Steve's China Blog

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Plan E

I think I have all of my airline and hotel reservations done for my winter vacation. Since the cost of airline tickets went way up in the last week for flights from Australia to Singapore that part of the trip got changed, so now I will go to Hong Kong for a few days instead of Singapore.

I think the prices will even out some since it is cheaper to fly to Hong Kong, but will cost more to visit there. Anyways, I would prefer to spend more money on the ground sightseeing and stuff then spend more money on airfare. The flight is also a lot shorter to Hong Kong (and then back to ChengDu too). So, now the plan is to fly to New Zealand for Christmas, then fly to Australia for New Year's, and then a few days in Hong Kong.

I would have preferred to buy all of the airline tickets from a Chinese travel agent, since I can usually get a really good discount price, but the service is not that great. I am buying the airline tickets from ChengDu to Shanghai, Shanghai to New Zealand, and Hong Kong to ChengDu from a Chinese travel agent and the discount on those range anywhere from 15 to 35 percent compared to how much I would have to pay in the US.

The tickets from New Zealand to Australia and from Australia to Hong Kong I had to buy online via Expedia. Before I could buy those though I had to put money on my Bank of China credit card. They don't give most people a decent size credit limit (probably a good thing), but is a pain to deal with when you want to buy something big. Of course, while I was waiting for the money to be posted to my credit card the prices of the airline tickets went up.

I had TUI make the reservations for the resort in Australia. I had to go to my bank, withdraw the cash to pay for the trip, and then go to their bank to transfer the money to their account. Yeah, Bank of China doesn't like to transfer money to other Chinese banks. Great service, huh? Actually, dealing with the bank on this and putting money on my credit card was much easier than I had expected. I went to the main branch for Sichuan province and there were not many people there and got everything done in less than two hours. I only had to take one aspirin afterwards.

I got my tourist visa for Australia online, and I do not need a visa for New Zealand or Hong Kong, so that is all taken care of. The only complication I can foresee now is that the travel agent will deliver my ticket for ChengDu to Shanghai to me, but the other two tickets I bought in China I have to pickup at the airport when I get to Shanghai. Hopefully nothing will go wrong, but who knows? Murphy is everywhere here.

2 Comments:

  • Going by yourself?

    By Anonymous Les, at 12:14 PM  

  • Yes. Going by myself. Phyllis might meet me in Hong Kong for a little while. She lives in Shenzhen, which is very close by.

    By Blogger Steve Harms, at 4:38 PM  

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