We managed to negotiate another couple of hours of paradise at Tongsai and finally check out at 2PM, being accompanied to the airport by the manager and another member of staff who checked us all in and said farewell. Koh Samui airport is quite odd and rather delightful. Its all outdoors with a series of shops on a main street leading down to the gate. Once at the gate it is all deck chairs, cushions and sofas with complimentary soft drinks and snacks for all. (BAA eat your heart out.) You literally sit in a deckchair by the side of the runway. Even the toilet has a large tropical fishtank inside.

Bangkok Air back to Bangkok itself and fortunately a jet plane rather than the turbo props they use sometime. It turned out to be more than fortunate. As we approached Bangkok International we hit a major storm which buffeted the plane severely as we cam in to land, with the plane clearly struggling to make the runway in the crosswind. As we landed the plane came close to flipping over, inside the cabin absolute silence, which remained as we came to safe halt. The guy behind me crossed himself and winked. Had we had the turbo prop we could have had a major problem. We then had the curious departure from the plane with the stewardesses leading the passengers two by two off the plane with an umbrella, and ensuring everyone got to the bus dry. It took an age but was cute to watch.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi the new international airport is excellent. Nice cheap places to eat, plenty of useful shopping, TV and toilets at the gate. It has been loudly criticised but we found it user friendly, though immigration could have been faster.

Onbound to Dubai with the worst Emirates flight I have known. No drinks trolley until after the meal. Well done, though not as if any of it was edible. Our stewardess was AOWL and I had to crib water and drinks from the other aisle. A huge amount of attitude from the Dubai locals, enhanced when we had a medical emergency. When the medics were boarding the plane to assist a cardiac patient they could not get through as the locali refused to stay in their seats and were trying to push them to get to the front of the plane in preparation for departure. Some were standing as we were taxiing just after landing. Add to that a number of screaming children, at full volume for the whole flight leaving their nannies clueless. (The parents were of course up the front.)

Dubai airport at 3am is not a pretty site either. Clearly in desperate need of a make over. Two coffee bars, One pub, and a small food court for the whole airport. Very little seating most of which was taken up by people slumped across seats fast asleep.

The final sector back into London was a better effort, and I managed to catch some sleep.