Update: June 7, 2005
I just want to thank all of you for getting the money to me as quickly as you did -- it was a tremendous help. Thanks.
OK, here's an update with some important information. It's kind of lengthy but there's a lot to discuss. Please read it carefully.
Depart LAX: June 13 at 12:30pm (noon). Flight #18 on Korean Air to Seoul, Korea.
Depart Seoul, Korea: June 14 (we crossed the intl' date line) at 7:45pm. Flight #683 to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam: June 14 at 10:10pm.
Depart Bangkok, Thailand: June 27 at 2:00am. Flight #652 on Korean Air to
Depart Seoul, Korea: June 27 at 11:20am. Flight #1 on Korean Air to LAX.
Arrive LAX: June 27 (cross back over intl' date line) at 8:40am.
I will receive the tickets this Thursday or Friday. We "must" (I don't use this phrase often so please take this seriously!) be at LAX at least 2 and a half hours prior to the departure time. Security is very tight for international flights and it could take a while -- the security folks really don't care if you miss your flight.
Several of you have arranged your own transportation to the airport but a couple of us are still trying to plan something. Aaron and I were discussing this and figured we have two options:
Option one: We could pay someone to take us. If any of you know someone who might be interested in driving us to the airport, let me know. We could each pay some money -- say $10 to $15, which is still cheaper than the bus -- so if there are enough people, it will be worth their time.
Option two: Four to five of us could rent a car one-way from Bakersfield to LAX. We could drop it off at the airport. Depending on the size of car and number of people it could cost between $30 and 50 but split between us.
Let me know immediately if you're going to need transportation to the airport so we can co-ordinate the ride. I will have the final itinerary on, hopefully, Thursday, but for sure on Friday. It will have all of the contact information for the hotels in which we'll be staying and the flight numbers for each of the in-country flights.
Additional Visa and Departure Fees
There are also visa fees and airport fees/taxes to be paid on our arrival and departure. The latter is money that goes to the airport/government as a tax so it cannot be calculated into the total cost of the trip. The total for the visas and airport fess is approximately $125, depending on the exchange rate. You "must" (I used it again!) pay for these fees in exact change in US Dollars. Failure to have the exact amount may result in you not receiving change and/or delaying the entire group at the airport. Here is the breakdown of fees. Please note, you will also need to provide ONE passport sized photo in Cambodia. Passport size is: 2 inch by 2 inch, with the top of the head showing and the eyes between 1 and 1/8 inch to 1 and 3/8 inch. Sometimes they're very strict on these things. For more information on passport photos, go here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/pptphotos/guide.pdf
Vietnam visa fee: $55 US Dollars
Cambodia visa fee: $20 US Dollars + 1 passport size photo ("must" be passport size)
Departure taxes Vietnam: $12 US Dollars
Departure taxes Cambodia: $25 US Dollars
Departure taxes: Bangkok: $500 bhat (about $12-15 in thai money)
Here's another site from which you can purchase travel insurance: http://www.travelguard.com.
Lastly, looking over the packing lists, I thought of something that might come in handy. You may want to carry a small bottle of liquid hand sanitizer with you. It's useful in case there isn't a bathroom nearby to wash your hands. Just a suggestion.
OK, that's it for now. Please check your email regularly in the next few days. There will probably be another update about airport transportation and tickets.