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Old 29.10.2015, 08:25
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Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

Dear EFers,

We have planned a trip to Singapore and Malaysia and booked the tickets just before the haze appeared. We did not see that coming! Since we did not buy insurance (silly us, but we did learn our lesson), we cannot change the tickets. From what i see on the internet, the air quality is not getting any better and the tickets are too expensive for us to just not go. So i was wondering if anyone on here has first hand information about how bad the situation is? I read different things on different websites. We are planning to fly out of there as soon as we get there, but i am not sure if we should already book tickets to somewhere else (and make the same mistake),or give Singapore a chance?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 29.10.2015, 08:57
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

didn't really get what do you mean haze... Fog? Smog?

I don't think that can ruin your holiday
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Old 29.10.2015, 09:04
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

Was in Singapore two weeks ago no problem
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Old 29.10.2015, 09:09
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

It is smog caused by smoke. Indonesian farmers are burning fields in order to clear them up for the palm oil industry. They have had to close schools for a few days and cancel events. I don't think it's nothing, but i am also not sure how bad it is. That is why i was hoping to find someone on here who have been there during this time so that they can tell me first hand. According to some of the articles, people should stay indoors and avoid outdoor activity.
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Old 29.10.2015, 09:36
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

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It is smog caused by smoke. Indonesian farmers are burning fields in order to clear them up for the palm oil industry. They have had to close schools for a few days and cancel events. I don't think it's nothing, but i am also not sure how bad it is. That is why i was hoping to find someone on here who have been there during this time so that they can tell me first hand. According to some of the articles, people should stay indoors and avoid outdoor activity.
Its probably only a haze in the sky in Malaysia and Singapore. So your holiday should be fine. But its not fields that are burning, its the forests, particularly on Borneo so not that close to you really [Edit] Unless you are going to that part of Malaysia.

Last edited by TobiasM; 29.10.2015 at 09:46.
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Old 29.10.2015, 09:42
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

You don't say exactly when you are travelling but the rainy season will start soon.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/m...n-smoke-crisis

Enjoy your holiday...
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Old 29.10.2015, 10:16
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

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We have planned a trip to Singapore and Malaysia and booked the tickets just before the haze appeared. We did not see that coming! Since we did not buy insurance (silly us, but we did learn our
lesson), we cannot change the tickets. ....
Well...:
1. The haze happens most years due to forest burning in the dry season.
2. No insurance is going to pay up because of that unless it is bad enough for the flights to be cancelled. Which it isn't.
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Old 29.10.2015, 10:16
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

Hi,

You can see the PSI (Haze measures) in this website: http://www.haze.gov.sg/haze-updates/psi

Notice the scale of values:
- 0 - 50 Good
- 51 - 100 Moderate
- 101 - 200 Unhealthy
- 201 - 300 Very unhealthy
- Above 300 Hazardous

I happened to be living in Singapore when in 2013 we hit PSI 400. It was definitely not pleasant to be in the street (you hardly could see 50 stories buildings 100 meters in front you) and the smell was funny. Kind of teary eyes. Somehow like being inside of a giant smoking room of an airport. Still, live was still being carried on 'normally' (going to work, and just staying within shopping centers or at home).

Back to present, for the last days, the current reads of PSI are way lower (~100). As a reference, my friends there are still going out for a run or bike rides as long as PSI is below 120.

So, bottom line, don't dwell too much and just go. While there could have been better days, the current haze is not going to "ruin" or affect significantly your holidays. As a matter of fact, it may be a new experience I strongly doubt there will be anything that you are not going to be able to do or see because of the haze.

If you are planning to fly out of Singapore, notice that it is not a matter of distance, rather of "direction". The haze is pushed with the wind, so the wind direction will be the one determining where the haze is. Check out this map: http://www.weather.gov.sg/warning-haze-information/
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Old 29.10.2015, 10:50
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

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Its probably only a haze in the sky in Malaysia and Singapore. So your holiday should be fine. But its not fields that are burning, its the forests, particularly on Borneo so not that close to you really [Edit] Unless you are going to that part of Malaysia.
Sorry, but no. I lived in Singapore the last couple of years and when the haze is at its worst is it not a bit foggy, but you can see less than 50 meters far and the air burns in your throat. You'll find loads of photos on it... like this one:




You are right that the actual fires are several thousand kilometers away - not just Borneo, but all over Sumatra and Java. Seeing what it looks like in Singapore can you imagine what it looks like in Indonesia... all in the name of cheap palm oil for all of us.

Having said that - the picture above is taken at a level of over 200, right now is it 60 and that's not a problem at all.
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Old 29.10.2015, 11:11
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

Hello from Singapore!

I'm back home for a short work trip, the haze has actually cleared up just a little bit due to the heavy down pour these 2 days I suppose. I would say if you've paid for the trip and its not refundable, still come and visit. Singapore is a "mall city" loads of fully air conditioned indoor places where you can "hide" from the haze and our MRT (train) system is largely underground in downtown areas with almost everywhere linked by underground passage ways. Even Gardens by the bay has a fully enclosed dome so you can enjoy flora and fauna safely tucked away from the hazy outdoors. Just try to avoid doing too outdoorsy stuff for too long (i.e. climb Bukit Timah or attempt the tree top walks) but I would say lazing on the beach on Sentosa would still not choke you up.

That being said, I'm missing Zurich's clear blue skies, fresh air and cool air.
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Old 29.10.2015, 11:19
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

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That being said, I'm missing Zurich's clear blue skies, fresh air and cool air.
And I am missing
- Dumplings at Din Tai Fung
- Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan
- Murtabak at Zam Zam
- Don't get me started on seafood from sambal stingray to chili crab
- a hot pot (aka steamboat), probably at Hai Di Lao
- some authentic Szechuan or Dungbei food in Chinatown...
- then some decent Japanese.

I'd know what to do in Singapore for a week without leaving restaurants.
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Old 29.10.2015, 11:53
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

I was in Singapore Changi airport for a stop over. All I could see was Indians carrying 2 bottles of Whisky each from the duty free.


The artificial tropical forest in the center of the shopping area was very nice.
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Old 29.10.2015, 12:01
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

For anone interested, BA appear to have an un-advertised sale of £350 return BSL-SIN via LHR (book through an online UK agency to get the price in GBP, booking direct isn't as cheap for once: e.g. expedia, lastminute, ebookers). Might work from ZRH and GVA; didn't check.
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Old 29.10.2015, 12:03
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

A friend of mine just posted this on FB. It is the clearest sky in months today. No reason not to go...
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Old 29.10.2015, 12:15
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

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For anone interested, BA appear to have an un-advertised sale of £350 return BSL-SIN via LHR (book through an online UK agency to get the price in GBP, booking direct isn't as cheap for once: e.g. expedia, lastminute, ebookers). Might work from ZRH and GVA; didn't check.
Obviously not so convenient from BSL, but am seeing ZRH to SIN for the same price on Cathay with a stopover in HKG for several dates (CHF520), or for Team Star Alliance, from CHF650 on Swiss or even Singapore airlines. (Even better, Singapore often let you tack on a regional flight for peanuts - Bali for CHF760 for example )

The new Google flights is incredibly powerful:

https://www.google.ch/flights
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Old 29.10.2015, 12:54
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

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Obviously not so convenient from BSL, but am seeing ZRH to SIN for the same price on Cathay with a stopover in HKG for several dates (CHF520), or for Team Star Alliance, from CHF650 on Swiss or even Singapore airlines. (Even better, Singapore often let you tack on a regional flight for peanuts - Bali for CHF760 for example )

The new Google flights is incredibly powerful:

https://www.google.ch/flights
I still use the ITA Matrix, as it has some extra options, but the newer tool is very fast.

Yeah, Cathay has sale prices to Asia from Zurich - I've just booked an open-jaw ticket for 530Fr. However, for those who care about these things, it books into a fare class that earns close to no miles.

Last time I got a BA flight to Asia for 500Fr (Japan in March) I got enough airmiles for over 3 return flights to London, in effect making the Japan flight free. Lots of things to juggle when pricing flights the way I do
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Old 29.10.2015, 13:00
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

Is it just me or did tickets to Asia just get WAY cheaper lately than some years ago? We booked ZRH to Beijing for a similar price. Over CNY!!!
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Old 29.10.2015, 13:03
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

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Is it just me or did tickets to Asia just get WAY cheaper lately than some years ago? We booked ZRH to Beijing for a similar price. Over CNY!!!
The world I shaving a fire sale before the next oil shock.
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Old 29.10.2015, 13:23
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

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However, for those who care about these things, it books into a fare class that earns close to no miles.
I bet you're on Flyertalk too

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Is it just me or did tickets to Asia just get WAY cheaper lately than some years ago? We booked ZRH to Beijing for a similar price. Over CNY!!!
I think it's everywhere long haul - the pricing model has changed. Even a few years ago, I was struggling to get direct flights LHR to HKG for less than £7-800 or NYC for less than £6-700, but European weekend hops were easily snapped up for under £100. Now, flying across several continents can cost me little more than heading back to London...
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Old 29.10.2015, 17:10
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Re: Travelling to Singapore and Malaysia

my friend in KL has just told me the haze has cleared for now..so all good
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