Beat the Haze At These 5 Scenic Holiday Destinations Near Singapore

LIFESTYLE  |  September 03, 2016
  • 1. Perth, Australia
    1 / 5 1. Perth, Australia

    Flight time from Singapore: 5 hours 15 mins

    Why it’s a breath of fresh air: A road trip is a fantastic way to enjoy the rolling vineyards, bushland, rivers and lakes of Western Australia. Wineries are a big attraction in this state – Swan Valley is just 20 minutes from Perth, but if you prefer to get out of the city proper, keep driving south for about three hours until you get to the famous Margaret River wine region. Not too far away from here is the Great Southern wine region, known for its cool climate and tall-tree forests.

    Photo: Nicolae Feraru/

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  • 2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
    2 / 5 2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Flight time from Singapore: 2 hours 50 mins

    Why it’s a breath of fresh air: Experience rural Thailand, with its lush farmland, mountains and waterfalls. An early-morning trek through Mae Wang National Park (above) is a great way to take in some of the fresh mountain air. The path takes you through paddy fields and ethnic villages, and past glorious waterfalls. If you are a keen cyclist, rent a bike and ride up Doi Suthep Mountain. From here, treat yourself to stunning views of the city below or check out the ancient Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep temple.

    Photo: Thodsapol Thongdeekhieo/

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  • 3. Luang Prabang, Laos
    3 / 5 3. Luang Prabang, Laos

    Flight time from Singapore: 3 hours 30 mins (via Bangkok)

    Why it’s a breath of fresh air: Cool down at one of Luang Prabang’s many jungle waterfalls and swimming holes. The Kuang Si Waterfall (above), in the heart of the dense Laotian jungle, leads you to small pools that are great for wading in. Tad Sae, which is favoured by the locals, is another waterfall worth visiting. Just 16km from town and accessible by boat, it is a popular swimming spot with its large lagoons. Picnicking is also popular here. (Also Read: 7 Ways to Stay Slim While You Travel!)

    Photo: Evgenii Proskuriakov/

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  • 4. Cebu, Philippines
    4 / 5 4. Cebu, Philippines

    Flight time from Singapore: 3 hours 40 mins

    Why it’s a breath of fresh air: As the Philippines’ first Spanish settlement, Cebu boasts a number of historical landmarks. But head away from the city and you’ll find white-sand beaches and plenty of wide, open spaces to relax in. Bantayan Island (above), for instance, is relatively untouched and rarely crowded. There’s not much to do here except swim or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and explore the underwater life. Other idyllic spots to check out: Camotes Islands, Malapascua Island, and the upscale Mactan Island, with its many luxury resorts. (Also Read: How to Stay Fit on Your Travels)

    Photo: Tomas Anderson/

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  • 5. Wulai, Taiwan
    5 / 5 5. Wulai, Taiwan

    Flight time from Singapore: 4 hours 30 mins

    Why it’s a breath of fresh air: This village, about an hour’s drive from Taipei, is home to several natural hot springs. The hot spring waters here are said to have a range of health benefits, from relaxing the muscles to cleansing and nourishing the skin. The forests are perfect for hiking and camping, or, if you prefer an adventure of the aquatic kind, go kayaking along the river or visit the famous three-tiered Xinxian Waterfall at Neidong Forest Park.

    Photo: Richard Lindie/

    A version of this story first appeared on the Silver Kris website.

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