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Asia sounds so interesting- but 23 hours in the air?

Asia sounds so interesting- but 23 hours in the air?

Oct 19th, 2001, 11:32 AM
  #1  
Cindy
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Asia sounds so interesting- but 23 hours in the air?

Recently I have read about some incredible specials to Singapore and Thailand, from the USA. There are some of the packages out there that we could fly from our home in Chicago to Singapore, tour the area and stay at four star hotels for two weeks for under $1300 a piece.(With no stop overs allowed). To top that off we could get double miles, which would give us 40,000 miles apiece for the trip. That is incredible deal!

There is one problem- I can not even think about spending 23 hours straight in airports and airplanes. The trip to Singapore is so long. Chicago to Toyko 13 hours, then we would sit in the Toyko airport for 4 hours before going on ANOTHER airplane for 6 hours.

Fodorites, tell me how does anyone make such a long trip without going insane?
 
Oct 19th, 2001, 12:09 PM
  #2  
Kathie
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The way I do it: I use my frequent flier miles to upgrade from coach to business class. Business class has enough room and service to make the flight tolerable - even pleasant. Yes 23 hours is a long time, but once you're there, well, you're in Asia - my favorite part of the world!
 
Oct 19th, 2001, 01:31 PM
  #3  
lynn
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Cindy -

Asia is also our (my husband and I) favorite part of the world. We love Europe for some of the things it offers but keep going back to Asia again and again. In the last 4 years, we've been to Europe 2 times and Asia 4 times!

We get through the flight by booking the bulkhead seat and taking Zolpidem. A great sleeping medicine that only lasts for about 4-5 hours and does not leave you groggy or feeling weird. It's great.

If you do the trip, I HIGHLY recommend doing Thailand. 2 weeks in Singapore is simply too much.

Go for Bangkok and Chiang Mai or Bangkok and a southern beach city. That would give you a nice variety offer some of the best bargains around.

The shopping in Thailand in much better than in Singapore. The feeling in Singapore is much more westernized and while you'd be somewhere different than home, I think Thailand is more exotic.

Also, the taxis in Thailand are half the price as those in Singapore and in Singapore, you often have to stand in line to get one. In Thailand, you just stand on the sidewalk and wave on down. I like that much better!

Also, the heat and humidity in Singapore is stiffling. It's plenty hot in Thailand but alot more suffocating in Singapore.

Go for Thailand!

Lynn
 
Oct 19th, 2001, 04:07 PM
  #4  
scigirl
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23 hours is a long time - but sleep and reading and thinking about the trip will fill it up. Plus international flights (if you haven't been on one before) have more leg room than most domestic flights in the US. It does make a difference not to be so cramped up. I flew from Honolulu to Beijing this summer (9 hrs to Japan, another 3 on to Beijing, plus layover time) and last year from Honolulu to Paris (Honolulu to LA, layover, than non-stop to Paris.) At a certain point the flight just becomes 'long' and the exact number of hours doesn't matter.

Upgrading to business class is a great idea if you have the miles. Remember, you'll probably sleep a lot of the first leg of the flight anyhow.

Asia is great. China by far is one of the most interesting places I've traveled. And the recent fare specials to Asia can't be beat. As Lynn says, go for it!
 
Oct 19th, 2001, 08:08 PM
  #5  
Pas
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Many Thais and other Asians might suggest meditation and inner peace is all that is required.
 
Oct 20th, 2001, 02:40 AM
  #6  
Cindy
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Thanks for the responses so far. We are planning on flying to Singapore and then make our way up to Thailand by train. I understand that Singapore is worth 4 days at best. Thanks for the advice regarding the sleeping pill.
 
Oct 20th, 2001, 09:05 PM
  #7  
Jen
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Depending on the airline, you can arrange a layover once on the Asian side of the Pacific. We flew from Vancouver on Japan Airlines - it was 10 hours to Narita. Had a good night's sleep, and then 7.5 more hours to KL (a bit more to Singapore). Helped to start getting rid of the jet lag before we arrived, and broke up the flight into managable bits.

Then again, I think there is something to be said about just getting it all over with, too.

Japan Airlines planes are CRAMPED, too, so get there early to get a seat with more leg room, if you fly with them.
 
Oct 21st, 2001, 12:18 PM
  #8  
Sheri
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I think going straight through without stopping for at least 24 hours resting in a hotel, is basically impossible. To long a trip. Unless you are in first class sleeping away on strong sleeping pills.
 
Oct 31st, 2001, 12:45 PM
  #9  
Marnie
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Sleep, sleep, sleep. That's what I did and the time just flew by. Once you get to Asia you will be glad you did it.
 
Oct 31st, 2001, 09:22 PM
  #10  
lynn
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Sheri -

No need for first class. Bulkhead seating if you can swing it and a little Ambien. Works like a charm and no icky after-effects.

Lynn
 
Nov 1st, 2001, 10:05 AM
  #11  
cindy
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Yes, bulkhead seating is a great idea but you have to be careful. I flew to Malaysia a few years ago when my daughter was working there. I went from Toronto to LA, and at LAX the ticket agent at the Malaysia Airlines desk suggested bulkhead seating so that I would have more room for the upcoming 13-hour flight, or whatever it was. I agreed. Turned out that most of the legroom space in that particular seat was taken up by the airplane door. I had to sit with my knees practically up to my chest (I was in the window seat) while the guy next to me snored happily all the way to Tokyo. On the way back, I did upgrade to business class from Kuala Lumpur to LA, and felt that it was a good investment.
 
Nov 1st, 2001, 04:54 PM
  #12  
lynn
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Cindy -

What you got was exit row, not bulkhead. And what you just stated is exactly why I don't like exit row seats.

The bulkhead is behind the service areas or bathrooms. You have many more inches of leg room and if you're short like me (5'5") you can prop your feet on the wall. Socks only!

Lynn
 
Nov 1st, 2001, 06:12 PM
  #13  
cindy
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Lynn - yes, I know that now. The person who was advising me about seat selection did refer to it as the bulkhead, and I anticipated the situation you describe and instead got exit row. Never again! I'm the same height as you and rarely have to struggle for leg room, but I did that time.
 
Nov 1st, 2001, 06:31 PM
  #14  
Ross
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I've been making the round trip from the midwest to Hong Kong for 11 years, and I'm 6'5", so I've got strong feelings on this topic!!

To Cindy: I know that seat in the exit row!! I've been stuck with it before (once, before I learned to look out for it) and it's like the medieval cell of little ease! I'd rather have an ordinary seat in the middle of a row than that one.

On the whole, I suffer on any flight in which I can't get a good exit row or bulkhead seat.

I've learned that you just have to make up your mind to suck it up on the flight because you know it's worth it to get there. If you allow yourself to become one of those people for whom the petty inconveniences of conveyance outweigh the rewards of reaching and exploring your destination, then it's unlikely you'll enjoy most Asian countries much, since travel in Asia will acquaint you will all manner of petty logistical annoyances.

I think, however, that you'll be surprised at what you can in fact endure. As several other posters have mentioned, it's a state of mind issue. If you can achieve a kind of indifference to time (I read the fattest possible potboiler novels to do this) then 23 hours is 17 hours is 21 hours. Once you've passed the half-day threshhold, it doesn't matter much.

Hope this helps, and that you have a superb introduction to Asia. My guess is you won't regret those flights!
 

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