“Ah boy ah, got girlfriend already anot? What are you doing now ah?”

We all dread facing the same old questions every Chinese New Year but yet it is the one festivity of the year where your extended family and friends gather for a joyous celebration. But for those looking for a short getaway over the Chinese New Year long weekend, we’ve prepared a list for you to start your lunar year with some extra huat!

1. Langkawi, Malaysia

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At just 1.5 hours away by flight, Langkawi is one of the closest destinations that you can visit without breaking your bank. There are various water activities you can partake in such as banana boating and parasailing so bring along your swimwear. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Langkawi Sky Bridge set 700 metres above sea level that offers a bird’s eye view of Langkawi in a single glance – this is not for the light-hearted.

2. Khao Yai, Thailand

Heo Suwat Waterfalls at Khao Yai National Park

For the city-dwellers (ahem, I mean all of us), Khao Yai offers a much-needed retreat from the hustle and bustle of our daily life. This gorgeous destination offers quality relaxation time with the endless stretches of lavender fields and friendly locals. The cooling weather also allows you to explore without dripping with sweat (unlike in Bangkok) and discover the mockups of other international attractions such as Italy’s cobblestone roads, France’s wineries and the iconic Heo Suwat Waterfalls at Khao Yai National Park! A small price to pay for a much-needed break!

Discover the National Parks of Thailand for an adventurous trip!

3. Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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It is a calming and refreshing experience to watch the sunrise beyond the centuries-old architecture of the Borobudur Temple. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple sees a huge crowd of tourists any time of the day. So head there early to grab the best spot to bask in the warmth of the morning sun!

4. Kuching, Malaysia

Lovers of furry felines will find yourself right at home in Kuching. Translating to “cats”, the City of Cats has many cat-related sites and museums for you to discover. The rich history of Kuching also spurs tourists from nearby countries to visit and discover at the Sarawak Cultural Village. We love how down-to-earth and homey Kuching feels, just like the old kampong days in Singapore!

5. Penang, Malaysia

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Another destination just right around the corner, Penang bustles with Chinese New Year festivities that feels different from those in Singapore. Kek Lok Si, Penang’s iconic temple lights up on CNY and welcomes the new year with firecrackers and fireworks. We suggest viewing from a distance away to get a panoramic view of the majestic site!

6. Batam, Indonesia

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One of our favourite weekend getaway spots, Batam is perfect for those looking for a relaxing spa retreat. There are tons of spa and massage parlours here that offer quality service here at unbelievably cheap prices. Seafood lovers must try out the local kelong restaurants for the freshest catch and amazing flavours that complement their favourite seafood.

Find the best budget hotels in Batam for a stay under $45/night!

7. Bintan, Indonesia

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If you’re like me and prefer a laidback getaway for a short trip, the many resorts in Bintan will offer everything that you need. A short ferry ride away, Bintan lets you soak up all the sun you’ve been missing out on and partake in other exhilarating water activities and even discover wildlife via nature trails so you will be spending the lunar new year closer to nature.

8. Manila, Philippines

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A culturally rich city packed with delicious food and fun activities, Manila is a charming city that glows from day to night.  Dive into the Chinese New Year festivities at the city’s Chinatown while savouring some Filipino-Chinese delicacies and drop by the Enchanted Kingdom and Ocean Park for adventurous fun!

9. Cebu, Philippines

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Your 2020 New Year’s resolution to get back in touch with nature will be a reality when you visit Cebu. A coastal city that is home to many historic churches such as Basilica de Sto. Nino and the Magellan’s Cross, Cebu is perfect for a family visit. There are many islands surrounding the city so you can go island-hopping and also partake in water activities such as kayaking and snorkelling – especially at Moalboal Island!

10. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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A megacity populated by over 7 million motorbikes and double the number of people, Ho Chi Minh City is rather tough to navigate. You will need a solid plan and a full itinerary planned out to avoid feeling unaccomplished by the time you leave. Go on a culinary tour and grab a cuppa Vietnamese coffee to fuel your day as you travel to the famed Mekong Delta to experience the more rural side of Ho Chi Minh City.

Find more long weekend destinations for your CNY Escapade!

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