Our modes of transport: Plan vs Reality

Originally when we first dreamed up this journey we were going to get the whole way to Vietnam without flying. So how has this ideal we set ourselves panned out against the reality of our trip?

We are currently at our last stop in China, Kunming. How have we managed to get here?

Well, we have travelled on:

16 trains
8 coaches
1 boat

As well as:

4 planes

That’s right, we have caved and taken flights.

2 of those flights came into the plan pre-leaving the UK. It sounded like a big old pain in the backside trying to get a ferry from China to Taiwan which initially put me off only a little bit. What decided it though was a trip on a boat before we left which left me feeling very sick. I hadn’t taken into account that I do suffer every so often from motion sickness. Flights to Taiwan were promptly booked and I was very happy with that decision.

The first flight we took though was prior to Taiwan. We spent so long on our first entry into China taking our time travelling that we ended up in Chengdu with very little time to get to Shanghai (the opposite side of the country!) to catch our flight to Taiwan. This meant a flight was needed to get us to Shanghai in time.

The other flight was more recently and was much more premeditated. We made a decision that we wanted to base ourselves in Yunnan province for our last few weeks in China. We couldn’t see much between Chongqing and Kunming that we wanted to stop at on the way. A quick check on Ctrip told us we could both fly with checked in luggage for £30 each between Chongqing and Kunming. It was a no brainier, super cheap and saving us a very long train journey. The flight was booked in minutes.

Finally we had the decision to make of where to go after China. Originally we had planned to cross the border via bus into Laos. However, we still had some Air Asia flights to Bangkok we had booked in order to prove we were leaving China and therefore be able to get our Chinese visa. We are loving Yunnan so much we have decided to eke out as much time as possible here and we have already paid for the flight to Bangkok. It seems like the logical next step for our journey.

Do I regret that our plan hasn’t been fulfilled? Well, yes and no. Yes it would be nice to say we have got all the way to Kunming from London without flying. But, the flights we have taken have saved us hassle and made sure we got to the right place in time and without being sick! We do still intend though to carry on as much as possible taking the slower options, it is far more relaxing and you get to see so much more of the country you are travelling through.

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