Review: China Southern Airlines

When the cheapest flight from Vancouver to Vietnam was on an airline that I’d never heard of… I was skeptical. In the weeks leading up to my flight on China Southern, I read “horror” stories on the Internet of the conditions and service. So it isn’t surprising that I had low expectations. When I received notification of a schedule change resulting in an over night in Guangzhou… I began preparing myself for the worst.

But, in reality the experience was actually quite enjoyable. The aircraft for my 13 hour flight was clean and modern. Even 9 hours in, the bathrooms looked barely used. The flight attendants were kind and frequently brought beverages including complimentary wine. At my seat I received a pillow and blanket, as well as my own personal entertainment system. The most stressful part of my trip was selecting which movie to watch from the dozens of options.

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The part of the trip that I was most concerned about was getting my 24 hour transit visa and figuring out where I needed to go. I had originally planned to do a whole blog post on the process to help other travellers. Entirely unnecessary. As soon as I got off the plane I was guided step by step thanks to the lovely staff of China Southern. They honestly babysat me… Even providing me a map of the terminal. For a navigationally challenged traveller… This was a best case scenario. I would have had to try pretty hard to get lost.

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The flight boarded efficiently, left on time, and put me up in a free hotel as a result of the schedule change, including complimentary airport shuttle and breakfast. The trip was really as good as I could have hoped for… So all you picky flyers out there… Chill out. You don’t need to spend $2000 to get from A to B or in this case Vancouver to Vietnam.

China Southern

 

 

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Departure Lounge: Vietnam Itinerary

Departure Lounge: Vietnam Itinerary

It’s time to get back in the saddle again! Or perhaps more appropriately, the back pack straps! I am a mere 3 days away from my inaugural trip to Southeast Asia (aka backpacker paradise!) and my first solo trip. I am both excited and nervous about spending two weeks in my own company, but I’m trusting Adventurous Kate’s promise that solo travellers are never alone!

Some of you may be curious about my travel itinerary for this trip so I thought I would include a brief synopsis of my plans.

vietnam

Itinerary

June 21-22:Vancouver, Canada to Guangzhou, China (next day arrival and overnight)

June 23: Guangzhou, China to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

June 24: Ho Chi Minh City

June 25-26: Nha Trang

June 27-28: Hoi An

June 29-30: Hue

July 1: Halong Bay / Bai Chay

July 2-3: Hanoi

July 4: Hanoi, Vietnam to Vancouver, BC (via Guangzhou, China)

I have some idea of what I want to do in these cities but I’m mostly looking forward to seeing what each day brings. That being said, these are the activities I am most looking forward to:

  • The infamous Nha Trang Boat Trip (aka booze cruise). Apparently, it’s the most fun you’ll have in Southeast Asia!
  • Getting custom-made clothing in Hoi An.
  • Touring the caves and waters of Halong Bay.
  • Eating as much PHO (pronounced fa) as possible… and learning the basics of Vietnamese cuisine.

I am hoping to post updates as I travel but that will mostly depend on my Internet access. Get ready for more fun updates to come!