Follow My Whirlwind Trip to Seoul and China

Apr 14, 2015

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Well, it looks like I’m on the road again—and I want to invite my awesome TPG readers to follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

That moment your room is finally ready after a 10 hour red-eye
That moment your room is finally ready after a 10-hour red-eye

The first stop of my trip was São Paulo, Brazil for Amfar’s Inspiration Gala São Paulo. I’ve been before, and it’s an incredible party for an amazing cause. My flight there was on American Airlines, for a total of $1,238.00 for Economy round-trip with a return later in the year, as it was basically the same price as one-way;  I then used EVIP to upgrade to Business Class on JFK-GRU. If I’d made this purchase without EVIP, the total would have been $5,250.30—so I got a great deal.

Business Class to GRU - disco style!
Business Class to GRU – disco style!

The next leg of my trip started on Sunday, April 12, with a GRU-LAX First Class direct flight on older American Airlines 777-200 for 62,500 miles and $54.74, which would have been $6,752.00 if I’d booked it directly.

American Airlines
I like to call this sweater design “snakes on a plane”

After a connecting flight from LAX to SFO, I flew to Seoul, South Korea via a Singapore Airlines 777 in First Class (SFO-ICN for 74,375 miles and $203.30; $5473.80 if purchased directly). I’ll be in Seoul for just one night to get Korean BBQ, which is my idea of a good excuse to fly Singapore Airlines First Class; even though it wasn’t on the A380, I loved every second of it!

Singapore Airlines 777
Singapore Airlines 777

As I mentioned back in 2012, one of my travel resolutions was to explore more of Asia. I asked you guys for suggestions and got such great replies that I want to do it again. I’ll be going to Beijing for the opening party of the W Beijing – Chang’an, and to revisit China. I’m hoping to explore more even though I’m only there for three days. So, give me what you’ve got and I’ll see if I can fit it into my schedule!

The flight to Beijing (GMP-PEK) is Business Class on a China Southern Airlines Airbus A321, which I booked through Orbitz. Then it’s PEK-CAN on China Southern Airlines First Class, booked on Ctrip. I paid for them with Chase Sapphire because it wasn’t worth redeeming miles.

After a few days in Guangzhou, I’ll be off to Hong Kong via train for a short stay, and then back home: HKG-ICN-JFK via Korean Air First Class on an Airbus A380, which I purchased for 80,000 miles transferred from Chase and $90. The full price would have been HKD 61,462 ($7,925.10 USD).

Korean Air A380 First Class Suites
Korean Air A380 First Class Suites (Biz Travel Guru)

As always, you can follow my travels here on The Points Guy blog, as well as on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook—come along for the journey!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No delivery fees for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DashPass subscription from DoorDash -over a $100 value. Activate with your Chase Sapphire card by December 31, 2021.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.