Question for you long-haul travellers

  exdragon 12:24 24 Oct 2010

Hi - I'm looking into flights to Australia next year, London to Brisbane with a one night stop in Singapore each way.

Spoken to two travel agents this morning, one says there's a transfer desk at Singapore airport where you can get a bus which drops off at various hotels, the other says there isn't and you need to get a cab.

I'm sure someone will be able to answer this question for me! Any other helpful tips would be appreciated too.

  john bunyan 12:49 24 Oct 2010

I used to use Changi Airport a lot a few years ago, so am a bit out of date. FE is the expert, I an sure.
However a few points:
1. There is a very good left luggage dept, I have left stuff for a week or more, so you need not take all of it to the hotel.
2. Taxis are not too expensive, I cannot remenber a bus, but would not bother.
3. I would try to spend 2 - 3 days rather than 1.
4. Eating out is great - try the Seafood Centre on Esat Coast road, or one of the many Hawker centres.
5. There is a "Transit Hotel" inside the check in zone - useful to get your head down for a few hours if flight times are awkward.
6. The Zoo is the best I have visited, Jurong Bird park good, as are the Botanical Gardens just North of Orchard Road (a main shopping area),.
7. What are your dates? The Divali festival is in November - a great time to be there.
8. Wish it were me going!! BTW Singapore Airlines are the very best (if you could afford them)

  BRYNIT 12:58 24 Oct 2010

Never been but a quick search found: Singapore Changi Airport Guide click here look towords the bottom of the page. You can also view the terminal map.

Hopefully its of help.

  sunnystaines 13:04 24 Oct 2010

email the hotel in S/P

  exdragon 13:14 24 Oct 2010

Thanks for the comments so far.The bit about left luggage is helpful, we hopefully will have the essentials with us as hand luggage. We're going from around 18 July for 6 weeks. Dates not set in stone for a few days either way, but not too much flexibility as my friend is having her fare paid by her relatives who we'll be staying with.

Seem to be getting different and conflicting info from travel agents. Singapore Airlines seem to be a couple of hundred ££s more than Quantas. One agent did suggest a stop off at Singapore on the way out and Hong Kong on the way back, with a quote of £1584 each, incuding 4* hotels in each place. Unfortunately, the prices are set to rise on 1 November, I understand...

  john bunyan 13:28 24 Oct 2010

If you could afford it the Singapore Airline price is worth it IMHO.
Hong Kong noisy and frenetic - less to see in my view. Also forget shopping - all shopping malls are the same!! (In my opinion again)
On the way out, do buy your Brisbane hosts an orchid at Changi as a present! (Sold inside the duty free area)Do press for extra deals with both airlines - eg free domestic flights in OZ etc.
Also, do check prices with these people - I have no connection with them but the specialise in indepenant wourd travel

click here

  john bunyan 13:29 24 Oct 2010

PS the price you quote seems high if economy class.

  exdragon 13:43 24 Oct 2010

Trailfinders were the first I rang this morning, they quoted £1348 without the hotels. They are holding that price for a week, but because my friend is away at present, I may not be able to take advantage of it by then.

  spuds 16:11 24 Oct 2010

Trailfinder use to be extremely good in their earlier days, but they seem to have lost their way on heavy discounted prices. Might pay to send away for one of their travel information packs, if they still do them, full of very useful information.

You could look in the daily newspapers, especially something like the Daily Mail, because they do carry a number of pages with discount air fares and package deals. But make sure the companies are bonded, and don't forget to look up travel insurance, which is essential.

If you do a stop-over, then both Singapore and Hong Kong are worth a few days. Singapore is more open where Hong Kong is more confined with perhaps very much cheaper prices if you are selective. Both airports have changed since my last visits, so I can offer no help there. Transport arrangements would possibly be in the deal with stop-over packages, but you would need to confirm this at time of booking.

Like fourm member, I still have clothes from that part of the world, including made to measure suits that were made in less than a day by local tailor's in both places.

  john bunyan 16:27 24 Oct 2010

I like to think I am an experienced traveller - proved wrong when I was in Hong Kong in '80's. Asked a cab if he could take me to Stanley Market - he said "Jump in". About 3/4 Hour (and a few hundred $) later we arrived as it was closing. Got a bus back for $4!!I agree in some ways about Hong Kong, but Singapore is so civilised! Used to stay there as a base for more exotic parts of Sarawak,Sabah etc - spent a great week in Pulau Tioman (where South Pacific was filmed)- small plane laded in 400yd runway in jungle.
The old Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong was interesting as you flew below the overlooking flats as you landed..Enough lamp swinging!

  spuds 16:38 24 Oct 2010

The dollar signs were the most interesting, especially when the US$ and the HK$ had to be translated when a deal was in the offering. But it did help when you had Hong Kong Chinese buddies with you, who knew the markets and the scams ;o)

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