Southeast Asia 2014: Introduction + Trip Planning

Earlier this year, I took a two-week trip to Southeast Asia, spending time in Hanoi, Siem Reap, and Singapore.

To get to Hanoi, I booked a pre-devaluation United first class award to Southeast Asia for 70k miles. The original routing was SFO-LHR on United first class, LHR-BKK on Thai first class, and then BKK-HAN on Thai business class. Because of aircraft swaps, schedule changes, and wanting to avoid United, my final routing became SFO-YVR on United business, YVR-FRA on Lufthansa first class (747), FRA-BKK on Thai first class (A380), and then BKK-HAN on Thai business class with a lengthy layover in Bangkok during the day. Given that I was looking to snag Lufthansa first class on the way to Frankfurt, I ended up rebooking about a week prior to departure.

For getting around Southeast Asia, I looked into using miles since getting to/from Siem Reap can be pricy, but ended up paying for cash tickets on Vietnam Airlines to get from Hanoi to Siem Reap and Jetstar to get from Siem Reap to Singapore. The Vietnam Airlines ticket was stupidly expensive and could have been cheaper if I had been willing to wait to book my tickets until a month out when Vietnam Airlines had a fare sale.

Finally, to get back to the US from Singapore, I flew Singapore Suites through NRT and LAX with a final leg on Virgin America booked separately to get back to SFO. The Singapore flights cost 91,375 miles plus 490 SGD (about $400 USD) with the online booking discount.

Final routing

Final routing

I hope that I can finish this trip report in a reasonable amount of time!

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