Mark your calendars, folks! The list of public holidays in Singapore is already out and here are some great quick vacation ideas to maximize this year’s public holidays – most of which fall on a long weekend.
If you’re just as excited as we are, continue to read on as we help you plan your 2018 vacation getaways for the upcoming public holidays:
Short Vacation Getaway Ideas for the 2018 Public Holidays in SG
- Chinese New Year (Feb 16, Saturday & 17, Sunday)
Fly to Bangkok this coming Chinese New Year and visit some of the city’s hip and happening places such as:
- Sukhumvit, where you’ll find plenty of restaurants, shopping malls, restaurants and prime hotels. There’s no hassle in getting around the city after landing in Bangkok on a 2+ hours plane ride; the BTS Skytrain can get you around the metro conveniently, and of course exploring the city on foot is a must – that’s a sure-fire way to explore the heart of the city and to find hidden gems away from crowd spots.
- The floating markets at Amphawa and Damnoen, Saduak District aren’t very popular with tourists as they are a long ways out from town, but if you’re feeling adventurous with a raging stomach in tow then you’ll find plenty of appetizing grilled seafood such as huge prawns, squid and shellfish served fresh by the riverbanks from noon ‘til night-time. You can also check out quaint, old wooden shops on either side of the river for quirky trinkets and souvenir items.
Alternatively, you can also check out popular night markets such as “Rod Fai” or the Train market for more shopping, dining and entertainment options, or go on a boat ride along the Chao Phraya river and explore klongs (canals) that’ll lead you to less-visited temple shrines (wats) in Bangkok.
- Good Friday (March 30, Friday)
Thinking of places to get away on Good Friday? Pack up your bags and buckle up for a 3-hour drive (longer if you’re taking the bus) and head over to the state of Melaka in Malaysia to enjoy great food and a short history tour when you visit some of the most iconic places such as the coral red-painted Christ Church in this historic Dutch colonial town. Also, check out the night market on Jonker Street and go on a feeding frenzy.
Must-try dishes include the assam fish, the chicken and fermented nuts stew (ayam buah keluak), then cap off your meal with shaved ice dessert or cendol. Don’t forget to check out the colourful Peranakan shops to buy some quirky trinkets and local souvenirs.
- Labour Day (May 1, Tuesday)
What better way to celebrate Labour Day than to enjoy some free time with nature to unwind and relax. Your next adventure awaits in the charming city of Siem Reap in Cambodia. To make the most of this trip, take the Monday off (because the holiday falls on a Tuesday) so you have four days for this planned trip. When you’re all set for your getaway, get on a 2+ hours trip by plane to Cambodia and prepare to marvel at the majestic ruins of the Angkor temples.
However, the place isn’t just all about the Angkor Wat so be sure to ask your tuk-tuk driver to take you a little further to some of the more distant sites so you can check out the area more intimately and away from large crowds. For this, be sure to wear your best walking shoes so you can easily go around and climb steps into the temples (you’ll thank us for this tip, we promise).
After you’ve had enough long walks and sightseeing, drop by Pub Street for some drinks to cool down a little bit. While you’re at it, go bar-hopping and check out restaurants in the area where you can have a taste of some the best local dishes in the city such as fish amok.
At night, you can head over at Phare, the Cambodian Circus, which features youthful and talented performers combining elements of theatre, dance, music, and modern circus to deliver astounding performances of the city’s unique stories and history.
- Vesak Day (May 29, Tuesday)
Since the holiday falls on a Tuesday, be sure to take the Monday off to make the most of this holiday break. Most of the public holidays have landed on the first half of the year, and Vesak Day is one of those days you could fly out to nearby countries like Vietnam for a change of pace. Recharge your mind and body as you commune with nature at Halong Bay. The breath-taking sceneries and interesting caves and coves are sure to make your trip worthwhile especially during this off-season month. If you’re into group fun, you’d be pleased to explore Thien Cung Cave for its amazing rock formations and then go on a kayaking tour on Halong Bay for a unique travel experience.
- Hari Raya Puasa (June 15, Friday)
Thinking of your summer escapade for this year? Why not plan your Hari Raya Puasa weekend for some beach-lovin’ vacation in the nearby island of Bintan, Indonesia. This 50-minute ferry getaway spot is popular among locals and tourists alike. With a wide selection of casual and luxury retreats, Bintan has earned a spot on the best places to visit for some fun on the sand and the beach.
Another reason why Bintan is such a hit with visitors and guests is because of its wide selection of water sport activities. There’s the ocean where you can try snorkelling and scuba diving. And then there’s Bintan Crystal Lagoon on Treasure Bay where you can go kayaking, sailing and jet skiing.
This 2018, if you’ve set your goals to travel more within or outside Singapore, you can easily do so when you plan your quick vacation getaways for the upcoming public holidays in advance.