Sick of Singapore’s crazy weather? Craving for a good rest and recharge? Or, simply in need of a new environment? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a nature lover or beach goer, we’ve got you covered this Christmas weekend.
The festive season is so close, you can almost smell it. With the long weekends less than a month away, perhaps it’s time to pack your bags and whiz off for a well-deserved vacation.
Here are three destinations for you to plan your getaway, all within Southeast Asia. Less time wasted on travelling means more time for enjoyment! Plus, these trips won’t burn a hole in your pocket (unless you’re an impulsive serial buyer, like I am).
1. FRASER’S HILL, PAHANG, MALAYSIA 🇲🇾
When we think about our neighbour, places like Genting Highlands, Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh come to mind. But how many of us have been to, or even heard of Fraser’s Hill?
Nestled in Pahang, this highland retreat is the perfect destination for a quick trip away from the hustle and bustle of city life. With British colonial architecture everywhere you look, it is not difficult to imagine yourself in Europe. The cooling climate at Fraser’s Hill, compared to the searing heat and humidity in Singapore, is like winter. Unfortunately, it is also as close as you can get to a white Christmas this close to the equator, but I’m not complaining!
While it isn’t the most action-packed spot, Fraser’s Hill isn’t lacking in activities either. Try your hand at archery and golf, pick strawberries and buy freshly harvested vegetables, or go for a sauna session at the Sports Complex.
At Allan’s Water, you could rent a paddle boat. If you’re feeling slightly more adventurous, channel the inner child in you and attempt to walk on water inside a giant inflatable ball.
If you’re looking to rest and recharge, Fraser’s Hill is perfect for you. But if your bones are tingling for a fuller itinerary, read on!
2. BANDUNG, INDONESIA 🇮🇩
Chock-full of scenic spots and geological formations, Bandung is an ideal travel destination for nature lovers.
Make your first stop at - *takes deep breath* - Forest Park Conservation Area Tahura Ir. H. Juanda and take in the fresh air. There, you can find historic caves, a waterfall, a river, pine forests and monkeys (but be warned, they can be quite aggressive!).
The awe-inspiring Kawah Putih is truly a sight to behold. The acidic crater lake, paired with the surrounding forests, is highly Instagram-able. With the fog (or fumes) gently wafting in the background, the place looks so mythical, it’s as if it was born right out of a Tolkien book.
Case in point.
However, spectacularity aside, be warned - the sulfuric odour emitting from the lake might be too overpowering for some.
Keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready for animals such as eagles, forest pigs, monkeys, mouse deers and owls.
You could also pick a night to visit the Bosscha Observatory, the oldest and only official observatory in Indonesia. Looking through the telescopes at the stars and planets is bound to make one experience an existential crisis, but in the most profound and calming way.
Top it all off with a massage to achieve maximum relaxation on this trip!
Who knew paradise was just a two hour flight away?
3. KO SAMUI, THAILAND 🇹🇭
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Ko Samui? If your answer is along the lines of sandy beaches and clear, blue waters, same. After all, what’s a trip to Ko Samui without a visit to the beach (or a few beaches)?
If you’re the type that enjoys visiting beaches, they are aplenty in Ko Samui. Apparently, the most popular ones on the island are Chaweng Beach, Lipa Noi Beach and Coral Cove. The beaches are usually lined with restaurants and bars for convenience.
There, you could do all sorts of water activities such as snorkelling, jet skiing, paddle boarding and even parasailing. Or, you could just suntan and chill out on the warm sand.
But even the most avid beach-hoppers have to take a break from the sand and the sea at some point. When that happens, my suggestions would be to visit cafes, attend a cabaret show and check out a rum distillery. Not necessarily in that order, though.
Of course, with all the pictures that you will be taking, you’re going to need internet connection to upload them on your social media. And what do you do when wi-fi is not accessible where you are?
Fortunately, these destinations are covered under DataTravel Asia-Pacific, starting from $15 for 2GB or $20 for 3GB. For more information on DataTravel, visit our DataTravel page.
Whether you’re a nature lover, beach goer, or just looking to relax and recharge, I hope this article gave you some travel inspiration. Have a merry, budget-friendly Christmas weekend!
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