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The Economist Intelligence Unit has just named their "most expensive cities" for 2014 and, knocking Tokyo from the top, the year's winner is Singapore. As the headlines around this ranking circulate, we feel it's important to note that this is for living in a city, and not simply traveling there. Singapore is actually one of the more affordable city destinations, and caters to all budgets.
For example, travelers can pay over $400 per night for a stay at the historic Raffles Hotel, or to splash in the famous infinity pool of the Marina Bay Sands. On the flip side, a night at one of our favorite hostels, the 5footway Inn, is only $25-$40. A room in a great boutique hotel will average $130 per night, but the big chains love to go luxe in Singapore with a $225 average.
Airfare is on par with average fares to London or Paris, even though with a trip to Singapore, you get thousands and thousands more miles for your money. Budget travelers should even keep a look-out for Singapore Airlines' occasional flight deals, like a recent one which offered US to Singapore in the airline's award-winning economy class for $999 roundtrip.
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Yet another exciting destination is being added to the routes the latest British Airways aircraft are flying: the Airbus A380, which premiered at LAX in September, will be starting services from London Heathrow to Singapore Changi (SIN) on October 28.
Initially operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (with the return to London the following day), the route will go daily A380 from February 9 next year. Why Singapore? Heathrow to Changi is an important route for both corporate and leisure traffic and competition is intense, with the original A380 flyer - Singapore Airlines - offering several double-decker services a day between the two cities.
Southeast Asia Travel / Malaysia Travel / ATF 2014 / ASEAN Conference 2014 / Indonesia Travel / Kuching Travel / Brunei Travel / Cambodia Travel / Laos Travel / Myanmar Travel / Philippines Travel / Singapore Travel / Thailand Travel / Vietnam Travel / → All Tags
Last month, the 33rd annual ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) was held in Kuching, Malaysia (Borneo) and drew delegates from around the world. The ten member countries - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam - were all represented by their ministries of tourism. The conference takes place each year but its location rotates through the member countries. This year’s host, Malaysia, opened the gathering by highlighting ATF’s vision of “Ten Countries, One Destination.”
“I hope that this forum will chart the strategic directions to expedite the growth and development of tourism in ASEAN and enhance our collaboration towards projecting ASEAN as an attractive and multi-faceted single destination,” said Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.
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One of the major current and long-term goals of ASEAN is to further connect the ten member countries, marketing the region as "ten countries, but one destination" for travelers. Considering the long travel time, visiting multiple cities across a handful of countries makes total sense for those coming to Southeast Asia from the States.
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The start of a new year means a zeroing-out of frequent flier qualifying miles and hotel loyalty program balances. Thus, there's no better time to plan for 12 more months of travel. To help with some inspiration, we're sharing the places and events we're most excited about for 2014.
More new months in the year means more chances to party at the buzziest events or simply witness a historical occurrence. Keep this list handy as you map out your itineraries for this year:
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Singapore Airlines is consistently ranked tops for luxury when it comes to their planes, service, and even their airport lounges. After this summer's announcement of a major update for seats in all cabins, it was only a matter of time until the carrier announced plans to similarly freshen up the environment of the lounges.
SIA unveiled the new concept for their airport oases at Sydney International. Tucked behind a customized batik screen and designed by ONG&ONG, the SilverKris lounge is modeled to convey a sense of "home away from home" with living room, kitchen, and dining room areas.
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Lace up your runners and stretch out your hamstrings because though it might be winter outside, we have a good reason to keep up your fitness through the season and throw in some travel as well. From New York to Singapore, there are more options to race your heart out with Vertical World Circuit's stair running world tour.
Here are the details: the seven-race circuit of events begins in New York and circles the globe as racers ascend the stairs of some world's most iconic skyscrapers, all in the name of fitness and to have a crack at coming in first place.
At this point everyone knows that Singapore-Changi Airport is consistently ranked one of the best airports in the world. They’ve got a movie theatre, they’ve got slides, and of course they have plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment.
As if it could get better, the airport has announced another expansion. This time it’s all about Terminal 4, as plans are heading off the drawing board and into construction mode. The fresh construction won’t be quite ready for your next flight through the region for some time, as the new airport expansion is looking to make its appearance at some point in 2017.
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9,500 miles on one fell swoop. Welcome to the longest commercial flight in the world, Singapore Airlines non-stop between Singapore and Newark. As much as we hate the word "bucketlist," that's what this isa superlative experience with an entry in the history books and, sadly, an expiration date.
The planned distance of flight number SQ 22 is 9,525 miles with a scheduled flight time of 18:55h. The return, SQ 21 from Newark to Singapore, is a tad longer depending on winds, but we count them together. Even the aircraft is special; it's an Airbus A340-500 arranged with only 100 seats, all Business Class. The 1-2-1 configuration means comfort and relative privacy for both solo travelers and couples.
November 23, 2013 is the final flight of SQ 22, and Singapore's route from Los Angeles (the second longest flight in the world) is also due to end, on October 20, 2013. You have been warned. This season is the last chance to get onboard the world's longest flights, but a white glove experience comes with a premium price; a roundtrip starts from $7,500 during these finale months (but they do accept Star Alliance miles for award bookings).
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Even in the middle of our Family Travel Week, it seems like some airlines are going the opposite direction of catering for the littlest flyers. Exiling children in the air started with Malaysia Airlines and then AirAsia, when both of the carries announced they will create a section of their long-haul aircraft specifically designed for travelers that choose not to be around children; in Malaysia's case, they've even banned children from flying in the first class cabins. Now, the newest child-free zone comes from Scoot.
Singapore's favorite canary yellow low-cost carrier is now reserving a portion of the economy cabin for those traveling without children. The ScootinSilence cabin has banned under-12s from sitting in rows 21 to 25 to make room for passengers coughing up $18 SGD (about $14 US) to have the privilege of sharing an armrest with someone closer their age.
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Singapore Airlines is an airline of superlatives. Not only do they boast the largest lie-flat bed, the most luxurious airplane suite, and the longest routes in the world, but with today's debut of what they're calling the "SIA Next Gen" seats and entertainment, the words "newest" and "most advanced" now enter the picture. Let's take a closer look.
The Jaunted Series on Singapore Airlines' Next Gen
1. First Class
2. Business Class
3. Economy Class
4. In-flight entertainment
They're calling it the "world's most advanced in-flight entertainment system."
Singapore Airlines is psyching up to launch their Next Generation of cabin products this autumn, including a completely new KrisWorld experience backed by Panasonic's eX3 system. Singapore will be the first airline with eX3, starting off in their new 777-300ERs and A350s, and let us be the first to say that it looks freaking amazing.
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Just last week we detailed 21 countries that use the "dollar" other than the United States. Although they share the name of the US' money, almost all were far more colorful and richly illustrated. Indeed, travelers will be delighted to find that airports take pride of place on two currencies.
First, there's the $500 Hong Kong Dollar bill from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. You may know them better as HSBC. This note depicts a view of HK's Chek Lap Kok Airport (plus the control tower and tail of a 747) with such detail that terminal and maintenance buildings, and even aircraft taxiing to the runways, are clearly visible. Too bad they didn't throw in an easter egg, like a "Where's Waldo?"