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My Favorite Things: Asia

My favorite things

Asia Trip Planning Resources

I lived there and still go… a lot.

We lived in Hong Kong and still travel to Asia multiple times per year (in normal circumstances). Due to popular demand, I’m sharing my curated list of items that I personally use and recommend for planning and enjoying trips to my favorite continent. Some but not all links are affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase I may be compensated as no extra cost to you.

Find a Hotel in Asia


Most of my favorite hotels in the entire world are located in Asia, including my former home (Four Seasons Hong Kong). Luxury hotels are glamorous and sleek with impeccable service and I have access to benefits at most of them.

VIRTUOSO

Get access to extra benefits, like this Four Seasons breakfast.

Through me, you have access to VIP amenities at thousands of hotels worldwide, including many in Asia. Common benefits can include room upgrades, daily breakfast for two, resort credits, and much more. In Asia, participating hotel brands include Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, The Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La, and many others.

AGODA

Use to save on hotels that don’t have VIP programs.

Agoda is a major online travel agency that is basically the Expedia of Asia. You can reliably find good deals on hotels and resorts throughout the region, from budget to luxury.

Sightseeing Passes


I am a fan of using sightseeing passes to save money off of gate pricing at major attractions. You’ll need to crunch the numbers to decide of these passes make sense based on what you plan to see. I use Go City passes worldwide, including in Asia.

The Hong Kong Pass

#1 Sightseeing Pass for Hong Kong

Pick your pass (2, 3, or 4 days) and download it to your phone. It now includes Ocean Park, Ngong Ping Cable Car, and other typical tourist activities AND dining discounts.

Go Singapore

Save up to 52% off of gate prices.

This pass has Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and lots of must-see attractions. Use the app and go straight to the gate. Choose an All-Inclusive or the number of attractions.

Go Shanghai

Save up to 55% off of gate prices.

This is the only sightseeing pass that I know of in Shanghai and I have used it. Choose All-Inclusive or Build Your Own. It includes a river cruise, popular observation towers and more.

Tickets and Tours


Asia trip planning definitely involves saving money on attractions tickets and tours. However, take a look at my favorite private tour company for a more meaningful dive into food, sightseeing, and culture.

Klook

I start here when buying attraction tickets in Asia.

Singaporean-based Klook is a major seller of discounted attractions and tours in Asia. They have a very large presence in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Tokyo, and even in some smaller cities. I like their app and the ease of using tickets.

Context Travel

Private guided and small group tours that are worth every penny.

See what you want, at your own pace, with your own guide. Or, opt for a small group. I highly, highly recommend Context Travel. I’ve used them worldwide but most recently on a Hong Kong food tour. They operate in major cities like Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Bangkok, and more.

Voyagin

The best choice for tickets in Japan.

Voyagin is expanding worldwide but they seem to have cornered the market in Japan. You can buy JR Rail passes Tokyo Disneyland tickets and more through them.

Comfort and Connectivity


My VPN of choice (you’ll need it in China) and paid airport lounge access.

ExpressVPN

You will need a VPN in China!

Install a VPN before arriving in China on your laptop, tablets, and phones to connect to Gmail, news, and social media. I use ExpressVPN. I use it as an extra layer of protection outside of China also.

Priority Pass

Get airport lounge access.

These lounges can sometimes get busy but if you’re not flying business or first or if your airline doesn’t have a lounge in the airport, Priority Pass comes in handy (it is free with some premium travel credit cards).

Plaza Premium Lounge

One-off lounge access at major airports.

A handful of major airports offer one-off lounge access via Plaza Premium dedicated or affiliated lounges. I’ve used one in Hong Kong and it’s a quieter place to relax, have a few drinks, eat from a small buffer and even get a massage.

Getting Around


For the times when I need an airport transfer or help getting around town, I turn to these rideshare apps and my favorite black car service. (In Hong Kong, I use taxis outside of airport transfers when I have a lot of luggage.)

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DIDI (China)

Didi is a rideshare app that I use in China. It has English translation, all types of cars, and you can link a foreign credit card to your account. It is incredibly helpful and easier than hailing a taxi.

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BLACKLANE (Worldwide)

Blacklane is our car service of choice worldwide. I have used them in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and elsewhere when I need a scheduled airport transfer. Use promo code 1WVK908F on your first Blacklane ride and we’ll both save 20%.

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GRAB (Singapore)

Grab is rideshare app that I use in Singapore. There are even Grab stands at places like Singapore Zoo so there is no question as to where you’ll meet your car.

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