Looking to get the most out of this year’s five remaining long weekends - 8 February, 25 March, 1 May, 12 September and 25 December? According to KAYAK.sg, the below cities will be hot on our short-trip radar this year.
Whether you use this as a guide to where to go or where to avoid (if bumping into fellow Singaporeans on a vacay isn’t your thing) is entirely up to you.
Foodies will love Jakarta’s thriving local food scene, which offers an abundance of mouthwatering cuisine from local street food markets to fine-dining restaurants. Don't leave without getting a taste of local delicacies such as bebek goreng (fried duck), bakso (meatball soup) or kerak telor (a spicy snack of glutinous rice cooked in egg). Not belly happy enough? Sign up for daily cooking classes at the Jakarta Culinary Center, where budding chefs can pick up local cooking tips and prepare a traditional Indonesian meal.
Hot springs, hot eats and hotspots - there’s so much to love about this bustling city. Enjoy a leisurely soak in Beitou’s public hot springs, load up on tasty snacks at Shilin Night Market, and make your way up to the top of the famous Taipei 101 building for spectacular views of the city skyline. Other to-do’s include hiking up Elephant Mountain, browsing at art galleries and museums or having your fortune read by a bird (yes, you read that right) at Lungshan Temple train station.
Seoul is best visited in the cooler months of the Fall season, when there’s beauty everywhere you look. Take a romantic stroll along Deoksugung Stone Wall Road, which will be lined with trees with yellow ginkgo leaves. Or picnic in the beautiful park surrounding Gyeongbokgung Palace. A hike up Gwanaksan for spectacular views of Gangnam and Achasan or a walk around the Hangang riverside area, which takes you all the way to Ttukseom Hangang Park, are also worth setting aside time for.
Is there a list of favourite destinations that Bangkok is not on the list of? Singaporeans, for sure, will never tire of making getaways there for retail and rejuvenation therapy. Shop at the famous Pratunam Fashion Mall or newly opened luxury mall, The EmQuartier, as well as stalwarts like Central Chidlom. You can also give tired muscles a treat at one of the famous HealthLand outlets or Lek Massage in Siam Square. The therapists there offer great back, shoulder and neck massages for only 300 Thai baht per hour.
Hooray for long weekends in May and September - they’re a lovely time to visit this bustling Aussie city. Go on a whale watching tour or explore the city’s most famous landmarks: The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. If it’s cold out, check out the skiing at destinations such as Perisher and Thredbo. You can also hike up the Blue Mountains or visit Bondi Beach Market for locally made handicrafts such as jewellery and souvenirs.
Love your shopping, egg tarts or nature trails? This popular destination has it all to keep everyone entertained 24/7. Consider hitting it up in March, which is normally not a busy month and promises cool weather. Do the touristy thing and visit The Peak, Happy Valley race track or the International Finance Centre (IFC) mall, or go off the beaten path and hike up one of the city’s many beautiful hills. Whatever you choose, it’s gonna be a blast.