Travelling between the Emerald Isle and The Red Dragon became a whole lot easier this summer. Travelers (including our own customers i.e. you!) and business in general, have been wanting such a connection for several few years, and it has been widely welcomed, especially in the context of ever warming trade relations between Ireland and China. Alas, when it rains it pours as you now have two options.
First up, you can fly Dublin to Beijing.
Hainan Airlines, China's fourth-largest airline now fly direct from Dublin to Beijing on Tuesdays and Saturdays and via Edinburgh and Thursdays and Sundays. David, one of our staff at Global Village Tours flew on the inaugural flight on June 12th of this year "there was plenty of excitement and balloons around the gate before we departed Dublin at 11.10 am, on board the food was great, the movies were sensible and there was no shortage of alcohol going around. It was superb to get across to Beijing in 10 hours arriving in at 5 am, it seriously beats hanging around Istanbul or Abu Dhabi for example" Beijing, apart from being a very cool city in its own right is the gateway to explore countless cities in China like Harbin or Tianjin, or heading down along the coast to Qingdao. David managed a few more words, "apart from seriously opening up China for outbound Irish and UK tourists, it's hugely positive for our customers on our North Korea tours, all of which originate in Beijing, makes things a lot more relaxing and allows plenty of time to checkout the forbidden city, great wall etc. before or after a few days in North Korea" One-way flights start around the â‚¬360 mark and with traffic of approximately 120,000 passengers between Ireland and China last year without a direct flight, this figure is likely to increase.
Alternatively, you can do Dublin to Hong Kong
As Beijing is the gateway to the North, Hong Kong is the gateway to everywhere else. Direct flights from Dublin to Hong Kong operated by Cathay Pacific have also commenced recently ."It's good enough to have a direct link to Hong Kong which is a draw dropping city in every respect, but it opens up all of South China too, cities like Shenzhen and Guangzhou are just a hop across the border" said David. For geeky types that like electronics especially, Huaqiangbei district in Shenzhen can't really be described in this short paragraph but think robots, hover boards, miniature drones and mountains of cameras, computers and peripherals across 3 square kilometers. Everyone deserves a few days in Hong Kong at least once in their life, and conveniently flights from here across Southeast Asia and as far as Australia can be snagged for under â‚¬100, it is one of the world's best and often least expensive hubs to fly out of. Flight time from Dublin to Hong Kong is 12 hours and the ticket will set you back north of â‚¬650. This autumn, Global Village Tours will be launching new travel itineraries for China anywhere from 3 days upwards which can be easily tagged onto a North Korea tour or as a standalone holiday. Whether you are after the history (4,000 years), culture (56 separte ethnic groups), food (unbelievable), nature (panda bears and mrore) or a good old fashioned booze up, China has as much to offer as any other land mass.
So no more annoying layovers before you hit this part of the world. China has opened up, including cities you possibly have never heard of before, now just a bullet train ride from Beijing or a ferry ride from Hong Kong. North Korea is now on your doorstep, making it easier to talk your boss into that 3-4 day budget tour that you can squeeze into a Friday to Monday.