Here’s information I’ve found to book flights and hotels within Southeast Asia for Macau, Hong Kong, Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi), Indonesia (Jakarta, Bali, Saraboya), Singapore, Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Phillippines and all around Southeast Asia.
If you’re like me and already live in China, it’s new to know which websites to use for flights. Several of the most popular travel websites I used in the US only have flights originating within the United States.
If you’re a Westerner reading this, chances are you live in Macau or Hong Kong. Your two departure choices are the airports in Macau or Hong Kong. It seems Hong Kong usually has the best price – but I have found some tickets (like my next vacation) where the promos from Macau are actually cheaper with direct flights.
PAYING FOR AIR FLIGHTS
The price you pay will be in the local currency for your country of departure for each flight – so you’ll need a currency converter to know what you’re paying. I think the easiest one to use is:
- http://www.xe.com/ – Currency converter website (but doesn’t have Macau MOP)
- http://coinmill.com/MOP_USD.html – To convert Macau MOP
BOOKING SOUTHEAST ASIA FLIGHTS
There are so many websites that will look up and compare prices. But after hours of looking at different umbrella travel sites – it always seems the best price (often by several hundred dollars) is to book direct with each airline.
- Zuji.com -A Travelocity company, but recommend you check out the direct websites listed below.
Websites to Book Flights Direct
- AirAsia.com – Very popular and great rates. Compare prices leaving Macau and Hong Kong. How popular is AsiaAir.com? I went to a travel agent to book a vacation and they just went to AsiaAir.com – That’s when I decided maybe I should just do it myself.
- bangkokair.com -Bangkok Air – Best deals I have found for flights from Bangkok, Thailand.
- thaiairways.com – Thai Airways – To compare with Bangkok Air.
Newbie Booking Tips
Some destinations will let you add a stopover where you would change planes. So if you are going to Bali with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur – you can delay the Bali departure and stay a couple days in Malaysia.
Websites to Book Hotels
- Agoda.com -Â This is by far the best website I’ve found for booking hotels in Asia. I had booked a hotel through a different company (I’ll be nice and not mention the website name, but it’s VERY popular) and ran into a coworker who had booked the same hotel. They got the hotel for 200 MOP cheaper than me for the very same night (about $25 USD). So use AGODA! (That’s what they booked through). I also hear different reports that you can save money booking directly on the hotel websites, but have also heard it’s more expensive sometimes to do that. Agoda has a fantastic review system that really helps you pinpoint what you want.
What I REALLY Want From a Travel Website
I’m very surprised I could not find this feature on a travel website (I have seen this feature in Chinese on websites, but not in English). When I have a vacation coming up I don’t really care where I go, I just want ideas and packages I can pick easily. I’ve been to so many “Asia vacation ideas” websites – but none that work like this:
- I’d like to see a list of top vacation ideas per continent and be able to sort by customer rating and price.
- Then I’d like to narrow down what I like with a list of similiar vacations by country
- Then compare all inclusive vacations by specific city
- Be able to EASILY change hotel or variable (with extra charge) for each vacation package.
What Is the Price for Asia Flights?
Here are some sample prices as of September 2008.
- Macau to Bangkok roundtrip – $180 USD
- Bangkok to Phuket one way – $86 USD
- Macau to Kuala Lumpur to Bali roundtrip – $350USD
If You Can Find a Travel Agent
I did have a friend bring me to a place in Hong Kong where there was a complete floor of travel agencies. About 20 I’d guess on one floor. It was like the stock exchange – people running everywhere to book vacations. They had really awesome packages – for example $3000HK ($350 US) for three days four nights in Phuket and Koh Samui including air travel. I didn’t actually book with them because their English was marginal – so don’t know if there were lots of hidden fees in there.
There are so many spammy websites for travel, or all those umbrella travel sites that just bring you to the same top 6 travel websites to do comparison searches (and prices are usually not that good).
If anyone has other ideas or tips on booking Southeast Asia vacations please leave a comment and let me know about it! Much appreciated.