It's A Small World - A Never-ending Pre-trip Report

Pinkocto

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Sounds like a good idea to take the metro and train instead of flying, hopefully that will save a lot of time.

The hotels look great.
 

jedijill

Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Your plans are really coming together! The hotel in Guilin is stunning!

Jill in CO
 

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Sounds like a good idea to take the metro and train instead of flying, hopefully that will save a lot of time.
I am not sure if it saves any time in the end, but there will be plenty to see while we are traveling and it is a bit of an adventure. I rather be on the move than hanging around the airport.

The hotels look great.
I am still on the fence about the ones in Hong Kong, but hotels in big cities are always a bit non-descript.

Your plans are really coming together!
They definitely are.

The hotel in Guilin is stunning!
This was literally love at first sight for me.

Corinna
 
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Well, this trip has slightly evolved yet again and this time it was not our doing. We have had an itinerary change on the cruise.

    I knew that there was a chance of this happening ever since I started looking at the ports. When I Googled Boracay, the top hits were news items indicating that the island may be shut down for up to one year as they have huge issues with garbage being dumped and untreated sewage being released into the sea. I have to say that although all the photos I have seen of the island look absolutely idyllic, this did not fill me with joy.

    Anyway, the threat has now become reality. Three days ago, it was announced that Boracay will be closed to tourism for six months starting the end of this month. I wondered how this would affect our cruise and I half expected that we would get another sea day. Both of us would have been fine with this. I absolutely love the ship and both of us see this cruise as an opportunity to chill out on what will otherwise we a very active trip.

    As soon as I found out about this yesterday, I checked the details for our cruise and they have replaced Boracay with Manila. I am so excited about this. Manila is full of interesting history and after spending most of the day researching, I have a long list of things I want to see. Fortunately we have 11 hours in port.

    Corinna
     

    tiggrbaby

    <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2004
    What a charming hotel! Glad they at least replaced the port with one you are interested in.
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Oh my about Boracay, that does not sound good at all. Glad you’re finding lots to do in Manila.
     
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    That is gross about Boracay, but Manilla coukd definitely be a more interesting port!
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Oh my about Boracay, that does not sound good at all. Glad you’re finding lots to do in Manila.
    I am glad that they have ended up closing the island. The alternative is definitely better.

    That is gross about Boracay,
    Unfortunately the more I read about Subic Bay, the more I realise that they have much the same issues as Borocay. Let's just say, the snorkeling gear will stay at home and we may not get off the ship in Subic Bay.

    but Manilla coukd definitely be a more interesting port!
    Yes, the more I look into this, the more I find that I want to see.

    Manila will be a very interesting port!
    Definitely.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    It is a little while again since I last updated here. Things have been quietly progressing. In many ways progress was made by eliminating things rather than booking things. For other aspects, we have adopted the "wait and see approach".

    When we originally started to look into visiting Guilin, there were two things that we thought we had to do. One was a visit to the Longji rice terraces and the other was a river cruise on the Li river. We both spent hours researching possible excursions. We then came to the conclusion that as stunning as the Longji rice terraces are and as much as we would have loved to see them, the excursions on offer were more trouble then they are worth. Essentially to get there from Guilin requires a 6 hour roundtrip by coach. I may still have been tempted, but the more research I did the more I realised that the time spent at the rice terraces is very limited with a maximum of one hour being spent in the scenic area. The rest of the day is spent in some of the local minority villages where the locals sell their handicrafts. So basically it is a glorified and overpriced shopping trip. So we dropped this from the itinerary quite swiftly.

    The research of the Li river cruise did not completely fill me with joy either. At least there, we will be treated to some stunning scenery and this will make it worthwhile. Our hotel in Guilin has a tour desk so we will hold off booking a tour and see what they suggest.

    One thing that did impress me during the research is Yao Mountain. This is only about 8 miles out a Guilin and has a number of scenic areas, temples and a tea plantation. This can be visited quite cheaply by taxi and I am sure this will feature during our trip.

    We are pretty much going to wing Hong Kong. I will definitely visit Hong Kong Disneyland. The second full day we will play by ear. We may resort to the hop on hop off bus or we may take to public transport. Either way, I am sure we will enjoy it. I am very tempted by a food walking tour on our last day in Hong Kong before flying back home and I may well book this before we go. Another thing I may book ahead of time is a dinner cruise to coincide with the Symphony of Lights show.

    Other than this, preparations are going well. I got our embarkation shirts and I am absolutely in love with them:

    Embarkation Shirt.jpg

    I also got a t-shirt for Hong Kong Disneyland:

    IMG_0701.jpg

    I tried my hand at a very basic design myself:

    Tshirt.png

    Here is the finished article:

    IMG_0700.jpg

    Other than that, online check in for the cruise is done and the Set Sail passes are ready to print. Our tickets for the flights are now issued and I managed to reserve seats. At some stage I need to print off all the confirmations and other documents. I also need to do something about making magnets. Other than that, I am basically ready apart from the packing.

    Corinna
     
  • Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Things are certainly moving along. That would have been a long drive for such a short time at the rice terraces. Too bad about the snorkeling. I love the shirts!
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Things are certainly moving along.
    They are and they need to be as well. There is all manner of other stuff happening between now and then. If I get time later, I will do an update about this.

    That would have been a long drive for such a short time at the rice terraces.
    That is what I thought.

    I love the shirts!
    I am totally in love with them. I think they are the best shirts yet.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    This week has marched on again. At this rate, it will be time to leave for the trip to Hong Kong the next time I blink. My ticker tells me that I am going less than a month from now.

    It feels like I have booked a trip or something towards a trip every other day this week. Between this and the fact that I have two more trips before I leave for Hong Kong, I better get updating.

    The first of these trips was a complete impulse thing. I had originally planned to go to Disneyland Paris in March, but with one thing or another happening, I never got around to do anything about this. The next plan was to go from 25th to 28th April. By the time I got around to do something about this, the price for flights had shot up to more than I was willing to pay. Around this time last week, I decided to check what flights are available for the next time I have two days off in a row, which is next week Thursday and Friday. To my surprise and delight, there were some really cheap fares available. Hotels were the sticking point, but the next day I noticed that some of the online agent had really good packages. I jumped on this on Saturday. I am flying out after work on Wednesday, stay at a hotel that is three stops away on the commuter train from Disneyland Paris (about 10 minutes) for the first two nights and then move to an airport hotel for the final hotel as I have an early flight back on Saturday morning and I will head straight to work from the airport. I can't wait. I am determined to watch Illuminations the first night and also want to see the new parade as I did not manage to see either in October.

    Once I am back from this trip, I will be home for 9 nights and then I am off on my travels again. This is not so much about fun and more about work. I am attending a conference from our professional body in the south of England. I actually have to go down a day earlier than the rest of the people from the office that are going. So I will fly down. The reason that I am going down earlier is that I won a space sponsored by Royal Caribbean and we start on the Tuesday night with dinner and drinks. I am not sure what to expect, but we will have two ship visits and the closing keynote address will be done by Sir Ranulph Fiennes (a famous explorer). So this alone will be worth it. We will also have a gala evening, which will be a welcome excuse to wear a gown.

    Corinna
     

    buteraa

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2008
    Wow the gala sounds really fun. Feel free to share a few pictures of the ships.
     

    jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    Exciting plans! You barely stay home between trips!

    Jill in CO
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Great fun to head to DLP! Glad everything worked out :)

    The work trip sounds like a good time too.

    How exciting your big trip is right around the corner :cool1:
     

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