Lessons Learned

We purchased super cheap tickets which took us to Paris via Kunming China. Let us share some lessons learned.
When you buy from SkyScanner, BestJet, ChepoAir, TravelGenio and Expedia, there are some basics you need to do.

  1. The moment you split flights bertween different airlines, If connecting flights are not being dLeave time between connectors. If a travel agent is not doing the connections for you, then no one owes you anything if one fight delay leads to you missing the next one. 
  2. Contact the airline directly (which you can generally do via their live Webchat services) and get the actual airline reference code and verification that you are booked on their flight. Whilst you have them online, make sure they change the contact email address to yours and not the company you purchased from. I thought I changed the email but I mustn't have. When we tried to board our Virgin flight TSV - SYD, we discovered it had been cancelled. We were lucky they chucked us on a Brisbane flight with a connector to Sydney and we made it in plenty of time for the Air China flight to Kunming. 
  3. Kunming reminded us of Colombo, Sri Lanka back in 1991 (when we were there for our honeymoon). Streets had cars that seemed to make their own rules. Donkey carts shared taxiing duties with tuk-tuks. Vehicles stop when whenever they need to and start unloading. It's the norm here.You couldn't walk along the pavement for any distance without having to deviate to the road because there was a pavement being fixed or a mound of bricks or soil being used in some building upgrade. Roads were busy and lots of horning and vehicles squeezing through gaps in traffic that 
  4. Rather than staying in the airport from 7 am to Midnight, we hired a cheap room ($23) 4 km away. The free transfer. Thank goodness as Robie was very keen to walk the 4km. Now I do not mind a walk but on highways made for cars and through muddy plains without an idea of where we are( our phones did not work as we decided not to get a sim for the 24hr we were here), I think I will keep that for the Camino.
  5. Have cash when arriving in a rural city in China. Whilst there was an international airport our credit cards and cash cards were not accepted. Cash or a credit card called union pay.   We have been very blessed by beautiful people around us. The following food was delicious but we were unable to pay as no cards worked. This amazing business gave us the food free. We felt so embarrassed and very grateful for the kindness shown to us. Our air hostess was also amazing, phoning our hotel to arrange the pick up - even if it did not work out as planned she was so thoughtful.

Waiting in the Kunming airport to board. Unable to have a coffee has left me a bit flat. A surprise really aI i have not had regular coffee for the last 2 months. In fact I have had 5 coffees in 9 weeks - not bad for someone who was a 1 or 2 a day. Loving the chilli hot chocolate made on cacao but not here in China. The tea was lovely. Now handing back the typing to Robie.