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The Higher Flyer

At Angkor Wat and Beyond

For my father and I, escaping to Siem Reap for Memorial Day Weekend was a welcome respite from Bangkok’s perpetual hubbub. Even though we had grown used to the crowded, chaotic, and steamy streets of the city, we appreciated the change of pace in the quaint and sleepy river town. Siem Reap has a long history, but it wasn’t until Angkor Wat was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site that it started to attract international tourists (like us).  Continue reading “At Angkor Wat and Beyond”

The Aviary Hotel, Siem Reap Review

A few days before we were set to arrive in Siem Reap, we received an email from the management of the Aviary Hotel with some exciting news: they were arranging a complimentary airport transfer for us. Seeing that we landed just as the daily monsoon was rolling in, we were really happy that we didn’t have to find our own way to the property. The driver who met us in the arrivals hall was a hotel employee, and he was kind and welcoming. He took our bags and offered us bottled water and cold towels… all before we settled into the van! In hindsight, we shouldn’t have been so surprised by the high standards of service; such hospitality is the norm, not the exception, at the Aviary.

Continue reading “The Aviary Hotel, Siem Reap Review”

Airline Guide: International Low Cost Carriers

Introduction

Low cost carriers (LCCs) have been hugely important in mobilizing the world, particularly in Europe and Southeast Asia. Thanks to efficiency-boosting technological advances (i.e. cheap planes!) within an industry that’s normalizing cost-cutting corporate business models (i.e. more fees!), running an airline is becoming increasingly less expensive (and far more profitable). New companies have since emerged in wake of these trends, such as Ryanair and AirAsia, and committed themselves to passing savings on to consumers.

Continue reading “Airline Guide: International Low Cost Carriers”

Airline Guide: Singapore Airlines

Introduction

Singapore is a modern day city-state, and despite being no more than a tiny island at the tip of Malaysia, it is home to one of the world’s premiere airlines. With help from its centrally located hub, Singapore Airlines connects passengers to and from every inhabited continent. It is efficient in its operations, and is considered to be the second largest carrier in the world, as measured by market capitalization. Continue reading “Airline Guide: Singapore Airlines”

Airline Guide: Air Canada

Introduction

Despite enduring significant financial troubles throughout the 2000s — it entered bankruptcy once and had another close call later on — Air Canada has since rebounded and is currently in the middle of a renaissance. With brand new planes, kind service, and a decent loyalty program, Canada’s flag carrier is far and away the best North American legacy carrier. Continue reading “Airline Guide: Air Canada”

Air Asia Hot Seats mini-Review

“Should I pay for that?”

This shouldn’t be a surprise given the headline, but this post won’t be a full-blown review. It primarily seeks to answer some questions that I get a lot: are a few extra inches of space/baggage/food worth the extra cost? If you’re flying on a low cost carrier like AirAsia, there’s a good chance you’re budget conscious and you want to balance your comfort with your expenses. Perhaps this post will give you a better sense of what to expect. Continue reading “Air Asia Hot Seats mini-Review”

On Hyatt’s Globalist Fast Track Promotion: Is It Fair?

If you own Hyatt’s cobranded credit card, you may have heard about an exciting, albeit controversial, promotion valid from September through to the end of 2017: you now only need 20 nights to qualify for the program’s highest elite status, Globalist level. You previously needed 60! Continue reading “On Hyatt’s Globalist Fast Track Promotion: Is It Fair?”

Higher Flying to the Edge of the Earth?

I kinda want to go to Saipan

Don’t ask me why, but I’ve long been fascinated by obscure travel destinations. Saipan, the largest island in the Northern Mariana chain, is a new intrigue for me. I realize that it may not be the best place to be right now, given North Korea’s threats to that region, but this is more of a speculative post. One day I want to go there, and here are some of the considerations I would take when planning this trip.  Continue reading “Higher Flying to the Edge of the Earth?”

On the inclusion of photo tours

While The Higher Flyer would be considered by many to be a travel blog, it focuses primarily on the journey instead of the destination. There are many talented writers who’ll prominently feature their experiences on the ground, closely documenting the sights they see and the foods they taste, while largely ignoring how they actually got there. I prefer to write about airlines and hotels and the like — and that’s fine, everyone has different interests and styles — but I also like to fancy myself as an “iPhone photographer.” I think one of the best ways to experience a place is to explore it and take pictures of what you find; it forces you to not only seek out interesting spots… Continue reading “On the inclusion of photo tours”

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