This afternoon I will be departing on my long-anticipated award trip to Southeast Asia and China.
First, my final trip of the year to Chicago on United, followed by an overnight trip on Lufthansa to Munich. I’ve got over six hours in Munich where my brother and I will take full advantage of the first class lounge and also meet up with a friend in the city.
Then it is off to Bangkok via Istanbul on Turkish Air. While it would have been nice to have a chauffeured tour of Istanbul on TK’s dime and a stay at the Park Hyatt Istanbul, my brother and I spent four days in Istanbul in 2008 and will not be leaving the airport this trip.
Once in Bangkok, we plan to have an adventure getting to Angor Wat via the overland route before returning for a day in Bangkok. We’ve also planned a one-day side trip to Ho Chi Minh City to get a brief taste of Vietnam and sample the Park Haytt Saigon.
On New Year’s Day we will fly to Beijing (after our massages in the Thai Airways First Class lounge) and spend a few days in China’s capital city, with a stay at the Park Hyatt Beijing.
Thereafter, we’ll travel by train to Xi’ian to examine the Terracotta Army and other points of interest before taking another train to Shanghai. In Shanghai, we’ll only have two days, but plan to hit the main points of interest while relaxing at the Park Hyatt Shanghai.
Finally, we’ll fly the long way back to Southern California, with an overnight stay in Frankfurt between longhaul flights on Swiss and Lufthansa.
I am going to use this week and a half to take a break from blogging (though I may not be able to resist a few updates now and then) but I have been working feverishly over the last week to write up a number of hotel and flight reviews as well as a trip report on my October journey to Montserrat and a couple of TSA rants. Although I’d like to say I’ll read and address all of your comments when I return, something tells me I’ll be checking in every day.