Make a long and tiring layover into a fun and great stopover. This list gives you 5 cool stopovers in Asia! By adding a stopover on your trip, you can often save significant amount on your plane tickets. It also adds an extra destination to your trip!
Beijing is the capital of China, and therefore a major hub for national and international travelers. If you are traveling to China, you most likely have a stopover here. Also, if you're on your way to Japan, the Philippines, or South Korea, many airlines have a layover in Beijing as well.
Beijing has a lot to offer tourists, and most people who go to Beijing also visit the Great Wall - and you should too!
Beijing is a big city and with many different areas. Stay in the city center, close to the Tian'anmen Square, and you will be close to most of the sights and attractions. The hotel I've found below is just a 10-minute walk to Tian'anmen Square and a 20-minute walk to the Forbidden City.
The Airport Express Line Train is by far the quickest way to get to the city center, and it only takes around 20 min. The bus costs the same as the train, but it will take you just over an hour - so definitely take the train! You can also take a taxi, which takes around 40 mins but is thrice the price.
Beijing is a city full of history and historical monuments, so while you here, you'll definitely have to walk on The Great Wall. Join one of the many tours, or arrange your own - no matter what, you just have to visit it! On the tour I've found below, you'll also visit Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City (which also are must-sees!). Also, a visit to The Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven should be on your list as well.
You're in China, you need to see some pandas! Visit the Beijing Zoo, and you'll be able to get a glimpse of pandas.
The reason to go to Kuala Lumpur is similar to Singapore. Kuala Lumpur is a major hub for those traveling a long distance to South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.
Besides being a major hub, Kuala Lumpur is also the capital of Malaysia. And Malaysia is a popular destination for tourists!
Kuala Lumpur is big, but luckily it’s cheap to take a taxi or uber, so you can choose pretty much any hotel you’ll like. I would recommend to stay in Bukit Bintang, or just outside of this area. Bukit Bintang is the “city center”, and most sights are located nearby. You can take the train or bus, or opt for a taxi/Uber to get around in this big city.
The hotel I’ve found is in the Bukit Bintang area, and it’s a good place for a couple of nights’ stay.
The quickest way to get to the city is to take the KLIA express train from the airport. It will take you directly to KL Sentral in less than 30 minutes. However, depending on the location of your hotel, you might need to switch to another train. You can also take a taxi/uber, which will take just under an hour. Both options cost the same.
The bus is the cheapest option, but this will take around 1.5 hours.
Look at the picture right above. Doesn’t it look amazing? The building in the picture is the Petronas Twin Towers, and they are pretty remarkable. You should definitely take a tour of this building and see the view from the observatory deck. It’s so cool standing in the middle looking down at the city.
I would also recommend grabbing a drink at one of the surrounding hotels. You can get a great view of the towers at night while enjoying a cocktail. You can also get a great view from Menara.
Just in front of Petronas Twin Towers is the KLCC Park, where you can relax for a couple of hours. If you are looking for a greener park, check out the Butterfly Park, Botanical Garden, or Eco Forest Park. The latter one also has a canopy walk!
Kuala Lumpur is a great place for shopping and has many shopping malls and markets. You can buy both western clothes and souvenirs and handcraft from Malaysia.
There are also many day tours you can do from Kuala Lumpur - just take a look at some of them I’ve found below.
With Singapore Airlines being a major Airline and with many international routes, this means that Singapore is a major hub in South Asia. Mainly for those flying to Australia, New Zealand, The Pacific, and the rest of South Asia.
Singapore Changi Airport has also been voted the best airport in the world - and well, no airport I've ever been to can compare itself to Changi. Changi literally has everything! A rooftop pool with a jacuzzi, a botanical garden, a cinema, and several dining and shopping options. You can actually spend hours in Changi Airport just exploring - and if you want to explore the city, they also offer free city tours!
Enough about the airport, Singapore is a really cool destination too, and there's so much to see and do!
If you can afford it, stay at Marina Bay Sands (the famous hotel with the infinity pool). But for most of us travelers, this hotel is way too expensive! So how about staying in one of the famous POD-hotels? It's cheap, it's quirky, and you probably haven't tried it before. If this is not your thing, and you prefer a proper hotel room, don't worry. Just find a hotel near the Downtown core, you'll be all good. It's easy to get around.
The cheapest way to get into the city center is to take the MRT train. It will take you 30 minutes, but you do, however, have to change trains. A more comfortable but expensive way would to just take an airport Taxi. This will take around 20 minutes. You can also take the airport shuttle. It will drop you off at your hotel (if you're staying in a big well known one) and will take around 25 min. What to do:
Start off with a sightseeing tour of the city. For example, you can try out a bike tour like the one below and be sure to visit Gardens by the Bay afterward. The bike tour will take you to Little India and Chinatown, and I recommend buying snacks/food at some of the food stalls - it's really delicious!
Afterward, if you're not staying there, of course, head to Marina Bay Sands. At Marina Bay Sands, there's an observatory deck, where you can get a fantastic view over the city. Unfortunately, you're not allowed to visit the famous infinity pool unless you stay at the hotel!
Another good option for a great view is the cablecar! How about watching the sunset from the cablecar? And then head to one of the many bars afterward for a drink!
Hong Kong is a popular transit-option for those traveling to East Asia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. This is due to Cathay Pacific Airlines, as it has a head office - and the main hub - located at Hong Kong International airport.
However, Hong Kong is an exciting city, and if it's possible, you should allow yourself at least a couple of days here.
The MTR (Hong Kong's transportation system) makes it really easy to get around Hong Kong, so as long as you find a place close to a station, you'll be fine. I would recommend staying close to the harbour - either Kowloon or Hong Kong Island. Most tourists visit Tsim Sha Tsui, so this part of the city would be a good choice as well. The hotel I've found is in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Getting into the city is easy, but deciding on which transportation mode can be a bit tricky! There are so many ways to get from the airport and into the city. You can take the Express Train, airport shuttle, local bus or grab a Taxi/Uber. What is most convenient for you depends on where in the city you're staying - and of course, how much luggage you've got with you!
First things first, you need to do a bit of sightseeing! A must see attraction in Hong Kong is the Ngong Ping 360 (cable car), where you will get amazing views of Hong Kong. Afterwards, hop on a sightseeing bus, or make your way on a guided walking tour. Just make sure that you stop by the Tian Tan Buddha, Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Wetland Park, and Temple Street Night Market.
Hong Kong is also a famous place for shopping, dining, and grabbing a drink at a bar. Visit Repulse Bay, 1881 Heritage Mall, or simply wander the streets of your Kowloon City or Hong Kong Island. There's plenty of stores here as well! Afterward, head to Lan Kwai Fong or Tung Choi Street for dinner&drinks.
Hong Kong also has several amusement parks, so if you like rollercoasters, you should visit Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park.
Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, is the “capital” for Emirates Airlines. This airport is one of the busiest when it comes to people transiting through to other destinations. Due to its location, Dubai is a hub for those flying Europe to Asia/Australia/Africa and vice versa.
Though Dubai has a lot to offer, so staying a couple of days or even a week is worth the layover.
Just remember to be respectful of the culture!
Dubai is big! And there are many cool areas of the city that are worth staying in. You can check out the guide below for useful information on which part of the city will suit you the best.
If you want luxury, then head to The Palm, and stay at one of the many luxurious hotels like the one I've found below.
It’s super easy to get into Downtown Dubai. You can either grab a taxi - the ride is only 15 min. Or you can opt for the cheap train, which is just a 25-minute train ride.
First things first, go on a sightseeing tour! Be sure to stop by Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and one of the many wonderful markets.
In Dubai, you can also experience the dunes, either by a 4WD drive or an ATV. It’s super fun to drive around in the sand dunes!
Another thrilling activity is skydiving - you'll experience something crazy while having an amazing view! But if this is not your thing, you can also ride a camel. Or you can enjoy the luxurious hotel with its pool and pool-service.