Travel

10 mini vacation spots in Southeast Asia that are less than 3 hours away

There's never a bad time to travel when you live close by these amazing vacation spots. If you need a short getaway this weekend, why not pay a visit to these places?
 

vacation

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There are many awesome places just a short plane ride away from Singapore, whether you’re after a cultural fix, spot of shopping, lazing about on a beach or just a change of scenery.

You can fly or ferry direct to all these destinations in less than 3 hours, giving you plenty of time to soak them in over a long weekend.

Here are all the mini getaway spots we’re lucky enough to live so close to.

 

ALSO READ: 5 UNDER-THE-RADAR DESTINATIONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA YOU NEED TO VISIT FOR A SHORT GETAWAY

 

Penang, Malaysia

Penang, Malaysia

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Penang’s capital George Town is home to colonial architectural wonders, museums, ancient Buddhist temples, mosques and even a memorial to Queen Victoria. The bustling, multicultural town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and makes for awesome holiday snaps.

Your traditional culture fix aside, Penang is a foodie’s heaven too, fusing Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisine for incredible curries, laksas and soups - so you can dine like a queen at super affordable prices.

Head to Gurney Drive for the famous food courts and hawker stalls, or you could end the night at Three Sixty Rooftop Bar to dine in the revolving restaurant and sip cocktails into the night with spectacular views over George Town.

 

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket Thailand

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A direct plane ride from Singapore, Phuket in Thailand is popular for a reason.

Perfect for many holiday preferences from lazing around to water sports, the white sandy beaches at Patong are ideal for couples, friends and families, plus the many luxury hotels are surprisingly affordable.

Away from the beach, Phuket offers gardens, temples, water parks and night spots for a fun and varied weekend getaway.

 

Bintan, Indonesia

Bintan Indonesia

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Just a ferry ride away from Singapore, Bintan is the largest island in the Riau Islands province and makes for a perfect mini getaway offering luxury resorts, designer golf courses, and a picturesque beach holiday atmosphere.

The spectacular Bintan Resorts is one of the most popular tourist spots and offers many comforts and experiences. Based in the north of the island, the complex comprises of ten independently beachside resorts, four golf courses, and a range of other recreational facilities and attractions.

If you’re feeling a little adventurous you can take a boat ride through the mangrove forests and watch the monkeys, kingfishers and otters, or take a trip to the pretty and pristine Trikora beach.

 

Hanoi Vietnam

Hanoi Vietnam

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The capital of Vietnam is just over 3 hours by plane and many areas are buzzing, busy and bustling at all times. But while Hanoi may not make for a relaxed and tranquil getaway, it certainly retains a charm that should be experienced at least once; and you can do it over a long weekend.

The best place to venture into is the Old Quarter, resembling a labyrinth of streets; each one named after the merchandise it’s famed for.

And away from the mayhem, you can see a real beauty in the authentic Vietnamese way of life as locals take part in tai chi lessons in the beautiful public parks and street food sellers offering fresh fruit and flowers for sale. Make sure you indulge in plenty of pho, the country’s most famous national dish; a tasty noodle soup. Try restaurant Pho 10 for some of the best.

 

Ko Samui, Thailand

Ko Samui Thailand

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Less than a 2 hour plane ride away, Ko Samui is Thailand’s second biggest island and offers palm-fringed beaches, mountainous rainforest and luxury resorts.

One of the best is Ammatara Pura because it fuses contemporary design and outstanding service with traditional decor for an authentic Thai experience with all the comforts you’d expect from a modern boutique hotel. The family-owned pool villa complex caters to all dietary requirements and the rooms are huge and luxurious; each with its own private infinity pool.

When you choose to venture out, the famous rock formations Hin Ta and Hin Yai are a short walk away or you can take a day trip to Anything National Marine Park. Chaweng Beach is a 20 min drive away and worth a visit for relaxed watersports, sunbathing and sipping cocktails.

If you have time you should check out the 12m Big Buddha statue at Wat Phra Yai (located on a tiny island connected to Ko Samui by a causeway) and the more modern, nearby Wat Plai Laem, with a impressive main statue of Guanyin, goddess of compassion and mercy.