Bangkok has such a beautiful airport. I'm not sure how old it is, but it is very high tech architecture: a lot of steel beams and glass so you can see out. Right off I noticed all of the shrines, mostly gold overlay, dotting here and there. Later I would see them on sharp curves on the road, so perhaps it has something to do with keeping you safe or warding off evil spirits. I'm not sure.
It was sure helpful having Terri organize our trip. I remember so many times she and Roger (my pastor who is about to retire) standing at the ticket counter organizing whichever flight was going to come next or working out any problems. It made for an incredibly stress free trip for me!
In Bangkok I started noticing what would become a signature hallmark for Thailand: customer service. These people know how to be helpful. In this country, not enough people are hired to help. In Thailand it's the opposite - way too many. People will just be standing around, waiting to come up and help you. It is quite amazing. And, all of the helpful people have enough English skills that they can help you!!
When we left Bangkok we had little over a one hour flight to Chiang Rai. Chiang Rai is in the far northern part of the country, very near Burma (Myanmar) and Laos. This area where the three countries meet is called the Golden Triangle. It is a little higher in elevation here so it is close to 10 degrees ferenheit cooler than Bangkok. For instance, it was the cold season but 80 degrees, but in Bangkok it was around 90 and fairly humid. The Thai's are so acclamated to their weather though that most people were in long pants and a lightweight jacket.
I guess normal is what you are used to....