We're at the end of January right now, which means it's time to start planning for your 2020 March holidays! ? And for those with kids, that means the March school holidays are coming up too! With the 2019-nCov or Wuhan coronavirus going around right now, travel plans for February may be shelved but we're hoping that things will improve by March. (In the meantime, click here for what you need to know about staying safe from the virus
if you're travelling soon.)
March is the start of the dry season for many popular destinations in Southeast Asia as well as the cooler autumn period for Australia and New Zealand, so you'll definitely be spoilt for choice! Whether you're travelling as a family, booking a romantic hideaway with your sweetheart, or just looking for a spontaneous trip to drag your friends into we've narrowed down the top choices for your next March 2020 getaway! ?
Note: March holidays are 14-22 March for Singapore and Group B schools in Malaysia, and 13-21 March for Group A schools in Malaysia.
1. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Cameron Highlands has always been a popular choice for a quick getaway - it’s a nearby escape from city life that never fails to leave us refreshed. ? It’s also one of the road trips you can take from Singapore or Malaysia
Strawberry farms may be one thing Cameron Highlands is known for, but did you know that there are butterfly farms and honeybee farms too? There’s no better way to learn more about nature than being (literally!) in touch with it, and being able to touch and carry butterflies bigger than their hands (?) will be an unforgettable experience for the kids.
P.S. Don't forget to visit the tea plantations too! Some even offer educational tours that take you through the tea production process.
2. Perth, AustraliaCredit: Malaque Mahdaly
March will mark the start of autumn in Australia, meaning cooler temperatures all around! Whether you want something more laid-back, or want to be out in the sun by the sea, Perth has everything you need for making unforgettable memories. ? Why not make good use of the March holidays and take a 6D5N family-friendly road trip through Perth and its surrounds
#HHWT Tip: There are many road trip routes you can take through Western Australia, including the Indian Ocean Drive and Southwest Nature Drive. Make sure to read up on which one is best for you! Click here for more tips for a road trip through Western Australia
Caversham Wildlife Park has a huge collection of animals to meet and see - in fact, it has the largest collection of native animals in Western Australia. You can even get up close with the kangaroos! ? Australian wildlife is famous for being super unique, and your kids will definitely have fun cradling a sleepy koala, or an adorable wombat! Make sure to visit Molly’s Farm within the Park while you’re there - it’s a petting zoo specially tailored for kids! For more of our insider tips to Perth, check out our 5D4N Muslim-friendly itinerary that has all you need to make a quick trip there
3. Gold Coast/Brisbane, Australia
Gold Coast is another popular family destination in Australia - after all it's THE place to go if you love theme parks! ? Dreamworld, Movieworld, and Whitewater World are all uniquely exhilarating and easily worth a day trip each. Families can also meet native wildlife at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and shop for hours at Pacific Fair - all of which are accessible from the city centre by bus!
To balance out the trip, spend 1 or 2 days in Brisbane enjoying the shopping, sights, and more of Australia's 3rd largest city. Brisbane is full of exciting things to see and do
such as visiting the beautiful Moreton Islands, seeing contemporary kid-friendly artworks at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, and of course shopping at the Collective Markets for unique vintage and one-of-a-kind collectibles. ? Interested to plan your Queensland adventure? This 6D5N Brisbane-Gold Coast Muslim-friendly itinerary
is just what you need!
4. New Zealand (North/South Island)
It's also autumn in New Zealand
which means the perfect weather to explore the great outdoors! ? Pay a visit to the North Island and visit the legendary Hobbiton set (can you imagine how adorable the kids will look in the Hobbit Holes of the Shire? ?), be awed by glow worms at the Waitomo Caves, and experience a Maori village in Rotorua. Our 7D6N Muslim-friendly self-drive North Island itinerary
is a great place to get started - complete with tips for self-drivers!
Or maybe you'll love the scenery and stunning vistas of the South Island more. With world-famous sights such as Lake Tekapo, Hooker Valley, Mount Cook National Park, and Milford Sound here, you'll find yourself speechless at how beautiful untouched nature can be. Add in some thrill activities such as bungee diving, and a laidback visit to lavender farms for the perfect vacation the whole family will love. ? This 8D7N Muslim-friendly South Island itinerary
is what you need to get started!
5. Bintan, Indonesia
For something nearby, Bintan is an island getaway the whole family will fall in love with. You can book a seaside retreat at a resort for an all-inclusive experience. Relax on the beach, enjoy water sports, or swim in luxurious pools without ever being too far from your room. ? Many hotels or villas even have private pools and in-house wellness centres offering massages and spa treatments.
However, we recommend you explore a hidden side of Bintan many people may not see! The island is full of stunning landscapes such as the sand dunes of Gurun Pasir Busung (also known as Gurun Pasir Bintan), the mangrove forests along Sebung River, and of course lots of delicious halal food! Check out what else you can do in Bintan
and start planning your island getaway now. ?
6. Krabi, Thailand
Krabi is famous as a romantic escape for honeymooners and long-time couples alike - and we think its reputation is well-deserved! Full of stunning beaches and lots of halal eateries, Krabi is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time together. ? There are plenty of romantic accommodations available
including mid-range and luxury resorts
so you can enjoy activities such as in-house spas and jacuzzis on an all-inclusive budget.
If you feel like venturing out of your resort, you'll have to pay a visit to the nearby islands of Koh Phi Phi and James Bond Island. No trip to Krabi would be complete without seeing their beautiful and crystal-clear waters up close. ? March is the end of the dry season for Krabi so make sure to book your tickets ASAP as prices will start rising soon! Click here for an all-you-need-to-know guide
to Krabi to start your planning.
P.S. Click here to find out if Krabi or Phuket is a better choice
for your next beachside holiday!
7. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is another destination popular with lovebirds and couples
for its jaw-dropping beauty. The lush forests and seaside views are the perfect setting for a romantic dinner with your loved one and to really up the romance factor, book a stay at one of these romantic Bali villas with private infinity pools
- and halal food too for extra convenience! ? Our 5D4N Muslim-friendly romantic Bali itinerary
is all you need to treat your sweetheart to an unforgettable getaway.
Of course, there's so much more to Bali
than its resorts. Why not explore the rock formations of the temples at Tanah Lot or Uluwatu, or take a day trip to Nusa Penida for some stunning views. There are also plenty of Instagram-worthy spots
where you can capture a memorable photo together! You can even add a few days in Lombok to your itinerary to complete both places within one trip - why not try out our 6D5N Muslim-friendly Bali-Lombok itinerary
to see the best they have to offer?
#HHWT Tip: Wondering whether you should visit Bali or Krabi for your honeymoon or next romantic getaway? We have a comparison guide to both cities
that will help you make that decision, including transport tips and halal food recommendations! ?
8. Perhentian Islands, MalaysiaMalaysia has no shortage of island getaways
either. ? March marks the beginning of the dry season at the Perhentian Islands
, so make sure to book your tickets in advance to not miss your chance! For those travelling on a tighter budget, Pulau Kecil is a more affordable option where you can visit the beautiful Coral Bay for some delicious seaside dining.
For those who want to treat themselves to some luxury, check out Pulau Besar instead! Relax in a lush resort next to the crystal-clear waters, or book a hiking, snorkelling or diving trip for an exciting and unique couple's activity.
P.S. Deciding between Redang, Perhentian, and Tioman for an East Coast getaway? Click here for an article that will help you decide
How could we not include the Maldives in this list? ? The Maldives are beautiful year-round but March is just before the off-peak monsoon season there (April-September) meaning it's your last chance to squeeze in a trip there when it's still bright and sunny out. Whether you're splurging on a luxury resort stay or arranging a budget-friendly holiday, make sure to use these useful cost-saving tips
to get the most of your Maldivian moment.
An overwater villa is definitely a signature must-have for a stay in the Maldives, but don't forget to consider their more affordable mid-range options too
! Almost anywhere you stay is guaranteed to give you a gorgeous view of the sun and sea, and you can still get a day pass to a resort if you want to treat yourself. ☺️ Make sure to try out water activities or even book a cruise to get up close with the untouched beauty of the Maldivian waters. Here's a 4D3N Maldives itinerary (under RM3000)
to help you get started!
10. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Forget Bangkok and Phuket for now - it's time to explore northern Thailand! Chiang Mai is Thailand's largest northern city and its year-round cool weather and captivating mountainous terrains make it a unique experience you can't miss. You can even visit an elephant sanctuary that cares for rescued elephants, and have a chance to get up close and bathe and help care for them! ? Click here to find out even more unforgettable experiences
you can have in Chiang Mai.
Don't forget to shop at their night bazaars and street markets to find locally made handicrafts, clothes, electronics, and souvenirs from just 30 baht onwards. If you're there over the weekend, you definitely have to visit the Sunday Market which is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike! Chiang Mai also has many halal food options to choose from
, so you can enjoy authentic northern Thai cuisine. ?
Why not explore both Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai with our 4D3N Muslim-friendly itinerary
? You can see the beauty of northern Thailand in just 4 days! ?
11. Langkawi, MalaysiaLangkawi
has always been a great option for a getaway but now there are even more exciting things to do there! Skydive Langkawi reopened recently
, so thrill-seekers no longer need to fly to far-off countries such as Australia or New Zealand for a bucket-list-worthy experience. ? If you're looking for a more relaxed holiday you can't go wrong with any of the resorts either - here are 16 breathtaking resorts
as well as 10 budget-friendly accommodations (from just RM70)
to give you some ideas!
Langkawi has great weather year-round so you won't have to worry about anything raining on your parade as you visit landmarks such as the Kilim Geoforest Park or Oriental Village. However we recommend visiting in March so you can have a perfect day trip to Koh Lipe! Koh Lipe's 'high season' runs from November to April, which is when the sun will be out and you can enjoy the seaside without any worries. If you're interested, our 4D3N Langkawi-Koh Lipe itinerary
will give you something to start working with. ?
12. Penang, Malaysia
If your idea of a relaxing holiday involves taking in street art and visiting chic cafés, it sounds like Penang might be a good match for you. ? The city is full of hipster cafés perfect for café-hopping
and plenty of Instagram-worthy spots (not just street art!)
to help dress up your feed. Best of all, it's totally possible to see Penang's top sights in just a weekend!
You can also pull in some friends for a road trip - why not visit both Ipoh and Penang for an exciting 4D3N adventure
? Penang has lots of amazing halal food
too - sounds like it's time for you and your friends to embrace your foodie side and indulge in some local delicacies this year. ?
P.S. Penang has so many heritage buildings and mansions that some have been transformed into stunning boutique hotels! Check out this list for 10 beautiful boutique hotels
to get your travel inspo going. ?
13. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
If your 2020 travel resolution is to visit somewhere totally brand-new, you might want to consider giving Cambodia a try. The country is rich with heritage and history - some of it heavy or difficult, but that can only mean a more meaningful and enriching trip. ?
The capital Phnom Penh is a great starting point to the country, with markers of both Khmer and French culture. Look out for hipster cafés located in rejuvenated colonial shophouses, or visit the Royal Palace to marvel at its Khmer-influenced architecture. On a more thoughtful note, you can also visit the National Museum, Independence Monument, or Toul Sleng Genocide Museum for a look into the country's past.
14. Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area, Taiwan
No March destinations list would be complete without a peek at some cherry blossoms! Japan and Korea are popular spots for a cherry blossom chase, but if you want to avoid the crowds you can check out the Tri-Mountain Area in Taiwan instead. ? Taiwan is full of nature parks, and going off the beaten path is worth it for a whole new experience! Our writer recently visited the Tri-Mountain Area - click here for some useful tips and accommodation suggestions
from his trip! ?
Located near Taichung City, the Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area (Sanshan) can be easily done as a 2-day trip out from the city. The cherry blossom season there will last from mid-March to mid-April so there's still plenty of time to plan your trip. Make sure to visit the Houtanjing Sky Bridge for a bird's eye view of the mountains, and soak up the local atmosphere and enjoy local snacks
at Nanzhuang Old Street too. ?
P.S. If you're a fan of mountainside views, tea plantations, and a laidback small-town vibe, Alishan is another city in Taiwan that you can consider. Our 4D3N
Muslim-friendly itineraries will be just what you need to explore the origin of Alishan tea!
Whether you're hoping to explore a new city, relax by the beach, or retreat to the mountains there's definitely no limits on where you can go. ? No matter where you decide to go in March (and beyond) we hope you'll have an amazing time!