Top 5 Airports in Asia

I have traveled extensively across Asia and quite a bit in the Middle East. I’ve been in big airports, small airports, airports with good food, airports with bad food, airports that look like works of art and airports that look like nothing in particular.

I’d love to take a few minutes and talk about 5 airports that stand out to me when I think of traveling in Asia. These may not be the best, most efficient, most fun, or have the best food. But one thing is certain, when I think about traveling in Asia, these are the airports that pop out in my mind, and I’ll tell you why. And these are in no particular order.

  1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong (HKG) stands out as a top airport in Asia mostly because I’ve been there a gazillion times. I feel like I know it like the back of my hand. But here are a couple of practical reasons:

  1. After arrival, everything feels so easy and right at your fingertips. From getting a SIM card, to exchanging money, to topping up my Octopus card, to getting a ticket on the airport MTR … everything is so easy. Or maybe you’d rather take a double-decker bus into the city, that’s easy too!
  2. On the departures side, there’s plenty to do and eat. Fast food, restaurants, shopping for those last-minute things, or just lounging around. Also, it always seems super easy and fast to find my gate, which is a perk if you’re on a tight timeline.

2. Singapore

The Singapore (SIN) airport has to be one of the greatest airports known to man. I once had a 6-hour layover there and didn’t get bored at all. It’s more like a city than an airport. There’s even a butterfly garden! There’s fast wifi, good food, and plenty of quite places with comfortable chairs to take a quick nap. The opportunities for exploration seemed endless!

3. Seoul, S. Korea (ICN)

I don’t know why it’s here. It’s just that every time I fly through there I have a friend who says, “OOOH! I LOVE that airport.” So it made the list.

4. Bangkok (BKK)

There’s honestly nothing overly special about the Bangkok airport. What I usually look forward to the most is a Krispy Kreme donut. What stands out to me the most is that I usually arrive in Bangkok during the winter and, more often than not, it was snowing where I left, but then I step out of the plan in Bangkok and it’s 80 degrees. That might be the best feeling ever.

5. Beijing (PEK) Particularly Terminal 3, or just T3 as it’s called

This makes the list because once upon a time I considered it my home airport. I knew it better than any of others. And that makes it endearing to me. I can still picture the booth at Burger King that I would sit at and eat a Whopper because, in those days, that was the only Burger King in town. I find T3 extremely easy to navigate and it always feels like home to me. Sometimes I was there to greet arriving visitors, or to take off somewhere myself, but each time I walked through the doors, it felt a little like home.

That’s my list. A very close runner-up would be Tokyo because that airport is where I’ve had the best sushi of my life.

What airports would make your list? And why?

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