As the year changed to 2018, the trip to Japan and Bhutan comes into focus. The start of the flight search begins in earnest. Daily updates come across my laptop from a few websites: Kayak, Vayama, Cheap-O-Air, and Justfly. You can find a wide variety of web apps and tools to track down the cheapest flights; in fact, that’s not the challenge of traveling to Asia. The challenge is finding the right combination of flights on the best airlines.
Out of LAX, China Eastern has a very low price for flights to Asia. The problem is that the airline has pretty awful ratings out in the internet land. On the website Skytraxx, many negative reviews of the airline abound. I’ve been hesitant to take the cheapest path to Asia considering the timing involved in travel across the globe! One missed or delayed flight can completely transform a trip the point that the huge chunks of travel have to be changed.
For this summer’s trip, I’ve nailed down a few pieces which include a trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima via bullet train and ferry. The visit to Hiroshima should be on everyone’s list of places to see. A visit to this city offers understanding of the destruction that came with the atomic bomb and the suffering of the individuals who faced that trauma. This awareness is an important part of understanding world history and the significance of the bomb in defining U.S. and Japanese policy.
For our Thailand piece of travel, we will be leaving the city via the Don Mueang International Airport. We will stay across the street from the airport and fly direct to Osaka, Kansai Airport. The nice part of flying into Osaka is that we can take a very short train ride into Kyoto (just 45 minutes) as opposed to the 3.5 hour train ride from Tokyo. I’ve been to both Narita and Kansai, and prefer Kansai as a way to reach the southern part of Japan quickly.
Finally, in terms of Bhutan, our plans are coming together. If things work in our favor, we will travel to Mongar and Lhuntse in the far eastern part of Bhutan. That trip will depend on road conditions, road construction, and time….going anywhere in the country takes time on the road…winding around the mountainside, to villages and communities far from the cities of Paro and Thimphu. The drive and the distance IS worth it as we experience the country in a way few folks have the chance to see.
If you are on the trip and reading this blog, it’s time to get things organized; passports, vaccinations, etc. Things move quickly this Spring and before you know it, we will be flying across the globe!