One of the best things about being in Singapore is that it’s just a few hours away from many amazing cities in the region.
If you are planning for a short weekend getaway, here are Top 10 travel destinations where you can go for cheap shopping, good food, or a relaxed beach holiday.
Don’t just aim for a long holiday once a year; everyone should go for multiple short weekend getaways to recharge themselves.
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) – commonly known as Saigon – is the largest city in Vietnam and the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam. While Saigon isn’t as well-known as Bangkok, it offers a very different experience. I was amazed by how the street food vendors can serve food – that is fresh, and delicious – from their tiny portable kitchens.
Flight time from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City is only two hours. You can easily get an air-ticket from budget airlines for under S$200, while Singapore Airlines occasionally offers promotional flights for S$300.
Read my Travel guide to Ho Chi Minh City.
Gorgeous beaches, luxurious villas, wonderful spas, and fantastic restaurants – Bali is the perfect place for a nice weekend getaway. I particularly love the fact that they have plenty of great dining concepts, and most of them are very reasonably-priced.
Bali is the mini paradise in South East Asia. Full-fledged carriers like KLM and Qatar always have promotions to Bali for less than S$300. Look out for it and go for a 4D3N getaway!
One of the most popular holiday destinations in Asia, Bangkok seems to have it all – cheap shopping, fantastic street food, and good massage. It is not difficult to understand why so many people love to visit Bangkok every year.
Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice are calling out to you. Travel time is only less than four hours. Scoot currently has a fantastic promotion for its flights from Singapore to Bangkok. Go go go!
Read my Guide to eating in Bangkok.
What do we need to say about Hong Kong? From high end shopping for Prada and Gucci to bargain hunting in the Ladies’ Market; to dining in Michelin starred restaurants and local cha chaan ting – Hong Kong is a paradise for food and shopping.
Coupled with the fact that air-tickets are affordable, everyone should go there at least once a year.
Most international airlines fly to Hong Kong from Singapore (4 hours flight), with Cathay Pacific being one of the more popular choices.
Besides the famous Boracay, Cebu is another top tourist destination in Philippines. If you like food, you will fall in love with Cebu – there are so many yummy things to eat.
If you are looking for a nice beach holiday, Cebu is also the place to go as it has lots of fine beaches with clear waters, and fine white sands.
You can usually get cheap flights from Singapore to Cebu (less than 4 hours journey) – on airlines like Cebu Pacific, Silkair, and Tiger Airway – during off-peak season.
Read my Guide on 10 Things to eat in Cebu.
With its cool weather and exciting theme park rides, Genting is a favourite weekend getaway spot for many Singaporeans. I just came back after leading a food tour there last weekend, and I can’t wait to go back in September. For those of you who have never been to the mountain resort, you must make a trip there soon!
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
If you are looking to escape from the busy city life and go somewhere nice for a weekend, here’s why Kota Kinabalu should be on your short list.
The capital of Sabah state in East Malaysia is only two and a half hours away from Singapore, and there, you can either head to Mount Kinabalu for a hiking adventure, or spend a lazy day at the beach at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa. Once you reach the beautiful resort, you feel like you just opened the door to paradise. It is without a doubt – the perfect destination for a lazy beach getaway.
Air Asia and Silkair are the two airlines that fly directly from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu.
Read my post on Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa.
Mention Taipei and this commonly springs to mind: awesome night markets, kawaii girls, friendly locals, and bubble tea. And the best part is that it is only about five hours away by plane; it is no wonder that so many Singaporeans love to visit Taipei.
Scoot has just started flying a new route to Taipei, and they are offering sale fares for just S$350. For those who can afford to wait, Singapore Airlines sometimes offers promotional flights to Taipei for S$600.
I have always believed that Philippines is Asia’s biggest culinary secret. While other countries have been getting attention for their cuisines, very little has been mentioned about Philippines. Filipinos love to eat, and there are so many good food in the country. Manila, in particular, has many fantastic restaurants and eateries.
Besides food, the city is also rich in culture, you can find strong architectural heritage in churches, forts, and other colonial buildings.
Getting to Manila is easy. Low-cost carriers like Cebu Pacific, Jetstar, and Tiger Airlines have regular flights there.
Read my Guide on 10 Things to do in Manila.
When you mention about nice beaches in South East Asia, Phuket – Thailand’s largest island at the southern tip – immediately comes to mind. Phuket Town and Patong Beach are familiar names with most people.
While some might argue that Phuket is too touristy, there is no doubt that it is one of the most happening party capitals in the region. For a nice weekend trip from Singapore, there’s no place like Phuket.
There are many frequent flights to and fro Bangkok, as well as direct flights to Singapore. Silkair flies there regularly, while low cost carriers like Air Asia, Tiger Airways and Jetstar have sale fares available.