Overseas Travel

Do a trip report here....go to another city and want to relate it to what KC is doing right or could do better? Give us a summary in here.
ignatius
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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby ignatius » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:37 am

@ignatius, I really liked Lisbon in the three or four days I was there and actually had the opposite experience that you did,


yeah, i wanted to stop short of not recommending lisbon as it was only a 2 night visit.  of places i've been around europe, i'd hit others before lisbon though.  could be i missed the better parts. it certainly didn't suck and i'm glad i went.

with the state of economy in portugal, they need more tourism.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby Highlander » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:28 pm

ignatius wrote:yeah, i wanted to stop short of not recommending lisbon as it was only a 2 night visit.  of places i've been around europe, i'd hit others before lisbon though.  could be i missed the better parts. it certainly didn't suck and i'm glad i went.

with the state of economy in portugal, they need more tourism.


While I am glad I went to Lisbon, it would not be in my top 5 if I knew I was just going to have limited time in Europe.  It's a great place to visit but there are places I enjoyed more and I had many opportunities living there 11 years so I eventually got around to Portugal.  I actually enjoyed the countryside north of Lisbon more than Lisbon itself, a lot of history, interesting scenery, interesting land use and some beautiful cities and towns.  I particularly liked Tomar.   I also enjoyed partaking in Port Wine.  I never liked it until I got to Portugal, go figure.



phuqueue wrote:Thanks a ton for the info, I'd been kind of looking around on the Icelandic embassy website and their official tourism site and places like that but coming up empty.  I googled around a bit but never really know how much to trust random sites that come up so I'm glad to get it from someone who knows from experience.


I HIGHLY recommend getting the most recent version of Lonely Planet.  Of all the guidebook, LP has the most relevant practical information and also the widest range of hotel and restaurant suggestions both in cost and genre.  Not to sound like an ad but LP was my constant companion everywhere I went in Europe.  

Another note about Scandinavia driving, if Iceland is anything like its sister countries, be extremely wary about driving after any alcohol consumption at all.  A single beer will put you over the limit in Sweden and Norway and the consequences of getting caught are pretty draconian (jail and 1 months salary for first offense although I am not sure how they would treat a foriegner who did not live there).  

mlind
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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby mlind » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:37 pm

tripadvisor.com can be useful, but it's hard to find the actual reviews/recommendations.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby mlind » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:13 pm

Article on using US credit/debit cards in US - no more swipes.

http://redtape.msnbc.com/2011/03/the-death-of-the-credit-card-mag-stripe.html

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby cknab1 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:36 pm

Well, it’s that time of year again. This time we are headed for Dubai, Thailand, then into Cambodia to add some more fresh water wells then down to the island of Koh Chang for 7 days.
We had a fundraiser at Grunauer for the wells last Thursday. I was hoping for maybe $1500 so we could add another 6 wells, but we raised $4250.00. 17 more wells. That’s really going to benefit a lot of people.
I have been told by my Khmer friend the border crossing into Cambodia is now worse than two years ago. Only two bus lines have been given permission to transport people out of Poipet to Siem Reap. It is a 2 ½ to 3 hour trip but they make it last 8 to 10 hours, get you there at midnight and put you up in a guest house of their choice. We just went ahead and brought an airline ticket even thru that cost $300 more than going by car. Going back into Thailand is not a problem so we can do the car in that direction. Even the air fare is too much because for the hour 10 minute flight, Bangkok Airline has the only flights available. So they charge about $260 each.
Looking forward to seeing Dubai.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby smh » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:48 pm

cknab1 wrote:Well, it’s that time of year again. This time we are headed for Dubai, Thailand, then into Cambodia to add some more fresh water wells then down to the island of Koh Chang for 7 days.
We had a fundraiser at Grunauer for the wells last Thursday. I was hoping for maybe $1500 so we could add another 6 wells, but we raised $4250.00. 17 more wells. That’s really going to benefit a lot of people.
I have been told by my Khmer friend the border crossing into Cambodia is now worse than two years ago. Only two bus lines have been given permission to transport people out of Poipet to Siem Reap. It is a 2 ½ to 3 hour trip but they make it last 8 to 10 hours, get you there at midnight and put you up in a guest house of their choice. We just went ahead and brought an airline ticket even thru that cost $300 more than going by car. Going back into Thailand is not a problem so we can do the car in that direction. Even the air fare is too much because for the hour 10 minute flight, Bangkok Airline has the only flights available. So they charge about $260 each.
Looking forward to seeing Dubai.


Watch for the poo trucks: http://youtu.be/-pQdjwliLMA

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby cknab1 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:09 am

Leaving today for 12 days in China, then 4 days in Hong Kong. Our first visit to both places. Taking the Metro to MCI from Crown Center but having a town car pick us up when we get back. That way the average cost isn't too bad.

Would be interested in any tips about either place. I have a friend in HK but would like to hear about places maybe she doesn't know about.

In China we are basically doing the touristy stuff. Great wall, Terracotta soldiers, Forbidden City, etc. So any other info would be great.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby flyingember » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:19 am

cknab1 wrote:Leaving today for 12 days in China, then 4 days in Hong Kong. Our first visit to both places.


what parts of China besides Hong Kong are you going to?

(Hong Kong became a part of China again in 1997)

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cknab1
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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby cknab1 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:55 am

yes, Hong Kong is a part of China but with some differences. Like no facebook in China among other items. Which made it easy to update the family when we travel but email will have to do.

We are going to Shanghai first for 4 days, Xi'an for 3 days, then travel to visit the Great Wall, Bird Nest, and the Ming tombs, Beijing for 4 days, then Hong Kong for 4 days where we stay in Kowloon, visit Victoria Peak and Macau.

So that leaves us with a lot of free time for some side trips.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby bobbyhawks » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:05 pm

Hong Kong is definitely one of the coolest cities I have ever visited. The touristy things you have to do include taking the Peak tram to the top, having dim sum at least once, hopping on the Star Ferry to Kowloon, going to at least one of the all-night markets. Hong Kong has some of the most ridiculous high-end shopping in the world in underground malls; then you can wander outside and get the knock-off version for 1/1000th of the price. If you have the time, you can get a custom-tailored suit turned around in that time for a reasonable price. I regret not doing that but was only there for 2 and a half days. If you are interested, the entire Hong Kong downtown has a laser lights show every night that you can view from the Kowloon side near the walk of fame (great Bruce Lee statue and photo ops during the day as well). I am not much of a shopper, but Hong Kong has the best shopping opportunities of anywhere I've ever been. There are a lot of cool temples around. Having a friend there will definitely be a bonus, but you can't go wrong with the shopping districts pointed out on Lonely Planet and the like.

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cknab1
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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby cknab1 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:19 pm

Thanks for the tips. The laser show should be fun. We are interested in the shopping to some degree. But I'm sure when we see the magnitude of the shopping, it will be amazing.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby brewcrew1000 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:22 pm

Have you ever seen the BBC series called Wild China, its on Netflix. I watched that and I was amazed at all the great natural features in China, it makes me really want to visit.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby Highlander » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:00 pm

Just got back from a couple of weeks holiday in Germany. My god - the Airbus 380 economy class turns travel into an ordeal for anyone over 6 foot tall. I am 6' 4", when I took my seat, my knees were already pressed firmly against the see in front of me with absolutely no wiggle room. When the guy in front put the seat back - the pain became unbearable after a few minutes and I spent most of the flight with my legs in the aisle (and fantasizing about strangling the guy in front with my headphone wires). I pointed it out to the flight attendant and she was apologetic but not willing to help in any way.

I admit to being a little spoiled by generally travelling business class because most of my travel these days is for work but this was pretty ridiculous - I'll be checking the type of aircraft on future flights. The floor plan on the returning 747 was considerably better with at least a couple inches between my knees and the seat in front.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:32 pm

Just curious. Was it the same airline flying two different planes? Or was it two different airlines flying different planes? As I understand it the airlines can increase or decrease the seating in the planes they fly, depending on the capacity they want to have.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby Highlander » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:52 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote:Just curious. Was it the same airline flying two different planes? Or was it two different airlines flying different planes? As I understand it the airlines can increase or decrease the seating in the planes they fly, depending on the capacity they want to have.


Same airline - Lufthansa. In the past, I've almost always flown international carriers due to the comparative very poor service US carriers offer on overseas flights but the Lufthansa A380 option is just awful. The carriers do have flexibility in how many rows you can fit in and I understand the 380 allows a more sardine like configuration compared to the 747. I don't mind being put in that position for a couple of hours but that is excessive for a 10 hour flight.

Incidentally, Lufthansa has only one configuration for the A380 - 526 passengers. That is the second highest of all carriers using the aircraft (most configurations are for less than 500 passengers). Air France has two configurations with 518 and 538. Above and beyond that means converting business class to economy.

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Re: Overseas Travel

Postby swid » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:41 pm

I just got back from a two-week trip to the Czech Republic (Prague), England (various points in the south and west), and France (Normandy). A few random notes from the trip:

  • I'm 5'5", so I don't have much in the way of issues with economy seat size.
  • I'll second the preference for using non-U.S. carriers on transatlantic flights; I flew SWISS over and Air Canada back; both of them are far more pleasant than flying, say, United (which I booked the whole thing through...the joys of airline alliances).
  • Prague's public transport system is fantastic. Well-developed subway system for a city of its size and extensive streetcar tram and bus systems, which a cheap, easy-to-understand, open entry/exit fare structure across all modes. The only real downside is that the subway doesn't (yet) extend all the way out to the airport, but it's very cheap/easy to do the bus/metro combination in.
  • The airport thread mentioned the U.S. Customs and Immigration pre-clearance areas in Canadian airports; ran into that on my flight through Montreal. Even though I filled out the Canadian entry card, it was never looked at by any Canadian border official; there was a separate corridor (and terminal) for U.S.-bound flights, so various people kept scanning my boarding card until I got to the U.S. Customs booth...and the Canadian entry card was thrown in the trash. As far as Canada is concerned, I was never in the country. A Customs person mentioned that every Canadian airports with flights to the U.S. would eventually have this type of setup. (Side rant: a customs/immigration union with Canada would make way too much sense at this point to not be implemented, but I'm sure at least one of our major political parties would scream bloody murder over such a proposal, regardless of how pro-business it would be. Also, it's a given that the U.S. and Canada are already sharing immigration information with each other currently anyway.)


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