So you’ve been to all the usual weekend hangout spots in Singapore. You’ve gone to the Universal Studios so many times that the ticketing officer calls you by name, and made countless trips to the Mandai Zoo that even the animals are no longer afraid of you. The travelling bug’s bite has taken effect and you want to indulge yourself on an short overseas trip.
Well, depending on your traveling style, below are some weekend getaway ideas that allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of an overseas trip without putting in too much time commitment.
For the Historical and Cultural Aficionados
Bangkok is a great place not just for shopping splurges, as it has many traditional temples. These temples have become one of the most recognizable icons of Southeast Asia. The Wat Arun, or Temple of Dawn, is one of the more famous ones. Their stunning features would be able to keep any avid photographer busy for at least half a day. Georgetown in Penang is another wonderful place to immerse in the cultural riches. The charming colonial architecture and rich history of Georgetown deserve its rightful place in the UNESCO world heritage site listing indeed.
For those with a Sense of Adventure
Often known for its industrial nature, Penang is fast becoming a popular tourist attraction. It has many places suitable for those looking for an adrenaline rush e.g. East wind watersports. One would be hard-pressed to find any place in Singapore which gives a similar adrenaline rush. Those who love nature may want to consider Bangkok, where many exciting activities such as wildlife spotting, hiking, and river rides await, e.g. Hin Tok River Camp. Its river ride hiking trials, waterfalls, and elephant rides, just to name a few, are bound to give you a memory you will never forget. Isn’t that what traveling overseas is all about?
For Shopping, Massages and Good Food
This is what Southeast Asia is well-known for. The budget shopping trips, massages, and of course, large variety of good food.
If you are looking to give yourself a treat, look no further than Bintan and Batam. There’s a reason why they are the most popular escape destinations for Singaporeans. Other than their close proximity (Batam and Bintan are a 40 minutes and a 90 minutes ferry ride away from Singapore respectively), both places offer serene beaches, accommodation, and good massage packages. For the budget-conscious travelers, Batam would be a better choice, while those looking for more luxurious options, or want a romantic experience, would want to go for Bintan. The resorts are much pricier but they are matched with better services.
Johor is excellent for a weekend retail therapy trip, with its numerous large shopping complexes and close proximity to Singapore. Along with shopping, a diverse assortment of cheap food awaits the hungry at Johor.
If you still think that Johor does not satisfy your palate for shopping, then probably Bangkok is the place for you. The city has plentiful of large shopping malls, and for those who prefer the thrill of hunting for bargains at bazaars, Bangkok has plenty of street markets too. From local handmade souvenirs, to designer jewelry and fashion, Bangkok has it all.
Before you start jetting off to these places, remember to do your own homework and plan your weekend getaways adequately. You certainly would not want to waste your first day foraging for a decent accommodation, or getting lost in the city. Another option is to buy a package deal from the travel agencies during NATAS Fair, in which all the nitty-gritty details of planning are done for you. You might also consider online travel agents like Zuji and Expedia that offer excellent weekend getaway packages with attractive prices.
Visit http://www.goingplaces.sg/natas-fair/ for NATAS 2013 holidays packages to these popular weekend getaway destinations from Singapore.