12 • Vacations
STOPPING IN SINGAPORE
While Singapore is often not the Far East
traveller’s final objective, it makes a fascinating
stopover en route to the beaches of Bali or
the attractions of Australia. Its airport, Changi,
consistently ranks as the best in the world.
This city state of five million is an exotic
cultural mix of Asian peoples. To sample this
heady brew, head to the Buddha Tooth Relic
Temple in Chinatown, the peaceful Lian Shan
Shuang Lin Buddhist monastery, the colourful
Sri Mariamman Hindu temple and to the huge
Sultan Mosque. All this contrasts wonderfully
with the ultra-modern Marina Bay Sands
SkyPark, floating 200 metres above the city.
CAPTIVATING CAPITAL CITY: REYKJAVIK
Break up your transatlantic trip to Europe with a stop in
Reykjavik, Iceland – one of the most captivating capitals of
the world. Icelandair offers stopover fares at no additional
cost. Reykjavik is just 40 minutes from the airport and, once
there, it’s eminently walkable. See the iconic Hallgrimskirkja
church, the waterfront Harpa Concert Hall, the Icelandic
parliament and Tjörnin lake. On longer stopovers, head out
of town to see Europe’s largest waterfall, Gullfoss, the hot
springs of Geysir, and evocative Thingvellir National Park.
Leave time for a soak in the world-famous Blue Lagoon too.
Winter 2018 • 13
Chances are that one of these days your
long-distance flight will take you through
Dubai – so plan a day or two to stopover
here and explore. Futuristic Dubai includes
The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building;
the Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest
shopping malls; the glittering 3.2-kilometre-
long Dubai Water Canal; and the remarkable
artificial island of Palm Jumeirah. To
experience traditional Dubai, take a cultural
trip into the desert to meet Bedouin people.
Here you can enjoy their gracious hospitality
and perhaps learn about falconry and the
importance of camels to life in the desert.
CITY CENTRE: ZÜRICH
As one of the most centrally positioned major
airports in Europe, a layover in Zürich is a natural
break on your way to Eastern Europe, the Middle
East or Africa. It’s just a few minutes from the
airport to the city centre by the efficient Swiss
train service – so there’s no excuse not to go
exploring on even short layovers. Look for walking
tours through the picturesque Old Town. Don’t
miss the coffee and chocolate shops and a stroll
along the Lake Zürich promenades. With more
time, you can take a ferry ride on the lake, a trip
up the neighbouring summit of Uetliberg and, of
course, sample Swiss cuisine such as fondue.
VICTORIA HARBOUR, HONG KONG
ISLAND OF PALM JUMEIRAH
BUDDHA TOOTH RELIC TEMPLE, SINGAPORE
GULLFOSS WATERFALL, REYKJAVIK
FIRST STOP: HONG KONG
This World City is the natural stopover for trips to China and
Southeast Asia. Cathay Pacific offers free or reduced cost
tours for stopover travellers. Hong Kong is an intense, at times
almost overwhelming, experience and the perfect introduction
to Far Eastern destinations. Orient yourself with incredible city
views by taking the Peak Tram to Victoria Peak. The harbour
and city views from the Star Ferry ride across to Kowloon
are equally magnificent. Then plunge in to the maelstrom of
street markets, food stalls, festivals and historic sites of this
remarkable place. For a sense of serenity amidst the mayhem,
visit the Chi Lin Nunnery and nearby Nan Lian Garden.
Best Stopover Cities.
By Chris Robinson
Airlines are offering more opportunities to stopover in hub cities en route to your
destination – often at no extra cost. Here are our recommendations
for the best add-on destinations.