Our journey started with boat trip to Helsinki where we had an Air Finland flight booked through Finnmatkat. The flight had a scheduled refueling stop in Abu Dhabi for one hour at night. During that hour a heavy fog came and therefore the departure from Abu Dhabi was delayed. At first by six hours, then it came out that pilot working hours have been finished and therefore the departure was delayed again. Then it came out that pilots have started the strike and new crew was sent to serve us. But it really took long time.
During all these hours we got very little information about what will happen next. At one point of time we were informed that as we will depart most probably only after ten hours we would be taken to the hotel. We were already quite happy that we would have a possibility to see little bit of Abu Dhabi, maybe walk a little and breathe some warm air. But this dream did not last long. Most of the passengers were Finns and as they do not need a visa to enter UAE and hotel was only for them. In order to leave the transit zone we needed a visa and we were explained that this is not an easy procedure. We were 20 people with Estonian and Russian passports who kind of trained for “Terminal” part two. We had also a 2-year old child with us. But he seemed okay.
The clerks told us that transit hotel has no availability and they offered us to stay in the lounge. We were exhausted. We took a final chance and checked the hotel by ourselves and luckily we got two rooms. After a shower the dreams were really sweet. It did not matter that the room had no windows, neither the fact what time was. The bed with linen was SO good after spending 20 hours in the terminal.
Our flight was delayed once more, but finally we took off from Abu Dhabi after spending 32 hours in the airport. I do not remember that taking off from grounds had made me bigger emotions.
Everything else went very smoothly. Landing in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, getting the visa, entering the country and even changing three times the Bangkok Air flights. We would really like to praise Bangkok Air. The booking through Internet was easy. After knowing that we will not be in Bangkok in time we called them and they suggested the next flight for us. They apologized every time I changed the flight (3 times) that they couldn’t offer us the child meal during that one-hour flight. Honestly, this was our smallest concern. The people on the phone were all extremely caring and friendly. And the Bangkok Air flight itself was pure pleasure after the previous experience.
And then finally we arrived in most beautiful airport we have ever seen – Samui International Airport. The airport has no walls, and due to the climate it does not need them. After quick and well-organized baggage claim we were guided to the taxi stand. We paid 500 baht for a ride to Al’s Resort in Chaweng.
The hotel was booked for one night before the trip through sawadee.com. We were pleased with Sawadee’s service: booking was easy and feedback came by e-mail very quickly. Also, when we realized that we will get there only a day later, Sawadee people were very helpful and changed our booking with no charge.
Al’s Resort was nice (we had two Villa Deluxe for 4100 Baht each) and in the center of Chaweng, although the resort area was very quiet. Wifi was also available although it did not reach to our room, we used it at the reception building.