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Forget Bangkok, Bali or Batam. On your next Long Weekend, visit these 5 Destinations instead!!!

July 15, 2017

There are so few things to be excited about in Singapore that the welcome break (usually 3 full days) from long weekends are generally more anticipated by Singaporeans than the actual occasion which got them the long weekend itself.

 

Many of us abandon our country in droves on National Day, Chinese New Year, and pretty much at every other opportunity available simply to get an extended absence from work; shopping in Bangkok, learning to surf in Bali, or even a simple family getaway in Batam or Bintan.

 

On your NEXT long weekend, it's time to screw all that. Here are 5 OTHER destinations perfectly possible with just one or even no additional day of leave required!

 

 

The Philippines

Consider Visiting: Tagaytay, Batangas1-2 hours drive away from Manila)

 

Minimum No. of Nights Recommended: 2-3 (zero additional days leave necessary)

 

Distance From Singapore: 3+ hours

 

Cost: Return Tickets from as low as $150 SGD

 

Accommodation: Private Rooms from $25 SGD ($45 SGD for typical Singaporean standards)

 

Most Ideal For: Families, Couples, Friends

Skip Manila; or if you wish, give it just a full day. (nothing more than that) Time is precious on a long weekend especially if you aren't planning to take an additional day's leave.

 

Traffic in Manila is a killer, you'll want to leave on the earliest possible bus (or taxi) for the Batangas. You can choose to Scuba Dive and be rewarded with some of the worlds most diverse marine life, or simply laze along one of their many lovely beaches.

 

Looking to expand some energy on your vacation? Trek the Taal Volcano in Tagaytay. If trekking isn't your thing, get up the volcano via horseback or chill in one of the many bars in Tagaytay city and be rewarded with an amazing view of the lagoon.

 

Cambodia

Consider Visiting: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh (direct flights from Singapore)

 

Minimum No. of Nights Recommended: 2-3 (zero additional days leave necessary)

 

Distance From Singapore: 2+ hours

 

Cost: Return Tickets from as low as $160 SGD

 

Accommodation: Private Rooms from $8 SGD ($35 SGD for typical Singaporean standards)

 

Most Ideal For: Friends, Men looking for Cheap Sex

It's safe, really cheap; but unfortunately, it's pretty touristy by now. Hordes of Chinese tourists, Westerners, and yes, handfuls of Singaporeans (the rest are still in Bangkok).

 

Angkor Wat is probably the biggest tourist trap in Indochina. With it's current $37 USD entrance fee, (up from $20 USD previously) the Cambodian government is determined to milk this cash cow of theirs to the very last drop. I don't blame them though, because as far as piles of old rock is concerned, the ruins of Angkor Wat are pretty impressive, and rather well preserved (they'd better be after $37 per head).

 

The "Killing Fields" in Phnom Penh make a pretty teary (but interesting) educational experience; or you could call it "dark tourism". What Singaporeans will truly love about Cambodia is(other than instagram worthy pictures at Angkor Wat to prove they've been there) the ridiculously low cost. Book a private tuk tuk for the day with just $15 USD (depending on your bargaining skills). Delicious fruit juice cost $1 USD, Kang Kong (vegetables) at $1 USD, Massages from $1 USD, almost everything is between $1-$2 USD. It's crazy cheap!

 

Myanmar

Consider Visiting: Yangon, Bagan (direct flights from Singapore to Yangon. Overnight bus for Bagaon)

 

Minimum No. of Nights Recommended: 3 (zero additional days leave necessary for just Yangon. Additional 1 day leave extension for Bagan)

 

Distance From Singapore: 3 hours

 

Cost: Return Tickets from as low as $150 SGD

 

Accommodation: Private Rooms from $18 SGD ($50 SGD for typical Singaporean standards)

 

Most Ideal For: Pretty much everybody

The economy of Myanmar has yet to flourish in the way it's leaders have promised it should. As of now, let's just say their economy is 20 years behind that of Thailand.

 

In Bagan though, Myanmar have a crown jewel way more impressive than most cities Indochina. A huge archaeological site rich in history and strewn with temples all around, the impressiveness of Bagan (as a whole) rivals or even eclipses that of Cambodia's Angkor Wat. How else could they charge over $320 USD for Hot Air Balloon rides? (that's even more expensive that those rip offs in Cappadocia, Turkey!)

 

The skyline of Yangon is dominated by the 99m tall gold plated stupa also commonly known as the Shwedagon Pagoda. Up close, the grandiose of it all is pretty awesome. But that's pretty much most of what Yangon has to offer though, at least from a typical Singaporeans standpoint. Our advice? Get in, see the Pagoda, and head off on the next overnight bus to Bagan. That's pretty much a good enough way to spend a long weekend.

 

Bangladesh

Consider Visiting: Dhaka (for Rocket Steamer Departure), Cox Bazar

 

Minimum No. of Nights Recommended: 3-4 (1 additional days leave necessary)

 

Distance From Singapore: 4 hours

 

Cost: Return Tickets from as low as $330 SGD

 

Accommodation: Private Rooms from $21 SGD ($50 SGD for typical Singaporean standards)

 

Most Ideal For: Adventurous groups of friends, Singaporeans who are sick of being sheep

It sounds crazy, but in my opinion, Bangladesh is probably the most amazing destination to visit among those I've listed in this post. A day in the capital of Dhaka is a truly eye opening experience. The sights, smells (not in a bad way), and sounds (the constant honking); being in Bangladesh is truly an awakening for many a delusional Singaporean. 

 

Journey along the river on a century old Rocket Steamer (most amazing cruise i've ever been on) in the pursuit of the Bengal Tiger. Ever watched the move "Anaconda"? This is (The Rocket) as close as it gets to the feeling of sailing down the Amazon River without actually flying all the way there.

 

More of a beach person? Make your way to the Cox Bazar, the longest beach in the world; and possibly the definition of paradise for most Bangladeshi's. Swim, surf or even pay a local fisherman to sail you out for a round of "local style" fishing.

 

Nuff said. Bangladesh as travel destination is good. So good I even dedicated a blog post to it; Twice.

1. Bangladesh For A Vacation? You Must Be Crazy!

2. Now "THIS" Is What An Amazing Cruise Experience Should Be Like!

 

Laos

Consider Visiting: Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang or Pakse (Mini Van transport 3-4 hrs)

 

Minimum No. of Nights Recommended: 3-4 (1 additional day leave necessary)

 

Distance From Singapore: 3 hours

 

Cost: Return Tickets from as low as $400 SGD

 

Accommodation: Private Rooms from $8 SGD ($40 SGD for typical Singaporean standards)

 

Most Ideal For: Families, Couples, Groups of friends, Men looking for cheap sex, K-pop crazy Singaporeans desperate to hook up with Koreans out of their country to also have a night of fun.

Not every getaway has to be about shopping or white sand beaches and turquoise colored sea. Visit the landlocked country of Laos. Caves, impressive waterfalls, zip lines, or simply tube down the Mekong river with a beer in your hand. And if bumping into Singaporeans is what you hope to avoid on vacation (it is for me), it's unlikely you'll meet many in this "yet to be popular country".

 

Surprisingly, 60% of tourists we came across in Laos were Koreans. It's also probably the easiest country to hook up with Koreans (important for Singaporeans given their love of K dramas). You're on vacation, they're on vacation, anything can happen.

 

Laos certainly isn't cheap. (don't believe those other travel blogs that go, "wow, such and such is sooo cheeaappp!!!) It's pretty much Singapore pricing; for food at least. Accommodation is rather cheap though, "the girl" and I got ourselves a stay in an awesome hotel room with a pool right outside our door for just $30 USD combined! This together with its variety of adventure sports; and oh, the "worlds CHEAPEST hot air ballooning experience" for just $90 USD, wow.

 

 

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