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Old 02-11-2018, 12:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
Flying 13 hours is a real torture.
But at least Beijing is somewhere different. With layover it's an 11 hour flight from Las Vegas to Aruba and then you are on a tiny island .

Las Vegas to Aruba via Fort Lauderdale on JetBlue
4h 38m (Layover: 3h 55m) 2h 43m = Total: 11h 16m
3h 6m (Layover: 2h 12m) 5h 35m =Total: 10h 53m for return
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:52 AM
 
Location: Tulsa
1,806 posts, read 808,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
But at least Beijing is somewhere different. With layover it's an 11 hour flight from Las Vegas to Aruba and then you are on a tiny island .

Las Vegas to Aruba via Fort Lauderdale on JetBlue
4h 38m (Layover: 3h 55m) 2h 43m = Total: 11h 16m
3h 6m (Layover: 2h 12m) 5h 35m =Total: 10h 53m for return
Nothing wrong with being an island. England is merely a tiny island too.

The problem is the long flight is ridiculous. If I lived in Vegas and I wanted to escape the winter, I would choose Puerto Vallarta instead of Aruba. Is there anything special about Aruba? If the answer is yes, the long flight is a small price to pay. Otherwise, go to Cabo or PV.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:05 AM
 
Location: On the road
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Me too. Normally, I hate and avoid big cities, but Thailand is a unique exception. Bangkok is the nicest and friendliest and most honest place in Thailand. I actually look forward to stopovers in BKK. Wherever Im going, I buy separete tickets, XXX-BKK and BKK-YYY. It's often cheaper than the quoted fare XXX-YYY., and I've really bonded with my hotel near the airport in BKK (Floral Shire), cheap and nice on a cul-de-sac with free shuttle both ways.
Same same. We've got a little hotel near Victory Monument that we've been going to for so long that the owner's cute little toddler is now working the front desk.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
I lived in Beijing between 1998 and 2002. Except for the pollution, I think it's definitely better than Bangkok, at least scams are rarer. However, Beijing isn't a tourist destination. Why would someone want to vacation in Beijing? scuba diving? beach? tropical weather?
Ive got a perfectly lovely world class beach five miles from my house; why would I want to spend a lot of money to go to a beach area thats inferior to what Ive got at home? Our vacations are all about city history and culture and nature in the form of mountains and deserts
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:11 AM
 
Location: On the road
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
However, Beijing isn't a tourist destination. Why would someone want to vacation in Beijing? scuba diving? beach? tropical weather?
Beijing gets millions of tourists, people go for history/culture since every vacation isn't about sitting on the beach with a fancy drink. Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple, etc.

I don't find any of that spectacular but obviously a lot of other people do.
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
Flying 13 hours is a real torture.

I lived in Beijing between 1998 and 2002. Except for the pollution, I think it's definitely better than Bangkok, at least scams are rarer. However, Beijing isn't a tourist destination. Why would someone want to vacation in Beijing? scuba diving? beach? tropical weather?
Different strokes for different folks. I personally don't like weather that is generally considered tropical, at least in a number of cases. Heat indexes of 100+, and monsoons on the regular? No thanks. Beaches are okay if they are one part of a destination, but honestly, after walking or sitting on one for an hour or two, I'm bound to move on to something else, and if there isn't a cool city/historic town, or mountains nearby? Yawn. Scuba diving I will give can be pretty cool. But also highly expensive and difficult to do regularly.

As for Beijing, I am going there in June, for that exact purpose. Why? Well, my dad is about 70 years old, and in all his years of living/traveling, he has never been more blown away by a city than he was Beijing. What's to like/see there?

1. Nature: This has to be mentioned, because it's a part of the area that isn't necessarily appreciated. First, within Beijing, there are a multitude of parks with lakes, manicured forest (Summer Palace gardens considered world esteemed), and generally tranquil settings that, when combined with the stunning architecture surrounding them, are a treat. Second, Beijing has more nature around it than one would ever give it credit for having. Within 50 Miles of Beijing, there is 6,942 feet of topographical variance. There ARE cities that beat it out in that regard (like obviously a place like Vancouver is stunning in the world), but, anyone comparing cities would have to say, it does PRETTY WELL in that regard. Add to that the fact that you have varying things going on, like the ability to hike the Wall, even in rough sections built insanely into mountainsides that seem impossible, numerous caves including the one that researchers linked to man's discovery of fire, and a massive, Li River-esque gorge with a glass deck looking out, all within the confines of the Metro area/day trip. Heck, even if you're feeling landlocked, Tianjin, at very least a port city (one of the world's significant ones), can be accessed in a half hour trip on one of the world's fastest trains.
Check out BeijingHikers.com. They offer weekend trips occasionally to visitors and localsto places such as Zhangjiajie (Avatar) and Zhangye Danxia (just look it up), to go hiking. In addition, if you're combining a trip, because one place can't usually be all things to all people, you can probably fly from Beijing to Lhasa or Hong Kong for less than 100$, which are renowned in the world for the natural setting.

2. History: Since many people travel for stuff like this, the sheer amount and significance of history available in and Beijing is astounding. For one thing, Howard Hillman, Wonders Expert, ranks both the Great Wall and Forbidden City as among the Top 10 wonders ever created by man. Top 10 or not, no other metro area on earth can claim two structures that hold that much significance. Even after that though, there is a lot. I believe TripAdvisor lists Beijing as having 1500+ attractions, among the Top 5 cities in the world in that regard. Many cultural and religious traditions have been crafted in Beijing and it's surrounds over the past 1000 years, many other concepts (Kung Fu, etc.). It is basically the cultural capital of the East, as it was the largest city in the world 500 years ago, and though it isn't now, it is still to this day one of it's largest/most influential cities.

3. Influence: It vies with DC for the title of being the greatest bureaucratic center on earth, and given it's governmental policies and influence, it perhaps even surpasses that one in that regard. It also ranks among the Top 10 cities in the world in GDP too. While those qualities by themselves may not make it an appealing destination, I'm sure standing in Tiananmen Square or taking a tour of the Great Hall of the People, you can just sort of feel, and be stunned by the sheer power/worldliness it still wields.

4. Modernity: While it may not have a single skyline shot in the grand style of a Hong Kong, or the cleanliness/organization of a Tokyo (which we are also visiting), it is in some ways more stunning than those as well, just by the sheer sprawling, endless nature of it all (at least from what I've heard). It is a place where experimental technology and infrastructure is developing faster than one can imagine (many people pay for things entirely on phone there, 8K projection screen above a mall, multiple Zaha Hadid and other designed buildings that seem to defy physics, and major centers that are considered perhaps the world's most advanced for both sports (Bird's Nest) and arts (NPAC), and one of the world's most advanced (and most traveled) metro systems.

5. Food/Other: The city has to be considered one of the world's culinary capitals. It has multiple streets and hutong districts dedicated to food from around a country that has one of the world's most impressive/distinctive culinary scenes. It also, due to immigration and a significant number of expats, has a significant number of options from other Asian and global cuisine groups. I suppose it is a place one could eat quite well, and on the cheap, too.

In short, I'm not saying this to shortchange your thoughts, and I don't begrudge people who simply prefer a more relaxed pace/destination, but I think it's one of the best cities in the world to hit, and to be honest, beach vacations, unless combined with some other element (Galapagos, Bali), aren't really on my radar.
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:53 PM
 
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Regarding my local airport, while I wouldn't solely do that due to price/opportunity to see different places by connecting, I still have some decent options.

TPA has nonstop to:
Frankfurt
Zurich
London
At least one city in every corner of the US
Toronto and Montreal
Panama City
etc.

And Orlando airport, which I often use including flying from there nonstop to Mexico City in March, offers a greater deal more options.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:15 PM
 
9,866 posts, read 10,122,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
The problem is the long flight is ridiculous. If I lived in Vegas and I wanted to escape the winter, I would choose Puerto Vallarta instead of Aruba. Is there anything special about Aruba? If the answer is yes, the long flight is a small price to pay. Otherwise, go to Cabo or PV.
It seems as if Cabo and PV no longer have nonstops from Las Vegas.

To me if you are going to sit on a beach and drink, then one place is as good as any other. But you may care about how far south you are since it will usually be warmer.
  • 2309′06″N Aeropuerto Internacional de Los Cabos CONNECTING FLIGHTS
  • 2040′48″N Aeropuerto Internacional de Puerto Vallarta CONNECTING FLIGHTS
  • 2031′18″N Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport NONSTOP FLIGHTS
  • 1926′10″N Mexico City International Airport NONSTOP FLIGHTS
  • 1230′05″N Queen Beatrix International Airport CONNECTING FLIGHTS
  • 0904′17″N Tocumen Airport, Panama City NONSTOP FLIGHTS

Although I like Puerto Vallarta, in the dead of winter, I would rather fly an extra hour and get to the deep tropics in Panama City.
LAS - PVR: 5h 25m American Airlines with 70 minute layover in PHX
LAS - PTY: 6h 30m Copa Airlines nonstop

I understand about wives and the beach, but if it was just me, I would fly from Las Vegas to Guadalajara (3 hr 23 m) , check into a beautiful Quinta Real, and just sit by the pool and enjoy the urban nightlife.


Last edited by PacoMartin; 02-11-2018 at 11:27 PM..
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