A new year calls for new adventures. Here are some tips on how to take advantage of the longer weekends in 2016 – where to go and when to book your tickets.
For travellers keen to venture beyond their comfort zones and take charge of their travels early this year, the travel search engine, KAYAK.sg has has crunched the numbers and made it easy by narrowing down the endless list of destinations to the top six recommended for long weekend getaways. Also, for those with saving money on their list of new year’s resolutions, they also reveal the best time to purchase flight tickets to get the best deals.
A long weekend is plenty of time for you to taste the abundance of foodie delights available in Jakarta, or go further afield and experience winter in cosmopolitan Sydney — where the cityscapes, local produce and coffee certainly live up to the hype. Others may want to do some Seoul searching this year by visiting the vibrant South Korean capital in September, the best time of year to enjoy the gold, auburn and orange autumn foliage.
*Top destinations were based on travel searches made using KAYAK.sg’s Explore function and analysis to the most popular destinations in 2016.
**Airfares per traveller are based on return flights searched on KAYAK.sg in January 2016. Prices are subject to change and offers may no longer be available.
Head to Jakarta over Chinese New Year for the chance to tuck into the city’s famous gastronomic delights. Jakarta’s thriving local food scene offers an abundance of mouthwatering cuisine, from local street food markets, to fantastic restaurants. Must-try local delicacies include Bebek Goreng, a fried duck, and Kerak Telor, a spicy omelette, which are easy to find along the bustling streets of Jakarta. For those who cannot get enough of Indonesian food, daily cooking classes are held at the Jakarta Culinary Center where budding chefs can learn local cooking tips and prepare their own traditional Indonesian meal.
With its tropical-all-year-round climate, there’s never a bad time to take a city break to Bangkok for a weekend of retail and food therapy. Travellers can shop till they drop at the famous Pratunam Fashion Mall or indulge in the finer things in life at the new Emquartier. Foodies will enjoy Bangkok’s happening café culture: try 24 Owls at Ekkamai for brunch and After You at Siam Square for dessert. After a long day of browsing and munching, unwind those knotted muscles at Lek Massage in Siam Square. The therapists work their magic with great back, shoulder and neck massages for only 300 Thai baht per hour.
Those who have never been to Taipei should resolve to take their taste buds to Shilin Night Market in 2016. Adventurous travellers can immerse themselves in Beitou’s public hot springs and then hike on a woodland path up Elephant Mountain for beautiful views of Taipei 101. This modern metropolis is a treasure trove of art galleries and museums; visitors will enjoy a deeper understanding of Taiwan’s history and Japanese colonial influences. The long weekend can be ended with a touch of mysticism – a fortune reading by a bird in Lungshan Temple MRT station.
With an average temperature of around 20 degrees celsius, August is a great time to pay Sydney a visit and soak up a bit of winter sun. Arrange a whale watching tour to catch a glimpse of these impressive creatures and explore the city’s most famous landmarks, the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. On Sunday morning, drop by the Bondi Beach Market to pick up all manner of locally-made handicrafts, from jewellery to soap. With plenty of live music venues and speakeasies, Australia’s biggest city will easily keep travellers entertained for a long weekend and leave them wanting more.
Seoul, South Korea
To catch a glimpse of Seoul’s beautiful fall colours, visitors should stroll the ginkgo tree-lined streets of Garosugil in Gangnam or the beautiful park surrounding Gyeongbokgung Palace. From the palace gates, the best route is towards Samcheong Park along the scenic Samcheongdong-gil Road, which is lined with small galleries, restaurants and shops. For a rock-climbing fix, the adventurous can take on the jagged peaks of Dobongsan in Bukhansan National Park — the most walked destination in Korea — or hike up Gwanaksan for spectacular views of Gangnam and Achasan. The reward for all of that effort? Outstanding galbi or Korean barbeque — it can be found on almost every block in this food-obsessed city.
Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong might not be the most traditional Christmas destination, but there’s plenty of holiday cheer to be found at Winterfest, a month-long Christmas-themed festival. Travellers can take a night-time stroll to see the city’s skyscrapers decked out in festive lights and decor for the season. Whether on a shopping spree, an egg tart binge or simply looking for a change of scenery, this buzzy city keeps everyone entertained from dawn ‘til dusk.
Debby Soo, KAYAK Vice President, APAC said, “This year, Singapore travellers can expand their travel experiences by seeking out opportunities to venture beyond their comfort zones. To that end, our travel experts have put together a list of top destinations Singapore travellers should explore during the six long weekends in 2016. With the travel tools our website and mobile app offer, travellers can stay informed about the best time to book flights by signing up for Price Alerts and can explore new destinations with KAYAK.sg’s Explore feature.”