Sometimes, the only way to unwind after a long week is to get the heck out of town. But it can be daunting to decide where to dedicate your dollars when you only have a few days time. To help you choose the best destinations for maximizing your weekend, — with the help of reader votes and expert opinions — ranked the best weekend getaways.
Asia’s cities are some of the most madcap and electric in the world, making them both energizing and, we admit it, exhausting. It is worth to travel to so many of our metropolises to find fresh air, sea breeze, portals to time-past and great gathering spots for groups for friends.
We’ve compiled places with just the right ratio of accessibility, affordability and entertainment, whether you’re looking for some R&R or ready to immerse yourself in a new destination and all of its offerings.
1 Mesmerizing Bali – Indonesia
No matter where your resort is, you can get there comfortably within 1-2 hours in a taxi—no trekking or praying for your safety on rickety boats. Some resorts will even pick you up at the airport so you don’t have to lift a finger—that’s enough to please even the most high maintenance people.
Whether you intend to spend your weekend surfing, hiking or vegetating in the resort, a three day trip will leave you energised rather than exhausted. There’s something for everyone—if you’re looking for hip restaurants and chic bars, you’ll like Seminyak and Sanur. Looking for exotic temples or organic restaurants? Head to Ubud. If you want to spend your holiday drunk, head to Kuta.
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2 Phnom Penh – Cambodia
Flights to Phnom Penh tend to be much cheaper than flights to Siem Reap. This often-overlooked city may not have magnificent temple ruins like Angkor does, but it actually makes for an interesting weekend destination.
The city’s most gruesome sites such as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields are must-visits, although not for the faint of heart. A short car ride south of Phnom Penh is the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, built on the largest of the Killing Fields discovered following the Pol Pot regime. There is a memorial stupa wherein they have collected a good many (but not all) of the bones of the victims. Very saddening, confronting, but important historical event to learn about.
There are also beautiful temples, sprawling palaces and bustling markets to explore. There’s even a bit of nightlife in the Sisowath Quay area.
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3 Bandung – Java, Indonesia
Flights to Java tend to be rather cheap and remain cheap on the weekends. Bandung is a more relaxing vacation destination than hectic Jakarta.
Nicknamed the Paris of Java, Bandung has a slightly cooler climate and isn’t as polluted or chaotic as Jakarta. It makes for a nice weekend getaway filled with cheap massages and shisha. Most popular park of Trans Studio is pretty impressive with a couple of fun rides. Best rides are the roller coaster, arung jeram and the haunted house. The location is also inside the Trans Studio Mall making it great for family and friends hangout.
It is also famous for its hip bistros or outlet stores and street fashion, especially if you’re into looking like a rapper.
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4 Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City is one of those destinations that stays affordable on weekends and even over public holidays. It’s a big city buzzing with scooters and skyscrapers, and can be fun for people who like shopping and eating on the cheap.
Ho Chi Minh Square is likes a big park. You can walk along the walking street here looking at how Vietnamese people live. The atmosphere here is good and surround with beautiful. Also, many famous places are located around here.
There are clubs, rooftop bars and chic boutiques for those who want to do the exact same things they do in their hometown but at a cheaper price. History buffs will grimace at the War Remnants Museum and marvel at the Reunification Palace. It’s also worthwhile taking a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
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5 Phuket – Thailand
Cast away your worries and indulge on the pure shores of Thailand’s largest island.
Nestled in the south-west of the country on Thailand’s Andaman Coast, Phuket draws tourists from around the globe. Famed for its hedonistic nightlife and its world-class tropical beaches, Phuket is a favourite among party-goers, honeymooners and families alike. There truly is something for everyone on the island of Phuket.
Phuket’s south-west coast pulls in the biggest crowds. Numerous stretches of pristine sand nestled against crystal-clear waters compete for the title of Phuket’s most beautiful beach. Patong Beach has bright neon lights and all-night parties and Kamala Beach is a more tranquil spot, perfect for families.
Most of the activities on offer in Phuket are based around water. Take a boat trip to James Bond Island. At Ao Phang Nga National Park, see the stunning limestone formations rising up from the waters from the comfort of a private charter boat or as part of a paid tour. The beautiful Phi Phi Islands were the chosen location for the 2000 film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and have so much to offer beneath the surface, with premier snorkelling and diving.
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6 Bangkok – Thailand
Bangkok is a perennial favourite for everyone in search of a weekend getaway, and it’s easy to see why. With so many flights per day on multiple airlines, it’s cheap all year round, except for public holidays, and even then the price doesn’t rise that astronomically.
The city is a little chaotic but it’s easy enough to navigate if you rely on tuk tuks or the BTS Skytrain, and most vistors are familiar enough with it that they just make a beeline for their favourite destinations. Shopping at it’s cheapest and eating the local delicacies has made Bangkok the renowned city for a short getaway from people all around the world.
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7 Hong Kong
Hong Kong is the ultimate shopping and eating destination. The Pearl of the Orient is calling to you! This warmth and bright lights bustling city will make you think twice about going anywhere else – especially with its scents of delicious cooking wafting past your nose and tempting bargains beckon you into shops and markets. Can you imagine when you’ve got the gleaming skyline spread out beneath your feet? This exciting city is easily navigable and you’ll always find something to eat and something to buy around every corner.
Getting around the city is super convenient with the MTR system. From the minute you step off the plane, things move fast and efficiently, so you don’t have to worry about wasting a minute of your precious weekend.
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