Planning to travel in Asia? It may not sound exciting, but airports are going to be part of your adventure. It’s likely you’ll be making a stop in one of these locations and (as travel fanatics) we think you should appreciate your surroundings. From creativity to technical set-up to entertainment, check out our guide to some of the mega-hubs of travel in Asia.
Seoul Incheon Airport
Like many of these Asian airports, Seoul Incheon is ranked among the best in the world. You don’t have to dig at all deep to enjoy yourself in Incheon and it’s ideal for long flight transfers as you travel. This place has multiple museums on Korea; regular music and dance performances, including the likes of K-Pop stars BTS; observation decks above the airport; and of course plenty of restaurants serving delicious food. Plus, WiFi here has no password, which saves that annoying effort to link up to it!
Tokyo Haneda Airport
Haneda is one of the two of Tokyo’s main airports, along with Narita. We wanted to put this one on as it’s the easiest to fly into if you’re visiting Tokyo (where our Japan tour starts). What makes Haneda so good? On a basic level, it’s close to Tokyo, award-winningly clean and has a punctual reputation for flights. Though what we like best though is the Edo Market you can make a stop-off at before you fly home. This simulates a traditional Japanese market and offers a welcome change to the normal airport feel. Grab some genuinely delicious Japanese food and pick up some market-style souvenirs at the same time!
Beijing International Airport(s)
Here’s the real big beast for transfers. In 2019, over 100 million passengers travelled through Beijing Capital Airport, making it the busiest airport in Asia. It was built way back in 1958 so it’s seen a bit of a disjointed expansion since then. It’s no surprise the Chinese government opened Beijing Daxing in 2019. The thing not to miss with this one is the design by Zaha Hadid, one of the most influential and recognisable architects of the last 50 years. If you haven’t heard of her, take a look at the building’s starfish, ‘curvy’ design and it will look familiar. It’s a futuristic looking construction and one of the last designs she drew up before her death. As you take a walk around, link up to the WiFi, give her a Google, and treat it as an art experience.
Soekarno–Hatta International Airport
We’re big fan’s of Indonesia’s main airport partly because it’s an underdog. Since it was first built, it’s won awards for its improvements and now it’s batting in the big-leagues with the other major Asian airports. It’s got some of the usual good features (including excellent cleanliness) but what makes it best is the innovative design. This travel hub is iconic for its ‘airport in the garden’ set up. In the spaces within the airport pavilions, gardens filled with tropical plants and traditional Indonesian architecture can be seen. Plus, special tip for those in Terminal 2, you can go for some traditional spa treatment while you wait for your flight!
Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore isn’t a location many will be travelling around but we had to include Changi. Over 60 million passengers travelled through the airport in 2019 and you may well do a transfer there on your travels in Asia. Luckily, it’s a pretty luxurious place to stop. If you’re doing a layover for longer than 5 hours you can sign up for a free tour of Singapore. If you’re willing to spend a little, you can pay to use the swimming pool on the roof. We’re also a fan of the giant slide (whacky we know) you can use inside the airport. Along with that, there’s a movie theatre, butterfly garden and entertainment deck all available for use. We would have put this airport first, but it seemed a bit unfair on the rest.
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