en-hors-de-france
Without having my girlfriend online, asking her to sign a paper stating that she knows me for 10 years and a photocopy of her ID, he won’t let me take the plane. His reason was that in Paris I would be arrested, blah blah. Of course nothing happened in Paris, not even a question asked!
These kind of people are only existing in France, the morron was out of a comic movie from the Nazie occupation where these kind of guys were the best friends of the Germans. I was so upset, that I was an inch to take the girl in hostage, after all these efforts and spendings, losing all because of this asshole would have bring me into jail, with no regrets.
I was not surprised that the plane was packed, having people sitting to my left and right, despite the fact that at the airport you cannot seat close to each other, money rules over the so called sanitary measures.
The flight took 1 hour, and I had about 1h30 minutes before the next flight.
The flight from Paris to Amsterdam.
Paris was totally lame, you got to walk directly to an unfinished terminal with no paint and cable falling everywhere. Most shops were closed, only 2 or 3 shops for duty free! I have seen 2 people working for the airport, just taking the temperature at the entrance of each of the two terminals.
No exchange booth open! I had 200 Euros to change but no luck! The terminal is new, but most of the plugs and USB were broken. If you can judge a country by the quality of their airports, then France is a 3rd world country!
The flight to Amsterdam was about an hour, same as Montpellier to Paris, about the same distance too. Everything went smoothly and the plane was packed too. Apparently the Air companies are good at optimizing the few passengers.
The final flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok.
Amsterdam is another world! The place is packed with people and everything is open. The contrast with France is shocking. You feel that you moved from Tombouctou to London for example. No exageration, Amsterdam’s airport was awesome and a slap in the face to the arrogant French frogs! Is France the 6th world power? I have a doubt.
That’s when the things started to turn awkward! I was looking for the gate to my plane, but I could not find my flight number in the departure screens!
I was confused, and I went to an electronic machine that scanned my fare and told me that my plane was in reality headed to Honk Hong! I was in panic, where is the gate?
It is good that I had 2 hours to find out, because it was more complicated than I thought!
I went first to this Honk Kong flight that was at about the same departure time, and when I arrived it, the hostess told me that this plane was in fact headed to Manilla, and was only for staff! She told me to go to the Gate F8 where apparently all the flight heading to Asia were centralized. Of course no word of that anywhere.
Immediately most of the people who were waiting at this gate followed me, unaware of the situation.
The Gate F8 was a testing gate. You had to sign a paper saying that KLM is not responsible in case of Covid -19 and take a temperature test. All your paperworks being checked, your ASQ reservations, your PCR test etc…
Sadly for some people, they thought that the Thai Covid Application would help them, but there was no Wifi at this gate, and the Thai Covid Application was crashing at launch… No emails available as well. Print everything when you travel!
When the ‘sanitary’ checking was done, you had to move to Gate F9 where the boarding will take place. No time to relax!
Once in the plane you really feel that the East and the West are at war and that you are crossing a real border.
The plane was headed to Honk Kong, with a stop at Bangkok, and it was listed nowhere!
It was almost empty, everyone could have a raw for himself and 3 seats to lay down like in a bed! The food with KLM was awful. No choice and the taste was disgusting. But the Multimedia system was great, with plenty of movies and games. Amsterdam to Bangkok was quite enjoyable apart from the food.
The arrival to Bangkok is again another world. The Suvarnabhumi is awesome. You are welcomed by a lot of people which contrast with the European Airports where there is no staff and only machines. People guiding you all the way to the exit gate.
But there was again another checking of all your documents. You have to sit on these chairs and wait that someone covered with a protection suit will check all your documents. Then your documents are again checked at a gate. Then you have to wait again.
The military guys in charge finally ask you to move and you pass through the exit immigration check where they will give you your TR-80 certificate and stamp your passport.
Now it is the time to reach your luggages that amazingly found your destination!
A lady come to bring you to your taxi, you cannot walk around, you are offered to go to the bathroom, which is a good idea since you will take a 1:30 min taxi drive to Pattaya without a stop.
I tried to change my 200 Euro which was impossible in both Montpellier, Paris and Amsterdam Airports, and finally the lady did change them in the taxi! Welcome in Thailand where there are no problems, only solutions.
I was so happy after this long journey to finally arrive in Pattaya with its hot weather and its menacing monsoon fat clouds!
I was at the Green Park resort, close to Terminal 21 at Pattaya Nua.
This hotel is old but it is really good for a quarantine, the greenery, the squirrels, the geckos are your friend for 15 days / 14 night.
Food is your only distraction, so it has to be good. It was not perfect (the sausages were dog food) but for most of it was really good. I even ordered from the menu because I loved the green curry! I and also a spanish omelette!
Overall the quarantine is another challenge, a psychological one. Staying in the same place, without being able to go out, apart from when you are tested for the covid is not easy. The first week is ok, then comes the boredom. The last 3 days are the worse, you start counting like a prisonnier, open your door to check if the food is arrived. Doing your temperature 2 times a day, asking for 7/11 stuff through line to the lobby and waiting for the food is your daily routine.
When the hotel calls you to tell you that you can go out, you are jumping and dancing alone in your room.
My girlfriend was supposed to help me and welcome me, we are 10 years together, but instead she decided to empty the bank account with the room deposit and rent, and run away. The covid is changing people.
Now that I am in Pattaya, I will report about every places, what is happening here, and stay tuned, lot of pictures are coming!