Many long haul flights from Australia will have you landing in an exotic destination midway. While you’re in transit, explore the highlights of your stopover city and tick a few extra items off the bucket list. Find out what to expect, from airport facilities to the top city attractions, so you don’t waste a moment of valuable travel time.
Your flight to Hong Kong will typically land at the stylish Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau Island. Touted for its state of the art facilities, this award-winning airport provides guests with multiple options to whittle away the hours. Those with a brief stopover can enjoy shopping at either the SkyMart in Terminal 1 or the SkyPlaza in Terminal 2, together offering over 280 retail stores and 80 dining outlets.
If you have more time on your hands, consider heading into the city. The airport is serviced by the Airport Express Train which will take you on a whirlwind journey into the heart of the city in under 30 minutes. One of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong is a visit to the top of Victoria Peak via the historic Peak Tram. From this vantage point, you will experience breathtaking views of Hong Kong’s skyline and Victoria Harbour.
If you happen to be killing time in the evening, head to the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and watch the city’s skyscrapers burst to life with the nightly Symphony of Lights show. Those with a whole day to spare could even squeeze in a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland.
The multi award-winning Changi International Airport is a delight for weary travellers. Time will fly by as you enjoy the entertainment and services available in the airport alone. Browse the multiple indoor gardens, be spoilt with beauty treatments and massage chairs, watch free movies at the onsite theatres or let the kids run wild with playgrounds and games for little ones.
Those with a stopover of five hours or more can enjoy a free tour of the city. For a quick glimpse into the heart of Singapore, join the Heritage Tour and see highlights including the Singapore Flyer, the Gardens by the Bay, Merlion Park and Chinatown. If your stopover is in the evening, you can take the City Lights Tour, which showcases Singapore’s glowing landmarks with a visit to the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade.
A ride on the Singapore Flyer is not to be missed. Believed to be the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, you can appreciate panoramic views of the city and beyond. The shopping on Orchard Road is also highly touted, while the pristine Singapore Zoo is a favourite for animal lovers. Those with time to spare can head over to Sentosa Island and visit one of the famous theme parks.
Welcome to Thailand’s bustling capital, Bangkok. Find yourself in the Suvarnabhumi Airport, where you can enjoy a spot of duty free shopping or dine at one of the onsite restaurants. Those in need of a pampering can have a massage at the onsite spa, while energetic travellers can head next door for a round of golf at the spectacular Summit Windmill Golf Course.
From the airport, the fantastic skytrain will whisk you away to Phaya Thai in no time. Make the most of your stopover and explore the city sights via a cruise along the Chao Phraya River. Arguably Bangkok’s most famous attraction is the stunning Grand Palace. Visit this historic complex and admire the intricate detail and unique architecture.
Grab all your souvenirs at the popular Chatuchak Markets, but be sure to brush up on your haggling skills before you arrive. Bangkok is a renowned shopper’s paradise and is also home to many modern shopping malls. For remarkable views across the city, visit the observation deck of the Baiyoke Sky Tower.
Abu Dhabi has become a popular stopover destination in the United Arab Emirates. As you land at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, you will be pleasantly surprised with the array of duty free outlets and restaurants open 24 hours a day. The airport also conveniently offers free Wi-Fi and internet kiosks for connected travellers.
The easiest way to get to the city from the airport is either via taxi or the A1 buses that are available round the clock. Make your first stop a visit the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Enjoy a guided tour of this significant monument and admire the stunning white marble architecture and opulent furnishings.
Shopping at the Souk at Qaryat Al Beri is a fascinating cultural experience. Browse the goods at this traditional Arabian market and be escorted via water taxi through the souk’s meandering man-made canals. For a few hours of fun, visit Ferrari World, considered the world’s largest indoor theme park. Boasting over 20 Ferrari themed attractions, you can fulfil your dream of being a legendary racing car driver for a day.
Many travellers find themselves at the Dubai International Airport en route to Europe. If your long haul travel has finally caught up with you, consider having a nap at one of the onsite Snoozecubes. These minimalistic rooms offer a full size bed and television for weary travellers needing some shut-eye.
On the other hand, a quick taxi, bus or train ride will have you exploring the heart of the city. Proudly hailed as the world’s tallest building, the soaring Burj Khalifa is a must see. The brave can head up to the observation deck on the 124th floor for jaw dropping views across the sprawling city. If you’re lucky, you may even catch the spectacular daily choreographed water show at the Dubai Fountain.
Enjoy a spot of shopping at the monumental Dubai Mall. This giant shopping centre is packed with retail outlets and also offers a plethora of entertainment including cinemas, an ice skating rink and an aquarium. For a more authentic shopping experience, head to one or more of the traditional souks. The dazzling Gold Souk is very popular.