Unplug. Recharge. Reconnect. Unwind with a trip to these destinations, not far from home, that make for a perfect choice for the upcoming long weekend.
1 May, 2015 to 4 May, 2015
Where to go
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Once considered a stopover on the way to the gorgeous southern beaches, the Sri Lankan capital now invites you for a longer stay with its stylish cafes, trendy shops, colonial-era hotels, leafy boulevards and temples. A stay in this multi-cultural city is a good way to start – or finish – your Sri Lanka sojourn.
Colombo’s real appeal lies in its neighbourhoods rather than in signature must-see sights, and you can spend at least two days exploring this vibrant city. Start your first day at the bustling markets of the old quarter of Pettah before heading west to Fort, the revitalised and chic historic centre of the city. On day two, explore Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo’s swankiest district with old colonial mansions and the excellent National Museum, and then continue to Kollupitiya, the dense commercial heart of the city, with a myriad shops and hotels along Galle Road.
For more, grab a copy of our Sri Lanka travel guide.
Colonial District, the Quays & Marina Bay, Singapore
For a truly multicultural experience, it doesn’t get much better than Singapore. Whether it’s food, shopping, museums, beautiful gardens or exciting theme parks, this tiny country can meet all your holiday needs.
When it comes to Colonial District, the Quays & Marina Bay, this neighbourhood is packed with enough variety to keep everyone happy. History and culture buffs can explore the excellent museums and admire the beautiful colonial architecture around the Padang. For buzzing nightlife and a whole bunch of exciting activities, Clarke Quay and Marina Bay are your best bets. You can cover the sights of your choice in one or even three, depending on the time you have.
For more, grab a copy of our Singapore travel guide.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ethnic Malays, Chinese prospectors, Indian migrants and British colonials all helped shape Kuala Lumpur (KL), where historic temples and mosques rub shoulders with skyscrapers and malls. Then there are stalls bursting with exotic fruits and counterfeit handbags; monorail cars zipping by jungle foliage; and chic cafes competing with hawker centres. You can also do easy day trips to forests, caves and theme parks.
Kuala Lumpur has few obvious sights for the first-time visitor, but it’s still a fascinating place to explore. The premier shopping and entertainment district is the Golden Triangle, which stretches north to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), anchored by the Petronas Towers. Close by is the Malay neighbourhood of Kampung Baru. KL’s colonial heart is Merdeka Square, which adjoins buzzing Chinatown. The peaceful Lake Gardens has several museums and the KL Bird Park. Don’t miss the attractions away from the centre, like Lake Titiwangsa or Publika Mall. You can also take easy half-day trips – try the Batu Caves, for instance.
For more, grab a copy of our Malaysia travel guide.
Golden temple spires vie for space with skyscrapers in Bangkok’s impressive skyline. The city’s historical and cultural heritage co-exist wonderfully with cutting-edge modernisation. To experience the ‘City of Angels’, it’s necessary to explore both of these worlds. Add to that, delectable food, fabulous nightlife, and an unending array of shopping malls.
One look at in the morning, and you’ll know it was up all night, like a good world city should. In 15 years, Bangkok has grown from a sleepy capital of low-lying buildings to a dramatic skyline festooned with arcing superhighways and clover leaves. Transportation, once a nightmare, has been eased by the introduction of the Skytrain and underground Metro. To the Indian traveller, the city will feel like a home away from home (because of the sizeable population of Thai Indians). Ancient heritage, modern malls, sublime eats, happening bars, and endless opportunities for urban exploration – you could spend your vacation in just this one city and still not see all that it has to offer.
This sprawling metropolis packs in enough for a vacation in itself. The historic districts of Ko Ratanakosin and Thonburi are Bangkok’s birthplace with glittering temples and palaces. Chinatown is possibly the most authentic piece of China off the mainland you’re likely to encounter and is adjacent to the Indian quarter of Phahurat. Sukhumvit is the glitziest part of the city with the most fashionable clubs while Siam Square and Pratunam are shopping Meccas. Greater Bangkok consists of Th Silom & Sathon, the former royal district of Dusit and Lumphini Park & Th Phra Ram IV.
For more, grab a copy of our Thailand travel guide.