The future of online Asian travel isn’t up in the air; it’s buses, taxis, ferries, and trains
Travel involves more than flights and hotels. It’s about the journey from the airport to your lodging.
It’s about making the ride as smooth as possible: knowing which cabs to book, where and when to book them, and how much to pay. That’s why hotels double as concierges. Transportation in cities is complex.
And transportation isn’t getting simpler. Cabbing involves a series of complex decisions. You decide where you’re going, the best route to take, and how long it takes to get there without being late. Supply and demand mismatches can mess you up. Cabs may not be around when you need them to be.
The situation gets hairier if you’re a hapless foreigner: now you have to deal with language barriers, new environments, and unfamiliar, often unfriendly, taxi operators. This friction erases the joy out of travel. Railway and subway in Taipei, for instance, run on separate ticketing systems. Auto-rickshaws, or tuk-tuks as they’re called, need you to know obscure locations in the city and pronounce them correctly. Showing drivers the map doesn’t work; some can’t read, and some can’t afford prescription glasses.