Skirting The Storm: KIX-HKG-BKK On The Back of Heiyan

Three days prior to leaving Japan, I scroll through the news. One story catches my eye – biggest storm ever in all of recorded history to slam into the Philippines.

Here’s how to help victims of Haiyan / Super Typhoon Yolanda.

In addition to feelings of compassion and helplessness for the Filipinos trapped in the storm’s path, and a mumble under my breath, nope no climate change here folks, I realize that the storm path coincides quite closely with our flights from Osaka to Hong Kong to Bangkok on Monday.

Let me preface the following by saying that when I use “fortunately” it refers only to little ol’ us, and not the communities that were devastated by Haiyan.


So – fortunately – the predicted path and speed of the storm as it passed through the Philippines, hit the Vietnam coast and turned northwest stayed accurate. My best guess, based on amazing resources like Wundermap, was that our second flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok was going to pass through the tail end of the storm. What flashed through my mind was how a boat cuts through the water, leaving a turbulent frothy wake, and that is what we’d be passing through. Honestly? Made me a little nervous, if only for an overly bumpy ride.

My hope was that our flight would be redirected around the back of the storm. We board our plane, which showed a destination duration of an hour and forty minutes – the normal flight path. Just before take off, the duration changed to 2:23, and a later arrival time. Ten minutes after takeoff, it changed again to 2:43, with the arrival time further pushed out.


The logo in Thai Airways’ colorful interior carries a tagline… Smooth as Silk. The flight was indeed smooth, we arrived without a hitch. Greetings from chaotic Sukhumvit on Bangkok. Much more to come.

And more posts from Japan coming – just have to keep writing and formatting some photos from this amazing country!

Note on above map – it is only to give an idea of how we went around the storm. We approached Bangkok from due north, not from the east. And the position and size of the storm is also guestimated at best.

Note on the relationship between climate change and super typhoons: inconclusive.

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