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How does a month of flying around Southeast Asia for under $200 sound?
That's the question we asked back in December, when it was first announced AirAsia would introduce some sort of pass for unlimited flights. Well, that passthe AirAsia ASEAN Pass, named for the Association of Southeast Asian Nationsis official and available for purchase, beginning today.
The ASEAN Pass' original promise of travel to 10 countries has been kept, and passengers may elect to fly to airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Burma, Laos and Brunei. The greatest variety of destinations is of course offered from AirAsia's base in Kuala Lumpur, although Bangkok also has a bunch.
Popular leisure destinations in the passes include Bali, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Langkawi, and Puerto Princesa. With just those it'd be very tempting to turn an ASEAN Pass into a "best exotic beaches of SE Asia" pass, but culture and business travelers will find plenty destinations of interest as well.
An array of drinks at the Raffles Singapore hotel.
The country recently passed a new law aimed at restricting the purchase and consumption of alcohol from between 10:30 pm and 7:00 am, all day, every day. The bill has also designated areas known for public disorder because of drinking problems as "Liquor Control Zones." Essentially, bars, clubs, and even the corner store for late-night beer runs will shut down at 10:30pm.
As many know, this isn’t the first head-scratching law from a nation that forces litterers to wear special shirts and has a peculiar definition of pornography. It’s uncertain what the proposed punishment for late-night drinking will be, but, with that, here’s a recap of Singapore’s strange laws and the possible punishments for each crime.
Airline News / Seats / Premium Economy Class Travel / Singapore Airlines / Singapore Travel / A380 / A350 / 777 / → All Tags
So you may have heard that Singapore Airlines is all set to finally introduce a Premium Economy Class to their planes, but did you know that airfare to travel in the new seats is already on sale?
Set to fly as soon as August 9, 2015 on the Singapore-Sydney A380 SQ route first, Premium Economy is an $80 million investment by the airline. It will be considerably less expensive than that for travelers to enjoy, of course. K
Kicking back in one of the fresh, leather seats situated between Economy and the premium classes on Singapore's A380s, 777-300ERs, and brand-spanking-new A350s begins at $2,100 roundtrip on the Los Angeles - Singapore direct flight, and $2,230 on the New York-JFK - Singapore direct.
Southeast Asia Travel / Singapore Travel / Brunei Travel / Malaysia Travel / Indonesia Travel / Philippines Travel / Myanmar Travel / Thailand Travel / Vietnam Travel / → All Tags
The culture, food, jungles, mountains, and beaches of Southeast Asia all provide platforms for travelers looking to make the trip across the Pacific. Some countries are looking to expand their offerings, and others are working to improve accessibility and attract Western travelers. After attending the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Myanmar, here's a breakdown of the latest buzz, country by country.
Considering a trip to Southeast Asia? Not sure where to go or what to see? Send us your questions and we'll answer them for you!
First Class Travel / Business Class Travel / Economy Class Travel / Singapore Airlines / Singapore Travel / A380 / SIN / → All Tags
Not gonna lie, Singapore Airlines deserves their reputation (and many awards) as one of the world's best airlines.
From the fluffy pillows with shams (even in Economy Class!) to the flight attendants who've been trained in both etiquette and oenology, Singapore is top-notch, a fact recently underscored by a review of their Suites Class. It's only too bad that much of that review was plagiarized. Also, the title is misleading; the $23,000 refers to the ticket's cost in Singapore Dollars. Priced in USD, it is closer to $18,000, but October flights in Suites are ringing up lower, around $7,000 each way/$14,000 roundtrip. Business Class is half that, with many of the same perks.
Regardless, the personalized service and thoughtful details are a hallmark of Singapore Airlines across all classes. Here's several semi-secret specialties you'll find on every Singapore Airlines flight:
EVA Air Hello Kitty / Hello Kitty / Airline News / Airlines / Cartoon Travel / Singapore Travel / SIN / Taiwan Travel / Taipei Travel / EVA Air / TPE / → All Tags
If we’ve learned one thing about the world in the last few years, it is that Hello Kitty is only gaining in ubiquity. From airport shops and her own Los Angeles convention to kitty-print toilet paper and every accessory under the sun, the cartoon cat missing a mouth has steamrolled beyond Barbie, the X-Men, and more in her quest for world domination.
Since 2005, that success has included airplanes, with Taiwanese carrier EVA Airways debuting Airbus A330s (and, last year, an extra special Boeing 777-300ER) covered tip to tail in Hello Kitty imagery. When we say tip to tail, we mean even the interior; the Hello Kitty flights, of which there are 6 regular routes originating in Taipei (Los Angeles, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hokkaido), please passengers with Hello Kitty-theme in-flight shopping, in-flight entertainment, and in-flight meals.
Food Travel / SIN / Airport News / Singapore Travel / Airports / Airport Restaurants / Airport Dining / Airport Eats / → All Tags
We can hardly keep up with how great things are over at Changi Airport, but yet again we’re ready to share some news about what fun stuff they’re adding to the terminals and concourses.
This week the airport is adding a little bit of the local foodie scene, as they’re taking a creative spin on the airport food court. The new options are all included within what they’re calling "Singapore Food Street," as they’re introducing 13 local hawker stalls right into the airport.
Street Food Friday / Food Travel / Singapore Travel / Malaysia Travel / Indonesia Travel / Dessert Travel / → All Tags
In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world.
Last week we brought you the traditional delicacies of Vietnam and, this week, we skip to another part of Southeast Asia for the colorful treats of Singapore. Kueh, as they're called, are not specific to Singapore; these tiny desserts can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Southern China, but each country twists the basics into their own recipes.
Kueh (or kuih and kue) is really just a broad term signifying small cakes, cookies, dumplings, pudding, biscuit, or pastries made from rice or glutinous rice. Like most kueh, the Singaporean variety comes with no specific or authentic recipe since most of the methods have been handed down from generation to generation, creating a unique taste from color to color. Traditionally handmade for special events like Hari Raya and Lunar New Year, kueh is sold in food hawker stalls all year round.
Singapore might be synonymous with skyscrapers (many just tall, some tall and slightly mental) and shopping malls, but there is a place to escape the city and focus on things much smaller and delicate: the beautiful orchids on display inside the city’s National Orchid Garden, showcasing over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids.
Part of Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, which date back to 1859, it’s a perfect antidote to a few days of city life, whether you’re an avid horticulturalist or just appreciate the pretty. The small entrance fee (SGD5 / $4) is worth it, especially since access to the rest of the Gardens is free.
Travel Advertising / Singapore Travel / Singapore / Tourism / Tourism Boards / Bad Ideas / → All Tags
This is being described as the "most embarrassing tourism ad ever," and also as "so bad it will go viral," and also as "cringe-worthy," and also as a bunch of other similar things. We've watched it - once, and only once - and those are all fair descriptions. It might literally be the worst bit of travel advertising we've ever seen. It's so bad that it goes around to being good, but then it comes back around to being bad, and then it gets stuck at bad. It's painful to watch.
The source of this travesty is the Singapore tourism board, and the backlash they faced was very immediately and very public. In what might be described as an understated public climb-down, the board admitted that the video "was not resonating well with audiences" and that "some aspects of it could have been done better." So of course they took it down, and of course you can find one of its many online copies embedded below.
Airports / SIN / Singapore Travel / Awesome Stuff / Singapore Changi Airport / Free Stuff / → All Tags
We consider ourselves pretty darn familiar with things related to travel loyalty programs. From airlines to rental cars we know most of the ins and outs about points, miles, and free credits. However, we do need to hit the books and study up on one of the latest options, as airports getting in on the loyalty scene is certainly new to us.
It’s the airport awesomeness that is Singapore’s Changi Airport that is changing up their Changi Rewards Program. Membership is free, and you’ll earn points for every dollar you spend.
Like most other loyalty programs, the folks at Changi have set up three levels: member, gold, platinum. Travelers can reach gold status by spending $4,000 within the year, and it’s a platinum card if you throw down over $8,000 (which can be easily done if you're in the market for duty-free luxury goods). The program offers up coupons and what not during the year, and the deals and discounts get better as you climb the loyalty ladder.
Travel News / Singapore Travel / Singapore Airlines / SIN / Budget Travel / Luxury Travel / → All Tags
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.