Put the Chinese New Year public holiday to good use by planning your next easy getaway with the kids...
Christmas has been put to bed and next up here in Singapore is Chinese New Year, and you know what that means? Not only an explosion of colour and fun, it’s also the chance to nip away for a quick vacay with the kids! We’ve already noted the public holidays for 2019 as well as the the international school holiday dates, so now we’re lining up plenty of ideas for quick getaways with the family to put that extra time off work and school to good use. Here’s our picks for a hop, skip and a jump over to easy destinations for your Chinese New Year holiday…
Ho Chi Minh
A day trip around the Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh makes for a great adventure
We braved the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh for a weekend away where we spent three fun-packed nights and four days exploring the city and the surrounding areas. It’s easy to get to, packed with charm, culture, history, great food and friendly people plus makes a pretty good destination for teaching kids the art of safely crossing the road… There are millions of motorbikes to dodge!
If stunning scenery is something that you are keen to catch, then you best make sure you have a huge memory stick for all those photos you will be taking in Taiwan. The beaches are beautiful, the landscapes are breathtaking, the surfing is phenomenal (if that sort of thing floats your boat), and the food is mouth-watering. If you are veggie, then you are totally in luck: over 10% of the population shun meat so vegetarians amongst you will not go hungry with over 6000 veggie restaurants to choose from! Flight time is just over four hours, so totally doable for a quick getaway.
Rawa Island: Bliss lives here. Photography: Georgina Hockley
Bypass the airport, pack the kids and your beachwear finest into the car and then hop on a boat to Rawa for a little slice of paradise just a few hours from home. The kids won’t need much persuading: water slides into the sea. Say no more.
If you’re looking for somewhere close by, family-friendly and cheap as chips, then a no-thrills kinda holiday across the water in Desaru could be the mini-break for you.
Swap the skyline of Singapore for the skyline of Bangkok for a hectic (but fun) weekend away in a city that never sleeps (a bit like our kids). There’s SO much to see and do, but a long weekend is still enough time to cross off plenty of must-sees (and to eat the odd scorpion on a stick if you are the brave culinary type!). Use our guide to Bangkok with kids to help you plan the perfect itinerary.
Hanoi and Ha Long Bay
A junk boat cruise around Ha Long Bay was one of our all-time family holiday winners. Photography: Indochina Junk
Back to the ‘Nam for this pick: Hanoi and Ha Long Bay might be slightly further afield than Ho Chi Minh for a short Vietnamese break, but the extra journey is definitely worthwhile. We aced vibrant Hanoi with the kids and rewarded ourselves with a two-night junk boat cruise around Ha Long Bay: bliss. Would we do it again? Absolutely – this patch of the world is one of our favourites.
Bintan proves that you don’t have to schlep far from home to find yourself a quick and fantastic family escape. Book up quick though, folks: it’s popular for good reason and the best resorts in Bintan sell out fast for a Chinese New Year holiday!
Lombok is often overlooked by its neighbour, Bali, but now that Lombok has direct-flight access from Singapore, we are putting it as one of our top picks for new adventures this year (we’re heading there ourselves at the end of January, so look out for our report!). Mountains, surf, beaches and a gentler pace of life make it the perfect, more sedate choice over bustling Bali.
Rottnest Island near Perth is the perfect spot for snorkelling, swimming and pure relaxation.
At around five hours flight time (and still within the same time zone as Singapore), Perth is often overlooked as a long weekend destination. We say take an overnight flight to maximise your trip, and soak up the sun, beaches, scenery and vino for a speedy taster of beautiful Australia.
Release your inner Tomb Raider and head to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, for an adventure that’s one big, exciting history lesson. Prepare to take a LOT of photos!
If you are looking for somewhere a little more off the beaten track, but still easily accessible with the small people in tow, then how about Vientiane in Laos? With its beautiful scenery, super-friendly people, rich culture and amazing coffee, this small city with big charm is THE place in Asia if you fancy feasting on gourmet French food for very little cost.
Langkawi never lets us down for an easy, fun holiday. Photography: Tracy Tristram
Lovely Langkawi always features on our quick getaway lists: the easy journey, powdery, clean beaches, delish food (beef rendang: mmmm), kid-friendliness and fantastic family hotel choices make it a winner all round. Every single time.
Perennial fave Bali ticks all the boxes when it comes to a vacay for families. Whether you want to go full on luxe, or prefer the rustic charm of a boutique villa, whatever style holiday you plump for is sure to be top notch on this sunny island. Our kids are at their happiest boogie boarding in the surf surrounding Bali (especially when we get to sit on the beach with a cocktail to watch).
Head to Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand and bring the fam for a spot of trekking amidst the lush verdant greenery in this gloriously green patch of the world. And if you’re after an ethical animal encounter kinda vacay, then Anantara Golden Triangle’s Elephant Camp is where you need to be.
Colourful, rich in culture and close to Singapore, Malacca is a fantastic destination for a quick trip with the kids! Photography: Georgina Hockley
If you fancy escaping Singapore for the weekend but are not feeling the dramas of jetting away with kids, drive across the border to culturally rich old town of Malacca. We did! And we loved it.
Fancy getting out of the heat and onto the ski slopes for a CNY getaway? There’s still bucketloads of the white stuff in South Korea, and if you head to Seoul the easiest ski resort, Jisan Forest, is just a short 45 minute drive away. Practice your Gangnam moves before you board the plane.
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