9 long-weekend getaway ideas in Asia

Sep 12, 2017

From a foodie trip to Osaka, to a culturally rich experience in Colombo, here are nine short getaway ideas for the nine long weekends coming up in 2018, for those who live in Singapore.

1. Osaka, Japan

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Nicknamed “the nation’s kitchen” for once playing a vital role in managing Japan’s economy and distribution of goods, this city has also gained a reputation for its fine cuisine in recent years.

If you are concerned that a long weekend is too short for a foodie trip there, try opting for an overnight flight there and back, leaving you with more time to, well, eat. And you will need it. Numerous websites are dedicated to its must-visit restaurants and cafes. For example, Sushiyoshi (above) in the Kita-ku ward, known for its sushi, has two Michelin stars.

Fancy super-fresh squid cooked and served in a thickened sauce accentuated with yuzu? Or tuna maki with thick strips of tuna in varying shades of fattiness? The Kani Doraku chain of restaurants, famous for its crab dishes, is worth checking out for dishes such as these.

2. Palawan, The Philippines

This Philippine island, with its pristine beaches, coral reefs and limestone cliffs, makes a perfect beach getaway.

One of the island’s treasures is the Puerto Princesa Underground River (above), which was named one of the world’s seven wonders of nature in 2012. Previous reports say the 8.2km-long river has caverns abloom with limestone, in shapes that evoke medieval cities, frozen waves and a cloud-like cathedral. Nobody knows exactly when the hidden river, which flows into the South China Sea, was first discovered, but Australian and Italian teams began exploring its chambers in the 1980s.

Another attraction is El Nido, an area known for its white, sandy beaches and snorkelling spots.

SEE ALSO: Quick getaway destinations within a 4-hour flight from Singapore

3. Darwin, Australia

crocosaurus cove darwin

When Down Under, always be prepared for an adventure. A four-and-a-half-hour flight from Singapore, Darwin, Australia’s only tropical capital city, has that in spades. Those unafraid of heights can go sky-diving with Top End Tandems and enjoy a free fall at more than 200km/h against the blue sky, while taking in magnificent views of Lee Point Beach.

At the Crocosaurus Cove, you can sign up for an experience in its famous Cage of Death (above), Australia’s only crocodile dive, which includes 15 minutes in the enclosure with one of the massive reptiles. While inside the cage, you will be suspended above the reptiles and lowered into the pen to get an up-close-and-personal look.

A one-and-a-half-hour drive away is Kakadu National Park, Australia’s largest national park. There, you can take a plane or helicopter ride, following the snaking rivers and looking down on the ancient stone escarpments, while those into trekking can explore the rock art galleries of Nourlangie Rock.