What a whirlwind holiday. This is part 4. If you’ve missed the others, you may wish to check out part 1, part 2, or part 3.

On the final day of our trip, we awoke in Shanghai and then flew to South Korea, purposefully arranging a 9-hour layover so that we’d have time to leave Incheon International Airport for a few hours. (I wanted Michelle to get a glimpse of Seoul.)

Our first stop was Cheonggyecheon, a breath of fresh air that seems anomalous, especially given the big-city buildings that flank it. Cheonggyecheon is a stream that transforms an urban mass into something natural and light. It is approximately 7 miles long, and it is my favorite place in Seoul.


Seoul’s a fun city.

8 months ago I was at the same coffee shop (below) with my brother, so I had to get a photo of Michelle for a side-by-side comparison.

Fried chicken has fast become a staple in Seoul, so we enjoyed a savory stop.

We love to karaoke, but we’d prefer not to have an audience. That’s why karaoke in Tokyo and Seoul are perfect. It’s just us, in a private room. (But every once in awhile, we capture a bit of video.)

After taking the train back to Incheon International Airport, we went to the lounge. Upon exiting, we saw this brilliant sign, which conveys distance (in meters) from the lounge to each gate!


We decided to splurge on our return to LAX by using points to fly First Class on Asiana Airline’s A380. It should be noted, though, that Asiana has an excellent Business Class product, and if I weren’t so binary, I’d have saved 60,000 points and had us opt out of First. But my mindset for this trip was hard-wired to suites, and so I wanted us to spend as much time in them as possible.

Here’s a nice view from suite 2E: 

It should be clear from the video that Asiana’s First Class, while excellent, is no match for Singapore Airlines’ Suites. Also, it was 40,000 fewer miles (per person) to fly in SQ’s Suites.

But in the end, I wouldn’t remember the miles required if I didn’t look them up after the fact. When I think about this trip, I simply remember that all of our flights (the total for both of us) cost approximately $700 (plus points). That’s great, especially given the retail cost of these flights would’ve been north of $50,000.

As we reached San Francisco, I knew we had approximately one hour remaining before landing in Los Angeles. I looked around. There’s so much space. So much privacy. We have additional flights to look forward to, but we won’t be in a suite again until next year.

I ordered another cappuccino and uttered a quiet thanks, as we are fortunate to be alive today, in this time, and to have these opportunities.

As always, feel free to message me if you have any questions regarding routing, points accrual, or application.


Flight: Asiana Airlines

Class: First

Aircraft: A380-800

Points: 210,000 redeemed via Aeroplan, plus $408.

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