8.26.2013

"Stuck" in Thailand

Hello dear readers,

We have just returned from an amazing trip to Asia and I am finally getting back into the routine of day to day life. If you follow me on Instagram you got to travel along with us through our pictures(#baileysinasia). 

I started planning this trip in January because I knew a trip to Asia would need a lot of time to get the details perfected. Our plans were to spend 10 days traveling around Thailand with some great friends we have there, then head north to Beijing, China to see the Great Wall. 

The time in Thailand didn't need much planning because our friends were going to be our tour guides. They did an amazing job of showing us the beautiful country they live in. We got to see all aspects of Thailand from northern mountainous region of Chiang Mai, to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and then ending with a relaxing stay on the beaches of Ko Samed.

The trip to China I decided to have a travel agent plan because I wanted to be able to fit a lot of sight seeing into a short period of time. This being our first trip to China I didn't know where to begin as far as picking places to stay, transportation and just a general idea of what was needed to travel there.  

To make a long story short we didn't get to go to China. We arrived at the airport in Bangkok to check in for our flight to Beijing and the attendant at the desk asked for our Chinese visas. Our travel agent had failed to inform us of the need to get a Chinese visa in the states way before we left(huge mistake on her behalf). If you are familiar with traveling out of the country you will know that most countries require you to have a visa before entering, but you can do this at the airport upon arrival. China however requires you to get a visa ahead of time much to our surprise. It was a Sunday so the Chinese Embassy was closed. We could have gone Monday morning and had them expedite the visas, but they weren't guaranteed to arrive by Wednesday and there was a huge fee for speeding up the process. We would have missed half of our planned tour in China, including seeing the Great Wall if we had chose to wait for the visas. It didn't make sense to do all this with no guarantee of even receiving them, so we decided to cancel the trip to China and stay in Thailand for another week.

In the midst of being shocked that our plans were ruined we were trying to figure out all of the details that now had to be changed. We had to book a new flight home because the airline wouldn't change our departure city from Beijing to Bangkok. That was pure craziness along with the constant emails and phone calls between us and our travel agent. She hasn't been very nice in this whole situation and doesn't want to refund any of the money that we had paid in full for the trip(currently still in disputes with her about this.)

As you can imagine it was a huge disappointment not getting to go to China but we decided to make the most of the situation. We booked a beautiful hotel in the heart of Bangkok with an amazing view of the city. We spent the week touring around the city, eating great food and shopping a lot. It ended up being a great week. It was like forced relaxation for us. A huge trip like this isn't usually very relaxing because you are on the go all the time. This huge travel nightmare made us just stop and relax, and it was wonderful.

I believe 100% that things happen for a reason, so maybe we weren't supposed to go to China this time.
We will however make it back in the future! It's funny to say we were "stuck" in Thailand. Who wouldn't want to be stuck there!?!?

3 comments:

  1. I agree - everything happens for a reason! And so proud of you both for making the most out of everything!
    I absolutely loved my trip to Bangkok - and i was especially fascinated by all the red drinks left at the foot of the Gods statue?
    x

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  2. oh my gosh. i mean i guess thailand is a great place to be stuck in but i would be ripping that travel agent a new rear end...

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  3. Love your pictures, Kari! I hope you are refunded some of the money for your China trip...how could a travel agent not know about visas??

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