Having endured traveling through Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia during the hottest months of the year (April and May) we were excited to return to cooler temperatures and substantially less humidity during late spring back in Canada. However, there are definite advantages with travelling throughout these countries during the ‘off season’ particularly if you prefer more space and less crowds!
En route to Bangkok 6 weeks ago we stopped and changed planes at Hong Kong.
Due to the political unrest there presently we were thankful our return passage was through Taipei.
Our travel route was from Bangkok, Thailand to Taipei, Taiwan. Taipei to Vancouver, Canada. Then Vancouver to Nanaimo across on Vancouver Island. For curious prospective travelers, we booked direct flights and the entire travel time worked out as follows: 3 hours wait at Suvarnabhumi International (Bangkok) + 4 hours flight to Taipei + 3 hours wait at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport + 10 1/2 hours flight to Vancouver + 2 1/2 hours wait and transfer to Harbour Air Float planes + 1/2 hour to Vancouver Island + 1/2 hour taxi to our home = 24 hours in transit.
Since we gained a day crossing the International Date Line photos taken on my Iphone record confusing times, and our entire trip across half the globe apparently did not exist!
This blog post is dedicated to illustrating some unique characteristics of different airports during our homeward travels; fascinating sights, lights, and colors above the cloud layer in our atmosphere; and aerial representations of cities in different areas of our beautiful world.
Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Bangkok). We have truly fallen in love with this friendly, lush, fascinating country and look forward to returning to renew friendships, explore new areas, taste more cuisine, and try new experiences. )
Taipei, Taiwan was just under 4 hours flight time from Bangkok. These photos show the airport area.
The janitors had their own cleaning storage area off the washrooms which was so tidy and cute I couldn’t resist taking a photo.
Inside the airport the 2019 Chinese year of the Earth Pig was highlighted as was a dedication to Mother’s Day.
The Chinese year starts on Feb. 5th, 2019 (Chinese New Year) and lasts until Jan. 24th 2020. Apparently most true Earth Pigs alive today are born between February 8, 1959, and January 27, 1960 so they have completed a 12 year cycle and a 60 year cycle.
Ironically, I just discovered I am one of those rare Earth Pigs! So upon further research I discovered a vast range of characteristics describing an Earth Pig from “Good-tempered, kind-hearted, positive, loyal” to “extremely kind and thoughtful nature and is sensible and realistic” to “likes sleeping and eating and becomes fat!”. Hopefully I won’t become too fat! 🙂 I could not resist this photo opportunity in Taipei with my Earth Pig.
Departing Taipei on Air Canada, thanks to Aeroplan points, we upgraded to Premium Economy for the 10 1/2 hour flight to Vancouver.
Some of the differences we experienced from Economy were: priority check in and seating, two seats on each side instead of squishy three, more leg room and width, more attentive service, hot cloths as soon as we departed, better meals and drinks, less people using the toilets. It was so much nicer than regular Economy!
Aerial views of Taipei, Taiwan May 2019.
Stunning sunrise and light shows entertained us above the cloud level as we flew over the Pacific Ocean.
There is something so peaceful and tranquil as you move in seamless uninterrupted space above the clouds.
Excitement throbbed as the clouds uncovered snow capped mountains and we recognized the familiar geography of home. Following the mountains, the longest river in B.C. the mighty Fraser exposed its powerful force. Coastal Western Canada truly is magnificent!
As we neared Vancouver and the Richmond Delta the city appeared so tidy, so organized, so green! Vancouver is known as a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia. It is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities and has become a popular filming location. Metro Vancouver’s 2019 population is estimated at about 2.5 million.
Metro Vancouver is the 3rd most populated city in Canada after Toronto and Montreal. After travelling through Hanoi (over 8 Million) and Bangkok (over 10 million), Vancouver seems pretty tiny in comparison.
But, although we are back in Canada, our journey does not end here.
Upon collecting our cases, we were off to locate the shuttle to take us to Richmond’s Harbour Air float plane base.
Although we could not sit together; the 20 minute flight was lovely, and ear plugs are usually supplied!
Close up views of logging operations, freighters, mountain tops, lighthouses, and tiny communities are possible. Once I even viewed 2 Humpback whales during one of these flights!
Back to beautiful Vancouver Island! We touched down on the ocean in the downtown area. Nanaimo, the Harbour City, has a population over 114,000. Nanaimo is the most populated municipality on Vancouver Island, outside of Saanich and Victoria. The small city has multiple claims to fame including the annual International Bathtub Races (since 1967). I have attached a link to provide more information about Nanaimo.
We arrived home to be greeted by a burst of luscious lilac!
It’s always wonderful to sleep in your own bed and unpack… My next adventure is only 10 days away…