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Raya Roamin’: 6 delightful overseas destinations for you to spread the Raya cheer

Raya is getting ever closer and everyone is excited with plans to balik kampung for the upcoming festivities – but what happens after we’re done catching up with the relatives and stuffing our faces with lemang?

Well, have you considered taking a post-Raya trip? More and more people are choosing to hit the road while still on a holiday high.

Whether you’re doing it solo, holidaying with friends, or bringing the whole family along, these exciting destinations are just the thing to keep the Raya spirit going strong:

Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui
Wat Plai Laem temple.

If it’s sun, sand, and surf that you want, it’s best to look at the eastern side of the country at this time of year, as the islands in the Andaman Sea to the west are experiencing seasonal rains.

Set in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui has got all the bases covered, from natural wonders such as Ang Thong Marine National Park, comprising 42 pristine islands with hidden lagoons and dramatic limestone karsts, to man-made attractions like the colorful shrines and temples along Big Buddha Beach.

There are also the nearby islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, which you can get to by boat for day trips.

Check out flights to Koh Samui

 

Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane
Outdoor ice skating during the Winter Festival at King George Square. Source: Martin Valigursky / Shutterstock.com

As Australia is in the southern hemisphere, it’s winter in the Land Down Under in June and July.

However, Australian winters are generally mild, with cool temperatures rather than cold, so you won’t need to pack anything more than a light sweater or coat.

There’s also less rain during this period, so outdoor activities are popular among locals and visitors. Check out the vibrant sunset off Tamborine Mountain in Tamborine National Park, which is about an hour’s drive south of the city center; or watch humpback whales majestically breach through the water’s surface off the coast of Queensland.

Check out flights to Brisbane

 

Danang, Vietnam

Danang
View from the Marble Mountains.

In the summer months, Danang is a popular beach destination for locals. The coastal city’s central location means that the temperatures are hot, while rains are few and far in between.

The Marble Mountains, or Non Nuoc, are a must-visit – the five mountains are named after natural elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. Explore the roomy caverns and grottoes, and take in the panoramic view of the surrounding area.

In town, take a scenic walk down the Han riverfront or drop by My Khe Beach to soak up some sun and jump into a thung chai, or Vietnamese basket boat. You can even grab a bus to Hue to the north, or Hoi An to the south for some sightseeing at World Heritage sites.

Check out flights to Danang

 

Bali, Indonesia

Bali
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan water temple at Bratan Lake.

Warm in weather and welcome, Bali is known for its hospitality and spirituality. For July in particular, the climate is hot and dry, making it a favorite for families and those looking forward to activities in the sun and sea.

Besides visiting the island’s many temples, try your hand at flying kites during the annual Bali Kite Festival at Padanggalak Beach in Sanur, which lasts until October, or see an exciting water buffalo race up close.

If you’ve had enough of the beach, head inland to the forests and rice terraces of Ubud or the volcanoes in Kintamani, particularly the spectacular view from Penelokan (which literally means “scenic stopover”).

Check out flights to Bali

 

Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Bagan
Temples at the Bagan Archaeological Zone.

The central region of Myanmar, including Mandalay and Bagan, are safe from the heavy rains hitting the northern and southern areas. The beaches along the coast of those areas will be closed, so take this time to explore the unforgettable temples and pagodas of the Bagan Plain, like Dhammayangyi Temple and Shwezigon Pagoda.

For a bird’s eye view of the plains, hop on a hot air balloon, or you can opt to cycle around Old Bagan to discover its hidden riches.

We recommend you take a half-day trip to Mount Popa, a sacred extinct volcano that is home to the Popa Taungkalat Monastery. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Bagan, and on a clear day, the view from the summit is breathtaking.

Check out flights to Mandalay (then take a domestic flight to Bagan)

 

Kyoto, Japan

Gion Matsuri festival
The 2016 Yamaboko Junko. Source: generated / Shutterstock.com

Throughout July, the historical heart of Japan plays host to the merry Gion Matsuri festival, where you’ll get to see locals in their summer finery, namely the yukata, as well as fully-done up geishas.

One of the highlights of the festival is the impressive float parade through the streets of downtown Kyoto, known as Yamaboko Junko.

If it gets too hot and humid for you, duck into any of the popular dining spots along Pontocho Alley and dig into mouthwatering snacks and dishes such as okonomiyaki and yakitori.

Check out flights to Osaka (then take a direct express train or bus to Kyoto) 

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If Raya spending has your wallet feeling lighter than usual, you can still book that dream trip: Maybank credit card holders can travel now and pay in 6 or 12-month installments with our exclusive 0% installment plans, valid for flights and hotel stays anywhere, anytime. For more information, check out: https://www.traveloka.com/en-my/promotion/maybank-installment

And seeing as the Raya mood lasts the entire month, we’ve got deals and steals galore for you to snap up – so be sure to check out our promotions!

A storyteller with an insatiable sense of curiosity. Travel junkie. Card-carrying member of many fandoms. Heavily dependent on caffeine. Loyal cat servant. Former journalist at the New Straits Times and Hybrid News.

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