Secrets of a Frequent Traveler

There are so many ways to make a flight more pleasant. Over the years, I’ve uncovered things by happenstance and I was well aware that long flights with neither breaks nor little bits of comfort would make traveling unbearable.

As I try to visit more distant lands, the time to get there and the extra legs of flights add up and get to be extremely tiring. This time, the journey to Bhutan took 48 hours (albeit with a 12 hour sightseeing layover in South Korea in each direction). The following is a brief rundown of how the legs of the flight went:

Take taxi out of NYC at 11PM Arrival at JFK at 11:30PM Flight from JFK to Seoul at 1AM (15 hours in flight) Arrival at Incheon Airport (South Korea) at 4:30AM Departure from South Korea to Bangkok at 7:20PM Departure from Bangkok to Paro, Bhutan at 6:30AM Total: 48 hours in transit, 60 hours before I would have a chance to sleep (since I needed to sight-see all day in Bhutan)

With 3 legs and lots of layover time, a traveler must have a plan and lots of creativity to have a satisfying transit.

First, it’s always helpful […read more…]

The DMZ

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.

Today, I got a chance to go to the demilitarized zone or the DMZ. The Korean airport is so ahead of the game in terms of technology and service. It has everything you can think of–shopping, movie theatres, a botanical garden and best of all, a transit tour office. This tour office arranges tours based on the length of your layover. We had planned on doing the Seoul City tour this time and then the DMZ on the way back, but as it turned out, two other people decided to go to the DMZ today which lowered our costs considerably (a 7 hour tour for $60, instead of $100).

As always, the travelers we met were quite interesting. One guy was from Houston, and just moved back after 6 years of living in Indonesia and was looking for a new home in South Korea. The other guy was an Indian, living in America, working for a French company, traveling all over the world, looking for investment opportunities.

When we arrived near the DMZ, the five of us had to switch from our minibus into a special tour bus. Ours […read more…]

Korean Air and Airplane Dining

Let’s face it. There is most certainly a stigma about airplane food. I’m currently in flight to South Korea, about 12 hours in toward my destination. So far, two full meals were served – one dinner about an hour after we were up in the air, which was about 2AM and a breakfast that was served a couple of hours ago. I chose sleep over the breakfast, so I can only say that when I lazily opened my eyes and drifted back into consciousness, it looked like a very western meal (yogurt included) and smelled like bacon and eggs.

I will, however, describe what I had for my dinner because it was fun to put together and tasty to eat. I was given a choice of beef and potatoes or bibimbap. I went with the latter-after all, I am on my way to South Korea. If you’ve never tried bibimbap, I recommend it. It’s as common in the Korean cuisine as chicken fried rice is in the Chinese cuisine (at least the Chinese-American cuisine!)

The photo that I took with my iPhone shows you how the bibimbap comes. The bowl on the right is filled with a variety of […read more…]