vietnamOur member coyote25 recently sampled a range of Asian airlines as part of a tour of South-East Asia. Lao Airlines, Thai Smiles and even Qatar Airways were among the airlines flown as our member travelled around the delightful countries of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Flying overseas is always a unique experience, particularly when flying on some of the smaller, lessor-known overseas carriers. One of the airlines which our member sampled was Lao Airlines, which was used to get in and out of Luang Prabang.

One of the smaller internationals airports I’ve been at and definitely the only one with the major tenant (Lao Airlines) proudly states they will be IATA compliant shortly!

One of the most interesting sectors was a very short flight on board a Qatar Airways Boeing 787. Qatar operates a fifth-freedom tag flight between Ho Chi Minh City and the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. Despite the flight taking under an hour, Qatar uses a long-haul configured Dreamliner on the route. This made for a very comfortable, albeit very empty flight.

This flight originally came from Doha and let off the majority of passengers at Ho Chi Ming City and picked at a handful of additions like my G-Adventure – National Geographic tour group. Normally there is no way such a large plane would be on such a short flight.

The Entertainment system was first rate having 12 new release movies, a selection of older movies and 8 different TV shows on demand. The plane was obviously setup for a long haul flight. The rows had a 3 x 3 x 3 setup and in my row there was myself at one window and 8 seats away another person at the other window. The flight attendant mentioned there was only 81 passenger on this leg of the flight.

At cruising altitude for just five minutes, the meal service on this flight was rushed – despite the fact that the meal was a cup of orange juice!

On the ground, one of the highlights of our member’s tour of Indochina was the beautiful Ha Long Bay. Just a few hours from the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great place to spend a few relaxing days on holiday.

Halong Bay is one of the new seven natural wonders of the world and having been there I totally understand why. I was lucky enough to sleep overnight on the bay under the stars and moon and explore across to days. There are over 2,000 inlets and islands to experience which I suspect would talk a lifetime to find. If you would to reflect and take in nature at it’s finest find you way to Halong Bay!

You can read all about our member’s travels HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]