From Airport to City: Singapore, Jakarta, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Hong Kong

Traveling from the airport to the city center has always a pain for most travelers, since we don’t know which transportation is the best option. We all want it to be the cheapest and the most convenient. Some may want the public transportation thanks to low expense, some prefer the private one thanks to its flexibility and availability. Little do we know that taxi in Nha Trang can be a cheap option and public transportation in Singapore is convenient as well. In this article, I will give a thorough guide on how to travel from airport to city center in 5 Asian cities: Singapore, Jakarta, Hanoi, Nha Trang, & Hong Kong.

My rationale, upon choosing these airports to be featured in the guide, is that these airports are located far away from city central. No one would like to know how to get to Haneda Airport because they are right in the central of Tokyo.

SINGAPORE

As voted by Skytrax, Singapore Changi Airport is the best airport in the world in 2013, 2014. It offers travelers a wide range of shopping experience, entertainment and leisure. Changi Airport is also connected to its SMRT and bus line running its course to the city. This feat contributes to the airport’s position in convenience.

SMRT: take East West Line at Terminal 2. The last train departure is at 12:05 AM during weekdays, and 15 minute earlier during weekends.

Bus: refer to this link to select your drop off locations.

Shuttle Bus: with only 9 S$/turn, it will take you to most of the main hotels in the city, but you need to wait for 30 minutes for the bus to fill up. This bus operates only when you book at the shuttle service counter.

Taxi: only if you arrive late, don’t ever use them. But if you ever have to use them, use the normal one. The taxi curator will appoint you to whichever taxi that approaches first. Don’t hop on the white taxi which is the premium one that can charge you 10 S$ higher. Late night fee is 50% of the normal charges, upon my experience, this makes Singapore the most expensive country to travel by taxi.

JAKARTA

Soekarno–Hatta International Airport T2 and T3 are the main entrance for foreigners to Jakarta. This airport is still upgrading and changes are following soon with new MRT installation but it won’t happen so soon. Thus, transportation to the city is limited to few options.

Taxi: the convenience is undeniable. But it will cost you up to 150,000 IDR to the city. Jakarta is famed for its traffic and the taxi will charge you several rupies upon waiting in the traffic so it won’t be wise to choose the option.

Damri Bus: best option ever, find this bus at the bus terminal at the far east of the airport and hop on to buy tickets inside the bus. With only 40,000 IDR/turn, this bus takes you to Dambir Bus Station which locates next to the National Monument in Jakarta Central, then you can hop on the taxi and go to your hotel.

HANOI

From Noi Bai International Airport to Hanoi is quite a distance. It will cost you over 300,000 VND ($15) a turn by taxi.

Taxi: getting to Noi Bai Airport is cheaper if you book Mai Linh Taxi in advance, but going to city central is off the bargain. This is the most expensive one.

Booked Taxi: this service will automatically text you upon your flight booking if you have a local number and use that to buy tickets. But if you don’t, try these number and book them in advance 0984262223.

Shuttle Bus: offered by Jetstar and Vietjetair, ask for them at the airport information desk, only 40,000 VND/turn ($2) making it the cheapest option.

NHA TRANG

This city is famed for its beaches and local specialties. Russian love this beach so that they even have direct flight from Moscow to Nha Trang. It’s becoming a destination for Westerners as well. However, the Cam Ranh International Airport is located 30 km away from the city making it quite a deal for budget travelers to commute by taxi.

Taxi: will cost you over 300,000 VND upon taxi fares.

Booked taxi: similarly to Hanoi, upon booking they will contact you via local number. Try this number if you want to book in advance: 0915 05 1236. This is not a private business, so they can curate another car for you. The price range is 200,000 – 250,000 VND which you have to bargain.

Shuttle bus: only 60,000 VND ($3) per turn, choose the shuttle bus of Phuong Trang or Quyet Thang for it. This is the cheapest way to get to the city.

HONG KONG

The busy city welcomes foreigners all at Chek Lap Kok International Airport. Even though the airport is based on an island, it is still connected to Hong Kong island and Kowloon via railway and taxi can reach you here.

Airport Express Line (AEL) – Rail: Fare to Kowloon HK$90 ($12) one-way/single, HK$160 round-trip/return. Fare to Hong Kong Island (Central) HK$100 one-way/single, HK$180 round-trip/return. This is the quickest way to access to both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.Trains run every ten minutes between 5:50 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. and take 22 minutes to reach Kowloon Station near hotels in Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei, and 24 minutes to reach Hong Kong Station in the Central District on Hong Kong Island.

Taxi: can cost you up to HK$250 to Kowloon and HK$300 to Hong Kong Island which is doubled and tripled the price comparing with using the AEL. Unless you have more than yourself to carry with you, you should consider other options.

Public Bus Services: the cheapest way to get to the city goes to the public bus, which is not as fast as the AEL but the fare is reasonable for budget travelers. Fare to Kowloon is HK$33 to Hung Hom Station, the A21 takes you to Hung Hom and stops at the TST MTR, Middle/Nathan road intersection, and the Mody/Chatham road intersection. Fare to Hong Kong Island starts at HK$40 to Central, Bus A11 runs across Hong Kong Island from Central to Causeway Bay making various stops.

I hope with he consolidated guide on how to get to the city from the airport travelers are able to obtain the most efficient and economical option basing on their need. Hope you enjoy these cities as much as I did.

This series will continue to cover tips on other cities as well. Stay with us for more.

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