The whole airport experience is usually something I hate. There is still some pretence that flying is glamorous and that you are being treated as valued and special. The reality is that from the moment of check in to the time you collect your baggage you are treated as either a marketing opportunity or as self-loading cargo.
I’m pleased to say that my experience at Chiang Mai airport was rather different. To start with Bangkok Airways has a passenger lounge with pleasant views, comfortable seating and free pastries and tea which is available even to those in cattle class.
They score extra in my book by fearuring in their decoration of the lounge some beautiful celadon pots.
However, after an efficient check-in I had plenty of time and there is only so much pastry one wants at 10:30. Rather than browse shops for things I neither need nor want I treated myself to 45 minutes of exquisite pleasure. I had a foot massage.
Foot massage is very popular in Thailand. Possibly more so than Thai body massage. For a people who spend a lot of the day on their feet and generally wearing flip-flops this is perhaps not surprising. I had seen it taking place but had always chosen body massage for myself.
Here I was with time to kill and wearing trousers with legs that unzip to convert to shorts. Significant because ‘foot’ massage goes at least to the knee. My feet ans legs were wiped clean and towelled before being coated in lotion. Eash and every muscle and tendon was systematically found and treated to firm pressure until it gave up its tension. The massage ended with body massage style palming of my upper legs throug my trousers. My feet and lower legs cleaned of lotion with a wam towel and my socks replaced for me. Oh happy feet!
This left me 15 minutes for pastry and black tea in the lounge before my flight was called. Boarding was efficient and the plane turned onto the runway for take-off exactly on time.
The bus from the airport in Bangkok to Jomtien was equally efficient and my friends D and P were there to meet me.