20 (long) weekend trips that you may not know were possible

Long weekends are about timing, planning and a little bit of luck. Before we start our recommendations of trips you can take on, let’s take a look at the long weekends you’d be able to get in 2019 if you plan it right!

Long weekends in 2019

Skyscanner has created a very handy guide that you can certainly benefit from.

If you follow closely to the recommendations in the chart, you’ll be able to enjoy 47 days of vacation days by taking only 14 days of leave.

If you don’t wish to take leave for these vacations, plan your trips around the Vesak Day public holiday in May or the National Day and Hari Raya Haji holidays in August.

Where to travel to during long weekends in 2019?

While most people think of Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok as their go-to destinations for weekend trips, we’re here to help you get out of the (travel rut). Here’s a curated list of great locations you can enjoy over a 3-day (or 4, if you can take a day off work) weekend. Some places require some planning, but there are many that takes little time to work out.

By the way, if you still love Bangkok nonetheless, we’ve compiled several articles related to travelling Bangkok, including the most beautiful AirBnB apartments to stay in while in Bangkok, night markets to visit, and the restaurants, bars, and spas to check out if you’d like to be a luxury traveller for the weekend.

1. Nikoi Island

Nikoi Island is built specifically to cater to those who need a Crusoe-like escape without the danger of dehydration. Situated off the coast of Bintan, Nikoi is one of the best places to spend a long weekend. There are some great perks to being a guest of Nikoi, as your guest status automatically puts you into the VIP immigration queue the moment you arrive in Bintan.  It’s a beautiful place to be, with white sands and clear blue waters.

3 activities you must try:

  • Snorkel in the clear waters.
  • Enjoy a massage by the pool.
  • Catch a drink under the stars at the bar.

2. Lombok

This place is like Bali before it got mainstream. While the island still has that old school, bullcarts-on-the-street sort of charm, with the proliferation of tourism on this island, it’s only a matter of time before it all disappears, so you have to catch it before it becomes too touristy.

3 activities you must try:

  • Staying on Gili Trawangan and going to that magical, hyper-instagrammable swing above the ocean.
  • Climbing Mount Rinjani, a Volcano at the center of Lombok. The journey will be long, and it will be challenging, but the reward at the top of the mountain will be priceless.
  • Heading to little-known Gili Nanggu for a full day of snorkelling in clear blue waters!

2. Hanoi

Hanoi is the hip younger brother to Ho Chi Minh City’s more serious vibe. It’s an awesome location to immerse yourself in Vietnam’s almost peerless bustle. This is the city to bring out your inner Anthony Bourdain as you venture out on the street to sneak street food, ride motorcycle taxis and generally have a ball of a time.

3 activities you must try:

  • Find Giang’s Cafe, and drink the Original Egg Coffee.
  • Join a cooking class that takes you on a local tour of the Market.
  • Have a stiff afternoon drink in superb style at the Sofitel Metropole hotel.

3. Ho Chi Minh City

View this post on Instagram

San Jose, CA?#Socialdistancing

A post shared by Joshua Balli (@josh.balli) on

Vietnam’s capital in the South is more business-like, but it’s not without it’s uniquely Vietnamese quirks and attractions. Holdovers from the Vietnam war and great food come together to give visitors a unique take on what makes up Vietnamese culture.

3 activities you must try:

  • Take a Day Trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, and experience how ingenuity and innovation helped the Vietnamese win the war.
  • Skip Benh Tanh Market, and visit the less touristy Cho Lon market for a peek at real Vietnamese market life.
  • Visit Saigon Outcast at night for multiple servings of cocktails, local ciders and local craft beers in one of the best bars in the city.

4. Da Nang

New direct flights from Singapore to the coastal city of Da Nang means access to a plethora of natural sights and extremely fresh seafood. Da Nang is known for sandy beaches, and resorts have been popping up one after another, offering a wide range of options for the weekend traveller to retreat into.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit Marble Mountain, a breathtaking cluster of 5 marble and limestone mountains that comes together to form an imposing cluster of caves and temples.
  • Go to UNESCO World Heritage site, Hoi An, located just 30km away for a day of Vietnamese history and art.
  • Have Dinner at Madame Lan, a Vietnamese restaurant situated in a beautifully constructed colonial building in the heart of Da Nang.

5. Siem Reap

View this post on Instagram

Just minutes away from the city centre, Brasart Entrea Pagoda (Wat Kauk Pa Tri វត្តគោកប៉ាទ្រី) has an unique design with 13 towers, which is considered an auspicious or holy number in Buddhism.⁠ ??⁠ .⁠ While it's currently not recommended to travel, let's keep our wanderlust alive in the digital world!? Stay safe and stay home everyone! We'll keep on posting the best photos of Siem Reap, so you can continue dreaming until you get here! #stayhome #stayhomecambodia⁠ .⁠ Join our Facebook group for the latest news about Covid-19 in Cambodia – ? Link in bio or search for "Cambodia Travel Advice" on Facebook.⁠ .⁠⠀⁠ ស្ថិតក្បែរទីប្រជុំជនក្រុងសៀមរាប "វត្តប្រាសាទឥន្រ្ទា" (វត្តគោកប៉ាទ្រី) ដែលមានការរចនាប្លែក និងកំពូលចំនួន១៣ អាចចាត់ទុកថាជាអារ៉ាមព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនាដ៏ពិសិដ្ឋ ??⁠ ⁠ ស្របពេលស្ថានភាពបច្ចុប្បន្ន តម្រូវអោយកាត់បន្ថយការដើរកំសាន្ត យើងខ្ញុំនឹងបន្តធ្វើការបង្ហាញទេសភាពស្អាតៗក្នុងខេត្តសៀមរាប សម្រាប់លោកអ្នកទស្សនា⁠នៅផ្ទះ ! ? សូមមានសុខសុវត្តិភាព និងរក្សាគម្លាតសង្គម! ? #stayhome #stayhomecambodia⁠ ⁠ ចូលរួមក្នុង ក្រុមហ្វេសប៊ុក សម្រាប់ពត៌មានបន្ថែមទាក់ទងនឹងជំងឺ Covid-19 ក្នុងកម្ពុជា ? គេហទំព័រហ្វេសប៊ុក ឈ្មោះក្រុម "Cambodia Travel Advice"⁠ .⁠ ? #siemreapmoments by @watchwat⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #visitseasia #bestofcambodia #seekmoments #siemreapnet #lostinangkor #cambodia #siemreap #visitcambodia #cambodja #cambodiatrip #cambodian #kampuchea #culturetrip #weliketotravel #roamtheplanet #intrepidtravel #cambodge #travelcambodia #pagoda #pagodas #watkaukpatri #watbasatentrea #brasatentreapagoda #buddhismpagoda #religionpagoda

A post shared by Siemreap.net (@siemreapnet) on

It used to be difficult to get to, but in recent days, Cambodia’s key city of Siem Reap has become a great place to pop in and out for a solid weekend trip. The country’s premiere attraction of Angkor Wat aside, Khmer food and culture are fascinating to experience and explore.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit the legendary Angkor Wat
  • Take a half-day Village Walk and Talk to experience Cambodian life.
  • Sip cocktails in comfort at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor’s Elephant Bar

6. Yangon

Myanmar’s tourism is becoming as developed as some of its other Southeast Asian counterparts, and that’s good news for the intrepid weekend traveller. Yangon is Myanmar’s beating heart, so it’s the perfect destination for a quick exploratory trip that will yield surprises and give you stories to tell to your friends.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit Shwedagon Pagoda, an architectural marvel built with thousands of diamonds embedded into it’s structure. There’s a 76-carat diamond placed at its top.
  • Experience the Circular Railway, the best way to get a hyper-local experience. Ride on for hours on end, experiencing both the rustic farmlands on Yangon’s periphery and the hustle of the city.
  • Visit Dala, a village just 10 minutes south of the Yangon River. It’s a tranquil and carefree throwback to simpler days, and you’ll see how the locals really live.

7. Luang Prabang

Still considered “off the beaten track”, Luang Prabang is considered by Laotians as the heart of their culture. Sitting in the valley where the great Mekong and Nam Khan rivers meet, this place was meant for great things. It shows in the beautiful natural sights still in existence and gorgeously preserved temples that are spread out across the place.

3 activities you must try:

  • Experience the Tiered Kuang Si Waterfalls, just 30 mins away from town.
  • Visit the Pak Ou Caves which overlook the Mekong River, full of awe-inspiring views.
  • Hike up Phou Si mountain, just outside of Luang Prabang town, for one of the best views in the city.

8. Palawan

The Philippines is home to some amazing beach hotspots, and while most people think of Boracay when talking about Filipino beaches, Palawan is where the world’s attention is starting to turn towards. We’re talking about seascapes that are still teeming with life, and white sandy beaches where you can sip on a ice cold beer and while the time away.

3 activities you must try:

  • Do nothing in El Nido, where blue skies meet clear waters!
  • Scuba dive Japanese wrecks off Coron Island, one of the best dive sites in the world.
  • Take a guided boat tour through the Puerto Princesa underground river, a protected subterranean national park that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also voted as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature.

9. Iloilo

It used to be called the Queen City of the South, and it’s still dotted with grand and colourful buildings erected by Spanish conquerors. Churches, mansions and plazas mix into cool restaurants for a tremendous hustle and bustle. Iloilo is far, far from being a sleepy town.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit Lapaz Public Market, where you can eat Lapaz Batchoy and down Ilongo coffee
  • Snap beautiful OOTD shots in the charming heritage district of Iloilo
  • Take a day trip out to Guimaras, for some amazing natural sights!

10. Cebu

Sunny Cebu is a gem of a place, and sports some of the most unique travel experiences within a 4 hour flight from Singapore. Some parts of the place are definitely less developed than Boracay, but the lack of tourist dollar makes for a more authentic, down-to-earth feel to the place.

3 activities you must try:

  • Go swimming with whale sharks! If you’ve always wanted a close up with these gentle giants, this is the place to do it.
  • Visit Kawasan Falls, a place plenty refer to as “Pearl of Philippines”. Kawasan falls is almost ethereal in its beauty, and well worth the 130km travel out from Cebu city.
  • Hike up Osmena Peak, the tallest point in Cebu, for a beautiful view of the city and its surroundings.

11. Penang

Penang has always been a Malaysian destination city, but it’s become even more so in the past few years. Culturally, Penang has absorbed its colonial heritage and melded it with local Peranakan style design, resulting in delightfully quaint architecture. There are some great finds here, and Singaporeans will be happy to know that they’ll be able to get delicious food at good prices!

3 activities you must try:

  • Stay in a heritage building. There are plenty of small hotels and BnBs that offer clean, comfortable rooms for a great experience.
  • Feast on durians. Penang is home to the famous King of fruits due to its fertile highlands. Bao Sheng Durian Farm is a great place to go for a good durian feast, just be sure to book ahead!
  • Visit Flagstaff Hill, Penang’s most popular attraction, which towers 821 meters above sea level.

12. Malacca

View this post on Instagram

?☀️Staying Afloat ☀️?• No matter how tumultuous the waters get, stay strong and rise above it all ? // Here’s to navigating through all the challenges in life, now and in the future ?? Adulthood sure ain’t easy… . . . . . ?Melaka Straits Mosque, Melaka, Malaysia ???. Despite being a Malaysian myself and having frequently visited Melaka in my life, I didn’t actually know about this place until a couple of months ago! Built on stilts above the sea, the Melaka Straits Mosque appears to be floating above the waters and is a sight to behold ? . . The mosque is open to all visitors. To enter the mosque, you will have to wear the traditional Malay attire – Baju Kurung and Hijab for females, Baju Melayu for males, and these are all provided for by the mosque if you don’t already have it ✨

A post shared by Alicia?| Malaysian Londoner (@alicialawjy) on

Portugese architecture meets Peranakan culture at Malacca, resulting in an almost unmatched vibrancy. Malacca’s Jonker Street is where food and shopping has started to take a modern turn, but it’s not the only place you should look at. Elsewhere in Malacca, there are hidden food options that will leave you wanting more, and eclectic shopping delights that will keep you entertained!

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit the very cool Cafe, The Daily Fix, for brunch. It’s hidden along Jonker street, and the bohemian vibes are worth the search.
  • Go on a 24-hour deep sea fishing trip from the Kelongs of Pantai Siring
  • Visit the Turtle Management Centre, where they conserve hawksbill turtles. If you visit between May and September, you might even be able to release a baby hawksbill into the ocean!

13. Kuching

It’s not on the radar for a lot of people, but Kuching is one of Malaysia’s best-kept secrets. It’s less than 2 hours away by plane, and chock-full of rich ecology and great food. Visitors to Kuching will be astounded by the depth of wildlife, as well and it’s wide range of geological marvels.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, home to Bornean Orangutans. These gentle creatures are intelligent primates that are endangered due to human encroachment into their natural habitats.
  • Indulge in Kolo Mee, the local version of minced pork and noodles served up with the most delectable sauce for that umami flavour!
  • Visit the head hunters of the Bidayuh tribe, who will show you the ways of the hunt and their classic longhouses.

14. Koh Samui

Blue waters and white beaches are what Koh Samui are famous for. But did you know that there’s a ton of other things to do on the sunny island? Koh Samui is home to some awesome spots, guaranteed to leave you with awesome memories and one-of-a-kind experiences.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit the only Thai Rum distillery, called the Magic Alambic Rum Distillery, an get to taste rum made out of sugarcane.
  • Join a Muay Thai boot camp, and learn how real fighters train. It’ll push you to your limits, but the sense of accomplishment is amazing.
  • Do a spot of shopping at Central Festival Samui, touted as Asia’s largest beachfront shopping complex.

15. Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is called Thailand’s Rose of the North, a small but vibrant city with a deep history. It’s easy to get into, and very much built for a free & easy experience over a weekend. Natural experiences and a laid back atmosphere combine to give visitors a relaxed weekend away from Singapore’s typical bustle.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit the Maesa Elephant Camp, a privately owned camp just outside of Chiang Mai. Interact with these beautiful creatures, and take a ride through the forest on them!
  • Visit the Walking Street Night Market, which is only open on Weekends, for good food and great deals.
  • Visit Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn, about 2.5 hours outside of Chiang Mai, for breathtaking temples and pagodas built right on the edge of sheer cliffs!

16. Krabi

This place is made to help you slow down and breathe a little easier. Krabi’s coastal location places it squarely in resort territory, with direct access to other islands rising out of the Andaman Sea. Weekend Scuba warriors, beach bums and lazy loungers should celebrate its existence, because it is one beautiful place to spend a weekend.

3 activities you must try:

  • Island Hopping is a must, as you will visit famous beaches, like Maya Bay Beach and Ko Lanta.
  • Visit a Night Market! While there are multiple markets to go to, I recommend visiting Krabit Town Walking Street over the weekend.
  • Visit Ton Sai Bay, a fantastic place to do nothing at all. Snorkel off the beach, or just watch adventurous rock climbers try to scale the rock walls on the bay.

17. Colombo

Sri Lanka may sound a little too far away, but what if we told you it is actually less than 4 hours away by plane? Yes, the capital of Sri Lanka is just a short hop away, and is more than ready to play host to us with its colonial architecture, great beaches and unbelievably friendly population.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit the Kala Pola Art Market, an open air gallery that is open most days of the week. This is the oldest art market in the city, and artists put out their latest pieces here for people to buy.
  • Visit Mount Lavinia Beach, a perfect place for those looking to escape the bustle of city life. It’s relatively unspoiled by modern tourism, so you can take your time and chill out.
  • Galle Face Green is Colombo’s favourite promenade, frequented by plenty when it’s time to chill out. It’s full of playing children and street food, a charming combination for the jaded traveller.

18. Hong Kong

It’s only 4 hours away by plane, and you can’t get a better start to the day than authentic piping hot porridge and dim sum, followed by a spot of shopping and sightseeing before wrapping up your day on a rooftop bar in a neon city that never sleeps.

3 activities you must try:

  • You must go to Good Hope Noodle, an ultra-understated noodle and porridge place that’s been crowned by Michelin.
  • Visit Tai O Fishing Village, also known as the Venice of Hong Kong. It’s off the west coast of Lantau island, and is one of the last places you can find traditional bamboo houses supported by stone columns.
  • Visit Ozone on the 118th floor of the ICC. This bar is said to be the world’s highest, and serves up great cocktails with the view.

19. Darwin

Less than 5 hours away from Singapore, the capital of Australia’s North is bursting with great sights and sounds. A former frontier town, Darwin’s unique history allows travellers a peek into what it’s like to live in a wilder time.

3 activities you must try:

  • Visit Crocosaurus Cove and experience a crocodile feeding session from up close. The Cage of Death experience lowers a cage with you in it, into crocodile-infested waters for an intimate encounter with some of natures most intimidating predators.
  • Check out the Magnetic Terminte Mounds. These super-cool 2 metre termite nests are “magnetic” because they’re aligned from north to south.
  • Visit the Mindil Beach Sunset Market, which opens on Thursday and Sunday evenings. It’s got all sorts of great food from all over the world, and you get to see Darwin congregate in this small area as the sun sets.

20. Perth

Did you know that Perth is nearer to Singapore than it is to Sydney? Now that we’ve got that fun fact out of the way, let’s talk about what your weekend in Perth can look like. Perth offers beautiful beaches and a chill-out vibe even in the CBD area. You’ll find the city a relaxing getaway spot.

3 activities you must try:

  • Chill out at the beautiful Cottesloe Beach and take in the beautiful view, and if the season is right, engage in water sports.
  • Travel to Fremantle (or more affectionately known as Freo to the locals) for their popular market and famous fish and chips.
  • Drive to vineyards in the Swan Valley region to get your hands on bottles of local wines. If you’re intending to participate in wine-tasting, consider hiring a driver or joining a day tour group that would take you there (and back).