Pat and I had an early evening flight out of Bangkok to a northern city, Chiang Mai, the day we arrived. We decided to make the most of our few hours in the capitol city. By this, I mean I roped Pat into going to the Red Cross to get vaccinated for Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. Both were recommended by the Lonely Planet and aren’t covered by insurance in the US. I’m very strongly pro-vaccine and I collect vaccines like your grandma collects stamps. Plus, I was delighted to get an insider view of healthcare in Thailand. Pat took a class about healthcare in Thailand and he informs me that they have higher vaccination rates than the US. The process was pretty slick. Passport? Fill out this card. Take this to the nurse. Get counseled by the doctor. Go to the pharmacy and give them your money ($15US). Bring back the vaccines. The nurse will give you the vaccine now. Here is your international vaccine yellow card, your next dose will be in three days. From enrollment into Thai healthcare to the little circle bandage on my arm, the whole thing took less than an hour.
We celebrated our immune system boost by stopping into a massage parlor where pretty young Thai ladies were offering feet and head/neck/shoulder massages for 350 baht an hour ($11US). This was just the thing to help with jet lag.
After that it was time to head back to the airport to catch a 2-hour flight to Chiang Mai. We’d already done two straight days of flying to get to Thailand, what was a few more hours?