Be it a long delay, airport layover, or you’re simply early, it’s not exactly a fun thing to be stuck at the airport and play a game of waiting.

But when you’re creative enough, it turns out that the airport experience doesn’t have to be bad at all. If you just know the fun and exciting things to do, you may just wish that you’ll have more airport time instead.

1. Roam and explore hidden gems

the manmade waterfalls in changi airport

These giant-sized airports that basically never sleep must have more than a few hidden gems that you can use to your advantage. For example, Changi International Airport in Singapore offers free movies at its Changi Movie Theatre with 24/7 non-stop movies, as does Jakarta’s own Soekarno Hatta Airport with its Airport Digital Cinema.

A lot of international airports also have their own outdoor gardens, such as the Tropical Butterfly Garden in Terminal 3 of Changi airport or the Sky Garden of Seoul’s Incheon International Airport located just inside the passenger terminal.

2. Take a day trip

tourists at taoyuan internation airport

The superstar airport of Changi invites passengers who have around six (6) hours to spare for a FREE City Sights Tour. These layover tours are also common experiences that you can find at Tokyo Narita Airport, Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport, and Incheon International Aiport.

Naturally, there are different sets of rules for each of these hosts. So be sure to check all the requirements and conditions before you sign in. Double check on your visa, passport and where to put your belongings before embarking on this fun adventure.

3. Lounge in style and have a relaxing time

empty airport lounge in thailand

Nowadays, airport lounges are no longer just for first-class passengers. With a small fee or certain credit card membership, everyone can enjoy the comfort of deluxe airport lounges. Some of the amenities include comfortable seating, magazines and newspapers, a sumptuous buffet and free-flowing beverages, access to clean toilet and free WiFi.

Some higher-end ones, such as the Plaza Premium Lounge in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, feature showers, free draught beer, and movies too!

4. People Watching

tourists in the airport

They say some of the most sincere goodbyes and most exciting hellos take place in the airport. Indeed, airports are filled with emotion, excitement and even a little drama of your own imagination. This is why airports are so charming, and  one of the best places for people watching.

Find a good spot amidst the passengers rushing by to their flights where you can take in all the fun of spotting people out and drafting their stories in your head. It could be a small family getting ready for their first holiday together, a pair of lovers saying goodbye or reuniting after being apart, an elderly couple exchanging kisses—whatever it is, you’ll soon be lost in the joy of life’s little sweet reality. The best thing about this is it’s completely free!

5. Organize Your Thoughts and More

girl in the airport looking for her flight

Whether you’re delayed on a flight home or to your destination, the free time can be put into good use by organizing your thoughts. Pull out your journal or your smartphone and start making plans, go through your budget, or finalize whatever it is you might have missed.

Speaking of smartphone, make good use of the airport free WiFi and post a picture of your holiday. Write down the moments and share your experience to all your social media friends. Now is also a good time to rearrange those holiday pictures and delete those blurry ones too.

Got those junks sitting in your purse or wallet? Clear out your stacks of travel coupons, fast-food vouchers or purchase receipts. The delay can be more than a welcoming break where you can sort, throw and reorganize your belongings for a peace of mind.

6. Eat, play and rest

tourists sleeping at the changi airport

There’s plenty of fun in discovering the next mouth-watering dish from the rows of delicacies, signature cuisine, to delicious food-stalls of any kind that are scattered at most international airports.

Don’t miss out on interactive games that are always a thing at Changi International Airport or access the internet-connected computers, also available at most international airports. Lastly, take some down time by resting your legs up and catch some snooze. It may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but sleep is always the remedy everyone needs especially in anticipation or completion of long travel.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

You’ve touched down at your destination of choice and you’re feeling tired. You want to get back to your hotel to at least drop off your bags before going out again. The only problem is that there are so many options to get from the airport to city.

Should you grab the bus or a taxi, or would it be easier to just pop on the train or maybe call an Uber or GrabCar?  We’re not complaining though but sometimes, having too many options leads to confusion.

So to help you out, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the smartest (and cheapest!) ways to get from the airport to city destinations out there.


the train in bangkok airport

Getting into Bangkok couldn’t be easier than using the Airport Rail Link. With two lines of varying speed (The express and city stopping line), 150 baht ($4 USD) will get you from airport to city in only 15 minutes. Compared to over 40 minutes and around 250 to 400 baht ($7-11 USD) for a metered taxi, which do you think is the smart choice?


the manmade waterfalls in changi airport

Singapore offers a brilliant MRT subway service. For SGD 1.90 plus a SGD 1 refundable deposit ($1.5 USD) and 30 minutes of your time, you’ll be traveling from the airport to city in no time. Compared to SGD 20 to SGD 30 ($14-22 USD) for a taxi, the price difference alone should be more than enough to convince you to take the MTR. If you’re looking for a middle ground, the airport shuttle bus only costs SGD 9 and will take you straight to the door of your hotel; but then it won’t be as much of an adventure will it?


travelers waiting inside the jakarta airport

Getting a taxi in Jakarta will cost you around Rp 200,000 ($15 USD), over twice the standard Rp 40,000 ($3 USD) price tag of the local buses. You’re looking at a journey lasting 40 minutes for a taxi and maybe a bit over an hour for the buses (depending on traffic). Here, the choice is all about time. If you have the time to spare, the bus ride is more scenic and definitely an experience you should try.


interior of the bali airport

Bali is a great place to take an Uber. For a taxi, depending on where you’re going – and if you have the gift of the gab and can barter well – you’re looking at anything from Rp 100,000 to Rp 400,000 ($7-30 USD). Uber can cost less than half what you might pay with a booked taxi (yes, half the price!) at only Rp 80k to 100k ($6-7 USD). You’re also looking at a friendly local and (maybe cheekily) treasure trove of information regarding what’s interesting in the local area.

Hong Kong

tourists boarding the airport bus in hong kong

Hong Kong taxis to Central will cost you around HKD 250 to 350 and will take around 1 hour ($30-45 USD). The smartest way to travel from the airport to city is to take the nearby S1 bus to the Tung Chung MRT station (only 15 minutes and costs about HKD 3.50) and then take the MRT anywhere you want to go (HKD 24 and around 30 minutes to Central). Be smart and mix different types of transportation to make sure you get further.


facade of naia in manila

Getting into Manilla from airport to city costs PHP 200 ($2 USD) by taxi and will take you 45 minutes. If you want a cheaper option, you can just ride the airport shuttle going to MRT Stations where it’ll drop you off the major cities in the metro. It will cost around PHP 13 to 20 ($0.26-0.40 USD).

Kuala Lumpur

interior of the kuala lumpur airport

Getting to Kuala Lumpur isn’t as cheap as some of the other destinations on this list, but it’s not too bad if you’re smart about it. A taxi is going to cost you around Rm 70 ($18 USD) and will last about 50 minutes. But if you take the bus, it will only cost you around Rm 12 ($3 USD). Though the bus ride is a bit longer, you’ll be able to save so much when you take it from airport to city.

When you arrive in any new city, make sure to do your research on transport links and which one is going to be the smartest for you. Smart means keeping your money for new adventures and experience. Don’t get caught out and spend it before you know it’s gone! In addition to that, book the best budget hotels in Southeast Asia at ZEN Rooms and you’re guaranteed a great stay at the lowest rates!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.