Holey mother of lekor, you guys. Ever wanted to go on a long holiday and travel across countries? Well guess what – we just found a LEGIT way to travel across the 10 countries in Southeast Asia for RM499!
So we’ve just found out that our friends at AirAsia has this thing called the ‘Asean Pass’, where for RM499, you’ll get 10 credits which are redeemable according to flights chosen across Asean countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Okay, IF you’ve heard of it before, then ok lor, come we pat your back… Turns out, the Asean Pass isn’t NEW at all – it’s been around for at least 2 years, but it has since been improved to be more user-friendly.
But honestly right, this is the FIRST time anyone in the CILISOS team has ever heard of it! If we knew we’d have used it for this year’s heckin company trip lor.
Here’s how it works
With the Asean Pass, you can redeem your flights according to a set of fixed credit rate by AirAsia. What this means is, you won’t be affected by fluctuating fares. You know la, sometimes the prices go up and down depending on promotions and travel dates.
There are two types of Asean Passes from which you can choose from:
- Asean Pass (10 credits, 30-day validity), RM499
- Asean Pass+ (20 credits, 60-day validity), RM888
Now let’s take a look at an example of how this works with and without the pass. Let’s say this is your route:
KL, Malaysia > Bali, Indonesia > Bangkok, Thailand > Penang, Malaysia > Singapore > KL, Malaysia
Here’s how much it would cost you to take individual flights:
And if you use the RM499 Asean Pass:
Sounds great right?? Now here’s the catch. The Asean Pass IS undoubtedly a super-affordable way for you to fly across Southeast Asia, BUT it does require some considerations on your end:
- You can buy the pass and keep it with you for up to a year, but once you activate it (from date of first redeemed flight), the pass will only be valid for 30 days (or 60 days for Asean Pass+).
- It only covers your base fare, so you still need to pay for airport taxes and add-ons (e.g. baggage and meals).
- You need to be flexible with your travel date, as seats for Asean Pass users are limited and bookings need to be done at least 14 days in advance.
- You can’t repeat the same route. (e.g. KL to Bangkok > Bangkok to KL > KL to Bangkok (this one cannot) > Bangkok to Hanoi > Hanoi to KL)
- Credits that are not utilised within the time frame will be discarded.
So with all that put together, the Asean Pass isn’t really for everyone… but it’s definitely perfect if you’re in-between jobs or ready to take a long break.
You can easily build your own epic holiday routes, but here’s two to start your engine:
Since you can redeem flights across all Asean networks by AirAsia, you’ll have more than 150 routes and over 80 destinations to choose from. The best part is, there are at least 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the region, so the Asean Pass would be the perfect way to experience something new. (Or ‘old’, since some of them, like the Mỹ Sơn Hindu temples in Vietnam, date as far back to the 4th century! Say whuuttt?!)
You’re bound to come across some unexpected destinations, but if you need some inspiration, we’ve got a few to suggest. If you’ve got a BIG appetite for street food, try this delicious trail:
Go from KL to Chiang Mai (3 credits), and enjoy sipping on hot tom yum in their cold, crisp weather. Then, fly down to Bangkok (1 credit), one of the biggest food capitals of the world with street food at every corner, any time of the day. You can then fly up to Ho Chi Minh City (1 credit) where it’s like Bangkok, but on steroids. Try all the Pho you can get while taking in the sights of WWII remnants.
Take a break and go back to Bangkok (1 credit) where you can check out Hua Hin, an Asian Santorini, by bus or train. From Bangkok, fly down to Penang (1 credit), where you can finally come back to your ultimate comfort food: Malaysian food! Pretty sure you’ll have a couple of friends there too, since everyone knows someone from Penang… so when you’re ready to call it a day, fly back home to KL (1 credit). You’ll have 2 more credits left, so maybe can drop by Singapore real quick… but don’t expect to get amazing food there la, cos Malaysian food is the real OG.
If food isn’t your thing, how about something that’s activity-filled?
From KL, fly to Singapore (1 credit) and get your adrenaline pumping from the currency difference. Then, fly to Bali (3 credits) where you can surf, hike and jump off majestic cliffs. Then, head over to Bangkok (3 credits) for some street action, and then Penang (1 credit) for some FOOD action.
Before you head back home, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stop by Langkawi (1 credit), where you’ll be able to do some extreme sports while enjoying tax-free goodies. With your last credit, you’ll get to fly back to KL and brag all about your trip.
Either way, check out the super-simple Asean route planner here and come up with your own epic route. If you have the time to travel, you’ll definitely want to have the MONEY for it… so trying out the Asean Pass wouldn’t be a bad idea to kickstart an epic, unexpected trip you’ll remember for a lifetime 🙂