Singapore offers a plethora of captivating attractions, yet its charm extends beyond the city limits. Embark on unforgettable day trips that promise breathtaking experiences, and in this article, a selection of such enchanting destinations is unveiled.
Kusu Island: A Tranquil Retreat
A mere hour’s journey from the bustling Marina of Singapore, Kusu Island emerges as a haven of both natural beauty and folklore. Renowned as ‘Tortoise Island,’ it beckons you to unwind upon its sandy shores and introduces you to its intriguing turtle inhabitants, adding a touch of fascination to your leisurely day.
Malacca: A Glimpse into History
Elevated to UNESCO World Heritage status, the quaint town of Malacca immerses you in a bygone era through its rich historical sites. Wander its lanes and let the echoes of the past transport you to a different time.
Sentosa Island: Endless Adventures
Whether you’re staying at Hotel 81 Lavenderor any other hotel near Bugis, a visit to Sentosa Island is a must. A stone’s throw away from the city, Sentosa Island promises a quick journey and an entire day brimming with activities. Despite its proximity, its offerings are boundless – a playground of amusement, nature, and relaxation awaits. Dive into an array of experiences, ensuring your day is nothing short of remarkable.
Desaru Coast: A Seafood Lover’s Paradise
For those seeking a taste of authentic fishing village life and a culinary journey through mouthwatering seafood, Desaru Coast beckons. This coastal oasis invites you to explore its maritime heritage, indulge in delectable coastal cuisine, and forge connections with the traditions of local communities.
If you are a bird lover, then Hanthana Bird Park is one destination that you cannot miss. Situated in the central province, this park contains over 100 species of birds. Along with foreign breeds, this park also houses some rare local birds.
Hanthana International Bird Park |img via unsplash
Situated in Hanthana, Kandy, this park is located off the Tea Museum that is based in this area. Therefore, if you’re staying at one of the Kandy hotels the likes of Amaya Hills Kandy, you can easily visit this park. Containing over twenty-seven acres of land, this park has much to offer.
You may want to visit the park on a Monday to avoid the crowd. But keep in mind that the park is only open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm.
Things to Do
Hanthana is more than a bird park in reality because there is also a bird orphanage, a quarantine unit and a bird shelter. Additionally, there is an educational training centre that would be ideal for those interested in learning more about these creatures. Therefore, if you plan to make this trip with your kids, we can guarantee that it will be an educational experience.
Although referred to as a bird park, Hanthana also houses other animals including turtles, monkeys and rabbits.
One of the more unique attractions in Phuket, the island’s 3D Museum offers a fun-filled visit for the whole family with plenty of opportunities to get some stunning pictures. Read on to find out more!
Earlier known as the Trickeye Museum, the 3D Museum can be found in the Old Town area, a popular place for sightseeing which is within easy reach of properties like SAii Laguna Phuket. Situated along Phang Nga Road, this attraction is open daily from 10:00 am to 07:00 pm; you can allocate around two hours to spend here. In front of the entrance, snacks and drinks are available as well, in case hunger strikes!
What to Expect
Southern Thailand’s first 3D museum, this site features amazing paintings that one can “interact” with to capture pictures that will amaze your friends and family back home. Easily accessible from some of the best resorts in Phuket, it has various themed galleries each providing something different to photograph; how you position yourself at each picture is key, and there are sample photos for you to get an idea of the ideal angles and positions.
Zones 1 & 2
“Classic in Frame” is the first zone where you will find modified and hilarious versions of famous paintings by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh; for example, you can take a picture where it looks like you are using a pump to inflate the Mona Lisa! The second zone is titled “U Variety” and features imaginative paintings ideal for funny poses; you can take a picture where it seems you are being eaten by a giant panda, battling the Hulk, or escaping a huge crocodile!
Zones 3, 4 & 5
The third zone of the 3D Museum Phuket is titled “Tee Lor Su Waterfall” and you can take more fascinating pictures; these include those showing you hanging on a helicopter’s rope ladder next to a waterfall, running with bulls and meeting your demise at the hand of the Grim Reaper!
Encounters with dinosaurs and a fire-breathing dragon await at “Ancient Time” which is the fourth zone; meanwhile, in the fifth zone, “Body Move”, you can position yourself to make it look like you are about to fall into a lava-filled hole or even have your head being served as a meal!
Parents may think planning a tropical island getaway with teenagers is not a good idea considering they may get bored, but they would be quite mistaken at destinations like the Maldives! There are plenty of fun-filled water sports on offer like those mentioned below which teens are bound to love.
A perennial favourite and a great family activity too, snorkelling is a water sport that teens will thoroughly enjoy as it gives them a chance to encounter diverse marine life. Private island resorts with a teens club such as Kurumba Maldives are ideal since colourful coral, vibrant reef fish and other sea creatures like turtles and stingrays can be spotted in the surrounding waters.
Banana Boat & Fun Tube Rides
If your teenagers have a need for speed, then action-packed banana boat rides or fun tube rides are not to be missed. Amongst the most thrilling water sports in Maldives, these two activities will take them on a rip-roaring ride on an inflatable pulled by a speedboat which will provide some twists and turns too; rest assured, screams of delight are a given!
While teens won’t generally be old enough to pilot a jet ski, they can ride along as passengers as a trained instructor takes them on a speedy ride. For some captivating exploration, the family can embark on a jet ski safari. Resorts will offer such excursions with a guide, and you will be taken to hidden reefs for snorkelling adventures and can even visit other islands.
Parasailing is a water sport that will make your teen’s heart soar, quite literally too! Providing another exhilarating experience, this activity may begin on land or in the water, but those participating will soon be in the air; of course, you will be safely harnessed to a parachute / parasail wing while being pulled along by a speedboat and suffice it to say, the views are mesmerising.
Did you know that while the Maldives has over 1,000 small coral islands, 99% of the country is made up of water? Suffice it to say, there’s plenty to discover when you head beneath the waves though some escapades are truly unique, like those mentioned below!
Snorkel with Manta Rays & Whale Sharks
While there is diverse marine life to see, the chance to encounter majestic manta rays while snorkelling and observe them whirling in the water and feeding on plankton is truly magical. These excursions can be enjoyed at resorts like Kandolhu Maldives; from such private island properties, you can also go on snorkelling adventures to catch sight of harmless and huge whale sharks, the largest fish species on the planet!
Dive with Sharks
Home to over 20 species of sharks, this destination provides the perfect opportunity to get up close (well, not too close mind you!) to these stealthy marine species. Those going scuba diving, easily one of the most popular water sports in Maldives, in areas like the North Ari and South Ari Atolls can look to head to Hafza Thila or “Shark Point”; here, you have a chance to spot grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks and more.
It’s not just Nemo, Dory and co. you can find in the underwater world of the Maldives, but intriguing wrecks too! Apart from offering quite an ethereal sight seemingly lost in time amidst the ocean, these vessels have also become a thriving home for coral and marine life which further add to their allure. Examples include the Fesdu Wreck, a former fishing trawler that is now full of coral growth and colourful denizens of the deep.
Go Night Diving
For a new thrill of diving in Maldives, you can head out on special excursions at night which give you a chance to enjoy the ‘nightlife’ of the ocean; you also get special fluorescent night dives to see phosphorescent plankton too. While you may not spot SpongeBob working the graveyard shift at Krusty Krab (shout out to season 2 episode 16!), you have a chance to encounter various other marine creatures.
For a holiday submerged in pure action and unending ecstasy, do make a note of these leisure destinations in Malaysia which are reputed for being rewarding and fulfilling.
Paraglide at Bukit Jugra
Glide over the former royal capital of Selangor under the watchful eyes of the Malaysia Paragliding and Hang Gliding Association for a sensational view of Jugra’s lush green environs. Head straight for the Bukit Jugra Lighthouse during March and September, pay RM200 per head and strap yourself in for a journey of a lifetime.
Enjoy rock climbing at Batu Caves
Avail the services of Gua Damai Extreme Park en route to overcoming your fear of heights and mountainous environments. Have yourself a rock climbing experience where you can pick and choose from the Damai Wall which is ideal for beginners or the Nyamuk Wall which would test the resolve of even the most skilled rock climber.
Zipline from Gaya Island to Sapi Island
Access the longest island zipline in the world that will have you excellently placed to embrace an adrenaline rush never felt before. Delight in the scenic wonders of Sabah for 235 meters while travelling at 55km an hour.
Summit Malaysia’s tallest mountain
If you’re someone who never says “No” to a challenge, then climbing Mount Kinabalu will be your perfect tonic. Littered with boulders, slippery routes and wooden staircases, patrons will need to have their wits about them at every stage of the trip. Facilitators such as Amazing Borneo Tours can be consulted ahead of booking a hike to one of Malaysia’s astounding sights.
Scuba dive off Mabul Island
Be one with barracudas, jackfish and an array of marine species that inhabit the seas off Mabul Island as part of a scuba diving expedition. Arrive between April to December where you will have the best visibility and an opportunity for underwater photography as well. In the event you seek a sound base to head back to in the city, consider booking with Travelodge City Centre which is one of the hotels in Kuala Lumpur City Centre.
If you think the perfect family holiday destination does not exist, then you have not been to the Maldives yet! Here are some reasons why families all over the world love coming here on their vacations.
Private Island Getaways
Your family members will love the chance to spend time on an enchanting private island resort in the North Male Atoll which can be quickly reached by speedboat from the airport. Ideal options include Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives by the Park Hotel Group; here, you can stay at a luxurious beach pool villa with direct access to the shore or a pool water villa from where you can snorkel in the lagoon or ocean below. Such resorts also feature a kids’ club with fun activities and games, a beach club with a daily recreational programme, dining options with a kids’ menu and exciting family adventures.
Stunning Marine Life
The Indian Ocean that surrounds the islands are home to a mesmerising array of marine life and the great thing is, they are easy to encounter. One of the best things to do in Maldives for families is to go snorkelling or join a guided house reef snorkelling session with a resort’s marine biologist who will help you identify colourful reef fish and more. Some properties will offer snorkel safaris to spot specific marine life like turtles, and depending on the age of your children, you can introduce them to the joy of scuba diving too.
Fun Things to Do
There’s never a dull moment in the Maldives with a diverse range of activities for young and old alike. The ideal choice would be to stay at a family-friendly resort that has a marine sports centre, offering specific water sports like jet-skiing and diving for kids. Of course, kayaking, and stand-up paddling can be enjoyed too, while you can also go on dolphin-watching excursions to spot these playful marine mammals. Some resorts offer special family packages as well which can include speedboat trips, snorkelling, a visit to a secluded sandbank, fun tube rides and more.
A Year-Round Destination
The Maldives is a great place to visit year-round, making it a perfect choice be it for a summer escape or to spend colder seasons in a tropical paradise! You can expect around eight hours of heavenly sunshine each day, while the temperature of the water barely drops below 25°C, making it ideal for underwater escapades. Generally, November to April is considered the best period to visit with divine sunshine and calm waters; that said, the rest of the year offers plenty to experience as well.
While attractions in Xian such as the ancient City Wall and Terracotta Army get a lot of the spotlight, there are other important sites to visit too including the amazing Daming Palace National Heritage Park; read on to find out more!
Planning Your Visit
This well-known site can be found in the northeast part of Xian; hotels located in the heart of the city centre near the South Gate of the City Wall such as Grand Park Xian are within a 20-minute drive / taxi ride away. Alternatively, one can take bus #262, 216 or 02 to the Tongjiaxiang stop or bus #16, 22, 46 or 209 to the Taihua Road stop and proceed from there. A fee is charged to access part of the park which has ruins and archaeological discoveries, while the other areas are open free to the public.
A Bit of History
The creation of Daming Palace dates to the Tang Dynasty when in 634, Emperor Taizong decreed the construction of a palace for his father, the former emperor, to reside in; however, his father, who was also the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty, passed away shortly after. Interestingly, the palace was renovated around 662 under the reign of Emperor Gaozong who added various buildings and gardens and fortified the area. Over the centuries this site went through more changes though the area was destroyed during a war in the latter part of the Tang Dynasty.
Following excavations made in and around Daming Palace, it was discovered that this site also featured a recreation area and a park. Subsequently, in 2007, the municipal committee of Xian as well as the government combined to launch a project to preserve the area and transform it into the Daming Palace National Heritage Park. It was opened to visitors in October 2010 and offered a truly enchanting space for locals and foreign tourists to explore and unwind.
What to Expect
Part of the park is home to ancient ruins and archaeological findings which give one an idea of what this site must have once been like. Structures and miniature models which showcase historical architecture can also be seen and add to the park’s charm. One of the key highlights is the water feature known as Taiye Pond and there are paths for walking and bridges here, while it’s an ideal spot for some birdwatching too. There are also places for dining and an auditorium along with trees that let you witness the beauty of plum blossoms and spring flowers during the season.
The appealing coastal locality of Krabi in Thailand would always be an attractive place at which to spend time; to make the most of your visit, there would be some things you should never miss when here like those aspects mentioned below.
Miss a visit to the Tiger Temple
An engrossing religious attraction in Krabi would be Wat Tham Seua or Tiger Temple; this fascinating shrine is believed to be a place where formerly tigers made their home. At this site, you could also undertake interesting hikes, view the large trees and perhaps observe the monks who live within the caves to be found here.
Not take a longtail boat excursion
Your visit to Krabi wouldn’t be complete without taking a trip to the nearby islands on a longtail boat. On one of these excursions, you would be able to admire the picturesque sights and visit the entrancing locations that would delight visitors. A Phi Phi Island holiday resort in Krabi to consider from which you could take such a longtail boat excursion would be SAii Phi Phi Island Village.
Avoid experiencing the local foods
During your visit to Krabi, you would have the opportunity to feast on some delectable local foods and you should always take the chance to enjoy a delicious buffet of authentic dishes. Here, you would be able to savour typical Thai culinary creations such as som tam, fried fish, larb, squid, massaman curry and so on.
Not visiting Railay Bay
A well-known attraction in Krabi would be Railay Bay which would draw the interest of adventure seekers as well as those who wish to relax by the coast. Here, you would have the opportunity to bask in the sun amidst the scenic surroundings or perhaps try your hand at rock climbing around the nearby cliffs.
When it comes to holiday destinations, an outstanding choice would be Thailand, a country which would offer an array of exciting and enjoyable experiences for the visitor. Here’s an idea of what to expect.
The street foods
Thailand would be renowned for the delicious inexpensive foods that you could readily find on its streets. You can try tangy, spicy tom yum soup made with fresh kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal; another great choice would be rice with stir-fried spicy crabmeat and chillies, while pad Thai (Thai-style fried noodles), som tum (spicy green papaya salad) and mango sticky rice are popular too.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
An engrossing event in Thailand would be the Phuket Vegetarian Festival which is enthusiastically celebrated on the island of Phuket. During this vibrant festival, you could witness the ceremonial procession and unusual sights including rituals of self-mutilation, while also getting to savour vegetarian foods. A luxury hotel in Phuket to consider from which you could experience this event and other cultural highlights would be SAii Laguna Phuket.
Undoubtedly, island hopping would be a captivating experience that you could enjoy at this destination. Off the coast of Thailand you would find a host of picturesque islands such as Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan; irrespective of whether you desire seaside seclusion and tranquillity or the opportunity to mingle with fellow holidaymakers, the islands of Thailand would not disappoint.
The shopping opportunities
Thailand also happens to be noted for its amazing shopping opportunities with an array of appealing products to choose from be it locally-made or international brands. You would be able to shop at modern malls or perhaps a local market featuring interesting curios that you could obtain cheaply after some haggling. You could visit the markets where locals would shop if you desire to evade the more tourist-oriented shopping venues.