Need ideas for your travel bucket list? Go on a weekend getaway from Singapore and fly to these stunning destinations in Southeast Asia.
Truth: when spa visits and even the most cutting-edge therapies just don’t cut it, we rely on the age-old stress-busting remedy of a weekend getaway from Singapore. Thank the holiday gods for public holidays and long weekends! To help you with your planning, we’ve handpicked the best Southeast Asian destinations. This includes everything you can do in there in 72 hours!
Spectacular Southeast Asian destinations for weekend getaways from Singapore
1. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Why visit: This weekend getaway from Singapore transports you to paradise. With those scenic views, you’ll almost forget you’re only in Malaysia and not some far-off wonderland. Think rolling fields, lush tea plantations, and a cool climate that makes for the perfect sweater weather. We recommend visiting during the drier months between February and April to avoid the rainy season.
72 hours in Cameron Highlands: Visiting a tea plantation at Cameron Highlands is a must-do! Spend your first day exploring the Boh tea plantation, and partake in a holistic tea experience against undulating tea fields. We also recommend popping over to Cameron Lavender Garden to view vibrant continental flowers and eat fresh strawberries. Then, warm up at Water Cress Valley with a steamboat dinner featuring tons of fresh ingredients!
On your second day, gear up for a hike through the Mossy Forest. As if out of a fairytale, this gorgeous hiking trail features plenty of flowers and ferns shrouded in dense fog. You’ll want to keep an eye out for the Rafflesia – a giant pungent plant that smells like a corpse (eek). If you’ve got the energy after your hike, stop by Sam Poh Temple. You can take a breather to admire its statues or settle in for a moment of tranquility by the koi pond.
Visiting on a Friday or Saturday? Make sure you put the Brinchang Night Market on your itinerary for authentic Malaysian street food. Before you head back to Singapore, visit the Time Tunnel Museum. You’ll learn more about the history of Malaysia – including bits of facts and trivia surrounding the World War II occupation. And finally, don’t forget to enjoy some warm scones and fresh strawberry jam at The Lord’s Cafe!
Fly to: Ipoh via direct flight, then drive for 1 hour and 30 minutes to Cameron Highlands
Flight time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
2. Bali, Indonesia
Why visit: Aside from its gorgeous beaches and waterfalls, the Island of the Gods is chock full of awesome things to do and see. From award-winning restaurants to beach bars to boho boutiques, the island is suitable for all types of travellers. It’s a weekend getaway from Singapore that’s popular with most anyone. Psst: check out our sister site, Honeycombers Bali, for a mega roundup of the island’s finest.
72 hours in Bali: Let the hip Seminyak ‘hood be your base. Spend an afternoon exploring the boutiques and art stores, and relaxing in cool cafes. Then, head to a traditional warung for an authentic Indonesian dinner. You can also reserve a spot at a Michelin-starred restaurant to treat yourself. Retreat to your villa early before waking in the wee hours for a sunrise hike up Mount Batur. If you’ve got the energy to spare, take a detour to Tegenungan Waterfall for a quick escape. Or, spend your afternoon being pampered by expert spa therapists.
If you’re planning to hit that “Out of Office” email and fully disappear for a quick minute, Hyatt Regency Bali in Sanur is your go-to. Located in the midst of lush foliage and at a prime beachfront spot, it offers magnificent views from every corner. Block out some me-time at Shankha Spa to enjoy the individual or couple spa villas and facilities. These include a sauna, lap pool, and cold and hot tub. Finally, don’t leave without snapping some shots by the iconic ocean-facing cave pool.
Sip sunset tipples at Potato Head Beach Club, then dine at a seaside restaurant (we love Seasalt!). Wake in the morning for a seaside yoga sesh, before having brekkie and hitting the waves for a round of surfing. Before your night flight, drive up to Canggu to check out home decor stores for throws, baskets and small knick-knacks.
Fly to: Bali via direct flight
Flight time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
3. Bangkok, Thailand
Why visit: You’ve probably visited the The Land of the Smiles more than once. With fab street food, affordable shopping, and a burgeoning hipster culture, Bangkok’s hipper than ever. Ahh, it sounds like a perfect weekend getaway from Singapore.
72 hours in Bangkok: You can easily do a year’s worth of shopping here. Stop by Thong Lor‘s indie cafes for a bite and a cuppa, then head to Platinum Mall to shop up a storm. When you finally emerge hours later, head to Chinatown for a street food feast. A disco nap and a hot shower later calls for rooftop drinks at Vertigo or Moon Bar.
Clear your second day for an afternoon at Chatuchak Weekend Market before recharging with a super affordable leg massage. End the night at Talad Rod Fai for vintage wares and retro clothes. Tip: leave sightseeing for the last day. We suggest a cycling tour of Bangkok and beyond to experience the true pulse of the city.
Fly to: Bangkok via direct flight
Flight time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
4. Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Why visit: This weekend getaway from Singapore is perfect for history buffs. Yogyakarta isn’t just home to Borobudur. It also boasts Indonesia’s rich Javanese culture and jaw-dropping natural wonders for the explorer and the adrenaline junkie.
72 hours in Yogyakarta: First, make the city your priority upon arrival. Tour the Kraton palace and the enchanting Unesco World Heritage Site of Taman Sari (Water Palace). Next, hop on a rickshaw to navigate the city’s quaint alleyways and corners. You can catch a wayung kulit (shadow puppet) show at Museum Sonobudoyo.
Wake early for sunrise over Borobudur temple, followed by a visit to the 9th century Hindu compound of Prambanan nearer to the city. If you’ve still got energy left for the day, head to Kalibiru National Park. Here, you’ll zip from tree to tree with the sunset as a backdrop. Lastly, end your trip with cave tubing at Goa Pindul or explore the massive Jomblang Cave.
Fly to: Yogyakarta via direct flight
Flight time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
5. Halong Bay, Vietnam
Why visit: Famed for its emerald waters, enigmatic caves, majestic limestone cliffs and isles, Halong Bay is a spectacular coastal escape that’s one of Vietnam’s most visited attractions. A cruise to this Unesco World Heritage Site should rightfully dominate your Southeast Asian travel bucket list.
72 hours in Halong Bay: Hop on a three-day, two-night cruise, and you’ll visit major fishing villages on rustic row boats. Go kayaking in the dazzling Cap Lan and Tra San, swim in the crystal blue hidden lagoons of Cong Dam or experience the raw beauty of Sung Sot Cave.
Fly to: Hanoi via direct flight, before a three-hour drive to Halong Bay
Flight time: 3 hours and 20 minutes to Hanoi
6. Iloilo, Philippines
Why visit: Once known as the Queen City of the South, Iloilo’s splendid Spanish colonial past is still evident from its many grand churches and heritage mansions. The city boasts colourful festivals, hip restaurants and a throbbing nightlife scene.
72 hours in Iloilo: Immerse yourself in the sights of this historic city, hopping from Spanish-era churches (these include Unesco World Heritage sites) to old museums. Then, visit the Lapaz public market where you can dine on traditional cuisine like the Lapaz Batchoy and native Ilongo coffee. Go on a day trip to Guimaras on your second day for romantic sunsets, picture-perfect beaches and waterfalls. Leave exploration of the bustling Calle Real for your last day.
Fly to: Manila and take a 75-minute domestic flight to Iloilo
Flight time: 3 hours and 40 minutes to Manila
7. Luang Prabang, Laos
Why visit: Awarded the Unesco World Heritage stamp in 1995, Luang Prabang is the heart of Laotian culture. It evokes old world charm with its exquisitely preserved cultural landmarks and magnificent natural wonders.
72 hours in Luang Prabang: Reserve your first day for a temple trail, starting with the city’s oldest temple (Wat Wisunarat) and ending with the gilded walls and detailed carvings at Wat Long Khoung. Head outdoors on your second day! Go on a short day trip to Pak Ou caves (dramatic cliffs and breathtaking shrines galore) and stop at the Elephant Village Sanctuary on your way back. You’ll get up close and personal with rescued and rehabilitated elephants. End your trip on the third day with a dip in the azure Kuang Si Waterfall.
Fly to: Luang Prabang via transits in Siem Reap or Bangkok
Flight time: 4 hours and 3o minutes, inclusive of transit
8. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Why visit: While it ranks lower in popularity compared to Bangkok or the Thai islands, Chiang Mai is the perfect escape from tourist-swarmed cities. Towering mountains, exotic hill tribes, ancient temples and a cooler climate are only some of the many reasons to visit.
72 hours in Chiang Mai: Strap on your comfy shoes and head to the Old City to explore the many temples. A must-see is the sprawling monastery of Doi Suthep and scenic garden cafes. Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, is best saved for your second day. On your way up, you’ll see the awe-inspiring Wachirathan Waterfalls and dreamy sakura trees at Doi Inthanon National Park. The best way to end your trip? A 7am hot air balloon flight over the city.
Fly to: Chiang Mai via direct flight
Flight time: 3 hours
9. Hanoi, Vietnam
Why visit: This weekend getaway from Singapore beckons visitors with its French-colonial architecture, vibrant street food culture and greenery.
72 hours in Hanoi: Due to its compact size, you’ll be striking off your Hanoi bucket list in swift time on your first day. In the Old Quarter, colonial landmarks sit side-by-side with Buddhist temples and preserved shophouses housing boutiques, cafes and art galleries. From the quarter, major attractions like the National Museum of Vietnamese History and Hanoi Opera House are easily accessible.
Reserve your second day for Ba Vi National Park – it features a three-peaked mountain, lush rainforests, atmospheric views and an 11th century shrine at the summit. Be sure to pop by the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake and Dong Xuan market (traditional delicacies and bargains await) on your last day.
Fly to: Hanoi via direct flight
Flight time: 3 hours and 20 minutes
10. Song Saa Private Islands, Cambodia
Why visit: This is a luxe sanctuary for the well-heeled. Song Saa Private Islands remain untouched, resulting in lush rainforests, gorgeous reefs and pristine beaches. Like its name suggests, the biggest draw of this weekend getaway from Singapore is privacy. Immersing yourself in this serene world is effortless.
72 hours in Song Saa Private Islands: Expect to feel utterly refreshed after your long weekend away. When you’re not relaxing in your private villa, you’ll be snorkelling amongst the local reefs and exotic marine life or kayaking out to the majestic coves. Other days will be spent stretching languidly during sunrise yoga seshes, exploring rainforests at the nearby islands of Koh Rong and Song Saa, or experiencing authentic Khmer community life in nearby villages.
Fly to: Siem Reap and board Cambodia Angkor Air for a 50-min flight to Sihanoukville International Airport, where a driver will be waiting
Flight time: Approximately 3 hours inclusive of domestic flight
11. Yangon, Myanmar
Why visit: Myanmar is still an underrated destination for a weekend getaway from Singapore – so visit now before the tourist hordes arrive. First-timers ought to make Yangon their first foray here as it’s the country’s commercial and artistic centre. A winning trifecta of tradition, culture and history makes it a must-visit. Not to mention, the local cuisine is amazing. Hot tip: visit The Governor’s Residence for a spectacular lunch and a dip in the pool. Better yet, stay there! Owing to its colonial past, European-style buildings sit beside pagodas and glistening temples on the city’s main streets.
72 hours in Yangon: Before you kick off a whirlwind temple trail, fuel up with slurp-and-go piping hot bowls of monhinga (a fish stew) with sides of bein moun (crispy pancakes). Myanmar’s answer to the Taj Mahal is the Shwedagon Pagoda. It’s truly a marvel, boasting more than 4,500 diamonds in its structure. This includes a 72 carat gem on its crown. We promise you’ll spend hours gaping and gawking in this temple compound. Afterwards, walk over to Kandawgyi Lake for sunset views and take in the stunning reflection of the Shwedagon Pagoda in the waters. End the day with a bucket list dinner at Sky Bistro, located on the 20th floor of the Sakura Tower.
Take it easy on your second day. Haggle over antiques and crafts or pick up gemstone jewellery at Bogyoke Aung San Market early in the morning. Stall owners believe the first buys of the day bring good luck! Head to the wet market in central Yangon to check out local produce and freshly made traditional delights. Round off your day with visits to downtown Yangon, where the Sule Pagoda and some of the region’s most stunning colonial buildings await. Your last day should be spent on the Circle train. It takes you to farm areas, the countryside and suburbs. Plus, you can hop on and off to do more exploring.
Fly to: Yangon via direct flight
Flight time: 2 hours 55 minutes.
12. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Why visit: Two words: Angkor Wat. Need we say more about this weekend getaway from Singapore? But beyond the glorious ruins, the city also offers museums, small art galleries and countryside tours. Perfect for an authentic taste of true Cambodian life.
72 hours in Siem Reap: Stroll through the city on your day of arrival and explore the street-side markets and art galleries before settling down for a traditional Cambodian meal. For homewares and interior shopping, head to Khmer Ceramics Fine Arts Centre. It offers rustic (and totally Insta-worthy) handmade bowls and plates. This centre-slash-store has plenty of heart. It channels all its profits into training, educating and employing the disadvantaged and disabled and aims to revive the art of high-fired Khmer ceramics.
For a truly authentic local experience, head to Route 60. The stretch of food stalls is never-ending – they feature everything from local desserts and grilled meats to steaming hot soup. Set those alarms early on your second day! Temple-hunting usually kicks off before dawn. The full scale of Angkor Wat can be overwhelming, so pick and choose your sights accordingly. Just remember to end your expedition with a hot air balloon ride over the temple complex.
If you’ve still got time on your hands, meet the best of Siem Reap’s craftsmen at the Made in Cambodia market or blow off steam at Pub Street. Before flying off, take a trip to the Cambodia Landmine Museum: it educates the public on Cambodia’s mission to remove destructive remnants of war.
Fly to: Siem Reap via direct flight
Flight time: 2 hours and 5 minutes
13. Kuching, Sarawak
Why visit: We know, we know… it’s not the most coveted weekend getaway from Singapore, but hear us out. The least-visited state in Malaysia has some of the country’s most luscious natural, ecologically rich landscapes.
72 hours in Kuching: Wildlife lovers need to pay a visit to the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre! It’s home to the endangered Bornean orangutans. Once you’ve had your fill of watching our ape friends swing from tree to tree, it’s time for your own adventure. Kayak down the 11km Sungei Sarawak Kiri to the backdrop of mangroves and limestones. Next, visit Annah Rais, a village that’s home to the indigenous head-hunting Bidayuh tribe and well-preserved bamboo longhouses.
The second day brings cave exploration. Drive up to Bau, where you’ll find the Fairy Cave: a limestone with a stalagmite structure at the entrance that looks like a Chinese deity. Get lost in nature at your next stop. The Bako National Park has ten hiking trails with varying lookout points, views and wildlife.
Your last day here will be all about mainland Kuching. This under-the-radar spot has a historic waterfront with river cruises and China House, an arts and culture hub. Like many Malaysian cities, Kuching doesn’t lack in the street food department. Munch your way through endless bowls of Sarawak laksa, slow-braised pork ribs and kolo mee, a local fave of minced pork and noodles.
Fly to: Kuching via direct flight
Flight time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
14. Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Why visit: This weekend getaway from Singapore is just a three-hour drive from Bangkok. You might know Kanchanaburi ‘cause of the famous bridge over the River Kwai. But there’s more to it. The town ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for adventure, nightlife, a dose of culture, a history lesson and everything in between.
72 hours in Kanchanaburi: Adventure seekers, strap on your trekking shoes and climb seven tiers of waterfalls at the Erawan National Park. After cooling down in the emerald green pools, make your way to Tham Krasae Overlook and railway station to enjoy views of the River Kwai. If you dare, walk on the railway tracks that are suspended above the river for a thrilling yet unforgettable experience.
The next day, hop over to the Jeath War Museum to learn the hardships POWs had to face while building the bridge over River Kwai. It’ll allow you to view the bridge in a new light when you cross it. Finally, recharge with a massage or party hard at Maenamkwai where the nightlife scene booms with pubs and bars.
Fly to: Bangkok via direct flight, before a three-hour drive to Kanchanaburi
Flight time: 2 hours and 30 minutes to Bangkok
15. Krabi, Thailand
Why visit: It’s an open secret that Krabi is an elevated version of Phuket. It’s rife with sparkly turquoise waters, limestone karsts and plenty of water sports. So of course, it’s one of the greatest spots for a beach getaway.
72 hours in Krabi: Island-hopping is the way to go in Krabi. There are numerous long-tail boat tours available that’ll take you to islands like Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi and more. If you’re in the mood to work those muscles, spend day two putting your rock climbing skills to the test.
Railay Beach has various climbing routes for beginners to experts. Though some routes can be tough, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the beach. Finally, water sports like kayaking, parasailing, diving, kite surfing and the must-try white water rafting will pump those adrenaline levels to the sky.
Fly to: Krabi via direct flight
Flight time: 1 hour and 50 mins to Krabi
16. Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Why visit: Mention a long weekend and many of us will have one thing in mind – a road trip to JB. It’s perfect for food, shopping, and cafes. If you need some tips, check out our guide to the best cafes in Johor Bahru!
72 hours in JB: There are over a dozen hotels near the Causeway but the one we keep going back to is DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. The two-bedroom suite is great for a girls’ trip, and you have to try the Italian restaurant on the 13th floor.
Indulge in some cafe-hopping at the unofficial hipster hood along Jalan Trus, Jalan Pahlang and Jalan Dhoby. Don’t forget to take home a couple of packets of banana cake from Hiap Joo Bakery! Finally, spend your last day watching a movie, having Korean BBQ or shopping at City Plaza. If you’re up for non-stop karaoke, Neway Karaoke Box is open till the wee hours of the morning.
Drive to: One hour ride from Singapore, depending on traffic
Ready for a fun weekend getaway from Singapore? Pack your bags and get to it!