4th Leg – Dubai

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My first chance to leave Dubai airport and actually check the city out for a few days (in-between working hard of course..) You know Dubai is going to be ostentatious and over the top but it’s on a scale I hadn’t even imagined, you can just smell the money. Definitely top of my list of destinations to travel to for pleasure.

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3rd Leg – Dhaka

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After the luxury of Hong Kong it’s always a culture shock arriving in Dhaka. Bangladesh is the world’s eighth most populous country, with over 160 million inhabitants and Dhaka city ranked no 9 in terms of population density with 12 million residents. It’s also a desperately poor country, with 26% of the population living below the national poverty line of US $2.00 per day.

Clothing in Bangladesh is a $19 billion a year industry, second only to China as the worlds largest exporter of apparel to the western markets. The Bangladesh clothing industry has been under heavy scrutiny of late, with the Tazreen factory fire in 2012 killing 117 and the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013 with a death toll of over 1,100. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly over the 5 years I’ve been travelling to Dhaka. What isn’t often reported is the good factories stand up against any you’ll find globally, with modern spacious facilities and ethical, social & environmental practices that would shame some businesses in Europe.

What I love most about Bangladesh is the people, it’s an old cliche but despite the poverty and social issues they are some of the warmest, friendliest people I’ve met. Don’t ever get into a conversation about politics with a local though, or you can kiss goodbye to the rest of your evening…

 

 

2nd Leg – Hong Kong

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Flying into Hong Kong never gets old for me, especially arriving upstairs on a 747 old school style. love this plane and would rather fly on one of these than a modern aircraft any time, for me it epitomises the excitement and glamour of international travel like no other plane can. When I was a kid I always dreamed of one day sitting upstairs on a 747, some dreams do come true I guess.

Hong Kong is still my favourite city, after traveling here regularly for the last 5 years I’m starting to know it pretty well now. Like all global cities it just has a buzz about it that can’t fail to excite when you’re walking the streets, it’s really inspiring.

Excuse the crappy iPhone pics, but I’m over taking my DSLR on work trips, it’s just excess baggage and one more thing to lose or break…..

1st leg – Manchester – Dubai – Bangkok – Laos

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Left Manchester on the 13.55 Emirates flight to Dubai with a 3 hour stopover before a 6 hour flight to Bangkok. Usually enjoy flying, but with a serious case of man flu the trip was a bit of a nightmare with zero sleep on all legs of the journey.

I’ve connected through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport many times but never had reason to stay overnight in the city. As I couldn’t make my connection to Laos in time it left me with a night free in a central hotel to explore and a chance to catch the Liverpool/Chelsea game. What little I saw and experienced of Bangkok has certainly whetted my appetite to spend more time here, has a great vibe about it, so different to other places in Asia I visit.