Tran­sit Glo­ria

Business Traveler (USA) - - TAKE OFFS & LANDINGS - By Michelle Fong

Long lay­overs are no fun, even if you get to hang out at the lounge.You can’t work any­more, and you feel like you’re just wast­ing life. Luck­ily, a num­ber of ma­jor tran­sit hubs are of­fer­ing trans­fer pas­sen­gers city tours de­signed to fill their wait­ing time. So you don’t have to waste your time just wast­ing time. In those few hours, you can get a taste of the lo­cal cul­ture and pop­u­lar sights. At least enough to leave you want­ing to come back.

Many of these tours are free while one ex­am­ple here is af­ford­ably priced. Who can par­tic­i­pate? Tran­sit pas­sen­gers with at least five hours be­fore th the con­nect­ing flight.

Visa re­quire­ment: Holde Hold­ers of pass­ports is­sued by m many coun­tries en­joy visa-free sta­tus. Na­tion­als of the Com­mon­wealth of In­de­pen­dent States and Ge­or­gia who are on tran­sit to or from a third coun­try, with a con­firmed on­ward air-ticket, en­joy a 96-hour visa free en­try. Trav­el­ers with travel documents is­sued by China, In­dia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Pak­istan, Saudi Ara­bia, among oth­ers, are re­quired to have a valid visa to en­ter Sin­ga­pore.

Du­ra­tion: Two hours, four times daily. Tours start at 9:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM and 4:00 PM.

Itin­er­ary: The guided tour will in­tro­duce the Mer­lion Park, Colo­nial District, Cen­tral Busi­ness District and Chi­na­town or Lit­tle In­dia. A sec­ond ex­cur­sion, the City Lights Tour, is sched­uled in the evening (6:30 and 8:30 PM) and has a dif­fer­ent itin­er­ary.

High­lights: Par­tic­i­pants have the chance to see the 541-foot-tall Sin­ga­pore Flyer, the iconic Es­planade and The Foun­tain of Wealth – the largest of its kind in the world.

How to en­roll? Reg­is­tra­tion is at des­ig­nated booths in Ter­mi­nal 2, near trans­fer lounge E, or Ter­mi­nal 3, next to trans­fer lounge B.You need to be there at least one hour be­fore the tour starts.

Visit changiair­port.com.

Who can par­tic­i­pate? Tran­sit pas­sen­gers s with seven to 24 hours h to spare.

Visa re­quire­ment: Pass­port Pass hold­ers of 42 coun­tries coun en­joy visaex­empt en­try to Tai­wan, for up to 30 or 90 days. Cit­i­zens from In­dia, Thai­land, the Philip­pines, Viet­nam and In­done­sia who hold a valid visa or per­ma­nent res­i­dent cer­tifi­cate is­sued by the US, , Canada, Ja­pan, U.K., Schen­gen Con­ven­tion coun­tries, Aus­tralia or New Zealand, and have never been em­ployed in Tai­wan as blue-col­lar mi­grant work­ers are also el­i­gi­ble for the tour, but they need to ap­ply for visa-ex­empt en­try with the Na­tional Im­mi­gra­tion Agency be­fore­hand. Du­ra­tion: Five hours; de­part­ing daily at 8:00 AM and 1:30 PM. Itin­er­ary: Morn­ing tour brings par­tic­i­pants to Sanxia and Zushi Tem­ple and Yingge, while the af­ter­noon tour in­cludes vis­its to the Long­shan Tem­ple, Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice Build­ing, Chi­ang Kai-shek Me­mo­rial Hall, Mar­tyrs ’Shrine and Taipei 101.

High­lights: Yingge is fa­mous for pot­tery with out­lets fea­tur­ing vases from Ming and Qing dy­nas­ties as well as the Yingge Ceram­ics Mu­seum. The 1,667-foot Taipei 101 was the tallest build­ing in the world from 2004 to 2010, be­fore the Burj Khal­ifa in Dubai sur­passed it. Long­shan Tem­ple is the old­est and most fa­mous of its kind in Taipei.

How to en­roll? You may call in ad­vance to reg­is­ter or sign up at the tourist ser­vice cen­ter at the ar­rival lobby. Note that there is no room for lug­gage on the bus and trav­el­ers are ad­vised to store their lug­gage at the bag­gage stor­age counter be­fore board­ing the bus.

Visit eng.tai­wan.net.tw Who can par­tic­i­pate? For­eign­ers to Seoul. The air­port does not spec­ify how long a tran­sit ti time one needs to join th the tour and those in­ter­ested need to judge for them­selves.

Visa re­quire­ment: Visa ex­emp­tion from 30 to 90 days for hold­ers of pass­ports is­sued by the US, Ja­pan, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, Ma­cau, Tai­wan, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and other coun­tries with visa waiver agree­ment with South Korea. Res­i­dents from other coun­tries re­quire a tran­sit visa.

Du­ra­tion: One hour. Four tours daily, at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

Itin­er­ary: This is one of sev­eral tours avail­able at In­cheon. Visit the Yong­gungsa Tem­ple by a coach with an English-speak­ing guide.

High­lights: The tem­ple is fa­mous for its 1,300 years old zelkova tree and a statue of the Buddha.

How to en­roll? Ap­ply for the tour at the tran­sit tour booth on the sec­ond floor. Pas­sen­gers may leave their lug­gage at the tran­sit tour main desk be­tween gate six and seven on the first floor af­ter go­ing through the im­mi­gra­tion and cus­toms. Visit air­port.kr/eng

Who can par­tic­i­pate? The air air­line’s pas­sen­gers with over six hours of tran­sit time be­tween 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM.

Visa re­quire­ment: Trav­el­ers with a Hong Kong, Ma­cau, Malaysia or New Zealand pass­port, or travel doc­u­ment is­sued by other ex­empt-visa coun­tries can en­ter Turkey with­out a visa for 30 to 90 days. Trav­el­ers with pass­ports is­sued by Aus­tralia, Canada, UAE, the UK, the US and more can ob­tain a three month-mul­ti­ple en­try visa at the Turk­ish bor­der gates. Oth­ers are re­quired to ap­ply for visa at Turk­ish mis­sions.

Du­ra­tion: “Six Hours in Is­tan­bul ”starts daily at 9:00 AM and 12 noon, while “One Day in Is­tan­bul ”is nine hours long, be­gin­ning at 9:00 AM ev­ery day.

Itin­er­ary: “Six Hours in Is­tan­bul ”in­cludes vis­its to the Blue Mosque, Ger­man Foun­tain at Hip­po­drome Square, Ser­pen­tine Col­umn, Obelisk of Theo­do­sius, Ha­gia Sophia Mu­seum or Top­kapi Palace, and Un­der­ground Cis­tern. Break­fast and lunch are pro­vided. “One Day in Is­tan­bul ”in­cludes two more items: shop­ping at the Spice Bazaar and a visit to New Mosque.

High­lights: The Blue Mosque is renowned for com­bin­ing Byzan­tine el­e­ments with a tra­di­tional Is­lamic ar­chi­tec­ture, while the un­der­ground cis­tern built in 532 AD of­fers a mys­ti­cal am­biance. The Spice Bazaar is the sec­ond largest cov­ered shop­ping com­plex in the city, af­ter the Grand Bazaar. Prices here are more hon­est but bar­gain­ing is still ad­vised.

How to en­roll? Af­ter pass­port and cus­tom con­trol, sign up at the des­ig­nated desk next to Star­bucks in In­ter­na­tional Ar­rival Ter­mi­nal.

Visit is­tan­bu­lin­hours.com.

Who can par­tic­i­pate? Tran­sit pas­sen­gers p with more than th five hours to spare.

Visa re­quire­ment: Visa free pe­riod per of 14 to 180 days avail­able for na­tion­als of Aus­tralia, the UK, Canada, In­dia, In­done­sia, Ja­pan, Korea, Malaysia, Philip­pines, Thai­land, the US and more. Trav­el­ers from other na­tions are re­quired to have a visa to join the tour. Du­ra­tion: Around five hours, start­ing daily at 9:30 AM. Itin­er­ary: The English guided tour, on­board an air-con­di­tioned tour bus, takes par­tic­i­pants to the Ts­ing Ma Bridge, Tsim Sha Tsui Prom­e­nade, Av­enue of Stars, Man Mo Tem­ple and antiques shops along the Hol­ly­wood Road, as well as the sky100 Hong Kong Ob­ser­va­tion Deck at The In­ter­na­tional Com­merce Cen­tre – the city’s tallest build­ing. Also in­cluded are a Star Ferry ride and a jour­ney on an Air­port Ex­press train back to the air­port.

High­lights: Ts­ing Ma Bridge is the world’s long­est road-and-rail sus­pen­sion bridge, while the Star Ferry ride to Cen­tral pre­sents an ex­quis­ite view of the iconic Vic­to­ria Har­bor. The Man Mo Tem­ple on Hol­ly­wood Road, which dates back to 1847, is one of Hong Kong’s ‘de­clared mon­u­ment. ’It’s the largest and best known of sev­eral Man Mo Tem­ples around the city. In con­trast The In­ter­na­tional Com­merce Cen­tre was built in 2010. Its sky100 Hong Kong Ob­ser­va­tion Deck is the high­est in­door ob­ser­va­tion deck in the city, of­fer­ing a 360-de­gree bird’s-eye view of the Hong Kong.

How to en­roll? Book the tour at the tran­sit tour counter, op­po­site Ar­rivals Hall exit B. The tour costs HK$270 ($35) per per­son, with all trans­porta­tion ex­penses and ad­mis­sion fees in­cluded.

Visit dis­cov­er­hongkong.com

K C O T S R E T U H S S O T O H P Sin­ga­pore: The

Foun­tain of Wealth

Tai­wan: Long­shan Tem­ple Seoul:

Yong­gungsa

em­ple

Is­tan­bul: Ger­man Foun­tain Hong Kong: Av­enue

of Stars

Park Sin­ga­pore: Mer­lion

Tai­wan: Taipei 101

Seoul: Yong­gungsa

em­ple

Is­tan­bul: Un­der­ground Cis­tern Hong Kong:

Ob­ser­va­tion Deck

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