Hangzhou airport's best budget deals

Hangzhou airport's best budget deals

Just outside Shanghai, air travelers can find great deals on flights into and out of Hangzhou
Hangzhou Xiaoshan airport -- budget deals
International budget airlines, such as Air Asia, choose Hangzhou over Shanghai as their East China base.

Only an hour from Shanghai by high-speed rail, Hangzhou's Xiaoshan International Airport (airport code HGH) is an optional hub for cheap flights to popular international destinations.

Budget airlines, such as Air Asia, fly from HGH, which is now connected via non-stop flights with 57 cities.

Here are some of the best current deals.

Route: Hangzhou-Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

The Petronas Towers dominate the Kuala Lumpur skyline.

Why Kuala Lumpur: One of Asia's great shopping cities (especially for electronics), Malaysia's melting-pot metropolis is also famed for its multicultural eating options, with everything from great restaurants to fantastic hawker stalls.

Kuala Lumpur's proximity to Malaysia's white, sandy beaches draws travelers looking for a tropical getaway.

Carrier: Air Asia

Price: From RMB 1,980 round-trip (including taxes)

Route: Hangzhou-Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam's canals are a major attraction.

Why Amsterdam: The capital of The Netherlands might be well-known for its red-light district and permissive attitudes, but the city's attractions are legion.

Must-dos include touring impressive history museums, buying tulips at the Bloemenmarkt, picnicking in Vondelpark, visiting the home of Jewish World War II diarist Anne Frank and discovering the works of Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum.

Carrier: KLM

Price: From RMB 6,790 round-trip (including taxes)

Route: Hangzhou-Kalibo, Philippines

 

This is why you endure air travel.

Why Kalio: Kalibo is one of two airports (the other being Caticlan) connecting the Philippine island paradise of Boracay to the outside world. Boracay's warm, blue waters, powder-fine white sand and lush greenery make it one of Asia's best destinations for sun and sand.

Kalibo itself is home to the Kalibo Mangrove (Bakhawan) Ecotourism Park -- one of the most successful mangrove reforestation projects in the Philippines.

If you happen to be in town during the Ati-atihan festival (January 1-20, 2012), visit the Kalibo Cathedral and watch Catholic faithful passing a small Santo Niño (Christ child) through crowds of devotees, before taking part in lively parades and activities.

Carriers: Air Asia, Cebu Pacific

Price: From RMB 4,000 round-trip (including taxes)

Route: Hangzhou-Busan, Korea

The best parts of Busan are natural, rather than historical.

Why Busan: Home to more than 3.6 million people, Busan is South Korea's second-largest city and the country's largest port.

Most visitors come to Busan for the area's beaches, hot springs and nature reserves, making for a laid-back, cheaper vacation alternative to the capital of Seoul.

Held each fall, the Busan International Film Festival (October 6-14, 2011) is helping bring visitors to the city.

Carrier: Air China

Price: From RMB 5,000 round-trip (including taxes)

Route: Hangzhou-Phuket (via Bangkok), Thailand

Turquoise waters lure visitors to Phuket all year round.

Why Phuket: Known as the Asian capital of hedonism, 570-square-kilometer Phuket is Thailand's largest island. Lapped by the Andaman Sea, Phuket's turquoise waters draw honeymooners, surfers and holidaymakers all year round.

There are those for whom the beer bars and girlie bars of Patong will appeal, but Phuket is more than just a party destination. The island is home to swanky spa resorts, quiet beaches like Nai Harn and vibrant night markets in old Phuket Town.

Carrier: Hainan Airlines

Price: From RMB 2,942 round-trip (including taxes)

Getting There

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (杭州萧山国际机场) is located 27 kilometers from Wulin Square in the center of Hangzhou City, and 15 kilometers from the Xiaoshan District.

Shuttle buses run to and from nearly 20 area locations, including Yiwu, Suzhou, Wuzhen and downtown Hangzhou.

Shuttle buses from the airport to the city center take about an hour and cost RMB 20. Travel time is slightly less to the Xiaoshan District, and the cost is RMB 15.

The waiting hall for shuttle buses in the airport is located on the north side of Exit 5, Arrival Hall, on the first floor of the terminal building.

Casey is a city/lifestyle journalist from Melbourne, Australia, who has been based in Shanghai since 2007.

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