Is that the sound of a long weekend we hear calling? Forget the chocolate eggs and cute bunnies... we're far more excited about the prospect of a last-minute Easter getaway!
With Easter granting us a four-day stint of public holidays (April 14-17, 2017) ready-made for a quick Asian escape - plus the possibility of booking a few more days either side of the weekend to go explore destinations even more far-flung - now's the ideal time to scratch that holiday itch. Here's a couple of suggestions to get you started.
Two festivities for the price of one? Now that's the kind of holiday we can get on-board with! Combine your Easter egg feasts with the Thai New Year festival of Songkran, which is celebrated on 13-15 April. Join the street parties in Bangkok for water fights galore; areas like Silom and Khao San Road will be packed with lively revellers, so don't forget your water gun! Alternately, head to the city's temples for a more traditional way to mark the celebrations - look out for special parades, ceremonies and festive decorations for some great photo opportunities.
Don't forget to factor in time to soak up the rest of Thailand's many delights - a sunset cruise on the Chao Phraya river, eating and shopping your way through Chatuchak Market, hitting the beach at Hua Hin and temple-hopping in Chiang Mai all rank high on our list.
Read more about exploring Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand.
There's just something about Myanmar. This extraordinary country is fast putting its troubled history behind it to become a destination on every traveller's bucket list, thanks to breathtaking Buddhist relics and serene unspoilt landscapes.
Yangon is the country's largest city, where the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda casts its spectacular golden glow around all it surveys... including street food stalls aplenty, where delicious snacks await any hungry explorer. There's plenty to discover outside the city too - marvel at awe-inspiring architecture in Myanmar's last royal city, Mandalay; enjoy a tranquil sunrise cruise amidst the stilt houses on Inle Lake; hike to the top of the gravity-defying Golden Rock at Mount Kyaiktiyo or live out every Instagrammer's dream with a hot air balloon ride over the plains of Bagan.
Read more about discovering Myanmar.
Move over Tokyo; South Korea is Asia's new it-destination du jour. With its intoxicating mix of cosmopolitan cool and rich history, this country really does have something for everyone. Kick things off in the capital, Seoul; this vibrant metropolis will leave you breathless with its blend of beautiful ancient palaces and quirky-cute boutiques and cafés.
If you've got more time to explore, head to Gyeongju - known as “the museum without walls” thanks to its sheer number of historical relics - or opt for a Jeju Island day trip, where scenic volcano treks and lazy beach days lie in wait. A tour around the DMZ is unmissable, offering a unique window into the tumultuous history of the region. Remember to bring those stretchy pants too; Korea's cuisine is incredible, with mouth-watering kimchi, barbequed meats and shaved ice desserts meaning you'll be planning your days around how many meals you can fit in!
Check out these sightseeing spots in Seoul.
A little further afield lies the jewel of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka. Long known as a jumping-off point to the nearby Maldives, it would be a critical error to neglect this lush and lovely island's spectacular wildlife, delectable cuisine and beautiful near-deserted beaches.
Stroll the streets of Galle, a 16th-century Portuguese settlement that radiates colonial charm; hop aboard the tourist train to Kandy, a high-altitude city of tea plantations and sacred Buddhist relics, then uncover an underwater world with a diving trip from the serene east coast resort of Nilaveli. Save space for a little spice - Sri Lankan food is both famously hot and extremely flavoursome!
EUROPE & THE MIDDLE EAST
Spain & Portugal, via Dubai
Maximise your holiday time with a two-stop European trip, plus a bonus break in the Middle East to ease your jetlag. Nestled in the mountains of Spain's Basque Country, the pleasant coastal city of San Sebastian is a foodie's paradise. You'll find Michelin-starred fine dining venues sitting cheek by (well-fed) jowl with excellent local pintxo bars, which dish up the local Basque take on tapas alongside your favourite tipples.
Appetite sated, head south to Portugal and the classic beach destination, the Algarve. While the region's Mediterranean coast boasts luxury hotels, golf courses and laidback bars, the rugged west coast is still relatively undeveloped, with Praia do Amado offering great windsurfing in its cooler Atlantic waters. Or check out the Insta-worthy Benagil Cave near the town of Carvoeiro. Break up your journey home with a stopover in dazzling Dubai, with its unashamedly ostentatious resorts, dizzying skyscrapers and world-class shopping. Make time for a day of fun in the desert, with some adrenaline-fuelled dune bashing in a souped-up 4x4.
Another Middle Eastern destination with a very different flavour, Israel's blend of vibrant culture, delicious food and natural beauty give a fascinating glimpse into this unique country, which borders both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. By day, Tel Aviv's iconic Bauhaus architecture and sun-drenched beaches offer visitors a chance to unwind, while by night, its famously buzzing nightlife will have you partying until dawn.
Soak up the reverence of Jerusalem's Old City, before floating away your cares in the Dead Sea (actually an inland salt lake that's around nine times saltier than sea water). Leave room in your itinerary to visit one of Israel's boutique wineries - the country's favourable grape-growing climate is home to some 200 small producers, so why not pick up a bottle as the perfect memento of your visit?
Read more about Israel.
Need help planning your Easter getaway? Let us do the hard work for you. Call us on 2830-2899 or send us an email.