lodging in luang prabang

Jan 28th, 2005, 03:29 PM
  #21  
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UPDATE: ITINERARYuY: I made mistake. can't find that route, either. must;ve been thinking of REP - SIN. We're going to do it: BKK (4 days)-REP( 3 days)-BKK(overnight)-LPB (3 days)-Bkk (and then find the cheapest fare from BKK to SIN). Kathie, Isis, rhkkmk: any other suggestions for routing? Gotta send a check for the DIscovery Pass soon.
Janak626 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 03:35 PM
  #22  
 
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Huh? SEA IS the 3 letter airport designator for Seattle!
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Jan 28th, 2005, 04:24 PM
  #23  
 
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Indeed. I wondered who would catch that.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 04:27 PM
  #24  
 
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Janak, I read that SIlk Air would be starting a flight between LP and Singapore, but apparently it isn't on line yet. Given that it is not available, you might reverse REP and LPB, flying directly from REP to SIN. Otherwise, your plan is fine.
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Jan 28th, 2005, 05:42 PM
  #25  
 
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This is the e-mail address that I used for the Sala Prabang:
[email protected]
IsisMnroe is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 06:02 PM
  #26  
 
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kathie---i have noticed that bkk air flights to LP seem to be run by lao aviation....should i steer clear of this?? be honest...you always are...
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Jan 28th, 2005, 06:50 PM
  #27  
 
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Janak-I'm going to say something now about Silk Air. You should know, before you decide to use this carrier, that Silk Air had a deadly crash in Dec. 1997, a 737 from Jakarta to Singapore crashed on the island of Sumatra. Because it was a an American made Boeing aircraft, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated, and came to one conclusion: There was no mechanical failure; the pilot of the aircraft, concluded the NTSB had most likely deliberately crashed the aircraft as a suicide, because he had been demoted for having disconnected the cockpit voice recorder(CVR) on a previous flight, and had other heavy financial problems as well.

The NTSB was unable to find out what was going on in the cockpit just prior to the crash, because the CVR had been "intentionally" disconnected. Singapore Air, the parent co. of Silk Air, refused to accept or acknowledge the NTSB's findings-as a result, there have been a number of lawsuits filed in the wake of the crash. I have knowledge of what has happened in this case, and the facts, because a friend of mine was on one of the defense trial teams in one of a number of lawsuits arising out of this crash.

Myself, I would not fly them, because of the lack of acknowledgement on the part of Singapore Air concerning the systemic problems with the supervision, mgmt. and training of their flight crew-which points to a serious deficiency in their aviation operations; I know other people within the aviation community feel the same; but one must make up one's own mind on these matters.

If you wish to read more, type in "silk air crash" into Yahoo's search engine or Google.

As far as low-cost budget carriers in Asia, there is absolutely no correlation between "low-cost" and "unsafe" - all carriers, including those low-cost operators in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc., must follow the exact same rules and regulations as the larger carriers-all of the Asian countries are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and as such, they must follow the standarized regulations on the operation and safety of aircraft.
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Jan 28th, 2005, 06:59 PM
  #28  
 
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I typed too quickly without reading through my post: the first paragraph should read: the NTSB concluded that the Silk Air pilot most likely had deliberately crashed the aircraft in order to commit suicide-
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Jan 28th, 2005, 07:02 PM
  #29  
 
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To IsisMnroe-very glad you liked the Sala! Makes me want to go back to Laos with all this talk going on!

Now we've discovered India, I'm hooked so will try to see much as we can before it evolves into something else! All the very best & happy travelling!
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Jan 28th, 2005, 08:04 PM
  #30  
 
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spygirl---just wondering...would you also refuse to fly singapore air????

it's only considered to be the best airline in the world??? just wondering... what did the state say about all of this??
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Jan 28th, 2005, 08:31 PM
  #31  
 
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Spygirl, I know the info about that SIlk Air crash very well. Silk Air isn't the only airline to have a pilot intentionally crash a plane to commit suicide (think of the Egypt Air Crash, and before that the Moroccan Air crash). In none of these instances did the airline publically acknowledge that was what had happened, in part due to cultural constraints (the stigma of suicide). That said, I know that the most common causes of air crashes are 1. pilot error 2. aircraft mechanical problems due to incorrectly or inadequately preformed maintainence. Thus, I always do research on these factors.

NTSB does not have jurisdiction over regional Asian Airlines. The standards they must meet are different than the NTSB standards.

GIven my research, I fly Silk Air with confidence.
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Jan 28th, 2005, 09:37 PM
  #32  
 
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Silk Air is a subsidiary of Singapore Air; its regional carrier. It is by no means the same carrier, however, there are mgmt., more importantly problematic governmental issues (Singapore is the national carrier) in common, and so in that sense, Singapore Air is by no means off the hook.

You are apparently unaware of the Singapore Airlines crash -a 747 no less- a little over 4 years ago in Taipai-87 people dead, on a flight bound for LAX. Again, as with Silk Air, Singapore officials came out fighting to dispute their carriers' fault on the report-Taiwan's aviation investigation board concluded that the primary cause of the crash was, not unexpectedly, since it was a take-off crash, pilot error, with contributing factors of poor airport signage/lighting. Singapore refused to accept that "insult" and said it was "entirely" the fault of Taiwan's airport, and its lack of warning about closed runways/taxiways that led to the crash.

Singapore's conclusions on the crash are not at all accepted by the world aviation community as valid. It was "egregious" pilot error to attempt to take off on a runway that was closed, and not ascertain position before take-off. The pilot error was attributed to a "tunnel vision" effect-which is a whole study-subject unto itself. This is a systemic/operational problem of the airline. Taiwanese officials decided after much protest from the international pilots union not to prosecute the captain for "professional negligence" under Taiwanese law. The pilots in question were suspended from flying into Taiwan for at least a year. Singapore made a formal apology, and settled with the surviving family members.

I could go on. The nasty tailscrapes caused by an inexperienced pilot that ripped the underbelly of a couple of aircraft fairly recently does not give great comfort.

Rhk-surely, you are not so naive as to think that a carrier that has a "reputation" for great customer service and plush aircraft does not or cannot concurrently have serious systemic problems, problems that are not readily apparent, and that can lead to tragedy. Swiss Air is a good example of what happens to carriers with great reputations and good safety records- along came the crash in Nova Scotia, and a world of mgmt./operational problems were uncovered, problems that were causally linked to the crash. The civil action filed by the family members against Swiss Air are currently in settlement negotiations-the carrier had real liability issues arising out of that tragic crash.

Things to keep in mind: The "world's best carrier" as you put it, doesn't really mean much on a substantive/systemic level...although a good safety record is a fairly good indicator of how well run an airline is, even those carriers with good safety reputations are not fail safe-said good reputation is no predictor of future performance.

And no, if given a choice, I would most likely choose not to fly Singapore.
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Jan 29th, 2005, 08:38 PM
  #33  
 
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Kathie-

Your statement about the NTSB is incorrect. The NTSB has no "jurisdiction" to regulate any air carriers, US or otherwise. Its sole statutory mandate is to investigate transportation accidents, and to determine probable cause. The NTSB are required to investigate all air carrier accidents anywhere in the world if it involves a US certificated aircraft (such as Boeing or Mcdonnell-Douglas).

On the contrary, it is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that has sole authority to regulate aviation safety operations of all civil aircraft within its jurisdiction. And its jurisdictional reach extends all over the world, to any foreign carrier that flies into or out of the US, or has a last point of departure to the US-all are mandated to follow US safety regulations, or they are not permitted to fly into the US. FAA is also statutorily required to inspect every single airport around the world if there is a last point of departure to the US.

Again, you can believe whatever you want, but the idea that low cost Asian carriers are somehow less safe than major carriers because their fares are lower and they have less operating capital has absolutely no basis in fact. In this country, Southwest Airlines is a perfect example of a low-cost no-frills carrier that has been operating for over 30 years now without a single crash resulting in a fatality. By contrast, Singapore Air is a perfect example of the fact that excellent customer service reputation and a brand new fleet of a/c does not correspond in any way with an excellent safety record/mgmt., indeed, far from it.

Low-cost Asian carriers are subject to the exact same safety regulations as JAL, Singapore or Thai Airways, and all Asian carriers are subject to the same standarized aviation regulations as set forth under the UN organization ICAO. There have been to date no serious safety issues with any of the low-cost carriers operating in Asia since 2001.

As far as Silk Air, there is a world of difference between that crash and Egypt Air. Singapore Air's mgmt. were on full notice about the emotional and financial problems concerning the pilot in question and willfully ignored them-until it was too late. By contrast, it was only after the Egypt Air crash that problems with the pilot came to light, even then, the causal factors were unclear.

I'm not trying to convince anyone not to fly a particular carrier, people will always do what they want to do, regardless of warnings. However, it is important, I think, to be familiar with the accident record of those Asian carriers you may fly, as major Asian carriers as a whole have a higher than average aircraft accident fatality rate. Such knowledge can help determine what your comfort level may be in choosing to fly with one air carrier over another.
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Jan 30th, 2005, 03:45 AM
  #34  
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SPYGIRL: thanks for the information about SILK AIR and the ensuing Pandora's box that was opened about airline safety resords. As it happens, we are have to go back to BKK to get to SIN for two reasons: we could not book in/out of REP except to make it our fist leg (I think its lunar new year in Cambodia as well as Laos when we are travelling) and secondly the cost from PNH to SIN for two is $1100!!!! from BKK, its under $400 for two. As it is, both flights arrive SIN at the same time given that we have a 3 hour layover in BKK before our SIN flight leaves As for Silk Air: from REP to PNH there is a 1 hour layover and from PNH to SIN there is a 3 hour layover in Vietnam. Thank yoi for all the good advice. Now I need to put up a posting for what to do in TWO days in BKK and TWO days in Chaing Mai. thanks Janak626
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Jan 30th, 2005, 10:26 AM
  #35  
 
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You're welcome, Janak. hopefully, you found the discussion somewhat illuminating. And if you do a search in the box on Chiang Mai and Bangkok, you will find many many recent posts on what to do and see there. As far as BKK-I would suggest first starting with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha/Grand Palace/Wat Pho-that should dazzle your senses for a bit!
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Jan 30th, 2005, 10:31 AM
  #36  
 
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gpada ---i told you so...thanks kathie...
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Jan 30th, 2005, 01:58 PM
  #37  
 
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the soapbox has now been put away
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jan 30th, 2005, 02:35 PM
  #38  
 
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Bob-I hate it when you're right. Of course given your political leanings, I suspect you'll always be right.
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Jan 30th, 2005, 03:19 PM
  #39  
 
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Hey Hawaiian traveler-no one's forcing you or anyone else to read this thread -if it bores you, or you just simply don't like it, then move on to something else!
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Jan 30th, 2005, 03:49 PM
  #40  
 
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hawaiian---most of us value your imput to this forum
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