Everyone looks forward to the weekend, though more so if you have the chance to explore a new destination. And if you’re based in Asia you’re in luck; a patchwork of incredible countries, islands, and cultures, you have a whole continent at your doorstep, and hundreds of destinations which you choose from from for a quick weekend break.
Keep in mind that even if you’re only traveling for the weekend, you should always organize affordable travel insurance. Even if you’re taking a ‘relaxing’ trip, unfortunate incidents can still occur, no matter what you’re doing or how long you plan to spend away.
This vacation destination boasts shopping, beach bumming, and a truly cultural destination in one fantastic location. Go to the southern tip of Cebu to feed your sea-loving self with whale watching in Oslob (here’s how to get to Oslob), beach bumming at the pristine sand beaches of Bantayan, and fantastic dive sites at Malapascua.
Found just 30 kilometers away from the city center is Mount Cantabaco where you can challenge yourself by trying out rock climbing and bouldering. Visit the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño and Mactan Island to visit cultural sites and architecture harking back to the Spanish colonial period. Whatever you’re into, Cebu surely has something to surprise you.
Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Phu Quoc Island is located off in the Gulf of Thailand, which is still part of Vietnam, and it’s situated off the coast of Cambodia too. It’s a fantastic tropical getaway that’s filled with some of the whitest beaches in the world. It also boasts luxury resorts and palm tree-lined coastlines surrounded by crystal-clear sea.
There are already a few resorts here, but still many parts of the island are untouched by mass tourism. The best time to visit here is now if you want to get a glimpse of one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam before the island gets overrun by holidaymakers. However, rest assured that around half of the island is protected as a national park.
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
The Phi Phi Islands make some of the most famous of all South-east Asian beach getaways. It is located amidst the larger island of Phuket and the west coast of Thailand. These islands are the best assets in the magnificent collection of Thai tropical islands.
One of the islands here, Ko Phi Phi Leh, is where the famous movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed. This is a highly laid-back archipelago that’s home to the spectacular natural backdrop, hidden beaches and lush jungle.
Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
This haven is home to some of the finest beaches in Malaysia, and even when compared to some other coastal areas in Southeast Asia. The beaches are relatively undeveloped and unspoilt. This group of coral reef-fringed, tropical islands is perhaps the perfect place to get away from it all for the weekend.
The islands itself are exclusively powered by generators, there are almost no cars, and the roads are still fairly rough and untamed. Regardless, tourism is the primary economic driver here. Perhentian Islands are one of the most rustic and tranquil weekend getaways you can have in Southeast Asia.
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Photo credits: Whale sharks by Janey.