Ideas & Advice

Visa free honeymoons! 176 countries to visit!

Planning your honeymoon? This extensive list of destinations is all you need - from far-flung ancient cities to exotic escapades just a few hours away.

The Henley Passport Index on Wednesday (Jan 10) ranked Singapore's passport the world's second most powerful, coming after Germany.  

Singapore's passport gives its citizens visa-free access to 176 countries, coming in a close second to Germany's visa-free access to 177 countries. 

In a separate ranking last October, the Singapore passport was ranked the most powerful in the world by global advisory firm Arton Capital, with a visa-free score of 159.

If you're planning to put the passport to good use, here is a list of desirable destinations – both far-flung and just hours from Singapore shores - which The Straits Times has highlighted over the past year. 

Explore the world, from sensuously sunlit Provence to wildest Patagonia, from vivacious Tel Aviv to old-world Hoi An.

ARGENTINA AND CHILE (PATAGONIA)

Rainbows often arc across the landscape in Patagonia because of the mix of rain and sun.PHOTO: ST FILE

With windswept pinnacles and glaciers clustered in the far south of Latin America, wild Patagonia is a hyper-real journey to the rim of the world.

READ MORE HERE 

BRAZIL

The Devil’s Throat of Iguazu Falls. The Iguazu Falls is made up of 275 waterfalls in Brazil and Argentina.PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES FILE

The Iguazu Falls are sublime from any angle, while Rio is a pumping city.

READ MORE HERE 

CANADA

Circus on a street in Montreal, home of the famous Cirque du Soleil.PHOTO: RENALD LAURIN

A French-flavoured city that loves to party and play, Montreal sells fantasy to the world, notably the Cirque du Soleil.

READ MORE HERE 

CHINA

Eight young giant pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE

Carefree Chengdu is a place of pandas and poets, while Guizhou abounds in rainbows and myths.

READ MORE HERE AND HERE

COLOMBIA

Medellin, once the world's cocaine capital, is now transformed with parks, libraries and hip bars. It won the Lee Kuan Yew World City prize this year. PHOTOS: MARTIN FLETCHER

Colombia is the comeback country, where a fragile peace has settled and travelers are exploring the land anew.

READ MORE HERE 

DENMARK

Ninjago World in Legoland Billund required 727,000 Lego bricks and 7,000 man-hours to assemble. PHOTOS: CLARA CHOW​

Whoosh, whoosh! Battle baddies at the new Ninjago World in Legoland - and take a breather in Lego's tranquil hometown of Billund.

READ MORE HERE 

ECUADOR

A sea lion takes a siesta on a bench. Sea lions can be found everywhere in San Cristobal of the Galapagos Islands, west of the Ecuador coast. PHOTO: ST FILE

There is an Edenic innocence in the Galapagos islands of Ecuador, where animals forget to fear.

READ MORE HERE 

FIJI

Kama Beach at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa in Fiji. PHOTO: INTERCONTINENTAL FIJI GOLF RESORT & SPA

In the heart of the less-explored South Pacific, frangipani-scented Fiji is a paradise for sea-lovers.

READ MORE HERE  

FINLAND

Plunge into the Baltic sea just outside the public sauna Loyly in Finland. PHOTO: VISIT HELSINKI

Revel in cold adventures in Finland. Plunge into an icy chamber in Helsinki and stay on a husky farm in the wintry wilderness up north.

READ MORE HERE 

FRANCE

The Roman amphitheatre in Arles, which now hosts plays and even bullfights. PHOTO: ST FILE

A walking gourmet journey in Provence reveals places of sun-lit sensuousness and hidden Michelin-starred restaurants. Also, enjoy the plush chateau life in Bordeaux, which has been making wine since Roman times.

READ MORE HERE 

GERMANY

View towards Viktualienmarkt, Church of the Holy Spirit, in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. PHOTO: DEUTSCHE ZENTRALE FÜR TOURISMUS E.V.

With relaxing beer gardens, friendly residents and mountains, Munich is like the planet’s biggest village.

READ MORE HERE 

GREECE

Ancient sites in Greece include the Acropolis (above) in Athens and the Palamidi Fortress at port town Nafplio. PHOTO: ST FILE

Athens, with its gritty beauty, is a treasure trove for lovers of archaeology and good food.

READ MORE HERE

HONG KONG

Dragon’s Back trail offers a spectacular view of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanley, Tai Tam and the South China Sea. PHOTO: EUGENE LIM

So many ways to spend a perfect weekend in Hong Kong: hike, eat, shop, gallery-hop and ride on the world’s longest outdoor escalator.

READ MORE HERE

IRAN

Persepolis was a ceremonial city built 2,500 years ago when Iran, then known as Persia, was the largest empire in the ancient world. PHOTO: CALVIN CHEUNG

Iran is safe and super-friendly, and rewards the wanderer with hidden gardens, echoes of great civilisations past and a stylish lifestyle.

READ MORE HERE AND HERE 

IRELAND

The Cliffs of Moher were featured in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Emerald Isle, shrouded in myths and filled with music, enchants in so many ways.

READ MORE HERE

ISRAEL

Tel Aviv sits on the Mediterranean coastline and boasts a dozen beaches, where Israelis love to relax. PHOTO: EMBASSY OF ISRAEL

An insider guide to vivacious Tel Aviv, on the sun-drenched coast, where time is best spent outdoors.

READ MORE HERE

ITALY

The seaside city of Polignano a Mare, is built atop towering limestone cliffs roughly 30km from Bari, Puglia's capital. PHOTO: ST FILE

Experience the sweet life in Puglia, where locals make burrata, and summer days are halcyon.

READ MORE HERE

JAPAN

Sunset off Rishiri Island. An indigenous tribe once named and shaped this space, but seems to exist mostly in allusion. PHOTO: RISHIRIFUJI TOWN TOURISM BUREAU

In snowshoes, step into an all-white world where Japanese hamlets and cedar forests lie under the deepest snow. Also explore the northernmost tip of Japan in Hokkaido.

READ MORE HERE AND HERE

KAZAKHSTAN

The pyramid-shaped Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, designed by award-winning British architect Norman Forster, represents all of the world's religious faiths. PHOTO: ST FILE

In Kazakhstan, nature and ultra-modernity sit side by side.

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LAOS

An early morning ritual of monks receiving alms from locals. PHOTO: SILKAIR

Luang Prabang, with its royal past and fancy cocktails, retains its soul amid rapid changes.

READ MORE HERE

MALAYSIA

The Malacca Planetarium Adventure Science Centre is a three-storey, Islamic-inspired complex in Ayer Keroh which houses multiple exhibition areas and Malaysia's largest dome theatre for movie screenings. PHOTO: ST FILE

A high-speed rail will run from Jurong East all the way to Kuala Lumpur in a decade.  There is much to see and do at each stop.

READ MORE HERE

MALDIVES

Two-Bedroom Water Pool Villa at The Residence Maldives. PHOTO: THE RESIDENCE MALDIVES

Look, mum, a blue rainbow! Discover kid-friendly Maldives with picnics on castaway islands, dolphin spotting and more.

READ MORE HERE

MONGOLIA

Gers (above) can be basic, but none will be found without a stove and supply of dried dung or wood for fuel. PHOTO: LESLIE KOH

Staying in a round, warm tent amid nomads is a wonderful way to relish life in the middle of nowhere.

READ MORE HERE

MOROCCO

In the Moroccan city of Chefchaouen, the water from the mountains is transported straight into the town. PHOTO: MOROCCAN TOURISM BOARD

Blue beauty and Moorish allure abound in Morocco.

READ MORE HERE

MYANMAR

The Strand Suite, one of the biggest rooms aboard the Strand Cruise ship (above). PHOTO: THE STRAND CRUISE

Cruise luxuriously down the mighty Irrawaddy River to experience Myanmar’s storied past and its panoramic world.

READ MORE HERE

NORWAY

On a dog-sled ride through a snow-covered forest. PHOTO: EDWARD J. TAYLOR

Journey by train and ship deep into the Arctic Circle, and experience Norway’s rough fjord-lined coast over several days.

READ MORE HERE

PALAU

Brown, translucent jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake in Palau. PHOTO: ST FILE

Swim in a lake with jellyfish that have one amazing quirk: no sting.

READ MORE HERE

PHILIPPINES

Go on a banca or outrigger for a fun way to explore the crystalline sea and islands around Looc, a municipality of Lubang island. PHOTO: ST FILE

Lubang Island, the jungle hideout of enigmatic Japanese war straggler Hiroo Onoda who refused to surrender for 29 years after World War II, is a jolt of pure adventure so near Singapore.

READ MORE HERE

PORTUGAL

The River Douro in Porto. PHOTO: ST FILE

The classic and vintage coexist beautifully with the young and vibrant in Portugal.

READ MORE HERE

QATAR

Camel rides in the Sealine desert. PHOTO: POON WAI NANG

Little Qatar is home to the world. Foreigners flock here to work, bringing colour to its capital Doha, even as the deserts and falconry heritage evoke the Qatar of old.

READ MORE HERE

SOUTH KOREA

Somaemuldo island in South Korea. PHOTO: HALLYEO HAESANG (MARINE) NATIONAL PARK EASTERN OFFICE

An insider guide to the coastal city of Tongyeong is full of island charm and secluded seascapes.

READ MORE HERE 

SRI LANKA

The infinity pool at Tea Trails resort in Sri Lanka's luxuriant hill country. PHOTO: CEYLON TEA TRAILS

Savour the imagined lifestyle of colonial British tea-planters in the hill country, watch whales in the Indian Ocean, or linger at a hidden lake at three luxe resorts in Sri Lanka.

READ MORE HERE

SWEDEN

The Icehotel in Kiruna. PHOTO: ASAF KLIGER

The Arctic Circle exudes cosiness, whether the traveller is snuggling in an ice hotel or supping with the indigenous Sami. And  the northern lights dance in the sky, of course.

READ MORE HERE 

SWITZERLAND

 

There is a heavy Italian influence in towns like Ascona in the southernmost Swiss canton of Ticino, due to its close proximity to Milan. PHOTO: DAVID BOWDEN

An insider guide to Ticino, an efficient Swiss region with a touch of Italian dolce vita.

READ MORE HERE 

TAIWAN

Guohua Street. PHOTO: ST FILE

Home-style Taiwanese cooking, hidden hipster cafes and a seed café – spend a perfect weekend in leisurely Tainan.

READ MORE HERE 

TANZANIA

The Rock restaurant in Zanzibar is set in the Indian Ocean. PHOTO: ST FILE

Zanzibar is the Other Africa, a fusion island dipped in scintillating blues.

READ MORE HERE 

THAILAND

A family stands atop a rock at Sam Phan Bok in Ubon Ratchathani. PHOTO: ST FILE

Relish a perfect weekend in Ubon Ratchathani with its artisanal cafes, Thai pop and mini Grand Canyon.

READ MORE HERE 

TURKEY

Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district (above) is the location of the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace, which was home to sultans from 1453 to 1852. -- PHOTO: TRAFALGAR

Many worlds and eras coalesce in Turkey, a country of contrasts.  Greek ruins and magnificent mosques await discovery, and also poignant World War 1 monuments and the Bosphorus strait that separates Europe and Asia.

READ MORE HERE 

UNITED KINGDOM

A charming thatched cottage in the sleepy hamlet of Great Tew. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Cotswolds countryside is an English fairy land. We can almost picture pixies hiding in the sweet gardens.

READ MORE HERE 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Young visitors get to water and even plant flowers in the children's area of the US Botanic Garden. PHOTO: US BOTANIC GARDEN

Washington may be a highly political city but it’s also a haven for kids. Let them turn into little astronauts in museums, run free among monuments, or be treated like tiny royals in hotels.

READ MORE HERE 

VIETNAM

Hoi An Ancient Town - a Unesco World Heritage site - epitomises the old Vietnam. PHOTO: DENISE LIM

Savour coffee and street life in Hanoi, while seeking tranquil corners amid its riotous, bizarre and protean streets. Also eat lots of piquant cao lao noodles in old-world Hoi An.

READ MORE HERE AND HERE

ZAMBIA

A microlight flight over Victoria Falls affords a 360-degree view of the landscape from 250m in the sky. PHOTO: BATOKA SKY

The wildest dreams come alive in Zambia, whether it’s riding a microlight through the mist of Victoria Falls or taking a cheetah for a walk.

READ MORE HERE 

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

See also: ADVENTUROUS HONEYMOONS! 10 HOTTEST DESTINATIONS TO VISIT IN 2018

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