Saigon, Vietnam to Sydney, Australia

Saigon AirportAlthough we had two flights today, we expected a fairly short 11 hour transit; however, twas not to be. More than twenty four hours later, we finally arrived in Sydney. Fortunately our schedule had planned slippage at all critical points, so we went with the flow, completely stress free. Continue reading

Hong Kong, An Unexpected Overnight Stop

With only an hour between flights we expected the connection in Hong Kong would be tight; however, we hoped for more than four (4) minutes. Yes, we arrived at the gate in Hong Kong at 23:51 and our Sydney flight left at 23:55.

You guessed correctly, along with 4 others, we missed the flight.

Fortunately, I had researched the previous 3 days and noted that the Saigon to Hong Kong flight was routinely late. Therefore, we ensured our carry on luggage had the essentials required for an unexpected overnight stop.

Check out our next post on the overall journey from Saigon to Sydney for our hotel experience. Hint – this was a 5-star hotel that we wouldn’t give any stars.

Koh Samui, Thailand to Saigon, Vietnam

Cathay business podOur two weeks in Koh Samui, which included our son’s wedding is over and the next phase of our grand adventure takes us to Saigon, Vietnam. This is our final week before the world cruise, so we plan on having a quiet week, visiting with family.

As the crow flies, Koh Samui to Saigon is only 459 miles, but on a Oneworld Alliance ticket it took over 12 hours and almost 2,400 miles. Yes, it would be nice if a direct flight was available, but two benefits, make the circuitous travel more palatable. During layovers we use the comfortable business lounges and we rapidly accrue air miles with the business class bonus and a further 50% bonus, as BA Silver members. Continue reading

Cape Town to Koh Samui, Thailand

Cape Town AirportShortly after our final breakfast at the magnificent Victoria & Alfred Hotel, it was down to the lobby for our 08:30 pick-up and transit to Cape Town International Airport, about a 1/2 hr drive on this Monday long weekend. We had hoped they could check our suitcases directly to Koh Samui, but alas, twas not possible. Bangkok Airways is not a member of the One World Alliance, so our round the world flights take a sabbatical in Bangkok and thereafter we are a domestic connection to/from Koh Samui. Oh well, just means lots of walking in Bangkok and fortunately, we have plenty of time for the connection.

This is the worst of the flight segments on the entire adventure, with 3 flights and a middle of the night layover, over a full 24hr period; however, the first two are on Qatar, the world’s best or 2nd best airline. They tend to switch annually with Cathay Pacific for the # 1 or # 2 spot. Continue reading

We’re Off To Circumnavigate The Globe

world_map_ciaMuch has been written about round the world travels, with one of the earliest being the late 1800’s Jules Verne’s classic “Around the World in Eighty Days”, which details the wager and travels of Phileas Fogg. If it was possible to complete the journey in 80 days in the late 1800’s, surely we can beat that, but no, we are gone for a total of 262 days. However, in our defense, we are completing an easterly trip by flying and an additional westerly trip by cruise ship, plus 3 months in Australia.

Our flight was a late evening departure, so today was rather busy tying up loose ends, finishing the packing and getting those last minute cuddles and feeding with our grandson, who will be 11 months old when we return in December.

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Camera Tripod For Travelling

XC525 Tripod With the ever increasing limitations and baggage costs introduced by the airlines, who else has gone through the discussion on whether to take the tripod. Even with our RV travels I have considered leaving the tripod, but in the RV the issue is not so much with the weight, it is more where to store something that big.

I may not use the tripod as often as I should, but I really like having it available as an option, especially for those low light shots. My problem being that my current Manfrotto Classic, a basic professional quality tripod is both heavy and definitely not compact. So I need to research the market for what is available.

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Two Weeks to Departure

Round The World Flights & World Cruise

BA 747-400The planning is complete, flights, accommodations and rental cars are booked and the bills are paid, all with two weeks to spare. Sitting here in rainy Maple Ridge crafting this post, we are definitely conflicted, as on one hand we are eagerly counting down the days to departure, but we are also troubled by the thought of not seeing our new grandson and pets for 9 months. So two weeks from now, as we sit in the British Airways lounge at Vancouver Airport sipping a glass of wine, we will be excited to be finally embarking on the travels we have spent a few years planning, but also thinking of all our grandson’s firsts that we will miss, as he will be 11 months old when we return to Vancouver.