01 Jun
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (94 posts)
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

15 December 2018

The end of the trip



13 December

Well that was unnecessarily stressful. On our way from Da Nang to Bangkok a text message popped up from Air Astana, who are flying us from Bangkok back to London via a stop in Astana. Change of schedule to our first flight: it’s going to Astana 4 hours later.

Which means we’ll miss our connection by a comfortable 2 hours.

So from a hotel in Bangkok I called Air Astana customer services in Astana and trying to find out what their solution to this would be. “You can fly to London the next day, on the 15th.” Ooooo-kay, so you’re going to book us into a hotel in Astana, provide us food and warm clothing, and sort out whatever visa is needed to enter Kazakhstan for a day? “Hold on, I will speak to my manager…”

“Okay, so you can fly to Astana tomorrow on the rescheduled flight. Then at midnight you can get on a plane to Seoul, which will arrive in the morning and then there is a flight from Seoul to London…” Hang on, I’m gonna stop you right there. Do you have a map to hand? Can you see how insane that is? How about we just cancel our flight and get a refund…?

And although it took a few hours to process, that’s exactly what they’ve done. We found seats still available on a direct British Airways flight and accepted the extra £200+ just for the sake of getting ourselves home as planned!

So our seven week break is over. We’ve explored the Philippines and Vietnam, plus a quick trip down the Mekong to Laos’ most charming city (so it’s said and I’ve no reason to disbelieve it). The Philippines seems to be the least exotic country in SE Asia, has the least interesting cuisine by a long chalk, and a very striking variation in income between Manila and everywhere else. Vietnam has only been welcoming tourists for a couple of decades, and it shows. It’s a country with deep history and culture, but recent history has prevented it from modernising as fast as, say, Thailand. At least the food is good.

And now we’re headed home. Until next time!

Dragon reflection

Dragon reflection

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