Most international travel has one common element: airports. Beyond travel by train or ship, most visitors come and go by aircraft, making airport experiences inevitable. Fortunately, Asia is internationally known for having some of the best airports in the world. Today, we’ll talk about some, giving an overview of a few we know well, sharing some travel tales of our experiences in airports in Asia, and offering a few tips for layovers in some of our favorite – and least favorite – airport terminals.
Every other week, we have a special Patron-only episode or video. Recently we shared a video of Scott’s visit to Cambodia and a tour around the Angkor Archaeological park with some history lessons from Trevor, author of the National Geographic Traveller: Cambodia guidebook.
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Scott & Trevor’s Asia Airport Adventures and Layover Stories:
- Trevor: Getting lost on the Tokyo subway and running through airport –and somehow still getting on the plane.
- Scott: I Went to Don Muang and the flight was not there. They put me in a taxi to Suvarnabhumi.
- Scott: Thai Airways flight where they made me go back to check-in while the plane waited for me.
- Trevor: Best layover in Seoul – snowboarding girl, love hotel, casino, and lunch with Sean Bret.
- Scott: Spittle bucket on Pokhara airport being told I could take my iPod on flight as they wanted it.
- Scott: Chopper flight on rice terraces in Nepal
- Trevor: Getting locked in the library in Taiwan.
- Scott: Lesbian couple hardcore making out on Everest scenic flight in early morning
- Trevor: Soneva Kiri private plane.
- Scott: Corralled into one area to sleep on benches in Tokyo.
Tips for Layovers
- Scott: Reconsider that early morning flight that seems like a good idea at the time of booking – eg. 7am – you’ll have to get up at 4 am or something.
- Trevor: Extra socks/underwear/undershirt; hit duty-free for cologne
- Scott: for boarding/security gates, check their ‘Priority’ lanes which are often open to parents with kids, people over 65, and sometimes if you have a regional pass.
- Trevor: helping the handicapped in Bali
- Scott: Note spots you would like to go on your Google map before losing Wifi, then you can see your relative position
- Trevor: Jason Bourne wallet of currency; always a credit card
- Scott: Check with airlines for layover options/excursions, as many have them; gentle pressure can yield results sometimes
- Trevor: Pick any lane to check in and at immigration too
- Scott: Ask for a meal voucher if you’re over 3hr somewhere, often you can pressure for something.
- Trevor: Try not to arrive during rush hour: Jakarta, Philippines, Thailand – especially if you need to take a car into the city. Less of a problem with trains obvs
- Scott: Fly with your own 100ml bottles of your favorite spirit – essential for good reading on regional flights (or in airports during a layover)
- Scott: Find the worker’s foodcourt
- Talk Travel Asia Episode 144: Best Beaches in Asia
- Talk Travel Asia Episode 110: Creating a great hotel experience with Jason Friedman
- Talk Travel Asia Episode 141: Asia’s Nex-Gen hotels with Tomo Hamakawa