Day 16

Day 16- Incheon

Honestly I’m not super positive about the days anymore. Back to back flights with little naps in between while shuffling along with a suitcase you tend to lose track of time. Add in a time zone change and your body clock is majorly confused. I know it’s early morning and I know I’m in Korea.

The very unfortunate thing I’ve come to realize is that changing airlines from Asia Air to Hawaiian Airlines means that in order for you to pick up your bags and recheck them in, you must exit the terminal. The terminal has the shops, the food, the services, the everything.

We grabbed our bags and after a full day of traveling we’re in no mood or condition to leave the airport- even for a hotel. THANKFULLY, outside of the terminal area in the “basement” there is a spa. On Air Spa provides guests with a change of clothes, towels, a warm and cool pool, a wet and dry sauna, lockers, naps rooms, and a lounge for 15,000 won. I misheard the lady at the information desk at 50,000 and almost missed out on this gem.

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I wish I could show you pictures and explain to you fully the amazingness of this spa but they had a very strict no photography policy. And I am one to bend the rules… but I would never risk being banned from this heaven on earth. There’s complimentary shower creams, hair products, face products, even cotton squares and q-tips!

The nap rooms and lounge has flat bean bag like things, mats, and block cushions for pillows. It was worth every single penny to wash up, rest up, and the noisiest thing there is suitcases rolling out as people leave. I would seriously consider bringing this kind of accommodation to Honolulu.

We killed a couple hours here and ate a good meal before we were able to check in to our flight. Almost there 👋🏻

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STEP

For those of you in the US traveling abroad with worried and overbearing mothers (jk mom) you should look into the STEP program to further let your government monitor your movements, AGAIN JUST KIDDING. NSA please don’t abduct me. Basically, you’re giving the US embassies abroad that you’re comin’ in hot and to keep an eye out for you in case things go south. It’s a good concept should a natural disaster strike or you need legal, medical, or financial help (WOAH). It’s relatively quick, plug in the dates, your passport ID number, give them your email, and a phone number to include you in the phone tree- should any travel alerts come up or information regarding your country of visit.

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Unfortunately, I experienced the timeliness and thoroughness of the US Embassy Jakarta. They emailed me notifying me about a suicide bombing in East Jakarta. Attached to the email were brief details of the attack and recommendations to double check travel plans and adjust accordingly. It also provided multiple resources, phone numbers, and websites to further follow updates or reach the your nearest embassy or Consulate General. I didn’t think I’d need it and signed up to placate my mother but will definitely keep this in mind for any other extended travels.

Day 11

Day 11- Kuala Lumpur/Denpasar

Early early morning as we navigate the massive airport here in Kuala Lumpur. 7am flight to Denpasar, Bali on Malindo Air. This has got to be one of the nicer and cleaner airlines we’ve flown so far. Flight attendants wear crisp white tops and bright beautiful geometric skirts and perfect hair. The aircraft is newer and for only a 3 hr flight were surprised there’s a screen on every seat.

A free meal of vegetarian curry and naan, I mentioned to Michael there was only a vegetarian option. The flight attendant overheard me and said oh it’s really good though. I said I was okay but idk bout him, jokingly side eyeing Michael. She just replied, it’s always the guys right 😉 I couldn’t help but laugh. Then she discretely offered him her crew meal of noodles which of course was way better!

When we arrived in Denpasar International Airport we were happy to see that immigration was almost nonexistent. You don’t need a visa and the officers check your passport and usher you through. A nice start to Indonesia.

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The taxi drivers on the other hand. Oh my. So aggressive. I had researched online to expect to pay about 80k rupiah to the general area of our hotel. The first driver who approached us said 215k and I said what?! She looked a little scared and offered 200k. And I said no. She then went down to 180k and I left. Little did I know… we walked down a ways and the next driver approached and said 300k. I said no and he tried again 250k. At this point I was wondering how good my research had been. The third driver the most persistent started again at 300k. I said no way inside was 180k. I was trying really hard to get it down to 150/160k and he’s rattling off oh airport parking, oh petrol, oh this and that. I said I’m not paying for parking! (That’s what I read online, don’t get suckered into paying all their fees). In the end he gave up and said okay 180,000 rupiah which is under $14 USD for a 30 min trip. Essentially I was tired and irritated over probably $6… but no one wants to feel taken advantage of! I think Michael felt sorry for them. My inner Chinese lady at the market came out today!

Day 10

Day 10- Ao Nang/Kuala Lumpur

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Okay for real, our last time in Ao Nang and bye bye Thailand.  I feel like I’ve been saying that for three days. Everything to see or do here is water oriented and I think we’re about waterlogged right now. We’ve swam, snorkled, been on the long tail boat, and kayaked so I think we hit all the main attractions. We missed Phi Phi Island due to the unpredictable weather but I imagine it’s like the other 82615183 other islands we saw. So last night we caught up on some Netflix français. Merci beaucoup Vanessa! PSA: remember to log out of your account.

So a quick brekkie, massage, lunch, shuttle, airport. Again the shuttle was about 30 min late but we got there in the half the time because the driver was driving like a maniac. Like Thailand maniac so US suicidal… can’t complain for 300 baht!

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Asiaair you sneaky bastards. Prebooking seats, meals, baggage, etc is clearly all the rage. You cater to those who preordered food first then go back along the aisle to sell the remaining meals. You repeatedly announce the ‘hot seats’ are for your premium guests. We get it 😂 we’re being cheap!

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Bout an hour and a half south we arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Ok. DMK, Thailand airport was ghetto. BKK, Thailand airport okay okay not bad 😉. Krabi, Thailand airport uhm did I miss it? Chiang Mai, Thailand airport o-k. KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA WHY ARENT WE TALKING ABOUT YOU? There’s literally a sign that says, ‘a mall with an airport’ and I think that’s pretty accurate. It feels like we’re in a full shopping mall with food courts and everything. We barely left the airport to check into a rinky dink hotel for the night. I’m exaggerating. The hotel is perfectly fine it’s just not like what we’ve been staying at (shout out to Sandy for choosing the best of the best for like $30 bucks a night!).

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Seriously I think we’d come back just to shop. Not to mention our USD to Malaysian ringgit is pretty damn strong. About 1:4 so if you get the chance, I’d say save your shopping for SE Asia. Wishing I really did leave more room for shopping 😛 Then again those baggage fees will blindside you like a linebacker when you don’t check beforehand haha whoops…

$3 upgrade

IMG_4906.JPGDo you want to know how to get the most bang for your buck when flying? No I don’t suggest first class but if you do have an extra 1k lying around by all means go for it. But honestly, honestly, $3 can improve your flying experience tenfold. Go out of your way before you flight and buy yourself a pack oreos, a box of chocolates, or any small token of appreciation for your flight crew aka your flight attendants. It doesn’t have to be anything big or fancy but I promise you it will change your life. They will make the difference between you having an extra soff to having extra comfort. But don’t take this the wrong way- I’m not saying a small snack will solve all the problems with flying, I’m just saying it will go a long way. Treat your crew with compassion and respect they will similarly take care of you. Say please and thank you and most importantly don’t touch anything you don’t have to in the bathroom it really is a disgusting place.