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Singapore Long Weekend Travel Guide 2018

All it takes are a few well-timed leave days to make the most of your long weekends in 2018.

There are only a measly four long weekends in Singapore in 2018, compared to seven last year. Cue collective sighs.

It doesn’t help that Singapore has one of the lowest minimum number of paid annual leave days globally – just seven to be precise, while Kuwait tops the list with 30 days of annual paid vacation days.

Sure, most of us would love more annual leave, if you aren’t quite ready to pack your bags and move to Kuwait, read on for our travel guide to making the most of your long weekends in 2018.

We’ve intentionally left out typical go-to destinations like Bangkok and Bali that will be flooded with Singaporeans, in lieu of destinations off the beaten path.

Of course, we’ve factored in everything from cheap fares to weather, flight durations and even national holidays (e.g. don’t go to China during CNY, duh).

Remember to book early so you can save on airfare and more importantly, so you don’t have to fight with your colleagues over those coveted leave dates!

Chinese New Year: Friday, 16 February

Travel dates: 16-18 Feb (Fri-Sun)

Leave Days: 0

Duration: 3D2N

Chiang Mai

For those of you who simply cannot sit through another annual interrogation or want to avoid the fiasco that is Chinese New Year, why not take a short trip to Chiang Mai? Daytime activities include trekking and Thai cooking classes, or you can opt for an ethical animal tour of the Elephant Nature Park, which rescues abused elephants from across Thailand. Spend your nights shopping for crafts at a local bazaar and grab a bite from one of the many street stalls selling ultra-spicy northern Thai cuisine like larb (minced meat salad). Don’t forget to check out the hipster cafes and bars that are popping up across the city.

Return Air Fare: From SGD 807

Flight Duration: 5 hrs 45 min (including layover)

Easter: Friday, 30 March

Travel Dates: 30 Mar-1 Apr (Fri-Sun)

Leave Days: 0

Duration: 3D2N

Siem Reap, Cambodia

March is a great time to travel to Southeast Asia as it’s at the tail end of high season, so you can score cheaper flights and hotels. Temples like Angkor Wat are the city’s tourist mainstays, but there’s also plenty to do in the city – from evening street food tours to shopping at one of the many night markets.

Return Air Fare: From SGD 619

Flight Duration: 2 hrs 15 min

Labour Day: Tuesday, 1 May

Travel Dates: 28 Apr-1 May (Sat-Tues)

Leave Days: 1

Duration: 4D3N

Medan, Indonesia  

Best known for being home to Lake Toba, the world’s largest volcanic lake, Medan is one of the most ethnically diverse regions, as well as an underrated tourist destination. Visit cultural attractions like the fascinating Rumah Bolon – which used to be occupied by the King and his 24 wives. Feast on local grub like Nasi Padang from the famous Garuda Restaurant, and savour the most excellent avocado coffee floats from Medan’s hip cafes such as Macehat

Return Air Fare: From SGD70

Flight Duration: 1 hr 25 min

Vesak Day: Tuesday, 29 May

Travel Dates: 26-29 May (Sat-Tues)

Leave Days: 1

Duration: 4D3N

Seoul, Korea

[Image Source: khelpme]

Serious shoppers should head to Dongdaemun (Korea’s equivalent of Platinum Mall in Bangkok), while K-Beauty fans will love Myeong-dong, where you’ll find cult local beauty brands. Don’t forget to stop by the Noryangjin Market for some fresh seafood. If you’re up for a little excitement, take a tour of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the Panmunjom ‘truce village’. For more ideas, check out this comprehensive guide to Seoul.

PS: There’s also a super NSFW phallic park ?

Return Air Fare: From SGD 686

Flight Duration: 6 hr 10 min

Hari Raya Puasa: Friday, 15 June

Travel Dates: 15-17 Jun (Fri-Sun)

Leave Days: 0

Duration: 3D2N

Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

[Image Credit: Achilli Family – Flickr]

These idyllic islands are great for those who just want to while away the time on the beach. There isn’t much else to do in Perhentian – which is actually a good thing if you want to take a break and decompress – soak in the sun, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, or go diving. The best way to get there is to catch a flight to Kota Bharu in Malaysia and take a taxi to Kuala Besut jetty. From there it’s about a 30-min trip via speedboat (RM 60).

Return Air Fare: From SGD 202

Flight Duration: 3 hr 50 min

National Day: Thursday, 9 August

 Travel Dates: 9-12 Aug (Thurs-Sat)

Leave Days: 1

Duration: 4D3N

Vietnam, Nha Trang

[Image Source: Vietnam Travel]

Known as the Riviera of the South China Sea, the coastal town of Nha Trang is popular with backpackers and offers everything from white sandy beaches and waterfalls to temples and hot springs. Surprisingly, it’s also known as a party town with a thriving nightlife – think whisky joints, rooftop bars, and beach clubs, making it a welcome alternative to the ubiquity of Bali.

Return Air Fare: From USD 229

Flight Duration: 5 hr 30 min (including layover)

Hari Raya Haji: Wednesday, 22 August

Travel Dates: 22-26 Aug (Wed-Sun)

Leave Days: 2

Duration: 5D4N

Auckland, New Zealand

[Image Credit: Photosport]

Auckland is one of the most liveable cities in the world, and there are a host of things to do like hiking up One Tree Hill, skydiving from Auckland’s Sky Tower, or catching an All Blacks game at Eden Park. You can also pamper yourself in one of the many hot springs located just outside of Auckland. It’s also a great time to ski, so be sure to take a scenic 4-hr drive to Whakapapa, New Zealand’s largest ski area, on Mt Ruapehu. Whakapapa is great for beginners and expert skiers alike, with its own learner’s area (Happy Valley), as well as 24 black and black diamond runs.

Return Air Fare: From SGD 909

Flight Duration: 12 hr 20 min (including layover)

Deepavali: Tuesday, 6 November

Travel Dates: 3-6 Nov (Sat-Tues)

Leave Days: 1

Duration: 4D3N

Sydney, Australia

The weather in the land Down Under hovers between 16-24 degrees in November, so you can still swim or surf. We highly recommend visiting Taronga Zoo – which rivals our very own Singapore Zoo, or the super scenic Bondi to Coogee Walk that takes you through four pristine beaches in the Eastern Suburbs.  Sydney is also home to amazing eateries like Quay and Sepia. In the mood for a casual brunch? Don’t forget to stop by a café for some OG avocado toast (aka smashed avo on toast).

Return Air Fare: From SGD 410

Flight Duration: 7 hrs 50 min

Christmas: Tuesday, 25 December

Travel Dates: 22-25 Dec (Sat-Tues)

Leave Days: 1

Duration: 4D3N

Osaka, Japan

[Image Source: GaijinPot]

Osaka, Japan

Osaka may not have the same modern metropolitan glitz as its rival Tokyo, but this often-overlooked city is coming into its own and worth a visit for first-timers to Japan, not to mention it’s also cheaper and easier to get around in compared to Tokyo.

While you’re there, grab a bite at Dotonbori and try out signature Osakan food like okonomiyaki and takoyaki. Shop at Hankyu department store and stop by the food hall for surprisingly cheap and high-quality sashimi. Thrill seekers should also make a stop at Universal Studios, which is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

You can also take a daytrip to Kyoto and see the stunning IG-worthy Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Kinkaku-ji temple or Golden Pavilion.

Must try foods in Kyoto include kinako (soy bean powder) ice cream from Gion Kinana Honten. If you want to treat yo self, visit 3-Michelin star Kikunoi for an authentic kaiseki dining experience, but be warned, as prices start at SGD 120.

Tip: Buy your Japan Rail Pass in Singapore before you fly.  

Return Air Fare: From SGD 488

Flight Duration: 9 hr 10 min (including layover)

Before you fly, remember to change your money to avoid getting scammed overseas or skip the queues completely and apply for a DBS Multicurrency Account that gives you access to 12 foreign currencies and lets you pay with your DBS Visa Debit Card with no foreign exchange fees.

Happy travels!

Want to make your trip even sweeter? Stand to win Singapore Airlines Suites tickets when you book your trip with your DBS/POSB card.

Find out more here

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