Going for a holiday over a long weekend is one of the best ways to optimise your leave days. Often, a short weekend trip of 3-4 days works well to rejuvenate us, and also, give couples that well-needed time to rekindle their love.
Though we are approaching May, there are still a couple of ways to make use of some of the public holidays left in the year for a decent long weekend trip.
Long weekend holiday suggestions for 2019
15 June, Friday, Hari Raya Puasa – Take 18 June off for a 4-day holiday
9 August, Thursday, National Day – Take 10 August off for a 4-day holiday
6 November, Tuesday, Deepavali – take 5 November off for a 4-day holiday
25 December, Tuesday, Christmas Day – take 24 December off for a 4-day holiday
Holiday Ideas in Indonesia
Forget about the Kuta beach in Bali. While Bali definitely has its charms for a short holiday, it can often get too crowded and rowdy. Indonesia has some 17,000 islands (!) so really, there’s plenty to explore. Well, not every island is easily accessible, and with a long weekend trip, you’d want to minimise the travel time as well. So here are some suggestions for your next trip to Indonesia with your partner, depending on the type of trip you are looking for.
- Gili Islands for Beach bums
Who doesn’t love a lazy weekend just lounging on white sand beaches, cocktail in hand while the sun bakes your skin to a healthy glow? We say avoid the touristy beaches of Bali and head to the beautiful beaches of Gili Islands.
The Gili Islands are made up of three small islands called Gili Meno, Trawangan and Air. Each are stunning in their own right – Gili Meno is known as the romantic island with less crowd, Trawangan the party island and Gili Air, the more popular island, which is a mix of both.
Other than of course, enjoying the beautiful beaches and sunset, scuba-diving and snorkelling are great ways to enjoy the clear, turquoise water. Horse-riding on the beach can be an idea as well and if you feel a little adventurous, go ahead and try a StandUp Paddle Yoga class!
Food wise, you’d fine plenty of great seafood and Indonesia cuisine around the island. And if Gili Air is not big enough for you, consider island-hopping to the other 2 islands for a change of environment!
How to get there: Silk Air runs direct flights to Lombok, after which you’d need to drive across Lombok to the harbour for around an hour, followed by a ten-minute boat from the harbour over to the Gilis. The other way is via Bali – a two-hour fast boat from Benoa harbour to the Gilis, though the sea could be rough.
2. Ubud for a Digital Detox
Going for a holiday while continuing to check your email is definitely not going to help you relax. Try a digital detox – Ubud in Bali is the perfect place to do it. Surrounded by tranquil rice fields, yoga schools and serene surroundings, Ubud is a location for you to get away from it all. It’s all about mindfulness, meditation and connecting with yourself and your partner.
While there are resorts specialising in such retreats, we think it’s more pocket-friendly to DIY. There are plenty of resources around to help you. Try a class pass from a yoga school like Yoga Barn or Radiantly Alive, eat at one of the many cafes serving raw cuisine or organic food and go for nature walks available in the area.
How to get there: Ubud is situated in Bali. Fly to Bali and grab a cab to Ubud! It’s too easy a trip to miss!
3. Surabaya for the Active Couple
Many Singaporeans probably wouldn’t consider Surabaya for a holiday. What’s there? Well, Surabaya isn’t exactly a tourist city, but there are some hidden gems. First, there’s Mount Bromo. A popular trip to Mount Bromo includes watching the breathtaking sunrise views of Mount Batok and Mount Semeru atop Mount Bromo, before moving over for a view of Mount Bromo Crater. The trip isn’t physically demanding, though you’d need to wake early to get to Malang village in the middle of the night.
Bukit Jaddih in Bangkalan, about an hour’s drive out from central Surabaya, is a cluster of chalk deposits that became chalk mines. The ivory-white man-made structure, is no doubt stunning and there’s even a “pool” of clear natural spring water that is suitable for a dip!
While in Surabaya, you might want to stay a night at the “Raffles Hotel” of Surabaya, the Hotel Majapahit. The property was designed by British architect R.A.J. Bidwell, who was also responsible for Singapore’s Raffles Hotel. The best part? It costs less than $100 per night to live like a royalty!
4. Komodo Island for Wildlife lovers
Ready to explore wildlife and nature at Komodo Island? Komodo Island is a small island in East Nusa Tenggara province and is known for being home to the native Komodo dragon and its beautiful pink beach.
Clearly, one of the must-do in Komodo Island is visiting the Komodo Island National park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other than being home to the Komodo dragon, the park is provides refuge to numerous wildlife species, including the Timor deer and orange-footed scrub fowl. The Park includes one of the richest marine environments and these habitats harbour more than 1,000 species of fish and some 260 species of reef-building coral. Not keen to get underwater? Then how about checking out the sweet-looking pink beaches there?
If you are doing the two-day overnight tour of the islands by boat, the night sky is definitely something that you’d want to look out for. With little light pollution, you will likely be able to have a glimpse of the enchanting milky way with naked eyes.
How to get there: To get to Komodo, you first need to travel to Bali or Jakarta and then fly to Labuan Bajo. From the latter, you’d need to take a 2-hour boat ride to Komodo.
5. Luxurious getaway for the time-crunched
Feel that a long weekend vacation is too short to do something too hectic? Sure, we understand, sometimes all we want is to stay in a nice resort, have all our meals roomed-in and have the only activity be lounging around our beds, sofa or on the sunbeds.
If you are willing to splurge, then look no further than checking into The Sanchaya. Located just a ferry ride away at Bintan, it’s your shortest getaway from Singapore without getting on a plane. Bring a book, pack a light luggage and you’d find all you need for a blissful weekend there!