A weekend trip out of the country sounds lovely, so why don’t more people do it?
Well, first of all, a weekend leaves you with only 48 hours, which means you’ll have a tighter itinerary if you’re going to arrive back on time for work on Monday. Since it’s going to be such a short trip, we highly doubt you’ll want to spend a lot of money on it… unless you’re desperate for a holiday, of course.
What can you do if you need a break, can’t spend too much money and have run out of leaves to take from work?
We scoured the web for holiday destinations that are two hours or less away, costs not more than S$300 (if you’re not booking in the last minute) and has plenty of activities to entertain you in 48 hours:
If You’re Obsessed with Food and Can’t Stop Eating: PENANG, MALAYSIA
Many Malaysians will tell you that the food in Penang rivals that of Singapore, but we’re not here to dispute these claims—in fact, you should judge it yourself. You’ll find many dishes familiar in name but different in taste like the Penang Laksa, which is made from a fish base instead of a curry base.
Jam pack your 48 hours by eating your way through the island, choosing from char kway teow, cendol, nasi kandar, curry mee and oyster omelette. When you’re full, take a break to ‘Instagram’ Georgetown’s street art or ride up Penang Hill on its funicular railway.
Flight Duration: Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes
Attractions Not to be Missed: Joo Hooi Cafe (for Assam Laksa), Sin Hwa Coffee Shop (for Char Kway Teow), Nasi Kandar Beratur, Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol, Georgetown heritage streets, Penang Hill, Clan Jetties
If You Want a Lazy Beach Break: LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA
Singapore is surrounded by amazing expansive beaches—although it has a few man-made ones of its own—but the one that’s easiest and closest to get to is Langkawi, which isn’t so far from Penang. Langkawi in itself is such a small island, so you wouldn’t have to worry about travelling for hours from the airport just to get to the beach.
The waters are crystal clear, the beaches are white, but most of all, Langkawi is duty-free! That includes cosmetics, fragrances, chocolates and alcohol. So while you’re at the beach, you can pop into a duty-free store to shop till you drop. You can’t get a better relaxation in 48 hours than in Langkawi.
Flight Duration: Approximately 1 hour 5 minutes
Attractions Not to be Missed: Pantai Cenang (the main beach), Pantai Tengah (a quieter beach), Zon Duty-Free Shopping Complex, Langkawi Parade Megamall, Sunba Retro Bar, Raffi’s
If You’d Like to Learn a Little Something or Two: HO CHI MINH, VIETNAM
Ho Chi Minh is more than just a quickly-developing city, it was also where the Vietnam War ended (also known as the Fall of Saigon). The city had a dark and gruesome history, most of which are documented in its many museums. A visit to the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum would give you a better understanding of what happened during one of the most important wars in world history.
When you walk around the city, you’ll realise how quickly the city has moved on and progressed to become one of Asia’s upcoming metropolitan cities. But it’s still a fusion of old and new. There are local and international cuisines to choose from when you’re hungry, and plenty of shopping to do in markets and malls when you’re in for some shopping.
Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world, and known for its thick flavourful coffee. Each cuppa comes with a French drip filter that sits on top of the cup. Ask for yours with condensed milk if you don’t like your coffee too bitter!
Flight Duration: Approximately 1 hour 55 minutes
Attractions Not to be Missed: Cu Chi Tunnels (half day tour), Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, The Independence Palace, Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Square, Trung Nguyen