travel, Travel Tips

Thailand #3 – Doha Airport

SO have you ever been in an airport for 14 hours waiting for your next plane? I have!

As previously mentioned in blog post: Thailand #1 – planning, the tickets purchased for the amazing Thailand trip were cheap, there was one catch (as there always is) a layover in the Doha airport. On the way there 14 hours on the way back 9 hours. As daunting as this sounded the allure of the cheap price and of Thailand won me over right away.

Most people would have left the airport since it is a long time BUT arriving at 10 pm and leaving at 10 am didn’t leave a lot of “sightseeing time” plus honestly… what do I know about Qatar? Or Doha? Nothing…  I actually had to look at a map and figure out where this country was (I have always been exceptionally bad at geography…) So I wasn’t sure about how culturally acceptable it would be for a loud, overly friendly, small, blonde girl walking around taking pictures of Doha by night would go over. I now know better. Next time, I’ll do it without a second thought!

When purchasing the ticket I thought “what’s 14 hours anyway???”

Well I can now answer that question. 14 hours consisted of:

–          2 hours of wandering around aimlessly  “checking out the airport” – including scoping out the alcohol for bringing back with me on the way home

–          Figuring out where the gate was – this took a total of 10 minutes

–          Where the “sleeping area” was – DOHA airport gives blankets and has lounge seats available to use! Pretty awesome! THOUGH I would suggest brining an eye cover thingy cause it’s surrounded by windows.

–          Figuring out where to get our food vouchers (AMAZING – with Qatar airlines if you stay in Doha for over 5 hours (and every 5 hours after) you get a food voucher for some pretty ok curries)

–          Checking out the airport Mosques… Since I’ve never seen one it was interesting to take a look

–          Setting up on benches NOT in the sleeping area as the sleeping area was full

–          People watching (guessing where these people were coming from, since this was my first time in the “middle east” area it was amazingly cool to see so many diverse nations – since I’m a huge fan of people watching this was like a feast for my eyes and ears)

–          Moving to the sleeping area after being awoken by what felt like was 100 school children stampeding through the airport (actual number: 3, how can 3 kids make so much noise… God only knows)

–          Laying in sleeping area

–          Being awoken by helicopters putting on a morning sunrise show

–          Yelling at some guy for using skype in the sleeping zone

–          Sitting there satisfied with myself for about 15 minutes about what an amazing job I did by yelling at the guy being  rude… then realized I yelled at him and could have woken somebody up by doing that – fail

–          Pondering how amazing Thailand was going to be

–          Falling asleep for about 4 hours

–          Trying to find Alice and Kamil

–          Finding the bathrooms and attempting to make myself “look presentable for breakfast” or not terrifying for small children to look at J

–          Grabbing a VERY overpriced but well worth the effort coffee

–          More curry for breakfast (I’d skip the curry twice though… )

–          And then BAM out of nowhere the flight to Bangkok was fast approaching

For anyone who has a layover in the DOHA airport know this:

–          There is FREE wi-fi (it’s not the most amazing thing in the world but it’ll serve your surfing needs for sure

–          USE the sleeping area if you can it’s pretty comfy – just be aware that in the morning at around sunrise they have helicopters milling about

–          Coolest place to people watch

–          There are places to charge your electronics (as someone who is addicted to my laptop and other devices this was/is crucial for me)

–          Try the curry (especially if you get it for free) I’d say the vegetarian one as it’s a bit spicey and actually pretty tastey

–          For the American’s: there’s an A&W (doesn’t serve Root Beer – which is like the only reason I would go to A&W)

–          The Duty Free shop isn’t that good

–          DON’T sleep in the mosque as security goes in there quite frequently to check

–          WOMEN aren’t allowed in the main mosques there are special mosque’s for women

–          Bring ear plugs and eye cover thingies

–          There are water fountains everywhere so no need to worry

–          The coffee is quite good (that’s SUPER important)

–          If you are there for that  long GET a VISA and go check out the city

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What our plane looked like on the outside! Weather was amazing!Image

The food that was given to us for “free” with our food vouchers. I know it looks awful but was actually quite tasty! Image

I hope that Kamil doesn’t kill me for this one… but he does look quite precious sleeping. 🙂 This was the sleeping loungers provided to us including blankets! Image

The view from the eating area.Image

Welcome indeed!

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The city is seen from the whole airport and looks amazing. Next time VISA to go check it out!

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Boarding the plane was a fun experience as we got to take a bus to the entrance and got to see everything up close and personal.

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