Visiting Thailand: International Transit During A Pandemic

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Left Lane

Approaching the East coast of Japan 🇯🇵 from the Pacific Ocean, as the Captain prepares to land us in Tokyo

Relieved I was, to successfully be allowed to board my flight to Thailand. After just narrowly getting approved for entry at the last minute. I had a long Transit ahead of me. The first leg of our flight was going to be just shy of a continuous 12 hour flight to Japan, from Los Angeles.

We were well on our way to Tokyo Japan 🇯🇵(NRT) Narita International Airport. One of the major differences between Pre-Covid transit, versus During Covid transit that we immediately noticed.

Was the fact that we practically had the whole plane to ourselves. We were aboard a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 capable of carrying near 300 passengers, and with the flight crew included. I estimate we had probably 40 scattered across the whole Airplane.

Lunchtime Photo showing what it’s like to be aboard a international flight almost alone.

The plane crew, and staff outnumbered the passengers that were onboard. They took amazing care of us during our International flight. Keeping us well fed, and allowing us to have seats with amazing leg room. At 6’ 3” I really appreciated the extra leg room seats.

View of the Extra Leg room seats we were given by Singapore Airlines staff, Thanks!

Choosing to spend most of the time during our 12 hour flight, doing a few last minute trip preparations whiles in the air. Using the provided in flight wifi, and watching the wide selection of movies available during transit.

The flight crew came around regularly during our International Transit to Tokyo Japan, just checking to to see if we would like a snack in between meals, or if we needed anything at all.

Dinner & a movie aboard Singapore Airlines. Watching Disney’s “Cruella” 2021 movie.

We snoozed aboard the flight to pass the time, as we changed from one time zone to another during our transit across the Pacific. Trying to prevent Jet-Lag, as the time in Tokyo Japan was already 15 hours ahead of our own, and already the next day.

Shortly before landing in Tokyo Japan, the Singapore Airlines crew. Woke us up one last time to enjoy a full meal before landing.

Singapore Airlines feeding us good yet again. The inflight menu was amazing.

Wheels Down in Tokyo!!!

The sensation of calmness, speed, and beauty of observing the Earth from high above as it passes beneath you. As you soar through the skies aboard a metal bird, can become addicting.

I will be the first to admit, no matter how many times I’ve witnessed the breathtaking views offered from the window of a plane. I never tire of the view, and I’m always eagerly anticipating the next time I will be staring down at our beautiful home, from the heavens above.

Video of our plane approaching the coast of Japan from over the Pacific Ocean, & enjoying the view.

Moments later, we were swooping below the clouds, with the green fields of Japan passing beneath our wings. As we prepared for our landing in Tokyo Japan at (NRT) after 12 continuous hours in the air.

Enjoying the view just as the Captain drops us below the clouds, & we get our first view of Japan just before landing.

With wheels safely down in Tokyo Japan. We welcomed the opportunity to stand up, and walk around the airport stretching our legs for a few hours. After our long international Transit across the Pacific. Before we boarded our next flight, bound for Singapore 🇸🇬.

My partner striking a pose in front of the windows at (NRT). With an Air New Zealand 🇳🇿 plane to her left, & a pair of ANA Japanese planes to her right.

The main thing that was immediately noticeable about Japanese airports from other airports we had visited. Was the assortment of vending machines, there was a vending machine for just about every product you could imagine.

Upon going to the bathroom in the airport. I quickly realized that even Japanese toilets were high tech. After studying the array of buttons on the toilet, I quickly determined that it would require at least a PHD to operate.

A photo of the inside of a bathroom stall at (NRT) in Tokyo Japan. Check out all those buttons mounted on the left side of the toilet. Pretty sure that thing even played Music 🎵. 🤣

In the Air for Singapore

After boarding our next flight, from Japan to Singapore, we had another 7 hours of flight time. Crossing the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and South China Sea.

Late night photo from high above out the plane window, viewing the city lights at night. As we fly over Sablayan in the Philippine’s. Heading out over the East China Sea
I most definitely wasn’t that one random guy on the flight holding up the bathroom, just so they could stand & stretch their legs for a while. Nope wasn’t me 🤣

A little after Midnight, we landed safely at (SIN) Changi Airport in Singapore. With Singapore’s strict Covid rules in place at the time. We were not allowed to just freely roam about the airport.

They had designated quarantine areas for international travelers. Using phone Apps you could shop online, or order food from any of the restaurants, or stores in the airport.

Knowing in advance that we would be in Singapore for around 17 hours. I didn’t want to spend all that time stuck in a airport seat, in some random waiting area. I decided to book a room at one of the onsite Airport Hotels called the Ambassador Transit Hotel. It was nice to be able to get showers, and have our own private bathroom.

Selfie from our room at the Ambassador Transit Hotel in Singapore

The airport staff in Singapore, radioed for a Gold Cart to come and pick us up from the International waiting area, and transport us to our hotel. Making it to our room around 1a.m it didn’t take us long to test out the beds, and get some much needed rest.

The inside of our hotel room at the Ambassador Transit Hotel in Singapore’s Changi Airport

The next morning after getting a good nights rest in the Ambassador Hotel. We ordered breakfast from the in room menu provided by the hotel.

Breakfast at the Ambassador Hotel. Vegetable fried rice, with Egg Rolls, steamed veggies, fruit bowl, & Coffee

After breakfast, a member of the Changi International Airport Staff came to pick us up, and escort us to the departing flights waiting area.

A member of the Airport Staff leading us through the Singapore Airport
Quick Selfie from the Airport, as we had the whole corridor mostly to ourselves due to Covid Restrictions

After walking for some distance, we caught the Airport Tram which took us to the correct departure terminal. From which we would leave Singapore, heading to Thailand.

Selfie on the Singapore Airport Tram as we head to our departure Terminal

Once we made it to our departure area. I had to try out some of the local drinks, and snacks they had to offer.

Trying out a local Singaporean Beer

The one thing that would quickly come to be our favorite snack during our trip to Thailand was Dragonfruit. Which we tried for the first time in Singapore. Life changing experience, we were forever hooked on Dragonfruit!

Having a delicious bowl of sliced Dragonfruit, & Watermelon in Singapore

After 17 hours in Changi Singapore, our flight was finally ready to depart. We were at last on our way to the place that started this entire international transit, Thailand!

View of the Singapore Airlines Plane that would be carrying us to Thailand, as we boarded in Changi Singapore

Next Stop Thailand

View of Changi Singapore from the sky as we climbed higher into the heavens

With our last, and final flight to Thailand being the shortest of our whole transit at only 2 hours flight time. We were eagerly anticipating our arrival in Thailand.

There still weren’t many people onboard this flight from Singapore to Thailand. We had our little area of the plane to ourselves once again. The staff aboard our flight took amazing care of us at every step along the way.

Singapore airlines feeding us well yet again, having one last in air meal, served with wooden utensils before we landed in Thailand.

By the time we finished our inflight meals (which were quite delicious, if I might add). We didn’t have long until we were landing in Phuket Thailand.

Getting our first view of Thailand from the window, as we flew over the Strait of Malacca

Once we made it safely to the ground, we went through International Customs and Border Protection in Thailand. Where we showed the health officials our litany of paperwork, and documents needed to enter Thailand, if you remember them from the 1st Part of our international Transit.

Once approved for entry, we headed to Currency Exchange, and then onto Baggage Claim. That’s when the reality of it all finally set in. That after a long arduous flight, we were finally here to settle my throne as the Prince of Bel… Oh, my bad. Wrong storyline 😜. I apologize Will!

Taking a Selfie at the (HKT) International Airport in Baggage Claim. With a Thai Long-Tail boat in the background

After procuring our luggage, we were on our way to locate our first round of Covid testing in Thailand, at the (HKT) airport testing facility.

They had the Testers inside of a mobile square booth with windows, and what appeared to be inflatable astronaut arms attached to the glass. So the tester never had to come in physical contact with you.

Example of a Covid Testing Booth in Thailand

With our first round of Covid tests out the way. We had nothing left to do but wait a few hours. The PCR tests they ran had about a 5 hour turn around time.

We were free to wait our time out at the resort. Which I was more then eager to see with my own eyes. I had read all the amazing reviews about it online, and poured over a ton of online photos of the resort.

The resort I chose was the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa by Marriott. It was located on the Northwestern part of the Island of Phuket. Which was even better for us, especially as we arrived at the airport around 7:30p.m after dark.

They had a car waiting on us. We were picked up by a member of the hotel staff in a brand new Mercedes Benz. As they drive on the opposite side of the road in Thailand. I was quite happy not to have to drive myself at night. Especially on my first night in the country. Before I had a chance to get familiar with their traffic.

Getting the Royal Treatment by the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa. Sitting in the back seat of the reverse drive Mercedes.

To Be Continued…

I hope you enjoyed reading about our International Transit during the pandemic. Tune into my next few Blog Posts, to find out how the rest of our Thailand trip goes.

The Roving Gypsy®

Thanks for reading my latest Travel Blog, I hope you enjoyed this narrative of our transit to Thailand. Tune into my next Blog to read about our Adventures in Thailand. Like what you read, & want more, or have a suggestion? Follow, Share, Comment, & let me know.

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