How much time do you have? We’ll help you make the most of it...
You’ll want to spend as little time as possible getting to your destination and maximum time recharging.
OUR TOP PICKS:
Luang Prabang, Laos: The peaceful former royal capital nestled between two rivers in the north of Laos feels a world away from Singapore, but is in fact just a four-and-a-half-hour flight (via Bangkok or Vientiane). It’s famous for its ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries, but tourists also enjoy sitting in one of the many cafes as monks walk through the streets in the morning, and taking short hikes to beautiful waterfalls.
Komodo National Park, Indonesia: Known not only for its dragons, but also its scuba diving and stunning sunsets, Komodo is now more accessible thanks to direct flights from Denpasar, Bali – we say visit this UNESCO world heritage site before the masses!
Komodo National Park
Pulau Lang Tengah, Malaysia: You have probably heard of Rawa and Tioman islands, which are a ferry ride from the town Mersing (a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Singapore), but few people take the shorter 30-minute boat ride to their smaller, unpopulated cousin. Lang Tengah island was once a Vietnamese refugee camp, but now houses just a handful of boutique resorts. You can take a blissful 3km walk around the island’s perimeter to truly switch off.
You can afford to spend two full days travelling and still have five full days on the ground.
OUR TOP PICKS:
Iran: A 12-hour flight from Singapore and you’ll land in a cultural kaleidoscope that blends the East, modern West and thousands of years at the centre of the Persian empire. Lonely Planet describes it as the most rewarding place you can travel to.
Azadi monument, the
famous landmark of
Andaman Islands, India: This archipelago sitting between India and Myanmar is one of the most remote places on the planet. Its pristine white sandy beaches offer visitors a chance to relax and experience some incredible diving. You’ll have to fly via Delhi, Chennai or Kolkata (these airports are Untold wonders (and the most Insta-worthy spots) We’re just a short flight away from some of the most beautiful places on the planet. You’ve probably heard of the limestone karsts of Halong Bay in Vietnam, the reefs of the Philippines, and Mt Everest in the Himalayas, but China is also Red Beach in Panjin, China home to incredible natural lanscapes worth visiting. Red Beach in Panjin, China (a 10 to 12-hour flight away) is the largest reed marsh in Asia. Visit in autumn, when it turns into a sea of crimson. between four and five hours from Singapore), but once you’re there, you’ll realise it was well worth the journey.
Andaman Islands, India
The Kawachi Fuji Tunnel, Japan: The cherry blossoms of Japan are best seen in April or May, so you could pull in one of the long weekends of April to help you cut down on your leave. The tunnel is consistently voted one of the most beautiful sights in the world, so it’s worth the six-hour journey from Tokyo (which is a seven-hour flight from Singapore).
Road trip! You’ve got a few days’ buffer, so you can do crazy things like trek through mountains and still make it back to work on time.
OUR TOP PICKS:
Ireland: With one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and the buzz of start-up culture reigniting Dublin’s flame, now is the perfect time to fly 16 hours to experience pints, pies and limericks. Hire a car and drive along the West Coast, where the rolling countryside meets the rocky shoreline.
Four Courts Building in Dublin, Ireland
with reflection in the River Liffey.
Nepal: The wake of the 2015 earthquakes has passed. Kathmandu’s historic buildings have been restored and the Himalayas are just as they were before – spectacular. All the country needs now is the support of tourists to help kick the economy back into gear. Do your part by training, then hiking to catch a glimpse of Mt Everest.
New Zealand: Just a 10-hour flight from Singapore, New Zealand offers a stunning mix of Nepal and Ireland’s landscapes. The country is best seen by road, but it’s a long way from top to bottom, so you’ll want to take a domestic flight as well as hire a car in order to see the dramatic towering mountains and azure lakes of the South Island and the beaches and lush rolling hills of the North Island.
Untold wonders (and the most Insta-worthy spots)
We’re just a short flight away from some of the most beautiful places on the planet. You’ve probably heard of the limestone karsts of Halong Bay in Vietnam, the reefs of the Philippines, and Mt Everest in the Himalayas, but China is also home to incredible natural lanscapes worth visiting.
Red Beach in Panjin, China
Red Beach in Panjin, China (a 10 to 12-hour flight away) is the largest reed marsh in Asia. Visit in autumn, when it turns into a sea of crimson.
The Tianzi mountains in Hunan, China
The longest cable car in the world and a series of escalators will ensure you reach the best spots to take amazing photos.
Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia, China
The sandstone has been exposed to the elements for thousands of years, resulting in a place that looks like earth’s technicolour dreamcoat.
ANNUAL LEAVE: MAKE THE MOST OF IT
Singaporean employers aren’t known for dishing out lots of annual leave, but this year, we have six beautiful long weekends evenly spaced throughout the year. That’s six chances to head out of town and not have to use any of your precious leave days – get booking now before prices skyrocket!
CHINESE NEW YEAR
January 28 – 30.
(public holiday on the Monday).
April 14 – 16.
(Public holiday on the Friday).
April 29 – 30 and May 1.
(Public holiday on the Monday).
HARI RAYA PUASA
June 24 – 26.
(Public holiday on the Sunday but will be carried to the Monday).
HARI RAYA HAJI
September 1 – 3 .
(Public holiday on the Friday).
December 23 – 25 .
(Public holiday on the Monday)
The UNESCO List
17 Southeast Asian sites that should be on your to-see list in 2017:
1. Angkor, Cambodia.
2. Temple of Preah Vihear, Cambodia.
3. Baroque churches of the Philippines.
4. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras.
5. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Philippines.
6. Khao Yai forest, Thailand.
7. Historic town of Sukhothai, Thailand.
8. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
9. Hoi An ancient town, Vietnam.
10. Trang An landscape of Ninh Binh province, Vietnam.
11. Kinabalu park, Malaysia.
12. Malacca, Malaysia.
13. Komodo National Park, Indonesia.
14. Tropical Rainforest of Sumatra, Indonesia.
15. Sangiran Early Man Site, Indonesia.
16. Luang Prabang, Laos.
17. Ancient settlements of the Champasak landscape, Laos.