The World’s Worst Airline Award: Viet/Thai VietJet Air

Cancellation

Delay

Delay Again

Excess Baggage weight? Wait, but you didn’t say “excess” in Da Lat? Only HCMC?

Welcome to an airline that no human being should ever take. This is pathetic on a grand scale. Let me give you the story.

I get to the airport in Da Lat three hours before. While I was there, I saw VietJet Air (domestic) takeoff. I saw JetStar Pacific also takeoff. All of a sudden, the flight had been cancelled? Now, the plane wasn’t at the gate, meaning it could’ve potentially tried landing until the pilots chickened out — for whatever reason (I’m saying that in a derogatory way because the pilots for the domestic Viet flight and international JetStar didn’t delay).

For a cancellation to happen, there has to be something significantly wrong (perhaps underlying) at the airport or with the airline in general. Volcanic Ash? Understandable. Hurricane, Tornado, horrible weather in general? Couldn’t agree more. Light rain at an airport that saw two landings and a takeoff? Questionable.

I kindly helped the airline staff with everything because Thai people were trying to make sense of all of it, but because the airport is 30km away, it’s difficult to get in there without paying a substantial amount of money.

Bad weather plagued somewhat the trip, but I still had an amazing time. However, airlines can really fuck everything up….and so he told everyone “same time tomorrow.”

Thai girl: “and what are the chances of the plane leaving tomorrow?”

VietJet Air staff: “I don’t know.”

So basically it would be a gamble to stay an additional day…with you guys cancelling the flight again and having us wait 1, 2, 3 days? You fucking forreal?

I told my friend, “hey, I’m going to HCMC. Good weather and they probably won’t cancel.” — LOL

September 6th – Delay

After arriving to HCMC a bit late, I told myself, “immigration must be terrible. Lines must be long. I won’t make it.”

After seeing what happened this morning, I was right. Flight had been bumped 1.5 hours to 9:55am.

Nonetheless, I got to the airport this morning and it was a zoo. Makes sense. No big deal. Lines at VietJet Air were STUPID LONG. A staff member was so ignorant and walked up to passengers saying this: “would you like to check in the priority line? We will charge you 5-10$”. Doesn’t sound like a priority to me. Even if I had done that, they still would’ve charged me for EXCESS BAGGAGE.

Da Lat Baggage – Ho Chi Minh Baggage

Let’s put it simple. Da Lat didn’t charge me, nor did Thailand. Ho Chi Minh? YES.

So your policies are very fucked up, aren’t they? If one Vietnamese airport doesn’t charge and another does, we got ourselves a problem, don’t we?

All in all, this airline lacks all cores out of Stephen Covey’s book; from lacking integrity at both airports, to not proving their capabilities by cancelling and delaying flights with no transportation/accommodation offerings.

If you decide to travel to Vietnam, PAY THE EXTRA BUCK!

Vietnam Visa Service Rating — 3 out of 10

Some people might be against this blog, but my goal is to support as many people as I possibly can throughout my travels. This was the first time I applied for this particular visa because I had to enter through Da Lat Airport (other services emphasized that they wouldn’t be able to get me a “letter” to Da Lat)….so I was a bit hesitant.

I talked to the person through email and chat — both of whom who very unhelpful. It was almost as if they were disinterested, but I really didn’t want my money to go to waste, either. I went on the purchase a one-month single entry (American passport) and an Airport Fast-Track (normal)…..if you guys are unaware, lines at the airport could be ridiculously long sometimes, especially in Egypt.

I emailed them COUNTLESS TIMES (support), along with chatting with a man named David (last chat was about asking for my approved visa and he NEVER RESPONDED just seconds after a previous message was sent)….and they never confirmed my landing at the airport and the fast-track.

I have numerous friends in HCMC and they called them….only to be shoulder-shrugged away. I had their Whatsapp….messaging them on a number of occasions and they never responded.

PISS-POOR SERVICE

Living here in Thailand has made me very intolerant of garbage service. That’s one things I just don’t tolerate…and this company provided that. I wanted to make haste going through the airport (which wasn’t needed), but from the failed telephone call service, to the other things I encountered with the terrible chat and late emails, never use this service!

Don’t Use This Website

Use This one Instead!

The Ramble of Positivity: Episode 033 – Third Travel of The Year is Here!

I think what I might enjoy most, which is actually quite bad, is coming back into the country and shoving my visa in the faces of the dogs that want to keep me out of the country. LOL. It’s not only me, but horrific immigration laws have gotten far worse and they’re trying to kick out most foreigners, rather than bringing them in (which is the only way you can get better as an economy. Nonetheless, this is my third travel of the year. It’s still a bit head-scratching that I was able to do six massive trips last year and still save quite a bit of money. There were some crazy setbacks this year, and a 3-5 month, low-salary giving job really took a toll.

So, I took the bull by the horns. I told myself that I need to create my own assets. I need to create my own finances and not rely on a stereotypical, full-time job to give me ANYTHING. The salary they pay me, is in fact, criminal for who I am. Why do I stay? They give me a work permit…which is the only document that will allow me to stay here longer. This is good for the time being. It provides me not only with a sense of security, but the ability to flinch and look at officials in the wrongest ways (haha).

All negativity aside, I’m now full dependent. I make my schedule. I cancel classes, and now I’m starting to make residual income from all corners. Yes, one, if not two, have possibly come and gone, but it’s all about having multiple sources to protect yourself.

When I went to Malaysia, my salary was sound. Stayed at the Renaissance Hotel and all was well, but during that time, I had to spend 300 USD on my flu. When I spent 25000 baht (equivalent to 800 USD) on my trip to Singapore, I got hit with an exact bill for my visa. And remember, this was during the months that I was receiving next-to-NO-MONEY from my full-time job, covering just overhead expenses. I stopped relying on one woman, and I began creating a number of relationships. I made 4-5 private students, on top of doing big workshops, talks, and more workshops. I’m no longer going to put all my eggs into one basket, and that’s I’m truly grateful for.

Now on the cusp of going on a super cheap trip to a gorgeous country that I adore to do activities that I never thought about doing, TOAST TO IT!

Activities

Trekking, seeing clouds that are super low, gorgeous scenery, white-water rafting, and much more. This trip has my salivating already. Three solid days to document a glorious trip and now I’m beyond elated.

10-Year Anniversary (First Time Traveling Abroad)

When I clicked “book flight” and got the confirmation, it felt as if my heart fell not only to my stomach, but right out of my body in general. I recall the moment when my mother was walking across the living room and I said, “hey, so I’m going to Australia.”

She said nothing but a head-shake.

Was this a good sign? Didn’t matter. It was what Arsenio wanted.

This trip was a concoction of so many emotions, gifts, overcomings, gratitude, seeing kangaroos, and seeing an entire new world that I never thought existed. This was beauty at a grand scale. This was waking up in the morning to the aroma of my mother’s pancakes. This was seeing money in the bank for the first time in 2005. Hell, this was greater than any of those things.

From the accents on the plane, to landing in Brisbane, Australia, to speaking to a Chinese-Australian for the first time. I was so in-the-moment. I was in awe, looking around and taking a glance at everything around me. Remember, this coming from a guy who’s only been to two deserts before in his life (and Cedar City, Utah, not much else to say about that).

Throughout those ten days: blue mountains, best hot chocolate in the world, best Belgian chocolate in the world, Darling Harbour, crazy nights out, romantic dinner (although that failed) and a surprise booking of a hotel with a girl who I was trying so hard to be with (but wanted nothing from me). When I left, I cried. I was sad, broken, so many things….I didn’t know if I could move to Australia, but with perseverance, I did. Sadly enough, the girl who I was pursuing cheated on me; and with the worst rude awakening, entered a year-long abusive relationship with another man.

Me, on the other hand, moved to Australia two years later and started one of those memorable journeys of my life (and still continues today). Tune in for the entire podcast down below!

Next Vacation & Spartan Race: Taiwan!

You read it correctly. Your main man, who goes by the name of Arsenio Buck, is reentering Spartan after a bit of a hiatus.

When I was trekking through the foothills in Hua Hin, sucking in dust particles like it was oxygen, I told myself: “man, FUCK THIS!” I said I would never do it again. However, after listening to my body and feeling how strong I’ve become, my body is craving that immense pain once again!

I made an oath to myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to take a year off from Spartan races because the Beast in Hua Hin last year was just so unbelievably demoralizing. However, after sorting out my visa situation here in Thailand, micro trips to Malaysia and Singapore are NO MORE!

I can’t let just a few assholes at Immigration in Hong Kong determine the outcome of me traveling everywhere. Yes, Taiwan will be another very difficult country I need to acclimate with, but because I will be be the “not-so-thumb-sticking-out,” that means I won’t have a problem recording and documenting my stories. Will the Spartan Super go as planned? I have no idea. I will need to adapt very quickly and once I land in Taoyuan International Airport, I’ll know what I’m up against.

Traveling Podcast: Episode 012 – Marina Bay, S.E.A Aquarium, Good Vibes

As promised, I told you guys that I would do another podcast and blog, and here it is! It’s a shame that I stayed just a few days. It has seemed to me that the last few times I’ve come here, even on those 24-hour layovers — to the 3-night trip, is not enough. However, I’m super grateful because it all started with the Aquarium.

Aquarium

Just spectacular! First, the journey there is so convenient and easy. You can buy one ticket that goes all the way to the destination with very easy interchanges in between (Chinatown and the final stop — Harborfront). After that, I met my friend right in front of the connect shopping center and we went up a few escalators to the tram across the body of water and to Sentosa Island.

Little did I know there was a Universal Studios there. The aquarium was magnificent. To see those creatures of all kinds living in their habitats and coexisting with one another is truly remarkable. Having the opportunity to see the blue poison frog from Brazil was pretty amazing, too! They’re beyond tiny, but they can kill in minutes.

After the aquarium, a red wine bottle was bought and hours of conversation proceeded. Just an all around great time.

Marina Bay Sands

A magnificent structure. Being up close, and in a green area, was just captivating. What’s even more amazing is the way the structure is built inside. The hotel rooms are one door away from being in the lobby. It’s sooooo….odd. Lol. Here I am looking down both corridors and seeing the hotels on each side. Just don’t know how much the hotel can offer, but with a steep price tag of $500 USD a night, it better provide more than what I saw!

The gardens, water, birds, everything on the backside, was tranquil. The amount of green area, beautiful gardens towering over everyone and the feeling of peace is truly remarkable. That’s what i’ve been wanting to see for a long time.

Conclusion

It was a magnificent journey and I’m so grateful for having the opportunity to finally stay there past 24 hours (lol). Now it’s finish and I’m officially heading back to Thailand. This will for sure be a culture shock.

Podcast

The Ramble of Positivity: Episode 031 – Singapore, I’m COMING!

Excited, jubilated, in harmony, bliss, serenity. Baby, I’m going to Singapore. Cathay Pacific right into the new Terminal 4 which houses that new magnificent Jewel? Oh, I’m definitely NOT complaining.

Excited, jubilated, in harmony, bliss, serenity. Baby, I’m going to Singapore. Cathay Pacific right into the new Terminal 4 which houses that new magnificent Jewel? Oh, I’m definitely NOT complaining.

Land, catch the magnificent train to my hotel, check in, and have my friend pick me up for some Malay/Singaporean food? CHECK! Friend to meet for drinks after? Aquarium on Saturday?

I’m grateful. I’m excited. This is my first “real” holiday since last August. I had Laos in November of last year, topping off the most FORGETTABLE trip of the last 10 years. Malaysia, which was just below average, continued the soar trend.

So I’m going to buck this trend by heading to my favorite country in Southeast Asia.

Heavy Breathing In The Morning

Anytime I go to the airport, I always think worse case scenario, which is probably not a good thing to entertain in terms of having a though. After getting on an always-crowded-skytrain (in the morning — rush hour), I got to the airport link, had my ticket at hand already and got to the airport.

I followed a couple of students up the escalators before finally reaching Cathay Pacific. The guy at the counter looked new, and Chinese. not that the nationality mattered, but there was a guy overseeing what he was doing and of course, he kinda didn’t know what he was doing. After 4 minutes and without any questions, I received my ticket, went through an always-easy security check, and then to passport control.

This is the place I dread because the could be nasty….however, out of all the times I ever left this country, it was one foolish, old, racist lady that put her glasses on and went through my pages before I started laughing at her bigotry. New passport and guy? 1 minute, stamp, done. EASY!

So, all the heavy breathing, again, for NOTHING.

Going into the airport…some questions may come, but last time I came, there weren’t any. If they ask (and they don’t do so often), it’s because I write something ridiculous on my paper that raises a question. So, now I’m sitting here at the airport and waiting for my departure to an ultra-efficient country!

Podcast

Traveling Pod: Episode 011 – Malaysia for the First Travel of 2019!

YES! Omg, this year is going to feature some super interesting travels, but none are better than kicking off the inaugural flight to one of my favorite places in the world — MALAYSIA!

YES! Omg, this year is going to feature some super interesting travels, but none are better than kicking off the inaugural flight to one of my favorite places in the world — MALAYSIA!

Yes, Spartan Super…..really not looking forward to it (this will be my first and last of the year), but it has to be done and i have to test my body and see if it has progressed since last November (absolute sure).

Nonetheless, this is kicking off with some sneak peeks.

Klook.com has helped me significantly. I’ve already bought my KLIA eskpress train ticket (QR code rather than going to the counter) and it’s on my phone. The SIM card is ready to go, too. So right when I land and stand in that 45-minute line, I can send messages and communicate with the world. It’s pure BRILLIANCE!

Amari Don Meung

What a smooth ride all the way over. Going to this side of town gives me nervous jitters because it was a place that I used to live for 3.5 years. I can’t say they were bad years, but more character building years. The last time I had flown out of this airport had to be July of last year, so to see the surrounding facilities and the massive skytrain develop the way it has…is pretty amazing.

When I arrived at the hotel, I had to walk through the restaurant, which was serving some DAMN “smelling-good” type food. I went down an escalator and arrived at check-in. For the first time in years, I was greeted with a smile and check-in was smoother-than-ever.

HOWEVER!

There was a bit of an issue. A guy smiled at me….well, I thought he did. I looked over my right shoulder and didn’t see anyone.

He did it a second time before coming over from where he was sitting….to sitting directly behind me at the check-in counter. This was reminisce of the mayhem I went through when I first visited Bangkok.

Some of you are asking yourselves “who was he? Who are these people?” Well, let’s just say these are sex solicitors. How do hotels allow these types of monsters to operate ON PROPERTY, is beyond comprehension. They try selling dumb ass services such as suits, sex massage, and other repugnant things. Luckily, I knew exactly what he was going to ask me. So while the lady was checking me in, I was like “speak Thai to him….he’ll go away in an instant.” These types of people target non-Thai speaking foreigners/solo travelers (especially men because they know the men want to experience a lot of exotic things). I, on the other hand, was too difficult to solicit because I knew his malicious game. He tried giving me a high-five at the end and I kinda blew him off (didn’t want to be that much of an asshole….but it happened). It was a quick exchange, he knew I was a teacher, and once I told him “yes,” he shifted his body language and turned away because he knew I wasn’t falling for his scam. BOOM!

The room was very quaint. It had a like a 90’s retro feel to it. Spacious, comfortable seating, and a dated alarm clock (which I actually liked). I didn’t go swimming or anything, but it was somewhat quiet. And although the price may seem a bit steep for a lot of travelers (about 90$ a night), you can also stay at other hotels in the area but you have to walk through sweltering traffic to get there and it’s not connected to the airport.

Upon check-out, I literally woke up, walked downstairs, got my deposit, and walked across an air-conditioned pedestrian bridge to the airport, and took an elevator one floor up to get to the departure lounge. Honestly, other than Changi Airport, tell me a more convenient way? Transit hotels are popular only at Changi airport….or else you would have to pay a lot of money to stay at big-name hotel chains.

Rating – 9.0 out of 10

Yes, Spartan Super…..really not looking forward to it (this will be my first and last of the year), but it has to be done and i have to test my body and see if it has progressed since last November (absolute sure).

Nonetheless, this is kicking off with some sneak peeks.

Klook.com has helped me significantly. I’ve already bought my KLIA eskpress train ticket (QR code rather than going to the counter) and it’s on my phone. The SIM card is ready to go, too. So right when I land and stand in that 45-minute line, I can send messages and communicate with the world. It’s pure BRILLIANCE!

Amari Don Meung

What a smooth ride all the way over. Going to this side of town gives me nervous jitters because it was a place that I used to live for 3.5 years. I can’t say they were bad years, but more character building years. The last time I had flown out of this airport had to be July of last year, so to see the surrounding facilities and the massive skytrain develop the way it has…is pretty amazing.

When I arrived at the hotel, I had to walk through the restaurant, which was serving some DAMN “smelling-good” type food. I went down an escalator and arrived at check-in. For the first time in years, I was greeted with a smile and check-in was smoother-than-ever.

HOWEVER!

There was a bit of an issue. A guy smiled at me….well, I thought he did. I looked over my right shoulder and didn’t see anyone.

He did it a second time before coming over from where he was sitting….to sitting directly behind me at the check-in counter. This was reminisce of the mayhem I went through when I first visited Bangkok.

Some of you are asking yourselves “who was he? Who are these people?” Well, let’s just say these are sex solicitors. How do hotels allow these types of monsters to operate ON PROPERTY, is beyond comprehension. They try selling dumb ass services such as suits, sex massage, and other repugnant things. Luckily, I knew exactly what he was going to ask me. So while the lady was checking me in, I was like “speak Thai to him….he’ll go away in an instant.” These types of people target non-Thai speaking foreigners/solo travelers (especially men because they know the men want to experience a lot of exotic things). I, on the other hand, was too difficult to solicit because I knew his malicious game. He tried giving me a high-five at the end and I kinda blew him off (didn’t want to be that much of an asshole….but it happened). It was a quick exchange, he knew I was a teacher, and once I told him “yes,” he shifted his body language and turned away because he knew I wasn’t falling for his scam. BOOM!

The room was very quaint. It had a like a 90’s retro feel to it. Spacious, comfortable seating, and a dated alarm clock (which I actually liked). I didn’t go swimming or anything, but it was somewhat quiet. And although the price may seem a bit steep for a lot of travelers (about 90$ a night), you can also stay at other hotels in the area but you have to walk through sweltering traffic to get there and it’s not connected to the airport.

Upon check-out, I literally woke up, walked downstairs, got my deposit, and walked across an air-conditioned pedestrian bridge to the airport, and took an elevator one floor up to get to the departure lounge. Honestly, other than Changi Airport, tell me a more convenient way? Transit hotels are popular only at Changi airport….or else you would have to pay a lot of money to stay at big-name hotel chains.

Rating – 9.0 out of 10

Listen to “Traveling Podcast: Episode 011 – Malaysia, Don Meung, Renaissance – GLORY!” on Spreaker.

Lisa Nichols’ Play-time

Your Playtime
Another area you’ll want to be crystal clear about is how you play during your off-hours—including the importance of scheduling playtime by actually marking it on the calendar.
Playtime should allow you to completely disconnect from your responsibilities for the specified period of time—whether it’s a one-hour respite, a two-week vacation, or a three-month sabbatical. Not only that, but playtime should also be spent in true enjoyment at an activity you love. It should never be spent merely catching up on your sleep, recovering from illness, or recuperating from a weeklong bout of overwork. Getting back on an even keel—for instance, going from a negative 4 to a zero—should never be the sole purpose of playtime.

How do you like to play? Playtime should be designed to create harmony in your life. Think about all the things you used to do ten years ago before you got busy.
When I’m off the clock, I like to go to the Caribbean. I swim in the ocean every single day. I wear different clothes, go dancing, and even turn off my cell phone so my mind knows I’ve unplugged.

Excerpt From: Lisa Nichols & Janet Switzer. “Abundance Now.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/abundance-now/id957433203?mt=11

One of my biggest goals this year was to implement more “play-time” into my schedule. This is HUGE because while listening to Lisa Nichols’ audiobook, I realized that I still wasn’t putting it into my schedule.

Lisa says it’s about completely disconnecting. I love this idea and I take it seriously because when I’m out with my friends, whether it’s my Ugandans warrior friend or a new recent friend I just made, I literally turn off my phone for the time being and zero in on what everyone else is saying. Whatever is happening outside doesn’t matter because this particular person (or would be) who’s sitting directly in front of me deserves that attention.

What’s even more exciting is when I tune back into my phone and see a bunch of great news. It’s all worth it in the end.

But Monday and Wednesday evenings are my free-time days. This is when I fit activities into my schedule in regards to nurturing relationships and reconnecting with awesome entrepreneurs online to have a mastermind session.

Yes, traveling is everything to me, and with potential trips to Egypt and Fiji (along with an already booked Malaysia/Spartan race trip) looming large, I couldn’t be more excited.

However, I love teaching. If it’s in podcast form or writing form. It’s everything to me and it’s when I feel most alive, so why would I stop doing something that makes me feel alive? It’s impossible. On days that I don’t teach, I feel empty. On days I don’t do my podcasts or teach, that’s like a day without technology to some, which would essentially be tragic.

A lot of people who are reading, or will read this blog will side more with the Gary Vee “I don’t want to take vacations, go to museums, BLAH BLAH BLAH!” Yeah, museums aren’t my thing, either, but I must assure you that vacations and living are the number one priority. I will not take my money with me when I die, either. It’s all about impact.

So here are your questions.

  • How are you disconnecting from work?
  • Are you constantly “hustling” and not enjoying the “me” time?
  • Do you have specific times, dates, or holidays that you plan around your “play-time?”

Podcast

Fun & Hobbies: Goals for 2019!

Here we go! This is the first of the 8-part series that I’m launching in conjunction with what I did towards the end of last year.  I’m super excited with what’s happening and what has already happened, but I first need to go back to the beginning of the year and see what I said back in my previous blog post (one year ago).

What I said at the end of last year….

For Sures 

  1. Indonesia
  2. Malaysia (possibly this month
  3. Kazakhstan + Kyrgyzstan

Potentials

  1. Australia (high chance)
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Taiwan
  4. Morocco (Tedx)

On-The-Ropes

  1. American Samoa
  2. Japan

Well, i got to Hong Kong, but not sure why I thought about going to Japan.  Australia was a high chance, but then with the visa problems and having to leave all the time this year, everything was completely destroyed.

  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Laos

To be honest, 7 countries in a year was phenomenal.  However, were these real holidays? No.  Aside from the forgettable Hong Kong trip, Malaysia (both times) were the only legitimate holidays.  Singapore was fun both times, but I still didn’t venture out and do activities like I wanted to.  Was it because of budget problems? No, I simply didn’t want to treat it like a holiday at that time.  I was scared because I wasn’t sure where my income was coming from when I got back.

Now with 2019 on the horizon, I know not to overshoot what I plan on doing.

One of my goals, that coordinates with my career, is making more money in less time, and I’m establishing that at this moment in my life.  Building the connections and having big bankers all around Bangkok, on top of ex-teachers getting in contact with me in regards to big money work, will be game-changing.

I want to really dedicate more time to me. I’m sick of working past 6pm at a regular job, unless I’m getting paid over 100$ an hour to do so.  I don’t want to work long hours on weekend anymore, only to make a wage I’ve been making the last three years ON THE SAME WEEKEND.  I would much rather focus on my projects and FUN TIME.

New Activities? No Way! Spartans!

Aside from going to the zoo in Melbourne, Australia in late February (very close to booking this trip) and a few other things, Spartan races are still my fun and hobbies, although related to health.  Yes, I would love to do whitewater rafting and still go snowboarding in the snowfields of Hokkaido, but right now, that’s a bit on hold.  Mongolia/Egypt is surely on board.  I would like to take 2-3 massive trips this year and of course, my inaugural mini trips to Singapore, Malaysia, and the small resort island Bali, which is in Indonesia.

Listen to “Fun & Hobbies: Goals for 2019!” on Spreaker.