Thailands Flights – 10 Ways to Beat the Long Haul

PICT0264Flying direct from London to Bangkok involves nearly 12 hours of boredom made only slightly easier by watching movies, reading the duty free list and trying to sleep. Some unlucky souls departing from countries further afield have even longer stretches of mind numbing inactivity.
Then there’s this announcement…’ We remind you that this is a non-smoking flight, Etihad Airlines is proud to offer its passengers a smoke-free environment. Smoking is prohibited on the entire aircraft, including the lavatories. Tampering with, disabling or destroying the lavatory smoke detectors are prohibited by both civil and aviation law. ‘ ….and that finishes me big time.

If you’re not the type of person who enjoys movies, getting blind drunk or talking the hind legs off a donkey then Beyond The Mango Juice offers some obvious, and a few creative ways to pass your time in the big silver flying can on route to the Land of Smiles.


Private DancerAn easy choice but the difficult aspect is selecting what to read, as you’re heading to Thailand then irrespective of your experience of travelling there take the opportunity to enhance your knowledge a bit more. Private Dancer by Stephen Leather, Even Thai Girls Cry by J.F. Gump and Monsoon Country by Pira Sudham, are just three of the current bestselling popular Thai novels. Thai books cover a range of categories including fiction, history, humour and even gay Thailand. Check out a more comprehensive list atDCO Thai – Books and More.

  • Newspapers

Everybody loves a newspaper. Britain’s Daily Telegraph, America’s New York Times or the Australian Herald Sun are top of many people’s daily read in their home countries. In the week run up to your flight buy your usual newspaper each day but don’t read it. Put it into your flight bag.  That’ll give you seven days reading of your favourite newspaper and hopefully the hours will ‘fly’ by..

  • A Different Kind of Crossword Puzzle

Completing a crossword puzzle can take ages but when it involves another language then your time will surely pass by as quickly as the aeroplane you’re sat in. Webster’s Thai to English Crossword Puzzles are a unique way of learning written Thai and their English meaning, Women Learning Thai has all the information on an innovative idea that might leave you scratching your head and wishing the flight had been just a little longer.

  • Writing

Flight mealBlog posts, short stories, poems or just your thoughts in diary form are an excellent way to pass time and a method I use myself. You have all the time in the world, so make the most of it and enjoy your office space and free drinks served by some of the pretty girls in uniform.

  • Language

If it’s your first vacation in Thailand and you haven’t learned a little of the language then take the long haul flight as a chance to do so. Even those conversant in basic or advanced Thai can use their free flight time to improve their language skills. Women Learning Thai has a vast range of free language resources as well as help in selecting a language course to suit you. Books, audio and computer courses are a great way to lose a few hours flight time and make you better prepared for the holiday ahead of you.

  • Music

With most ipods having over 100 GB of storage there should be enough room to stock some Thai music. Listening to luk thung (country), pop or rock music will hopefully relax you and put you in the mood to sleep. It may be wise in regards to your fellow passengers to give karaoke a miss.

  • Itinerary

If you have already made your holiday itinerary then jot down an alternative one. Holiday plans can change due to bad weather, missed connections or just a plain simple change of mind. Use the flight time to lay down some guidelines as a back up to any unforeseen eventualities that may occur during your stay in Thailand. You may even find that your original itinerary has room for some of the good ideas from your new programme.

  • Games

If you are taking a laptop with you then you’ll probably have a few games in mind to amuse yourself during the long haul. Airport Tycoon 3 and one of the many flight simulator games on the market should get you in the mood for landing and speed up its arrival. Playing solo card, and magnetic board games, are other options to keep your mind active and boredom at bay.

  • Be Artistic

Take a sketch pad, crayons and pencils and sketch away those long flight hours. Alternatively buy yourself an origami book and create models of animals and sea life in three-dimensional paper fold. Bring out the artisan in you and Bangkok will arrive that bit quicker.

Etihad, Brisbane airport

  • Alternatively

On 27 April 2007 two Australian businessmen gained international notoriety after behaving badly aboard an Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi. The two mining executives were accused of being drunk, stripping naked and offering flight attendants money for sex. The pair were detained in an Abu Dhabi prison for six weeks, telling news reporters they were treated inhumanely and were forced to live off ‘fermented camel meat’.

The men were eventually convicted of sexual harassment, given suspended jail sentences and deported from the United Arab Emirates. They were also fined 1,000 Dirhams for drinking alcohol aboard an Etihad flight without a liquor permit. The two Australians later vowed to sue Etihad Airways. The men were later dropped from the board of directors of the mining company they represented….source Wikipedia


Photograph    Etihad, Brisbane Wikipedia


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

15 Responses

  1. Talen says:

    All excellent suggestions Martyn. Unfortunately for me I am usually so amped up I need to settle down and relax. I tend to go over plans in my mind while listening to some old Genesis tunes from the Peter Gabriel days.

    I keep hoping I’ll be sitting next to a fun Thai soi I can maybe learn some more about the language or interesting tidbits about culture but I normally get sat next to another tourist. Once I was seated next to a lovely older Thai woman who promptly went to sleep and stayed that way for the whole 17 hour flight…even passed on meals.

    I have to admit to at least one other thing I do. I play a little game called spot the sex tourist…
    .-= Talen´s last blog ..The Thai Facination with Golliwog’s =-.

  2. expatudon08 says:

    i am one of those that that does not look forward to the flights any more i avoid dodgy movie downloads a couple of month’s before so at least i have something to watch
    but the thing that peas me of is the wife she can sleep for Thailand in fact i told her that if the Olympics ever have sleep as a sport she will get gold nailed on

    i remember two Australian businessmen very funny we have seen them loading up on the booze
    best flight i was ever on was a drinking smoking flight from Bangkok to London via Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan and Dubai total epic best 9000 baht i ever spent Indian and pakistani’s stood around in groups just having fun not quite as strict as Etihad.

  3. Mike says:

    Great ideas Martyn. I remember my first flight back from Thailand in 2000. The then G/F had the trots, luckly in this case we had a seat near the toilets.

    It was a Thai 747 so had three seats in a block G/F sat near toilet, me in the middle and this other guy near the window.

    Being blokes of a similar age we soon got chatting, after the formalities I then spent the whole flight (11 hours) listening to him explain the double life he led in the UK and Thailand.

    I often wonder about him he was a shoe buyer from Northampton. I also wonder if he was responsible for planting the idea of me coming to live here.

    The G/F on the other hand was not impressed-perhaps she saw the writing on the wall?
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Thai women-For Love or Money =-.

  4. Malcolm says:

    Martyn, when Ciejay and I travel back to the USA for a holiday, the flight time is at least 17 hours in the air and with the airport and airplane time it usually amounts to a 21 to 23 hour torture chamber for me as these ole bones ain’t what they use to be , so my word for the day is “WAKE ME WHEN ITS OVER.”
    Thanks for all the info about improving our time and attitude during these longs trips , I think next time I shall come a little more prepaired to entertain myself while flying, and maybe be a more enjoyable flying companion for Ciejay and those around me.
    Thanks again Malcolm
    .-= Malcolm´s last blog ..THE BAMBOO SCHOOL =-.

  5. Catherine says:

    Martyn – thanks for the mentions 🙂

    I try to use my time on long-hauls wisely, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

    The flight from Bangkok to Qatar to London is a looooooooong one, so I have plenty of time. I will say that Qatar Airways does a good job at making it enjoyable. Great service, comfy seats, good food and wine.

    My iPod loaded down with Thai lessons, books, etc, they all help on a long haul. But what I’d really like is to go to sleep in the air and wake up in my bed in the UK.

    Your suggestion to write blog posts is excellent. It’s often on those long flights, either coming or going, where I get new ideas for a post.

    Unless the Swine Flu freaks the old people out enough to ask me to stay away for my health, I’m going back this Xmas holidays and I’ll keep your suggestion in mind.

    ‘stripping naked and offering flight attendants money for sex’

    Talk about an expensive bit of fluffy that never was.

    Not much exciting happens on the flights I’m on these days. I was once on a plane that had to force land in Samoa because it caught on fire, but that’s about it.

    Talen – ‘I play a little game called spot the sex tourist…’

    You do that too? LOL! I don’t find myself watching until I’m in line at BKK immigration. Then I scan the room for the possibles, keeping an eye out.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Learn Thai on the Paknam Web Network =-.

  6. Hoo Don says:

    Talen – I must admit I do prefer to sit alone as I’m not a big talker when it comes to strangers. With my Etihad silver membership they do tend to seat you on your own when possible and the last year or so bar Xmas I have had an upgrade and when in economy three seats to myself most of the time. Lovely.

    John – I have never been a movie watcher as such and I leave the TV screen alone the whole trip. The people who get on, fall asleep and wake up near Bangkok really pee me off as well, I wish I could do it.

    Mike – The trots on an aircraft isn’t the ideal thing at all. Previous to travelling on my last trip I ate a banana which always gives me bad heartburn and for most of the trip I felt really nauseated and made a few trips to the toilet myself. Bananas are not for me.

  7. Hoo Don says:

    Malcolm – 17 hours is a long, long time and if you can sleep most of it then fair play. I try to enjoy the flight and read, write and have a few drinks but nothing to heavy. The key for me is as I said …try to enjoy it.

    Catherine – Music, books etc is my line of thinking, come prepared with plenty to entertain yourself with. I have never played ‘spot the sex tourist’ purely because I assume every unattached male on the plane is one, maybe I’d better change my way of thinking on that one.

  8. Catherine says:

    Martyn, there is a regular expat community in Bangkok (not sure how big it is) who are not proud of their countrymen’s roles as sex tourists. Some are single, some not.

    They don’t spend a lot of time talking about it, but given time, their opinions come through loud and clear. I was surprised to find out as I tend to joke about it. They don’t. I guess there are more guys out here without a sense of humour than I thought 😉
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Learn Thai on the Paknam Web Network =-.

  9. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine I would imagine that most of the regular expat Bangkok community were driven there in the first place by the easy pickings that come in the form of bar girls. Having become bored with the ease and mistrust of it all many do tend to take the opposite stance and forget their heavy involvement in the first place.

  10. Catherine says:

    I think we have different experiences of what a regular expat in Bankgok is. The people I know in real life are in Bangkok because their companies sent them, or because they got hired by a company based in Bangkok (the Oil Field mainly, but not all). So think Chevron, PTT, and smaller companies such as Pearl.

    Hotel managers tend to make the rounds too. I have other forinstances but I’ll leave it at that.

    The community is fluid but close, so if I don’t know them personally from the other places I’ve lived, then I know ‘of’ them.

    The people I know from forums are a different matter (but I don’t really know them, I just read their posts). And they are indeed the ones you are talking about.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners: Aaron Handel =-.

  11. Catherine says:

    And one important note… I’m a gal, so it is a given that I won’t have the same community type experiences as a guy in Thailand 😀
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..The Google Translate Challenge =-.

  12. expatudon08 says:

    i am not shy to say the sex scene was a big draw on my choice to come to Thailand in 1999 for the first time but
    the novelty soon wore of
    games bore me and if you play in the pig stay the shit will stick for sure
    if you have the brains to explore Thailand then the sex venues are just a pleasant distraction honest
    ps i also spot the sex tourist / pedo / homo /lesbian /transsexual can make for a very interesting trip

  13. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine you live in Thailand , I merely pass through it and so I will bow to your greater knowledge of the expat scene. I will drop in on your site this Saturday and catch up with everything as at the moment I’ve been reading your posts but need some R&R before making comment. Tomorrow (Friday) will be my 11th 12 hour shift in 13 days, looking forward to the weekend off and a few beers plus a look around the blog posts.

    John I hope your flu type symptoms have now passed and you’re feeling better. I also became bored with the Pattaya sex scene and eventually found Udon Thani, now I really do appreciate Thailand for its natural beauty and laid back manner. I’m still not going to play the ‘spot the sex tourist’ game.

  14. Catherine says:

    My living in Thailand does not give any guarantees of the make up here.

    My being a gal should changes things a bit.

    And if you ask different people living here, you might get various answers from each one.

    Thank you for taking the time to stop by WLT. Especially as you are doing 12 hour towers!

    I used to do those as a mudlogger – two weeks to a month straight unless tripping pipe – but I was much younger than I am now. I don’t believe I could pull it off. Not at all.

    So you have my total sympathies for having to struggle through it!
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Thai YouTube Cartoon: Little Leader Geo =-.

  15. Hoo Don says:

    Catherine what the hell is a mudlogger, it sounds rather tough and dirty work, could you explain tripping pipe?

Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved.  WP Premium Plugin

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap