Tag Archives: seoul

Vietnam #1: It’s a Long Ass Flight To Vietnam

Well, we made it to Vietnam. And it only took us 22-plus hours! In case you didn’t already know, it’s a long ass flight from New York to Vietnam. There are no direct flights. We flew from New York City to Seoul (14 hours) and from Seoul to Ho Chi Minh City (5.5 hours). Throw in a two-hour stopover, and that’s over 20 hours in transit.

Not that I’m complaining. I started out in the Korean Air Lounge in JFK. It’s nothing to write home about, but the seats were comfortable and the wifi worked well as I attempted to get some last-minute work done.

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Korean Air was a nice surprise – though it helped that no one was sitting next to me. The seats were spacious, with plenty of storage space and a large selection of movies. Seriously, I watched five movies throughout the trip.

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They even had USB ports!

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Fourteen hours later, I landed at Incheon Airport in Seoul.

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Once I went through security, I made my way to the Sky Hub lounge which I accessed with my Priority Pass membership (thanks Citi Prestige!). The lounge was great: Plenty of chairs, food, drinks, and great wifi. The only thing it needs is more outlets.

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Yes – that is a frozen yogurt machine!

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My flight from Seoul to Ho Chi Minh City was, unfortunately, in economy. But I survived. Five and half hours later, Lisa and I landed in Vietnam and stepped out into HCMC’s stifling humidity.

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Part 2: Only 18 Hours to Go (AKA SFO – REP)

Part 1: When you wake up at 3 am for a 6 am flight…

We had a three hour layover in San Francisco and I was excited to see the Asiana lounge. I’m sorry to say I was a little disappointed. The lounge was very small with an outdated decor. There were few comfortable seats in the business class room so I slipped into the first class lounge and no one batted an eye.

On the plus side, the first class lounge had a couch (remember, I was going on four hours of sleep), had decent wireless and an endless supply of free diet cokes.

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Business class lounge

Asiana’s business class product more than made up for the lackluster lounge: Comfortable lie-flat seats laid out to maximize space and privacy. There was plenty of space, movie options, and of course diet coke on demand.

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Asiana even gives you comfy slippers!

Due to our short layover in Seoul, I only had five minutes to check out the Asiana lounge at ICN airport, grab a free drink and snap a photo. My cursory impression was very favorable. Too bad I didn’t get to enjoy more than five minutes.

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Finally, the last leg of our flight: From Seoul to Siem Reap. At this point, I was thoroughly exhausted and could barely keep track of what day it was. Asiana’s business class from ICN – REP is more comparable to domestic first class in the United States — not the lie-flat seats that we had on the SFO-ICN leg. Even without lie-flat seats, I was so tired, I managed to sleep for a majority of the flight.

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And finally, at 11:00 p.m. local Siem Reap time, we arrived in Cambodia. As we disembarked, the first thing we noticed was how steamy and tropical the weather felt. We were clearly a long way from New York’s freezing temperatures. The Le Meridian offered free air port pick-up and I was awfully glad I had made arrangements to take advantage of it before the trip. Our driver was waiting for us outside, and the long journey to Asia was finally over.

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