Our adventure was supposed to start Sunday night/Monday morning via JFK. Due to Hurricane Sandy, i did not want to risk getting stranded at JFK for a matter of days. I notified Cathay Pacific that we would not be traveling, and grudgingly passed. To our amazement, the flight actually took off, which jeopardized any real shot at an insurance recovery, but safety was the priority, and i was ok with that.
Avalon came through, big time, hats off to them! Michelle, in their Traveler Services department, contacted Cathay, arranged for a refund, and put us on a flight to Bangkok within 48 hours! Ok, we missed out on the pre-trip Hanoi extension, but we had a great day in Bangkok, a total surprise, and, more importantly, we were back on the trip. Avalon tried to add on a private Hanoi trip, but couldn't finalize plans during the short window, so we decided to pass. We greatly appreciate our agent at cruise quick, and the people at Avalon for their incredible support.
The flights took forever, Ft Lauderdale to San Fran to Taipei to Bangkok, but the Bangkok Intercontinental was awesome. Since it was a rest day, after an incredible breakfast, we made our own plans via the concierge, had a great private tour with Num (085-0617444) who took us to the incredible Palace, the two great temples, the Flower Market, and a shopping expedition that resulted in some tailor-made dress shirts and pants!
Yesterday, we flew to Siem Reap, where we enjoyed a restful afternoon by the pool at the Victoria Angkor, a lovely hotel. We would have preferred an earlier flight but no big deal. We met the rest of the group, along with our leader Phiem, who is a terrific guy and will take great care of us. We had a nice private dinner/show at a local venue, and got ready for our trip to Angkor Wat, which was terrific.
After another great breakfast spread, we were off to Angkor Wat. Its really really really hot, sweating through our clothes, but an incredible destination, with solid tour guides. After around 4 hours, we had an excellent lunch, and have the rest of the day to ourselves. Tomorrow, its off to see some great temples, shopping, etc., and then its off to the boat.
I will keep those of you who care apprised, but we are thrilled we made it, and grateful to the team at Avalon!