Hong Kong and Taiwan Take 2: Planning

It is that time of the year again!

Vacation to Asia!
You may be wondering why the title of this trip report is “Hong Kong & Taiwan Take 2”? What happen to Take 1? Well… Take 1 happened in 2012 and I lost my travel journal so I had to stop blogging about it.

After visiting Japan and South Korea in March/April 2014, I really wanted to visit Hong Kong and Taiwan again. So after discussing with my good friend and travel buddy, Kathy; we decided to take on Hong Kong and Taiwan again and we settled for late March 2016 because… well, I needed time to save up money and miles. As I began to start putting together how I was going to get to Hong Kong and Taiwan, I remembered that American Airlines and US Airways merged so I had enough miles to redeem on (wait for it)… Cathay Pacific First Class!

Why I am flying to Asia via San Francisco instead of my home airport, LAX? The answer is quite simply, there were no first class flights to Taipei via LAX on my date of travel so my next best option is San Francisco. I’ve always told myself that if I were to ever fly Cathay Pacific, it better be First Class. So with that in mind, I began watching the flights I wanted and 330 days out, I called American Airlines to book my flights. The agent was friendly and within a few minutes, she said that she had booked my flights and I should be receiving a confirmation email in the next 24-48 hours. The booking fee was waived because these flights can’t be booked on the American Airlines website.

48 hours passed and I didn’t receive my confirmation so I called American Airlines and spoke to a friendly agent who mentioned something about the connection flight date was entered incorrectly. She made a modification and within 10 minutes, I received my confirmation email!

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW UP WHEN YOU DON’T GET THE CONFIRMATION EMAIL. Just because you booked a flight, it doesn’t mean it is confirmed until you received an email with the PNR (passenger name record).

A couple months later, Kathy reached out and mentioned that she wouldn’t be able to come with me to Hong Kong. I was a bit disappointed because in our original trip plans, we would meet up in Kaohsiung and then head to Hong Kong together. So…. this is officially my first solo international trip!

I booked the following flights for my Asia 2016 trip:

LAX – SFO in VX (Virgin America) 927 First Class
SFO – HKG in CX (Cathay Pacific) 873 First Class
HKG – TPE in CX (Cathay Pacific) 496 First Class
KHH – HKG in KA (Dragon Air) 451 Business Class
HKG – ICN in OZ (Asiana) 724 Business Class
ICN – LAX in OZ (Asiana) 204 Business Smartium Class

and booked the following accommodations:

Y Hotel Taipei (Taipei)
Holiday Inn Express Taichung Park (Taichung)
Kindness Hotel – Zhongshan Bade Branch (Kaohsiung)
FX Inn Kaohsiung Zhonghua Road Branch (Kaohsiung)
Intercontinental Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui (Hong Kong)

The final cost of this itinerary cost:
*retail prices are shown as of when they were redeemed/paid Retail
I previously paid for the hotel in Seoul in 2014 so Kathy only asked that I pay NT950 (about 28.24USD) for FX Inn.

Yup, you read that correctly, I paid $757.11 for a trip that retailed for $14,951.66. That is over 94% savings! And this is why I hoard  love miles/points.

For those who wondered why the heck would I pay $178 to fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco…there isn’t any real reason why except I wanted to try out the first class product and that I was $150 short on completing my spending requirement.

I will be posting on Instagram, so follow me for updates!

As for the report in itself, I will be posting after I return from the trip. But in the meantime, please feel browse the blog, read my previous trip reports, leave questions/comments in the comment section and most importantly… follow the blog (upper right, underneath my profile) to get notifications when I update!

Until next time,
Lisa

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