Your 2016 long weekend holiday guide
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We will be enjoying several long weekends this year – take the opportunity to travel to these trendy destinations
Why waste your long weekend when you can enjoy idyllic island living, like in Cebu? (Photo: outcast85 / Shutterstock.com)
It’s never too early to start thinking about new travel goals. Even if it’s just fantasizing, you’ll need to look out for the latest destinations in travel, from a newly-discovered secret beach to an underrated emerging city.
Now that 2016 is upon us, it’s time to go into full-on holiday planning mode. Here are the year’s trendiest places to be, and the long weekends you can take to
6-8 Feb (Saturday-Tuesday)
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa makes vacations easy and fun, whether with family, friends or a romantic partner
Occasion: Chinese New Year
Travel to: Your relatives’ or friends’ houses, or a beachfront staycation
It’s the Lunar New Year, so get visiting, get eating and — for those who are eligible — get ang baos to fund your upcoming adventures!
However, if you’d rather relax with your family or friends at a resort, look out for staycation steals near you.
A good choice for that balmy and breezy getaway is Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. Besides having a breathtaking view of Sentosa from whichever room you choose, Rasa Sentosa also regularly updates seasonal promotions that you can look out for.
Imagine taking a relaxing stroll on Siloso Beach, chilling out at a beachside bar then coming back to an indulgent spa and al fresco dinner. Now that’s a good way to celebrate.
For more information, please visit www.shangri-la.com/rasasentosa.
25-27 Mar (Friday-Sunday)
Go glamping, or glamorous camping, at Treasure Bay in Bintan, where you can wakeboard, ride a dirt bike in the woods and even fly in an open-cockpit seaplane. (Photo: Treasure Bay Bintan)
Occasion: Good Friday
Travel to: Treasure Bay, Bintan
Are you a creature of urban comfort, like myself? Would you camp if it was in luxury? Then glamping is for you.
Short for “glamorous camping”, glamping lets you get down and dirty with earth, sky and water, before returning to the comforting embrace of clean sheets, hearty meals, bubbly drinks and — most importantly — air-conditioned tents.
If that sounds good, use the Good Friday weekend for a trip to Treasure Bay resort in Bintan. You can go wild with
the elements, from wakeboarding on pristine seawater to splashing through the mud quad-biking in the woods.
Treasure Bay isn’t complete yet but there are already ample activities to fill your weekend. It also means less people to jostle with.
30 Apr – 2 May (Saturday-Monday)
Go on a river cruise to appreciate the lesser-known sights of popular destinations, and even enjoy atypical excursions.
Occasion: Labour Day
Travel to: Mekong River for an unorthodox river cruise
The mighty Mekong River spanning Southeast Asia is coursing with new life thanks to the river
Popular riverboat cruises on the Mekong include AmaWaterways’ routes connecting Vietnam and Cambodia, and the luxury Aqua Mekong vessels that sail between Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambodia.
But it’s not just fun on water. You’ll get to go on unorthodox excursions like biking through Cambodian villages and exploring Vietnamese floating markets.
10-12 Sep (Saturday-Monday)
Cebu Island is expanding its tourist attractions, which now include sea snorkelling, diving and even shark-spotting.
Occasion: Hari Raya Haji
Travel to: Cebu Island, the Philippines
Some may want to stay in Singapore during Hari Raya Haji, or even brave the traffic to visit loved ones in Malaysia. For everyone else itching with wanderlust, Cebu is a rising star in travel trends that is worth every peso spent.
From affordable luxury resorts to eclectic handicraft markets, Cebu has been expanding its international appeal. You can even go shark-spotting, or marvel at the majestic cathedrals, basilicas and temples there.
A short and inexpensive cab ride will take you to the main city, where sprawling malls provide the urban comforts you may pine for during your beach getaway.
24-26 Dec (Saturday-Monday)
Harbin is the capital of winter festivities in China — here’s where you can have unforgettable experiences of snow and giant ice sculptures (Photo: Lukas Hlavac / Shutterstock.com)
Occasion: Christmas Day
Travel to: Harbin, China
Come December, you may wish you were in a cool winter wonderland instead of in Singapore’s sweltering perpetual summer.
China is one of the nearest places to us where you can experience snow — and this is the perfect time to visit, since winter is the country’s low travel season.
Harbin, in northeastern China, hosts ice and snow art festivals every winter. Zhaolin Park gets populated with magnificent ice sculptures during the Ice Festival, and Sun Island plays host to the Snow Sculpture Exposition.
Be sure to take a trip down to the Siberian Tiger Park and Harbin’s many ski resorts too.
By Pamela Chow
For more information on public holidays, visit www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/public-holidays.