Your plans for the long weekends can get quite predictable if you live in Singapore. Most people just have one thing on their agenda: stay in. It’s so tempting to just kick off our slippers and make ourselves a cup of hot cocoa. Go ahead and kick off those slippers, but do put on some shoes, pack your bags and grab your passport - because there are even more exciting reasons not to stay at home during the long weekends!
Chinese New Year (Saturday, January 28 to Monday, January 30)
1. Hong Kong
Credit: daxis on Flickr
If there’s a time to visit this metropolitan city, it’s on Chinese New Year, when it’s at its most animated. Hong Kong takes this festive period very seriously, with a line-up of grand events planned throughout the long weekend. It’s such a magnificent sight to witness, that Forbes has listed it as one of the world’s 10 best festival extravaganzas!
Credit:@discoverhongkong on Instagram On day one, watch the parade at Tsim Sha Tsui as floats and performers cross landmarks like Kowloon Park and Avenue of Stars. The second day is as flamboyant as the first, with fireworks lighting up the sky at Victoria
Harbour! Day three is neigh
-ry a quiet day, with fans flocking to the Sha Tin Racecourse to watch the greatest horse racing event of the year.
P.S. Thinking of avoiding the crowd? Here’s The Perfect Way To Spend 72 Hours In Hong Kong
, if you prefer to skip the festivities!
Travel time by plane: ~
3 hours 55 minutes
Good Friday (Friday, 14 April to Sunday, 16 April)
2. Lang Tengah Island, Malaysia
Credit: @joephotodigital on Instagram
If you thought the days of unspoilt islands were long gone, you probably haven’t heard of Lang Tengah Island and its untouched beaches yet. You might get a little restless if you travel there by the easiest, and therefore most time-consuming, way - by coach to Merang Jetty - which will get you there in *only* 10 hours, but the picturesque waters and white sands are probably worth the trip!
Credit: @lang_tengah_turtle_watch on Instagram
You’ll also be able to cover this little island of 8 secluded beaches by foot, so you’ll only get salty from the seawater, and not from a lack of peace. Plus, cute baby sea turtles, which you can help protect, are hatched around this time of the year!
How to get there: The fastest
way to get to Lang Tengah Island is to stopover at Kuala Lumpur, then fly to Kuala Terengganu and take a boat ride from Merang Jetty Travel time:
3 hours 35 minutes (plane) + 45 minutes (boat) = ~4 hours 20 minutes
Labour Day (Saturday, 29 April to Monday, 1 May)
3. Luang Prabang, Laos
Credit: millsbaker on Flickr
Nothing like spending Labour Day in a sleepy village 😌 This old French town and UNESCO World Heritage Site is surrounded by mountains and is 700 metres above sea. Sitting atop Mekong River, it’s also blessed with gushing waterfalls, swimming and sailing opportunities.
Credit: @tashavlahos on Instagram
Walk anywhere around Luang Prabang and you’ll learn from passing tuk-tuk drivers about the Kuang Si Waterfalls - the most popular attraction this lazy town has to offer. And for good reason, as you’ll be pleasantly greeted by cascading aquamarine waters against walls of limestone. Water
sight to behold!
How to get there:
Take a flight to Bangkok and board Laos Airlines from there
Travel time by plane:
~4 hours 30 minutes
Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Saturday, 24 June to Monday, 26 June)
4. Penang, Malaysia
Credit: phalinn on Flickr Keep stuffed and curry on at Malaysia’s food haven this Hari Raya Aidilfitri!
Penang is the
place to get more bang for your buck. The food here is also diverse, with exotic street cuisine from all over the world! And don’t worry about the grub being, er, grubby, as Penang’s food stalls are known for their cleanliness!
[caption id="attachment_16952" align="alignnone" width="900"]
Roti Bengali at Roti Bakar Jalan Transfer[/caption]
Credit: @mshthfrth on Instagram
P.S. Want to make sure your calories aren’t wasted? Here are 10 Iconic Local Dishes You Have To Try In Penang
How to get there:
Take a plane from Changi Airport to Penang Airport
~1 hour 25 minutes
Hari Raya Haji (Friday, 1 September to Sunday, 3 September)
5. Rawa Island, Malaysia
Credit: @lynmariano on Instagram
Serene...with little development, tiny Rawa Island is definitely the
destination for an idyllic getaway. At Rawa Island Resort, you would not get the usual gimmicky trimmings tied to places labelled as “luxurious”. Instead, expect homely, one-with-nature vibes. It’s sea-
riously no problem at all, because you won’t miss TV entertainment when you can just watch the waves crash below your feet at the comfort of your own balcony.
Credit: phalinn on Flickr Imagine trudging on the powdery soft sands and looking out not just to the crystal
clear water, but at all the natural beauty the island has to offer. And when you’re feeling lazy, you can take in all that charm while resting on a hammock at the beach. To get your heart pumping back at a normal rate, there are even waterslides to take you to the edge of the sea! How to get there:
Take a taxi from Ban San Street Taxi Kiosk to Mersing Jetty (SGD 220 /4 passengers). Alternatively, take a Transnasional bus from Lavender Street Bus Terminal to Mersing Jetty (SGD 15 /pax). After which, depart by boat to Rawa Island
Travel time by taxi:
3 hours + 30 minutes (boat) = ~3 hours 30 minutes
Travel time by bus:
6 hours + 30 minutes (boat) = ~6 hours 30 minutes
Christmas (Saturday, 23 December to Monday, 25 December)
6. Baguio, Philippines
Credit: @sammiesavage_ on Instagram Where better in Asia to celebrate the holidays than in the Philippines, the country that reveres it the most? The festive traditions here are well observed, with sugary carols filling the air and over-the-top decorations decked in every corner, just in case you forget it’s that time of year - though we’re not complaining! Also, with the mountain
city of Baguio experiencing an average temperature of 19°C in December, who says you can’t experience brr-eezy “wintery” climates in Southeast Asia?
Credit: @kriiiing on Instagram
Baguio is slow-paced, a marriage of old and new infrastructure, and even the cab drivers are calm and well-mannered, so it’s a respite from the borderline crazy city life we’re used to! Sit back and enjoy your basket of handpicked strawberries, munch on peanut brittle, and keep your hands toasty with a steaming cup of hot cocoa!
How to get there:
Take a plane from Changi Airport to Manila International Airport and board on the Metro Manila bus
3 hours 35 minutes (plane) + 6 hours (bus) = ~9 hours 35 minutes
7. Perth, Australia
Credit: variationblogr on Flickr
If the cold weather and fluffy white-bearded people dressed in red aren’t really your thing, scoot over to summery Perth, where there are shorebirds in place of clumsy penguins! Perth is designed for walking, and you’ll be on flat ground most of the time. So it’s great for walkers, but not so good for those inclined towards snow sledding (but if you came here for that, why would you be here?!).
Credit: @latiffarumi on Instagram
the city on your feet and take in its culture at your own leisurely pace. And oh, your travels here aren’t complete without making your way to the Instagram-famous Blue Boat House! How to get there:
Take a plane to Perth Airport
~5 hours 15 minutes
Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz once said, “There’s no place like home,” but that’s not something us explorers would take lying down. We’ve debunked the myth that the only parameters worth venturing into during the long weekends are within the walls of your room, so hop on a plane and have the weekend of a lifetime! T.G.I.F, T.G.I.S, T.G.IS and T.G.I.M!