It took a lot just to type it, and now I’m almost afraid how much time I would have to spend in the airports… Ouch… 5 flights in 10 days… Did I overextend myself? Will see… Does anyone have any recommendations or friends I could call up in Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong for tips or emergency?
It all started with an idea to visit a high school friend of mine in Singapore, and May 1 Labor day holiday (crazy time to travel by itself) sounded like a good opportunity. Since my passport wasn’t ready (well, it’s still in Beijing Police, even though it’s 36 hours before departure) and my friend couldn’t get his plans straight, I procrastinated. Just enough to let the direct flights to Singapore cost more than to Mars – I checked. Okay, I have to make a connection. After looking at all maps and causing 50% of all load Kayak takes in a day, I figured that the best connection from Beijing to Singapore goes through Xiamen, which is a small coastal port right in front of Taiwan. Is Xiamen good for anything except for sounding terrible similar to Xi’an, the Terracotta warrior place? Well, its main attraction is a quaint, tiny, pedestrian-only island that people are pretty crazy about. Bingo. A day in Xiamen it is.
With Singapore, if you’re there for 96 hours and fly to a different country than you came from, you don’t need a visa, and if you do need it – you can apply online. I was thinking about applying for one and almost bought the tickets that would require it, but then noticed that the only scan of my passport I had, was black and white, whereas instructions clearly asked for a color copy. Bummer. My passport is in police. Alright, 3.5 days it is, and now I have to fly to a different country.
What’s on the way? Hong Kong. Sweet! Flight prices agreed. Hong Kong it is. 6 days, back Monday morning – I can always say I overslept. But 6 days in Hong Kong… Hmm. That sounds like a lot. Enough to get bored. And besides, does Singapore treat Hong Kong and China as truly different countries, considering the recent integration process? It most likely does, but who knows – nobody I talked to could say for sure. What else is out there? Malaysia and its Kuala Lumpur, which sounds exotic enough to call for buying a ticket without looking further. But I did. SIN->KUL costs $22 and then KUL->HKG – $90, for a 4-hour flight. Okay… Deal!
At last, I checked the weather forecast? Why at last? Because I don’t believe in it and I’m hopeful. And I’m still hopeful, even though it promised a thunderstorm in all locations for the foreseeable future.
Off I go, hoping my passport will be there tomorrow or I’ll have to write another post with “FAILED” at the end.