It’s often seen that when we touch-down an International Asian city, the traffic scene from the airport till the centre of the city is so unruly that we end up losing a lot of time. And get doubly exhausted. Especially when travelling to cities like Cebu in Philippines, Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, and Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam where the traffic can be slower than ideal, taking as long as 90 minutes during peak hours and holidays despite these airports being relatively close to metropolitan areas. Here’s what you can do instead to avoid getting stuck in traffic while making the most of your time:
Travellers bound for Cebu should consider heading straight to the ocean instead of slogging downtown. Long transit times from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to downtown Cebu can largely be attributed to the two-lane Osmeña Bridge, which is prone to heavy congestion. Instead of sitting in taxis, travellers can easily book a luxury sunset cruise to relax or schedule exciting water activities on Mactan Island, where the airport is located, directly from a smartphone app in a matter of minutes.
As for traffic-laden Thai cities, wellness-minded travellers can book massages at one of the 20 spas less than five minutes from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. The spa selection for Bangkok lists addresses, user reviews, pricing, and appointment availability for each spa nearby. Alternatively, foodies arriving on weekends can take a short detour to the Chatuchak Weekend Market (16 km away) or book Thai cooking classes in Baipai (13.5 km away) at one of the best-reviewed culinary schools in Bangkok. For either activity, those prone to over-packing can leave their heavy bags at the airport and arrange same-day hotel luggage delivery.
Thrill seekers landing in Phuket International Airport can schedule helicopter tours of the island, which depart from a heliport that’s just six minutes away. Just as in Bangkok, travellers seeking more relaxing experiences may prefer to store their luggage and head to nearby spas or beaches such as Naiyang beach, which is just a 300-baht taxi ride away.
Independence Palace is perhaps Ho Chi Minh City’s most iconic tourist attraction, but getting downtown to see it can be a nightmare during rush hour. Instead, you can charter a private car and head north of the airport to check out the Cu Chi Tunnels, remnants from the Vietnam war, and Cao Dai Temple, a place of worship for adherents to a religion unique to Vietnam.