If we book on our own, can anyone tell us about getting a transfer in Bangkok from the airport to the hotel and on the other end in Beijing from the hotel to the airport?
Terry and Judy
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As a frequent business traveler to Asia, I deal with the cost of air about every 4 months.Thanks for the information. If you are flying to Bangkok from Beijing, do you need a visa for China for that purpose?
The best prices I have found are generally on NW airlines. There are also numerous "ethnic" travel agencies located in large cities. They generally have consolidator fares. Look in the paper of a large city (San Francisco, Los Angeles, NYC) or do a google search.
You will usually be far better off buying a cheapie ticket to Los Angeles or San Francisco to connect with an Asian flight and a separate ticket to the Orient. Trying to buy a ticket from, lets say, Columbus, Ohio, to Beijing on one ticket is usually prohibitively expensive. It is also often cheaper to buy a RT (say Bangkok in your case) and fly from Beijing to Bangkok on a separate ticket.
There are a lot of Asia discount carriers. Air Asia is probably one of the largest, although they don't fly to China. But they do fly to Hong Kong. Zuji (owned by Travelocity) specializes in the Orient. http://www.zuji.com/web/content/splash_index.html
Thanks for the information. If you are flying to Bangkok from Beijing, do you need a visa for China for that purpose?Yes, but you will need a visa for your cruise when you arrive in China anyhow. No separate visa needed to depart China.