Guide to Travel Planning 2015 (Singapore version)

One of the most common things people do when public holidays were announced for the following year is to start hunting down all the long weekends and start planning how to maximise the pubic holidays, weekends and annual leaves.

Here in Must Travel. Asia, we devise plans to make the most out of the public holidays and annual leaves, assuming you have a minimum of 14 days of annual leaves. Check out some recommendations of awesome destinations as well!

GuidetoTravelPlanning(Singapore)


1) New Year holiday: 1st Jan – 4th Jan (4 days | Annual Leave: 1) 

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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Start the brand new year of your passport stamp collections with a trip to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. A city filled with cultural history of Java, stand in awed by magnificent architecture of the ancient times with Borobudur and Paranabam Temple, the two well-known UNESCO heritage sites. Book yourself for an evening of street food tour for an authentic experience. While you are at it, do not forget to check out this food guide in Yogyakarta.

2) CNY: 19th February – 1 March (11 days | Annual Leaves:  5 )

Portugal/ Spain, Europe

Porto-2
photo credit: Aggy of Dream Explore Wander

If you tend to avoid all the nosy relatives and endless house visitation during Chinese New Year it will be a good idea to head to Portugal and Spain for a slightly longer getaway.

Weather in this region is starting to turn slightly warmer but it is still way cooler than being in a tropical country. Head to Porto for some wine and history then get lost in the old streets and alleyways in Lisbon admiring the beautiful European buildings while you are at it. Then hop onto a train and cross the border to Barcelona, Spain. Munch on some delicious tapas and go hunt for some really cool shutter doors with graffitis.  Football fans can head to the million dollar football club, FC Barcelona while ladies who have no interest in football can roam around the neighbourhoods and who knows, you may bump into a really hot Spanish guy! 😛

3) Good Friday : 3rd Apr – 6th Apr (4 days | Annual Leave :1) 

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

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Kota Kinabalu is a place for the nature and adventure lovers. Visit rehabilitation for Orang Utans, climb of Mount Kinabalu, white water rafting down rivers, get close to nature with all the different parks. There is something for everyone. Complete your day by watching the sun set behind the sea while indulging in some freshest seafood by the waterfront.

4) Labour Day: 1 May – 3 May (3 days | Annual Leave: 1)

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok

Bangkok needs no introduction for it is one of the popular getaways for value-for-money indulgences. You pretty much know how to get around town for your affordable shopping, massage and food. It is almost like a second home to most.

5) Vesak Day: 30th – 1 June (3 days | Annual Leaves: 0)

Malacca, Malaysia

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Sneak in a short escapade to Malacca where you stuff yourself silly with Peranakan food, walk down the streets in the UNESCO city centre and visit some historical attractions when the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonised the place before WWII.

6) Hari Raya Puasa: 17th – 19th July (3 days | Annual Leaves: 0)

Bali, Indonesia

Bali

Enjoy a quick holiday to Bali to rejuvenate.  Check yourself  into a private villa and spend your day lazing around, have some yummy seafood by the beach as you watch the sun set behind the sea. If you are in for some adventure, hike up the volcano and enjoy the view of race paddy fields.

7) National Day: 8th – 11th August (4 days | Annual Leave: 1)

Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Fly up north of Bangkok into a more laid-back city of Thailand. The weekend night markets will keep hunger at bay and keep you entertain for a couple of hours. Instead of riding an elephant, spare a day to visit the Elephant Nature Park to volunteer and mingle with elephants. Visit the famous Doi Suthep temple and Doi Inthanon National Park where the highest mountain in Thailand is situated.

8) Hari Raya Haji: 24th Sep – 27th Sep (4 days | Annual Leave: 1)

Hong Kong

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Fly to Hong Kong to shop and eat your heart content. You can never be hungry in such a vibrant city with endless of dim sums, cha chain tengs, Xu Liu Shan outlets and Mak Noodles. Pop down to Stanley, away from the signature high-rise buildings for some fresh air and alfresco del as you dine in out of those restaurants facing the sea. Not forgetting the outlet malls where you can get branded goods at a discounted price and enjoy the sceneries of the skyscrapers at The Peak.

9) Deepavali: 7- 10th November (4 days | Annual Leave: 1)

Miri, Sarawak

Gunung Mulu National Park. Sarawak, Borneo

Miri is an excellent base to get in tune with nature on land or underwater. Dive underwater to check out some really beautiful coral reefs and take a short flight to Gunung Muru National Park, a certified UNESCO world heritage for its limestone cave system, wildlife and walk across the world’s largest tree-based canopy skywalk. Visit Bukit Telaga Minyak for the bird’s eye view of Miri.

10) Christmas: 25th December – 3rd January 2016 (10 days | Annual Leaves: 4)

Taiwan

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Taiwan is an awesome country worth exploring, the a great combination of vibrant night markets with endless street food, beautiful nature that it is hard not to fall in love and friendly Taiwanese people.  Their High Speed Rail and railway trains services make travelling around Taiwan extremely convenient. Get down to Taichung, visit Sun, Moon Lake for the scenic view and head towards Tarako National Park for a great view up the mountain and freshest air, then experience the laid-back life in Hua Lien and make your way to Taipei for the annual countdown near Taipei. Stand together with everyone at Cityhall to watch a night of live performance by the artistes and be well entertained as you count down to the new year with fireworks spewing out of Taipei 101 in front of your own eyes. It will be a brilliant and memorable way to begin 2016 I promise.

With all the recommendations above, have you start making your 2015 travel plans?

Photos credit:
Image of Overview in Porto by Aggy via Dream Explore Wander
Image of skywalk in Gunung Mulu National Park by Luke Price via Flickr

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