Life can be stressful. You know it, we know it — everyone knows it. Whether it’s been a particularly hectic week at work, or your kids at home are driving you up the wall, everyone needs some time to relax and chill out.
Here in Singapore, life moves at a fast pace. Everyone looks like they’re rushing from one place to the next, and it can get a little stressful. Thankfully, Singapore is also located right in the heart of Southeast Asia, and this can only mean one thing — quick weekend getaways to our nearby neighbours. Here are some of the choices you’ll have if you’re looking for that perfect weekend getaway to rest, relax, and de-stress.
If you’re all about the sun, sand, and sea, Indonesia’s got your back. Most of these places need no introduction at all, like the ever-popular Bali. Imagine lazing by the beach or pool, with a drink in hand and a good book, with the sun shining down on you. Sounds good? We think so too.
Bintan Island is an island in the Riau archipelago of Indonesia, but the closest major city to it is Singapore. It only takes a mere 45 minutes by sea ferry to get there from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. Bintan Resorts is the main attraction here — a breathtaking beach resort in the northern part of the island with private beaches, luxurious pools, and sprawling golf courses, perfect for a little rest and relaxation.
Right next door to Bintan is the largest city in the Riau Island cluster — Batam. It’s also very close by to Singapore, and you can get there in under an hour via ferry. The island is a hot tourist spot, so it might be a little more crowded than Bintan. There’s plenty to see and do in Batam, like visiting the beaches and little shops along the roads, and everything is really cheap too. We recommend hitting the Nagoya Hill shopping centre if you’re looking for some great bargains.
Ah, Bali. What more needs to be said? It’s known all over the world to be the ultimate destination if you want to unwind. Whether you’re laying poolside at one of the many luxury resorts, exploring the hidden nooks and crannies of the city, or even partying the night away in the lively Kuta district, there’s no denying the charm of this little haven. To get there, you’ll need to sit through a two and a half hour flight, but it will all be worth it when you get there.
Did you know that Singapore was once a part of Malaysia? Back when the colonial British left Singapore and then-Malaya, an alliance was struck and the two nations became one. While that didn’t last, it does prove how close our two nations are — geographically, at least. Malaysia is so close by that you can walk over, though many prefer to drive or take a bus in.
Quite possibly the most popular destination for weekend getaways, Johor Bahru (JB) is right across the Causeway Bridge that links Singapore and Malaysia. Singaporeans flock over to JB for many reasons, but one reason remains the same for everyone — everything is cheap. Thanks to the magic of the exchange rate, 1 Singapore Dollar is equivalent to 3 Malaysian Ringgit, which means you get the most bang for your buck. Head over for some cheap food or much-needed retail therapy.
Located in the mountainous Main Range, Genting Highlands is as close as you’re going to get to a city in the clouds. At 6,000 feet above ground level, the air in Genting is always cool, and clouds regularly float through the little city known as the “Las Vegas of Malaysia”. There are theme park rides for the kids, and if you’re feeling lucky, pay a visit to one of the many casinos around — who knows, you might walk away with heavier pockets and a feeling of satisfaction.
No, you did not read that wrong. Sometimes we get so stuck in our daily routines that we forget there’s actually a lot to see and do here in this city. Better yet, there are quite a few options available for weekend getaways, and you won’t need to travel far to get some peace and quiet — which could be perfect for the budget-conscious.
A mere 15 minutes away from mainland Singapore, Pulau Ubin is a rustic and charming island that will bring you back in time and let you experience what Singapore was like in the 1960s. There are many ways to explore the island — you can walk or join a tour, but most people prefer to rent bicycles and cycle all over. If you’re feeling outdoorsy, you can even bring along a tent and camp overnight at one of the designated spots.
Want a beach getaway but don’t want to go too far? Just pop on over to Sentosa Island and chill out at one of the many beaches there. There’s fun for the whole family too — visit the SEA Aquarium and marvel at the beauty of the ocean, or head over to Adventure Cove water park to zip around on some water slides and snorkel with the fishes.