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Travel

Top 6 nearby holiday destinations to spend your 2023 long weekends

Published March 2023
girl using laptop at tent

Looking for the best places to visit in Asia Pacific (APAC) for a long weekend? With 7 long weekends in Singapore in 2023, there are plenty of opportunities to jump on a plane and have a short getaway.

Whether you're after some sun and relaxation, great food, or exciting adventures with your loved ones - pack your bags and get ready for a quick trip to explore some amazing holiday destinations.

Check out our top suggestions for 6 great regional destinations to visit for a long weekend!

 

Indonesian Delights

Bintan Island is just 60 minutes away by ferry from Singapore. This tropical island spot is ideal for relaxing on gorgeous white sand beaches, getting up close and personal with nature in its lush rainforest trails and seeing beautiful wildlife. Discover Bintan's oldest Chinese settlement on a floating village – Senggarang Water Village; experience the enigmatic sand dunes of Gurun Pasir Busung; visit the surreal bright blue waters of Danau Biru, Kawal; enjoy a relaxing massage at one of the day spas, or simply get active with plenty of water sports at your resort. With a wide range of resorts available, depending on your holiday style, you can be as relaxed or as energetic as you want.

Batam
 is located up to 70 minutes by ferry from Singapore. It's a popular destination for both tourists and business travellers, thanks to its beautiful beaches, duty-free shopping, and abundance of wildlife. But there's more to Batam than this - the island is also home to the Illusion Museum and museum Raja Ali Haji, temples including the Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya, and lovely parks – even a rabbit park and aqua adventure one! And if you're looking for a truly unique experience, you can take a ride on the local ferry system, which consists of more than 200 islands, including Pulau Rano, Bawah Island, Telunas Resorts Private Island and Pulau Abang. Whether you're looking for a relaxing vacation or an exciting adventure, Batam, and its surrounding islands, have something to offer everyone. 

 

Malaysia Truly Asia

Malaysia is another great option and is easy to reach by car, coach or flight. Offering a different cultural experience to Singapore, it has a wide range of activities and attractions, from beaches and mountains, or city life.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Malaysia:

  • Kuala Lumpur - the capital city is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from India, China, and the Middle East. With its towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, it also has a distinctly cosmopolitan feel. Boasting the famous Petronas Towers, lush greenery of Lake Gardens Park, Batu Caves, Chinatown - and plenty of great shopping and dining, you'll be spoilt for choice on what to do.
  • Desaru - Located on the eastern coast of Malaysia, Desaru Coast is the perfect weekend getaway from busy city life and only a 1.5-hour drive or ferry ride away from Singapore. Enjoy picnics and water sports at its stunning golden beaches and indulge in hearty seafood feasts at local fishing villages. There is also the Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark for some exhilarating water fun!
  • Iskandar Puteri - Previously known as Nusajaya, this vibrant hub in Johor, Malaysia, offers plenty of attractions. Located within 2 hours of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Iskandar Puteri provides activities ranging from cultural attractions to fun-filled experiences. From the rocky shores of Tanjung Kupang to the simple paradise of Puteri Harbour, outdoor enthusiasts can try kayaking, fishing and boating. Nature lovers can enjoy exploring nature reserves and jungle trails. There are also excellent shopping spots for shopaholics and restaurants serving delicious local food.
  • Langkawi – Part of an archipelago of 99 islands, it’s located off the west coast of Malaysia. It's a popular destination for a short getaway with its beaches and duty-free shopping. Some of the most popular attractions in Langkawi include Pulau Payar Marine Park, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, and Cable Car Langkawi.  There are also some gorgeous hotels and resorts which you can stay at.
  • Pahang - A state located in eastern Malaysia, it has plenty of places to explore, including Taman Negara National Park (the oldest rainforest in the world), Bukit Tinggi (a highland resort area), and the Genting Highlands (a hill station with casinos).

 

Panoramic view of Langkawi Island, Malaysia

 

Do You Know?

Chubb Travel Insurance offers a Saver Plan for coverage to Malaysia, Bintan and Batam that starts from only S$13! Get a quote by selecting ‘Malaysia, Bintan, Batam’ in the ‘Destination(s)’ field on our website.

 

Explore Thailand

Thailand is a fantastic destination for a long weekend getaway. From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the beautiful coastal towns, its unique mix of culture, cuisine, and landscapes make it a truly unforgettable experience. Thailand's capital is a vibrant metropolis with the perfect blend of old and new. From the grandeur of the temples to the buzz of the city streets and floating markets, there is something for everyone. It's also full of quirky activities. For the brave, visit the so-called "ghost towers" in the skyscraper-filled Sathorn district. Or see Bangkok from a different angle with a rooftop yoga class at one of the many stunning city hotels. If art is your thing, you can take a graffiti tour through the streets of some of Bangkok's hidden street art gems. Or maybe take part in an urban scavenger hunt? 

 

Haew Suwat Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park

 

Khao Yai - A vast national park known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and picturesque nature trails and waterfalls, it's the perfect place to explore the beauty of Thailand's natural environment. Exciting activities include river rafting, trekking jungle paths and exploring caves to spot bats and other animals. Observation points throughout the park also allow you to get close-up views of elephants, gibbons or hornbills. For a more leisurely experience, take a boat ride along Khlong Haew Reservoir.

For a more relaxed weekend getaway, head to Phuket. This popular island has something for everyone, from beautiful beaches to lush jungle hikes. Visitors can lounge on the sands of Kata Beach or Patong Beach or swim in the clear waters of Freedom Beach. There are plenty of activities for those who want to explore beyond its beautiful sands, such as visits to temples, elephant sanctuaries, and waterfalls. There are also many restaurants and bars catering to tourists, so you can enjoy some delicious Thai food while soaking up the atmosphere of this stunning island.

If you plan to take a few days off work in addition to the long weekend, these destinations are worth considering:

 

A Tourist Crowd Puller - Japan

With countless of flight options available from Singapore to major Japan cities, it's no wonder why Japan is one of the most popular destination for travellers from Singapore.

Whether it’s a foodie trip to check off all your Japanese food cravings, or to go onsen-hopping, or to visit the many natural and cultural attractions - there’s something for everyone. Plan your visit based on different experience offerings from the various cities with our ultimate Japan write-up!

No trip to Japan is complete without seeing the country's highest mountain – Mount Fuji. You can take a scenic hike up the mountain or simply enjoy the views from one of the many observation decks.

Tokyo
: As Japan's capital city, Tokyo offers a wealth of things to see and do, from the lively nightlife and world-class dining to essential sights like the Imperial Palace and Senso-ji Temple.

Soak in an Onsen: A visit to a Japanese hot spring, or onsen, is the perfect way to relax after a busy day of sightseeing. Many onsens are located across Japan, so you're sure to find one that suits your needs.

No trip to Tokyo is complete without visiting Tsukiji Fish Market, with some of the freshest seafood in Japan. Watch expert sushi chefs slicing and preparing the freshest fish for sashimi and sushi. Afterwards, visit one of the many traditional tea houses dotted across the city. Tokyo will tantalise your taste buds with fantastic restaurants and near-endless gastronomic offerings!

 

Korean Delights

If you're looking for an exciting destination for a long weekend getaway, look no further than Korea! Korea offers an array of experiences – from its rich culture to delicious food, to adrenalin-pumping KPOP and stunning natural scenery. Here are just a few ideas of what you can do on your trip:

Explore the vibrant city of Seoul, with its ancient palaces and temples, trendy cafes and shops, and lively nightlife. For something truly unique, don't miss a visit to Ikseon-dong, home to beautiful hanoks - traditional Korean houses that have been converted into shops and cafes. Browse clothing stores, cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops in its narrow laneways.

Foodies will love Korea. From "makgeolli", a milky alcoholic drink made from fermented wine, to "odeng-guk", a fish cake soup with vegetables, these dishes make taste buds tingle. And for the more adventurous eater, there is the infamous "sannakji" - live octopus served with sesame oil and seasonings. Don't miss out on pastries like “hotteok” or trendy cream-filled honey breads for a sweet treat and be sure to try some of the street food, too - it may not be healthy, but it's definitely delicious! 

 

Autumn Foliage at Naejangsan National Park

 

Nature lovers will also find plenty to appreciate in Korea. Spend a day hiking in the picturesque Seoraksan National Park or one of the many Oreums (volcanic cones) on Jeju Island, or admire the stunning view of Naejangsan National Park – especially for autumn foliage. Soak up some history at UNESCO-listed sites like Hwaseong Fortress or Changdeokgung Palace. Or simply relax on the sandy beaches of Busan - one of Korea's most popular tourist destinations.

 

Head to a land Down-under!

It may seem like a long way to go, but another great option is Australia. You can be assured of a hassle-free journey with direct flights from Singapore to major cities like Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. And once you're there, you'll be spoilt for choice with the many activities and attractions on offer.

Sydney
 is the perfect place to start if you're looking for urban excitement. Take in the iconic sights of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, explore the trendy neighbourhoods of Surry Hills and Paddington, or spend a day at one of the many world-class beaches.

For something different, head to Melbourne for a taste of Australian art and culture. Visit world-renowned museums like the National Gallery of Victoria, catch a show at the Melbourne Arts Centre, or wander through the labyrinth of laneways bursting with authentic coffee shops and restaurants in the CBD.

Perth
 is a great family-friendly destination. It’s a fascinating city with beautiful parks, stunning beaches, and unrivalled sunsets. Only 5 hours by plane and no time difference, it's easy to explore its vibrant culture and try the fantastic restaurants and bars. Animal lovers can spot kangaroos, emus, wallabies, and koalas in nearby conservation areas such as Bold Park Nature Reserve and Yanchep National Park – and may even see dolphins and sharks swimming off the coast! And with some of the world's best wineries in Margaret River only a short drive away, it offers fantastic holiday fun. 

 

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to one of the many great options for an unforgettable getaway.

If you're planning to travel during the long weekends, don't forget to protect yourself and your travel companions with Chubb Travel Insurance. Chubb offers comprehensive coverage for all travellers, allowing you to enjoy peace of mind when visiting unfamiliar places. With a wide range of customisable plans available, there's an option to suit your specific needs, whether you're travelling solo, with family or friends. If you have a calendar of overseas trips planned for the next 12 months, consider getting an Annual Multi-Trip plan to cover your trips for greater convenience and savings! 

 

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Disclaimer - The content of the above article is not intended to constitute professional advice. Although all content is believed to be accurate, Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited (Chubb) makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content of this article. Users relying on any content do so at their own risk.

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