I definitely didn’t think I would need an interim getting home report, however things are changing daily and more and more decisions need to be made. This update may seem a bit all over the show but that’s currently how my mind is working…
When I spoke to Jonny, the programme director about leaving early, he asked me if I was (emotionally)ready to leave Thursday for my Saturday flights and yes I was ready, what I was however not ready for was the rush for a flight off the island on Monday.
If you read my stranded in Thailand blog you’ll have read the drama in relation to booking flights and then having to change plans due to Bangkok airways grounding their domestic flights till end of April, meaning it would be very difficult to get from Ko Phangan island to Bangkok.
Foreign nationals arriving after 15th march must present themselves at a hospital for a check. I arrived on 13th so that’s one less thing for me to worry about.
There is another airport Surat Thani which flies to Bangkok and is around 3.5 hours away but my gut told me to get to Bangkok on the last Bangkok airways flight. So glad I did as since booking, the other airlines have also suspended their internal flights.
We have a day off yoga studies every Sunday and as we are confined to the resort I’ve decided to head on over to Koh Samui on Sunday, ahead of my Monday flight to Bangkok, this gives me an opportunity to get out on a bike and maybe do a little social distancing shopping, need to get some magnets from somewhere don’t I?!
Today, Thursday, I received an email from the ferry company which is due to bring me from Ko Phangan to Koh Samui, it cancelled! Yet another change to plan needed.
Thailand has imposed a curfew from Friday night ensuring people stay home between the hours of 10pm and 4 am. They are taking this seriously.
Today, Saturday, Thailand has banned all international flights from landing in Bangkok for 3 days, due to an incident at the airport last night where arriving passengers would not agree to quarantine restrictions. The knock on impact is that there are no planes in the airport to carry outgoing passengers home for at least four days. I’m thinking my little plan of getting onto an earlier flight has just fallen through.
I’ve just read that the Thai PM has authorised soldiers and police to find and quarantine 166 passengers from last night’s inbound flights. I wouldn’t wanna be any of those guys😬
135 of them have made themselves known within the deadline, the others when found will most likely be sentenced to 4 months in jail.
Monica, one of the girls on the course has left today for a German repatriation flight. She made it over to Bangkok which is great news. Her flight has been allowed to land in Bangkok as it is arriving empty, no crew are allowed to disembark the aircraft. Two more girls fly to Bangkok tomorrow and I’m the last one Monday.
Our mood arriving at the ferry is very different to the one we arrived on the island with. We have our temperatures taken before boarding and many of the seats are blocked off to allow for social distancing.
We all have a transfer booked to either the airport or the hotel and we end up in the same shuttle. I said goodbye to Chantal and Adel and must say I wondered if I had made the right decision at that moment to spend a night on Samui or if I should of made sure I got to Bangkok asap.
I arrive at my hotel which doesn’t have a reception but from reading reviews I know the hotel across the road is the same company so I head there to ask about checking in. I’ve been moved into one of their rooms due to the lack of people. I count three Germans and myself around the area all day. On check out they told me they are closing today for 3-6 months. Not sure how these places are going to survive and be able to open again.
I do love to walk to explore places, I couldn’t find a bike shop but after a few minutes on the streets I felt like I shouldn’t be there anyway. The streets were empty. No curfew till 10pm but with the tourists away there was no one about. I headed to the beach to walk there instead.
Koh Samui is stunning and I’m sure under different circumstances, bustling.
I have arrived at my cute little house with a porch in Bangkok, that I will call home for the next 5 days #spoileralert (or longer)
I think I better register with the embassy now that I may be a little more stuck.