3 Alternative Places to Spend the Chinese New Year this 2018

If you’re not a fan of large crowds or sudden gatherings and family reunions which are all common images when you think of the Chinese New Year, then consider escaping to nearby destinations overseas.

As the public holiday falls on a Friday (Feb. 16) and Saturday (Feb. 17), the weekend flights for the CNY are expected to price higher for more popular destinations, and being the prudent people that we are, we need to avoid those as much as possible. The key to avoid spending excessively for your CNY getaway is to plan smart and to plan early. Here’s how:

3 Reasonable Overseas Destinations for Your Chinese New Year 2018 Escapade

By Adamina – Flickr: DSC05291, CC BY 2.0
  1. Bintan

Expect inflated air ticket prices when travelling overseas (think Phuket and Bali) over the CNY weekend, but taking a ferry to equally charming resort locations such as Bintan Island in Indonesia can save you from needless spending because you just pay the standard fare even on a holiday weekend.

While Bintan Island is officially part of Indonesia, most of the beaches and resorts in the area have been developed to cater to visitors from Singapore so it’s even possible for you to pay with Singaporean dollars, especially for hotel and resort bookings.

Otherwise, keep a decent amount of rupiah on hand to get better deals when paying for commodities outside of the resort or hotel.

Other things you will enjoy on your visit to this charming resort town include their fresh and inexpensive seafood, plenty of water sport opportunities, as well as the trip to several temples and kelongs in the area.

By Jacek Nowak – own work of Jacek Nowak, CC BY-SA 3.0


  1. Teman Nagara

A lot of Singaporeans and Malaysians are expected to cross the Causeway to visit their families over the Chinese New Year weekend since Malaysia is just a couple of hours drive from Singapore. This means crazy traffic jams so it’s best to avoid locations in Malaysia with dense Chinese populations such as Malacca and Penang. Moreover, businesses in these areas are expected to be closed for the weekend holiday.

Alternatively, you can head over to Teman Negara to go nature hiking and to unwind and relax outdoors. The park will be relatively crowded for the CNY, but you can still find some peace and quiet when you check out the tropical rainforest.

Other notable activities you can enjoy in Teman Negara include trekking in the jungle, walking on Malaysia’s largest suspension bridge (known as the Canopy Walk), fishing, swimming in the waterfalls, and exploring inside the Gua Teliga cave.

  1. Jakarta

Holiday airfares skyrocket for most popular destinations, but not in Jakarta, mainly because there are plenty of flights that go around on a daily basis.


From what we know from travellers, Jakarta is not for everyone. But for those who would like to explore the city for what it really is, it’s quite easy to find great food places, bars, spas, and shopping malls to visit. Also, it’s better not to stray too far from the places you intend to go to so as not to get caught in heavy traffic, which is a major downside to this charming city.


To make the most of your trip to Jakarta, it’s best to ask friends who’ve been there or even the locals for recommended spots to visit and activities to do in the city.


The Chinese New Year Festivities draw in huge crowds and visitors from different places all over the world. Whether you wish to stay in through this holiday or escape overseas, knowing your best options (or alternatives) on how to spend this day is a good start to help you make the most of the first official public holiday in Singapore since the New Year.