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Is it better (cheaper) to hub out of Singapore and buy round trip tickets from hub or buy one way tickets around the region? (I fly to SG Thursday. I am planning to visit SG, Bali, Jakarta, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, HK, Shanghai over a 2 month period).

Related: If hub/roundtrip tickets are the way to go then is it better to hub out of Singapore or Kuala Lumpur? And better to fly AirAsia or other airline discount prices?

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2 Answers 2

You have so many different options for flying within asia: air asia, citilink, lion air, tiger air, mandala air, ...

If you don't have so much time for checking them all I would suggest to use one of those flight comparing sites like www.asiatravel.com or www.en.tiket.com.

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The answer is going to depend on your exact itinerary, but my sneaky suspicion is that hubbing out of Kuala Lumpur and flying Air Asia everywhere would be the cheapest way to do it. Not only is Air Asia cheap and ubiquitous, but the passenger taxes & charges at KUL are noticeably lower than in SIN.

That said, Kuala Lumpur's LCC terminal is a bit of a hole and looping through can be slow, so if there's a sensibly priced alternative I'd willingly pay some money to avoid it. (The long-delayed new terminal is scheduled to open May 2014, but I'm not holding my breath.)

Also, there are definitely some legs of the journey you'll want to fly direct, or even consider crossing overland. Domestic Indonesian flights (eg. Jakarta-Bali) are ridiculously cheap, and Bangkok-Laos-Cambodia-Vietnam can be done overland cheaply and reasonably comfortably. Train is also a serious alternative for all travel in China, including HK-Shanghai.

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In my experience, Air Asia's cheap fares tend to sell out very quickly, whereas Tiger Airways' "sell cheaper, longer". –  Ankur Banerjee Sep 10 '13 at 8:33
    
Thanks for the suggestion of going overland for Bangkok-Laos-Cambodia-Vietnam. I find I see so much more of the country when I travel by land, meet more ordinary people too and can save money on the trip. Though the air tickets are so cheap not sure on that part. Or how long "by land" takes here? –  Michael Smith Sep 10 '13 at 10:50
    
I have a friend in Jakarta so flying there from SIN then on to Bali makes sense to me for other reasons. It didn't seem so easy to fly on from Bali as to round trip back to SIN, at least on AirAsia. I will search for some other ideas on that one. –  Michael Smith Sep 10 '13 at 10:52
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Since you like seeing the country by travelling overland, you should factor in not just the cheap airfares but also how much you enjoy getting to and from and spending time in airports. KL is a brilliant hub (my god the food!) but Air Asia doesn't quite fly everywhere in Southeast Asia yet. Then there's the overland bits that would be over sea. Ferries are only there sometimes and of those only some are a decent quality. This is a part of the world with lots of ferry disasters. –  hippietrail Sep 10 '13 at 12:47
    
"Domestic Indonesian flights (eg. Jakarta-Bali) are ridiculously cheap" Which airline? I cannot find any return flight under 400 USD using a generic tool (lastminute.com) :( –  Ivan Sep 10 '13 at 13:59

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