From The Straits Times    |
 5 mini vacays to go on with your girlfriends

Photo: 123rf

Sure, romantic vacations are amazing and so are trips with the family but don’t underestimate the power of girly holidays. Not only will this give you ample time to catch up with your BFFs, you’ll also create long-lasting memories that will strengthen your friendships.

Before you go on your trip, make sure it’s a holiday everyone agrees on, as you don’t want anyone to feel left out or be forced to try an experience they’re not keen on. Pro tip: decide beforehand how you’re going to pay for everyday things like eating out because the last thing you want is squabbles every time you pay a bill. Once you’ve sorted out the nitty-gritty stuff, go forth and enjoy! Here are five holiday ideas to try.


Road trip to Malaysia

Photo: 123rf

One of the most fun ways to bond with your girls is by spending hours cramped together in a confined space. We’re not kidding, think about the laughs you’ll have chatting away and gossiping in the car as one of you takes the wheel on this unique adventure. And it’s a fairly easy trip to plan too, which means you can cobble one together on short notice. There are various destinations in Malaysia for different experiences – go to Kuala Lumpur for shopping sprees at the outlet malls or night markets in Chinatown, have a gastronomic adventure in Penang as you visit famous food streets in Georgetown or other areas, or drive up to Cameron Highlands and savour the amenities of a resort while enjoying the cooler weather.

Where to stay: The favourable exchange rate between our Sing dollar and the ringgit means you can book top-notch accommodation and not feel much of a pinch. Hotels in KL ideal for shopping holidays include Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Grand Hyatt and JW Marriott. In Penang, try the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Hotel or Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La. Have a holiday to remember with excellent spa treatments at the Cameron Highlands Resort or The Lakehouse, Cameron Highlands, which is located in a charming Tudor-style country house.


Party hard in Thailand

Photo: 123rf

Have a blast with your girlfriends at one of the famous full moon parties at Koh Phangan. There’s one on Saturday 31st March so why not turn the long weekend into an epic one with a fun all-nighter with the girls. Just remember to be safe and sensible and look after each other at the party. Fly to Koh Samui and get some RnR before or after all that partying so you’re refreshed before you get back to work (and reality). Koh Phangan is about 30 minutes by boat from here so it’s the most sensible route to take. But if you have more time to spare, fly to Bangkok to shop and eat; Koh Samui is an hour’s flight from there, then you can head to Koh Phangan.  

Where to stay: Live it up at Banyan Tree Samui where you can chill at the beach, enjoy relaxing spa treatments or just lounge around in your private pool. Or try Melati Beach Resort & Spa, where you’ll enjoy five-star amenities and even a view of Koh Phangan. Book a package that’ll take you from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan and the full moon party, to save you the hassle of finding your way around the island as well as accommodation during this busy time. Try websites like or



Relax with wine in Australia

Photo: 123rf

If you’ve always enjoyed sipping wine with your friends, why not take it a step further and visit the source? Perth is only a five-hour flight away so it’s a perfectly good choice for a long weekend trip. Rent a car and drive three hours from the airport or get on a coach from there and you’ll end up at the Margaret River region, one of the most beautiful wine regions on this side of the world. There’s something soothing about being in a winery and enjoying not just the drink but also the relaxing vibe of the surroundings. You’ll have plenty of time to chat and catch up on life too. Margaret River has around 100 cellar doors, where you won’t just be eating and drinking, but also getting to know the people behind the brands, as well as their heritage.

Where to stay: There’s a variety of accommodation to choose from, ranging from bed and breakfasts to motels to luxury retreats. Or why not try a farm stay for something truly different? This site has all you need to know about the region as well as accommodation options – So pick a price range you’re comfortable with and plan it now.


A beach holiday in Bali

Photo: 123rf

Pack in the best of every fun girly holiday experience at this Indonesian destination. You’ll get to enjoy the beach vibe, shop for bargains at malls and markets, and party the night away. Stay in a hotel near Seminyak beach and the water will be at your doorstep so you can splash around or get a tan (don’t forget suncream!) any time you want. The area also has several rooftop bars (such as Above Rooftop Lounge & Bar and La Plancha) where you can enjoy a drink as you catch a beautiful sunset so park yourselves at one of them for some Insta-worthy group photos. Do note that if you take taxis in Bali, you should always get the drivers to use their meters, or else they could charge you exorbitant fares.

Where to stay: Try Le Jardin Boutique Villas ( for an enriching Balinese experience or Courtyard Bali Seminyak Resort which has easy access to the famous Potato Head Beach.


Get an ancient fix in Siem Reap

Photo: 123rf

Did you know that Cambodia is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site? And it’s just over a two-hour flight away! Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is Cambodia’s most iconic temple and the largest religious monument in the world but you don’t have to be religious in any way to appreciate it (or even visit it). Originally constructed as a Hindu temple of god Vishnu for the Khmer empire, it was transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. But it’s more than just a temple, it’s an imposing yet stunning example of ancient architecture. There’s also more to the Angkor area than just the temple, such as several other ruins, so spend your time wandering around the area together and discovering all the little details. Give yourselves at least three hours to take in the entire complex and because it opens at 5am, it’s the perfect spot to catch a beautiful sunrise. Siem Reap is ideal for a holiday to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and enjoy some tranquility.

Where to stay: The Angkor Miracle Resort & Spa ( is a five-star resort that’s so serene, you won’t feel like leaving. Or try Nita by Vo Luxury Hotel. Both these hotels are close to Angkor Wat and have luxurious spas too, for some extra winding down.