HK, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan International Airports

What can you do/buy at these International Airports that’s worthwhile?


  1. Cheapest Cigarettes


  1. Lots of Shopping but high mark-ups.
  2. Electronics generally 400 to 700 nt (15 or so dollars) cheaper than TW.

(going there soon)

China (SZ, SH, or BJ):


HK wins as it has the most comfortable bar

Taipei, HK: free wireless Internet. Don’t know about the other two.

Singapore also has free internet.

Hong Kong has a 7-11 (down on the departures level) selling booze for regular prices - this is a bloody miracle for an airport. Cheap booze! Grab a six pack (and some ice) and head upstairs. Sorted. Oh, also some good bookshops in the Hong Kong airport.

I tend to head out of HK Airport and take the bus to to Tung Chung, there’s a decent mall there and it only takes 15 minutes on the bus.

Been a while since I’ve been to Singapore, but then they had a decent selection of imported sweets.

Taipei, well, all I get there is fags for my GF…

HK: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

three are world class (S’pore and HK may be top 5 or 10), one is half toilet and half useless.

Can you guess which one sucks? Taipei.

Terminal one is a complete an utter embarassment for a country of Taiwan’s wealth. Terminal two, while new is boring and useless.

I have friends in Thailand and PI who sometimes transfer through Taipei and complain about how a bad an airport it is for layover. It leaves a horrible impression on people, no food, no fun just complete and utter boredom, or if you are in terminal 1 just complete and utter disgust.

Well, Terminal 2 got even worse after they killed Subways, now the only edible food is in the beef noodle place and that’s over priced and really not that good.
Terminal 1, well… can’t argue you with you there :smiley:

Thailand’s International Airport has a ton of Thai food restaurants before you check in. Decent priced and lots of variety.

Inside, there’s an assortment of sweets (Blue Elephant chocolates among others) and duty free stores. Don’t know about pricing, but there’s a few bakeries with cookies and muffins to satisfy the Westerner’s sweet tooth.

I like the Taoyuan airport for the very fact that it isn’t yet another mall and food court.

Taiwan: I can’t even say I remember what the airport was like. We were in and out of there in minutes, and nothing was all that special.

HK: Loved it, had everything there. I could just stare at the scenery for awhile too.

Anyone have experience at Tokyo Narita? I have 4 hours to kill in that airport next month.

I go through NRT alot. With 4 hours, I would fill out the immigration papers and go into Narita-shi on the Keisei line. You could wander around the main drag in Narita-shi, but since it’s mostly tourist shops, I usually walk down to the Narita temple grounds (huge, and beautiful) or take the bus to the Aeon Mall (Y 200 each way). The Aeon Mall bus stop in immmediately in front of Keisei Narita-shi station. From the JR Narita-shi station, the Aeon Mall bus stop is across the main drag.

Note the bus stop symbol in front of Keisei Narita-shi station.

Thanks a lot maunaloa. I will definitely have to check some of this stuff out. I thought I was gonna end up sitting in some airport terminal for a few hours, but it seems like there are better things to do. So I have to fill out immigration papers so I can leave the airport, right? And 4 hours should be plenty of time to wander about, right? sorry but I am just a little nervous since this will be my first time flying alone, and I don’t want to miss any flights.

4 hours is plenty of time. Adds some excitement :wink: to take away the boredom of a layover. You can be in Narita-shi in about 40 minutes after the boarding door opens… check your bags through to your destination. Since you’ll already have a boarding pass (confirm that your b.pass has both segments on it), all you do is clear security and immigration (unpredictable lines) when you return to the airport. If you leave Narita-shi two hours before your departure time, you’ll have plenty of time. The train ride is about 12 min. Personally, I leave from Keisei Narita eki 90 min. before departure time … but that’s life on the edge.

Here’s an important point: don’t get lost. If you stray from the main drag, the temple, or the shopping center, as in most Japanese cities, it is not obvious how to return to the station. Here’s your phrase: “kay-say nah-lee-tah eh-key eh ee-key-tie”. (I want to go to Keisei Narita station.) If you don’t say Keisei… they will ask you which station, at which point you have a communications breakdown, called a conversation (assuming you don’t speak nihongo).

You can’t like something because of what its not can you? There has to be something positive about it for you to like it. and there’s not;

Taoyuan Airport is a monument to the stupidity and the lack of vision of the government here. Whats more bizarre is that every year the government brings out white papers and new policy initiatives on promoting Taiwanese tourism, or Taiwan as an Asian hub, or Taoyuan as an aeropolis. Yet they refuse to spend dollar one on improving the airport which as we all know is the gateway to the nation and makes a vital first impression on visitors.

btw AFAIK Terminal 2 was built by Evergreen because the KMT wouldn’t let a home-grown (i.e. DPP-leaning) company use its rat-infested facilities.

The bear, I have been thinking the same thing since I came to Taiwan almost 10 years ago. It makes you wonder, truly wonder, what goes on in the governments brains (I travel around Asia and China and it’s always a joke to come back to Taiwan’s ‘International’ Airport). I get pissed off at the government, the mainlanders, the locals, the 10,000s who study abroad and learn nothing, the TaiShang who don’t care, the rich who like to boast of their houses in Canada and Australia but don’t contribute anything to their own country…I could go on.

However there are some good things about the retarded nature of the airport, it is superfast to get through on most days, both departures and arrivals, the gates are close to the immigration, security sweep is really quick and almost never any queues and you can park in the carpark there without paying half a month’s salary for it. It does function as an airport rather well.

The old terminal at CKS has a unique smell…when I smell it I know I am back again, kinda like a damp dustball in a tiled corner.

HKG is the most efficient - I was wheels down to home in 45min. Terminal 3 in Changi is really, really nice and is pretty efficient as well. Narita is a bit more crowded and claustrophobic - did you ever notice they line up all the baggage on the belt handles out? I lurrrve the beer machine in the lounges. I never really liked the Thai airport. Don’t know why.

Uh, bear, any google search will show you are wrong. There is lots of money being put into renovation. The plans for the new airport were approved back in 2004 though work didn’t start until more recently. Things just take a long time to get down in Taiwan and so much was held up in the last term of CSB because of legislative inaction and lack of cooperation.

I agree it is a disgrace as it stands but in a few years it will be all shiny metal and glittering glass and we will have an MRT line out there with check in in the city.

I havent set foot at TErminal one since i left from there in 99. But I have used that airport many many a times. One must realize that its quite old. It was opened in what 1978? Iv always liked it. I dont recall there being a smell bout it back then, but then its old now. I liked the arrivals hall small single eatery run by IIRC the Grand HOtel? They had a beef on rice for what 110nt? I liked that , it was good. And on the departure side, they had just a few shops, nothing fancy (who wants to buy a lot there anyway if you live in Taiwan) and they had this restaurant that was pretty good. Many a times sending off my then CX stewardess GF there. Check in downstairs, go upstairs hang out at the restaurant for a wee bit.

And inside there were enough DutyFree shops. I dont shop there anyway so it doesnt bother me that its huge or not. And then you go to the departure hall for your flight and its airy and roomy and has huge windows for you to see out of.

And coming back in, get off the plane, head for immigration, go downstairs to the carosel for bags and very fast thru customs and out to the buses.

It worked well as an airport and it was pretty good back in the late 70s and 80s. By the 90s fancy new airports started really becoming the “thing”. KL has a new airport now, Subang is not the int airport no more there, Thailand has swampy, korea has inchon, spore has new facilities at changi, etc.

Terminal two at TPE i just used recently in 2009. I liked it but even though user friendly, there wasnt a whole lot there. There were better shops past immigration but once again I dont shop at Duty Free a whole lot.

I understand Terminal One is going to be completely renovated within the next five years or so?

But iv liked it in its day, it worked and it was efficient and got the job done. In and out. Parking wasnt too far away and was reasonable, etc.

The new terminal at SFO is pretty nice but parking is pretty expensive at IIRC round 7 bucks an hour.

HK 's new airport is a whole lot better then the old . One really cant compare the latest and the bestest in Asian airports to Terminal One in TPE, which was a lot better then the old airports in HK, BKK, KL, Seoul and many Japanese airports (other then perhaps Narita and Osaka). Changi was then quite a concept for Asian airports and a trend leader. Then HK came about and that was/is pretty awesome.

I guess they should shift all traffic away from TErm One to do heavy renovation but perhaps Term Two cant handle all the traffic?

Uh, bear, any google search will show you are wrong. There is lots of money being put into renovation. The plans for the new airport were approved back in 2004 though work didn’t start until more recently. Things just take a long time to get down in Taiwan and so much was held up in the last term of CSB because of legislative inaction and lack of cooperation.

I agree it is a disgrace as it stands but in a few years it will be all shiny metal and glittering glass and we will have an MRT line out there with check in in the city.[/quote]

from Wiki “Terminal 1 is also currently undergoing a $42 million dollar renovation that is expected to be completed by 2010. The renovation includes a new facelift, designed by Japanese architect Norihiko Dan, and a new modern and stylish interior. The renovation will be completed during late hours to avoid congestion during peak hours.”

nice one…funny that you can’t see much evidence of this renovation…maybe they are channelling us away from the areas being worked on. Finished next year? Sounds too good to be true…