The end of year trip beckons! For those who simply can’t stand the cold, this may be a problem with the winter season coming up but no worries ☺️ We’ve come up with a list of ten places you can visit this end year season without freezing your toes off! From just-right highland temperatures to sunny tropical getaways, here’s a selection of vacations that await you 😉
First stop, Maldives! Fancy waking up to 360-degree views of the open ocean? Then the resort-on-stilts of Maldives is perfect for you with its private villas build right on sea-water! Most villas even come with their own private pool overlooking the sea, giving you luxury living at its finest. With the ocean literally at your doorstep, going scuba diving first thing when you awake also makes a refreshing start to your mornings.
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With its Muslim majority, finding good halal eats on this island is no issue either!
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Feast on fresh seafood and local specialties such as the Mashuni which is a favourite breakfast food amongst island inhabitants. Made of tuna, onion, coconut and chilli, it’s sure to tantalise your tastebuds!
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2. Siem Reap
Next stop, the Kingdom of Cambodia! In the end of year season, weather here is cool without the rain or the scorching sun. With temperatures hovering between 24 to 26 degrees Celsius, you really get the best of both worlds. At Siem Reap, don’t miss out on the seventh wonder of the world, the ruins of Angkor Wat! The largest religious monument in the world, it really is a sight to behold. You’ll need a day or more to fully explore the temple grounds so do set aside some time for this activity 😃
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Explore the less-touristy side of Siem Reap and head to its floating villages where you can catch a glimpse of local fishermen life! The nearest ones to Siem Reap are Kompong Phlouk and Kompong Khleang. Over at these villages, expect to see locals selling their wares and children running and swimming gleefully as you stream down the freshwater riverside on a small boat.
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Ahh, Batam! The land of massages, water sports, beach resorts and local delicacies all just an hour’s ferry ride away from mainland Singapore! The weather here stays pretty much consistently sunny so it’s a safe bet for your year-end trip.
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When at Batam, do take a drive off the city centre to see the Barelang Bridge to catch that perfect Instagram-worthy shot! It’s also a beautiful site to catch the sunset and wind down after a day of exploration. The average daytime temperature in Batam in the end-year season is 22 degree Celsius.
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Try the local mie ayam, martabak manis and roti bakar sold at street shops! You’ll surely go for seconds and thirds ☺️
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On the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia lies the beautiful historical island of Penang. Georgetown, its capital, is rich of cultural and historical significance that can be witnessed even today in its old British colonial buildings, Chinese shop houses and plentiful mosques in the old town. It is also a haven of street art where you’ll find interactive murals plastered on street walls.
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Do take time to walk freely and contemplate these art installations as you explore the streets of Armenian Street. Go on a heritage tour and discover the old wooden houses of Penang, shops on stilts in water or go museum-hopping around Georgetown! The average daily temperature in the year end is a mild 23 degree Celsius, just right for daytime adventuring.
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Penang is truly a food haven that’s known for its laksa, char kway teow and chendol so get ready to treat your taste buds with some tasty delights! Find more halal eateries in Penang on our website here!
Known as “God’s Own Country”, Kerala will astound you with its lush and pristine greenery. There are literally trees and foliage everywhere, your eyes will bathe in green! December is the start of the dry season so expect sunny weather with little to no rainfall, perfect weather for an adventure! In the backwaters of Allepey, try a few nights’ stay in a houseboat for a royal experience where your every need and fancy will be taken care of by an in-house butler! Imagine fresh curry served right after the fish has been caught in the surrounding waters! Seafood can’t get any fresher here.
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Kerala is also rich in culture! Catch the traditional Kathakali dance native to Kerala on one of your evenings there. A “story play” genre of dance, Kathakali dance is usually performed by predominantly male dancers fashioned in elaborate costumes and make-up!
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Try a vegetarian Sadya, a variety of traditional dishes served on a banana leaf. Boiled rice is the main dish, surrounded with curries like parippu, sambar, rasam and many others with a side of plantain chips, pickles and curd. The Sadya is eaten cross-legged on the floor with your right hand and is usually finished with a sweet rice pudding called payasam.
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P.S. Daytime temperatures in Kerala range around 27 degree Celsius!
Australia is another great vacation spot this end of year season with its summer that spans between December and February. Head to Sydney and enjoy the spectacular views at Sydney Harbour flanked by the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge! With the boats gently cruising in the harbor and the sight of people frolicking in the grass, an afternoon out basking in the harbor is surely a great way to spend an afternoon. Sydney is also known for its cafes and coffee culture so do grab a cuppa while you enjoy the views the city has to offer ☕️
Sydney is also home to a beautiful stretch of beaches! Go for a relaxing coastal walk between Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach which will bring you through cliffs and rock pools 😌
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The 6km walk will spans a few beaches so you can really take your time and plop yourself on the sand as you slowly make your way through the stretch of beaches! Average temperatures in Sydney hover around 26 degree Celsius, just right for an afternoon stroll!
7. Gold Coast
Gold Coast is another great destination to head to with its sandy beaches, surf tides and nature treks! Its average daytime temperatures ranging from 19 to 27 degree Celsius also ensure a comfortable stay. Home to many of Australia’s theme parks such as Dreamworld, Wet N Wild and Sea World, Gold Coast is also a family-friendly destination with something for everybody! At Dreamworld, you can meet your favourite cartoon characters such as Shrek and Puss-in-Boots 😍
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If you’re a nature-lover, head to Lamington National Park for a trek where you’ll find mountain ridges, valleys, waterfalls, and rainforest terrain. Lamington is also a World Heritage Site, attributed to its wide variety of flora and fauna. Treks here range in difficulty and accessibility so some research is due before you come 😃 More information on the treks are available here!
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Check out the golden beaches of Gold Coast too, especially Surfer’s Paradise! Known for its high-rise skyline and surf-worthy waves, you can almost feel the stress melt away as you spend a day lounging by the Gold Coast sea-side. There’s also pop-up markets at Surfer’s Paradise a few evenings each week for you to shop around!
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Bangkok is another great destination for you and your loved ones! From late October to February, this city is at its coolest and driest so it’s the perfect time for you to go with daily temperatures at around 26 degrees. When in Bangkok, check out the Grand Palace, a must-see sight that you just cannot miss with its grandiose architecture and intricate craftsmanship details! Do note that modest attire is required and that slippers are strictly not allowed on temple grounds so do dress appropriately 😊
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Be sure to check out one Bangkok specialty which is its night markets where you can find cheap buys from apparel, shoes to snacks! Many trendy clothing and latest fashion items can be found at cheap prices in these bazaars. Most are knockoffs of the real deal but these items are usually of great quality 🤗
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Bangkok is also a street food haven known for its snacks and munchies. Try the famous coconut ice-cream while you’re shopping at one of its many night markets. Mounds of fresh coconut ice cream with your topping of choice served in a coconut husk! Truly refreshing if you’d ask me 😍 Other night market favourites are Thai iced milk teas and mango sticky rice!
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Find The Best Halal Food When You Travel To Bangkok!
From phad thai to tom yum gung, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious halal food in Bangkok!
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Next on this list is Phuket! Phuket is widely known as a top beach destination and the end of year is a good time to go where it’s comfortably warm and dry with cool winds from the monsoon prior. Temperatures during the end of year’s around 24 to 32 degrees Celsius!
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Crystal clear waters and sandy beaches sound like the perfect getaway and Phuket is just the best places to head to. If you’re in for some culture, check out the Big Buddha, a 45-m tall wide marble statue of the Buddha! The Buddha is actually atop a hill, and the views overlooking Phuket from that vantage point are another treat for your eyes where you will see three bay beaches ☺️
Last on this list is neighbouring Krabi, just a stretch away from Phuket. Temperatures here are similar to Phuket’s, averaging around 27 degree Celsius. Also known for its beaches, you’ll also find other natural sites near Krabi such as the Khao Sok National Park. At Khao Sok, you’ll be mesmerized by one of the oldest rainforest in the world with its deep valleys, caves, lakes and also natural limestone mountains. Revel in the beauty of the rock stacks and valleys as you cruise through the waters at Khao Sok!
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Another unique destination within the vicinity of Krabi is the emerald pool at the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park! The emerald waters are warm and crystal clear too, perfect for an afternoon dip! To get to the natural pool, you’d have to hike about 800m through a forest path or take a longer route which brings you through the rainforest. Whichever route you choose, the waters at the end is definitely worth the effort!
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When in Krabi, why not stay at one of Krabi’s luxury resorts? Check out our Muslim-friendly resorts in Krabi!
So there you have it, the top ten destinations for those who hate the cold this end-of-year season! The year has been long and you deserve this break. So get ready your swimming gear, goggles, summer dresses and start packing 🤗