photo credit- Travel Wire Asia
Thinking of planning a last minute getaway during the upcoming festive periods? Here are 4 destinations you can treat yourself to for a 3 to 5-day holiday!
Tom Yum in Thailand (photo credit- bangkokculturaltours.com)
The glorious sun, white sands and clean blue seas await you at Phuket and Krabi, the two most popular beach spots in Thailand. You can tuck into delicious Thai food and enjoy value-for-money massages before ending the day in a pub or club with live music and cheap Chang beers. Day tours from both points go to Phi Phi Islands and Phang Nga Bay, where you can snorkel in the open seas feeding colourful fishes, kayak into limestone caves and even discover hidden cliff-lined lagoons. Join a cooking class to learn the authentic way of cooking Thailand’s national dishes (like tom yum and Phad Thai) to impress your friends and family during gatherings!
Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City (photo credit- citypassguide.com)
Instead of heading to the all-too-familiar Bangkok or Hong Kong, why not consider Vietnam, which is a mere 3-hour flight away? You must try Vietnamese drip coffee, fresh spring rolls, and their national dish, pho (rice noodles in chicken or beef broth topped with fish sauce, raw beans sprouts, lime and garnishing). At the indoor Ben Thanh Market of Ho Chi Minh City, shop for beautifully hand-painted house ware, handicrafts and locally grown nuts that will make for perfect souvenirs. Do check out the market at night when vendors set up stalls around the perimeter of the building, as you might score some cheaper buys as compared to daytime. Ladies will rejoice with the various affordable manicure options around Ben Thanh Market - you’ll be amazed at the intricacy of the nail arts they provide! For a mix of nature in your city holiday, plan a day trip to the famed Cu Chi Tunnels if you are heading to Ho Chi Minh City, or to Halong Bay if you are flying to Hanoi.
Temple in Bali (photo credits- theluxurysignature.com)
Bali has always charmed travellers with the wide range of experiences it has to offer. There are lush villas with romantic private beaches couples, one-of-a-kind Balinese temples for the spiritual, and plenty of water sports for the adventurous folks. Retail options comes in a wide spectrum - you can find high-end local designer boutiques at Beachwalk Mall and Discovery Shopping Mall, right down to little trinkets (and SGD3 Bintang beer singlets) selling at the roadside stalls. Dining is a delightful and relatively affordable affair - with cafes serving quality coffee to modern restaurants that fuse both Balinese and Western cooking styles to create unique dishes.
The Pinnacles in Perth (photo credit- dailytelegraph.com.au)
If you yearn for a non-Asian destination, Perth is just 5 hours’ flight away! Your first stop must be Swan Valley – Western Australia’s oldest wine region. Get drunk on wines as cheap as SGD6 per bottle, and in between vineyard visits you can pop by chocolate shops, cheese factories and even honey farms! Fremantle markets (open Friday-Sunday) offer a plethora of locally designed goods and fresh produce just a 30 minute drive away from Perth’s CBD. For an experience that’s truly out-of-this-world, head up north to view the ancient desert limestone sculptures of The Pinnacles, situated at Nambung National Park.