Lost in Northern Thailand - Real Time Report

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lost Cartographer, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Saturday morning I woke up a bit dehydrated (turns out real IPAs are a bit stronger than Leo), had breakfast at the hotel, returned the bike to Ian at Riders Corner, and headed to Japan to meet Wafer for a mini-vacation there.

    This would be the end of the story, except one of my connecting flights was tight, and I was on 3 different airlines:

    Chiang Mai to Bangkok on ThaiVietJet - long layover in BKK, no problem
    Bangkok to Incheon redeye on Asiana - arriving at 6:55am.
    Incheon to Osaka on Korean Air - departing at 9am.

    As anticipated, Asiana refused to check my bag thru to my KAL flight. Refused is the wrong word, more like politely notified me that they would be "unable to get my luggage onto the next flight", which is fair enough.

    I knew the 2hr and 5 minute layover would be tight, but Asiana and KAL run on schedule most of the time so I wasn't too worried about the planes being late. The tricky part was that I would have to go thru customs to get my checked bag, then turn around and go right back into the airport.

    No worries I've been thru Incheon a bunch of times, except....

    There is a new terminal at ICN now, and it's separate from the old terminal. Really separate- it's on the other side of the airport.

    I didn't know this, as it's been a couple of years since I've been to ICN. I found it out when I showed up at ICN the week before. Oh shit.

    Now I would have to go thru customs, get my bag, get on a 20min shuttle bus, then check back in at the new terminal. There was a zero chance of being able to recover my bag between flights.


    Old Setup -- KAL and Asiana were in the same terminal, just different wings:

    ICN old.jpg


    New setup - KAL and Asiana are in different terminals a long long way apart. Also the terminals look like beetles:

    ICN new.jpg




    So I formulated a foolhardy plan: I would abandon my checked bag (with all of my riding gear and dirty clothes) to the airport carousel gods and hope for the best.


    In Chiang Mai I bought some powdered laundry detergent to act as desiccant, so I dumped laundry detergent into the boots and riding gear, then wrapped things up in garbage bags.

    LAX to ICN to BKK to CNX back to BKK:
    - Carry On: Helmet, riding jacket, riding pants, backpack
    - Checked Bag: Riding boots, tools, tire pump, duct tape, zip ties, clothes, my dry bag (thank god I brought my dry bag)

    In BKK between domestic and international flights I opened up my luggage, pulled out my dry bag, and rearranged:
    - Carry On: backpack, drybag with street clothes
    - Checked Bag: Stinky helmet, helmet bag, stinky riding pants, stinky riding jacket, really stinky riding boots, tools, tire pump, duct tape, zip ties, etc

    I checked my bag at the Asiana counter in BKK and said my goodbyes to it.

    .
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  2. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Was sitting at BKK waiting for my flight then got the news: the Asiana redeye from BKK to ICN was delayed by 40 minutes.

    Now I'm down to 1hr 25min to do an international transfer, and I'm not even checked into my KAL flight from ICN to KIX (KAL wouldn't let me check in online, and the KAL counter at BKK wouldn't let me check in either).

    You need to be checked in for an international flight 1 hour before departure. No problem, as long as the plane is only 40 minutes late I'll land at ICN Terminal 1, run to the transfer desk, check in and get my boarding pass, then take the train to ICN Terminal 2 and stroll aboard my flight to KIX.

    Problem 1: We were more than 40 minutes late. We were an hour late. The nice flight attendants on Asiana moved my seat from the back of the plane to right next to the door. The plane landed, the door opened, and they had me out and running instantly.

    I had 5 minutes to find the KAL transfer desk and check in.


    Problem 2: The KAL transfer desk isn't where it used to be in terminal 1. KAL transfer desk is now in Terminal 2. Fuuuuuuuuccccckkkkk

    I sprinted to the train, willed the train to go faster, did the mid-concourse train swap, willed the next train to go faster, and arrived into terminal 2. I ran as fast as my out of shape sweaty ass could take me thru the airport.

    It was like the OJ airport commercial, but with less murderers.

    Got to the gate just as they were starting boarding, handed them my passport, and tried not to have a heart attack. There was less than 30 minutes till takeoff.

    "You aren't checked in yet!" the nice tiny lady said. "We need to get you checked in!"

    So she checked me in, I dragged my sweaty ass onto the airplane, and made it to Osaka to meet Wafer.

    We rode the Hello Kitty train from the airport and had ramen that night. It was delicious.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    The end.

    .
  3. Bgunn

    Bgunn Posible mañana

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    Glad it all worked out. Nice report and great pictures!

    Where to next?
  4. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for taking us along!!
  5. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    (Northern Thailand Ride Report is over, but bonus Japan trip photos are below if you are interested)

    Japan is awesome; a quiet, tame, orderly kind of awesome. We went to Kyoto, Kure, Hiroshima, and Osaka. Some of this RR was written on the bullet train going 185mph.

    Here are some Japan pictures that the ADV community might find interesting.

    This is the Kyoto Railway Museum, it's a great museum in and of itself:

    [​IMG]

    But there is a bit more history here than I knew about.

    Turns out Kyoto was on the short list for being on the wrong end of the atomic bomb. Kyoto, Hiroshima, Yokohama, Kokura, Niigata were all untouched from conventional bombings (I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, I've read conflicting articles regarding this).

    Kyoto was towards the top of the a-bomb list, but apparently the Secretary of War Stimson had it removed because of its cultural importance (and he had his honeymoon there). Again, there are conflicting reports regarding this.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33755182
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinio...japan-commentary/saved-kyoto-atomic-hellfire/
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/us-planned-to-drop-12-atomic-bombs-on-japan

    Anyways, this article had an interesting graphic that caught my attention-- apparently the hypocenter for the atomic bomb that would have been dropped on Kyoto was the railyard roundhouse above:

    http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2014/08/08/kyoto-misconception/
    https://goo.gl/maps/QkxximuKpfAzxukJ6

    [​IMG]


    A couple of other excellent museums that are off the beaten path. Both of them are in Kure, about a 45 minute train ride southeast of Hiroshima. The Battleship Yamato Museum and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Museum (aka the Submarine Akishio Museum).

    https://goo.gl/maps/K6v4DG4K9zCJawxM7
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/battleship-yamato-museum
    https://planetyze.com/en/japan/hiroshima/jmsdf-kure-museumtetsu-no-kujira
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places...elf-defense-force-submarine-museum-kure-japan

    Why yes that is a deactivated 1980's vintage diesel-electric submarine in the mall parking lot:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The 1/10th scale model of the Yamato, with a supertanker in the background:

    [​IMG]

    A Zero and a minisub like the ones used to attack Pearl Harbor. Out of frame to the left is a suicide sub, you can see the blueprints on the floor:
    [​IMG]

    The Yamato Museum was especially well done, it outlined Japan's naval development during the Meiji Restoration thru WW2. I was amazed at how forthright and unbiased the presentation was.

    The Mazda Museum is between Hiroshima and Kure, but we didn't have time to visit:

    https://goo.gl/maps/fPRzY3LAMTSeSTATA

    (not my image)
    [​IMG]
    .
  6. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    I always appreciate your reports. Thank you for taking the time to share your journeys. I really enjoyed this one.
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  7. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Fooooood!

    Sonic the Donut:

    [​IMG]


    Brilliant hotel breakfast:

    [​IMG]


    The best tonkatsu I've ever had:

    [​IMG]


    Mom and Pop seafood counter:

    [​IMG]


    Google translate doesn't work on handwritten Japanese, fortunately there were pictures. We'll have this random item please:

    [​IMG]

    This is what we got:

    [​IMG]


    Step by step okonomiyaki from a little old lady who has owned the restaurant for 40 years:

    [​IMG]

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    We unknowengly ended up at a Taiwanese restaurant, it was also delicious:

    [​IMG]


    Conger Eel tempura:

    [​IMG]


    And beer of course:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Craft beer in Japan is insanely expensive: ~$9 to $11 for a 12oz pour, sometimes more if it is imported.


    .
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  8. Bgunn

    Bgunn Posible mañana

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    Top notch cuisine! I think I gained a few pounds just looking at the pics.
  9. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    No trip to Osaka would be complete without going to the Cupnoodle Museum:

    [​IMG]

    Where we made our own cup of noodles- I haven't tried mine yet:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    In Kyoto the tourists would rent kimonos and walk around taking pictures:

    [​IMG]

    We saw Justasian Beiber taking a selfie:

    [​IMG]



    .
  10. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Guess what Japan has? Temples, temples, and more temples:

    [​IMG]

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    The fall colors were nice too:

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    Wafer insisted on going to Nara to feed the deer. This one is standing in a planter:

    [​IMG]


    Wafer scraping deer poo off of her shoes:

    [​IMG]



    .
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  11. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    Epilogue

    The day we got to Japan I wrote an email to Asiana explaining that I lost my luggage and asked if they could help find it. I left out the details.

    They wrote back the next day saying that they found it and it was now in such and such place and that if I sent them an address they would have it delivered.

    I explained that I was now out of the country and that I would be returning to ICN on 2/12/19 and would pick it up then.

    They didn't write back...... uh oh...

    (one week passes)

    Well, I flew from KIX to ICN, went thru customs, took the 25 minute bus ride from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, found the Asiana luggage department, and sheepishly gave them my baggage claim ticket.

    60 seconds later I had my suitcase and all of my rotting riding gear back:

    IMG_20191202_145413.jpg


    I dragged it to a corner of the departure hall, repacked everything (helmet bag became the carry-on once again), and rechecked the bag back home....
  12. hairnet

    hairnet will travel for cake

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    150% oof

    want to do only 0.01% of what you did - would love to have the time

    excellent - would love to do the land of the rising sun too :)
  13. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    great RR there and motivates me to go to those places including Japan (was in Tokyo 35 years ago).

    the food shots are nice. made me hungry even after i just ate dinner.
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  14. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Adventurer

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    I thoroughly enjoyed the RR.
    Thanks for sharing.
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  15. aspad

    aspad Empty Suit Supporter

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    Great write up. thanks for that.
    Which of Ian's bikes would you think ideal for the trip?
  16. Gestalt

    Gestalt Been here awhile

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    Hope to catch another of your trails in the future, great read.
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  17. Lost Cartographer

    Lost Cartographer Been here awhile

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    If you plan on being on pavement the whole time I'd get a CB500X or CB500F.

    I was really impressed with the 500X, it is a great little bike. It reminded me a lot of my 88' Hawk GT - narrow, light, and quick to change direction.

    A 500cc bike over there is a B I G bike. I wouldn't want anything bigger for 1-up riding. Speeds are relatively slow (I think I hit 108kph once). You only need power for passing on uphill grades, and the bike has plenty of power.

    Next time I go I'm going to rent a CRF250L and explore more dirt roads.
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  18. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    +1

    The CB500X is the perfect street bike over there.
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  19. 95Monster

    95Monster Been here awhile

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    Great write up. Hope to follow your tracks soon.
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  20. aspad

    aspad Empty Suit Supporter

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    Thanks for that. CRF250 it is then.:thumbup