Asia

Tag Archives for Asia.

My First Cebu Pacific Flight

Having tried Philippine Airlines for the first time last week, I was determined to try their fast growing competitor Cebu Pacific. Especially, when I was flying from their own hub. Booking: 2/10 Booking with Cebu Pacific was one of the most mind-blowing frustrating experiences of my life. The website froze seven times in mid-booking over three days! I re-booted my computer multiple times and came back to the website. In frustration, I contacted Cebu Pacific who suggested I did not know what I was doing! Having convinced them that I was a tech savvy frequent…

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World’s longest flight in search of a reason -Emirates delays Panama…again

In the world of airlines, having the longest flight seems to be the holy grail of marketing. I do not know why anyone would think it is a good thing to celebrate sitting for over 16 hours scrunched up in a seat with 31 inches of leg room surrounded by people who have not washed for almost a day. For me that would mean four hours of computer work, a novel and a dozen episodes of Big Bang Theory! True, many First Class travellers would relish the chance to extend their cushioned comfort! Years ago,…

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Standing Room Section for Planes? Will it fly?

A paper published this week concludes that a cabin dedicated to standing only passengers “has a potential to be applied by low-cost airlines servicing short-haul flight markets.” Sounds like just the recipe for Ryanair, Spirit Airlines and Air Asia! It brings a whole new meaning to the term “cattle class“! F. I. Romli et al in the International Journal of Engineering and Technology, suggest that by installing a “standing seat“, airlines could fit 21 per cent more passengers into a cabin. The distance between seats could be reduced from the usual 30″ to a mere 23″. By removing…

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Eating Street Food

One of the guys at work said to me today: “you don’t eat street food do you?: I nodded enthusiastically but I said “I have some rules“. I have eaten soup surrounded by rubbish and dogs in Cambodia, squatted with locals in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, shared falafels in Jordan* and snaffled pork rolls in Portland, Oregon. For a couple of dollars I have eaten like a king in cities across the globe! My tips: I take time to adjust to the local cuisine Drinking the local beer or eating local yoghurts…

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Being in Busy Bangkok

“you’re going to Thailand…in a coup?” My friends were incredulous. After all news of a coup conjures up images of danger, disorder and degeneration. My friends were not alone in their fears. Tourism arrivals fell 20% in the first week after the Thai coup, some airlines have canceled  flights into Bangkok and most tourist spots are way less busy. The capital itself is operating pretty normally, the army presence is minimal and apart from the curfew (which has now been lifted in some beach side areas) tourists have been largely unaffected. Remember, this is not the first…

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Riding the Yangon Circle Train

  I have been wanting to ride this train for years.  The Yangon Circular Railway is a British built train line that connects Yangon Central station (pictured above) with inner city suburbs, impoverished towns and semi- country villages in a 46 kilometre (28.5 mile) long loop with 39 stations. Trip Adviser users rate it as the seventh best attraction in Yangon with people saying “a trip of a life time” and  “Excellent way to watch everyday life in yangon“.   Some of the key stations with close by attractions include: Pagoda Road for Bogyoke Market and Holy…

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Martial Law in Thailand- Staying Safe [Updated]

Update: Thursday 22nd May, 2014 16:30h  Local Time : The Situation in Thailand has changed and the army has taken full control dismissing the government. Its food is unparalleled, beaches beautiful, people lovely, shopping bargains superb and reputation for wild and fun times unsurpassed. Sadly Thailand also has a history and a culture for military interventions for nine decades. According to media sources, the Royal Thai Army declared martial law nationwide at 3am Tuesday 20 May local time (Monday, 19 May: 8pm GMT or 1pm US West Coast time).  Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said the…

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Inappropriate Words?

The tourists stood gazing at the Bagan, Myanmar sunset. The ball of fiery orange turned more and more red as it slid down the sky. The colours reflected on the stone and wood temples and pagodas that spread across the plains. The gold on the roofs sparkled in the light. Faintly a star started to emerge. The hairs on the backs of the watchers tingled at the sensations: colour, noise and smells of this ancient, magical, holy place. All were entranced. Well almost all. The young Australian tourist turned to her companion and loudly screeched…

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Visiting Myanmar Reflections and Advice

  “This is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know about.” Rudyard Kipling, 1889 My 59th country was the mysterious land of Myanmar (Burma). This country has been cut off from the world for most of it’s existence, more lately by an inward focussed military regime. Sadly that regime has seen one of the richest countries in Asia slide into poverty. Average GDP per person is a mere $1000 per annum with a massive gap between people at the top and the bottom of the tree. Yet Burma was rich. The temples…

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Road to Mandalay

  “For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say: ‘Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!’” Despite writing this very famous poem, Rudyard Kipling never stepped foot in Mandalay. This city 716 km (445 miles) north of Yangon (previously known as Rangoon) was the capital of Myanmar (Burma) from 1857 to 1885. At that time,  the British annexed the country , exiled the royal family, made the country part of India and moved the capital to Rangoon. As per usual, with every city I visit I rate the city in comparison…

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