With the grind of daily life bearing down on us, short getaways are not only effective as a brief respite, but an absolute necessity for our mental and emotional wellbeing.
Carving out time to reconnect with our significant other over the weekend over a meal and movie may be great, but when a short getaway is just an hour or two away, the choice is obvious.
The recommendations on this list have been curated to provide hardworking folks with a short escape from their workstations and hectic work schedules while offering some relaxing holiday ideas that will leave you rejuvenated and ready to hustle.
Photo by Pranesh Ravi on Unsplash
Situated off the coast of Penang and a 1.5 hour flight away, Langkawi is a tropical paradise boasting gorgeous beaches and glassy waters in myriad shades of blue. From a ride on the Langkawi cable car that offers a bird’s eye view of the island, to the Mahsuri Tomb and Museum where an extremely beautiful woman was unjustly sentenced to death for her envy-inducing good looks, Langkawi is teeming with interesting attractions for couples looking for alternative activities after a rejuvenating sunbath on Tanjung Rhu Beach.
What to eat The Cliff Restaurant & Bar
Securing a spot in the hearts of locals and tourists alike with its culinary prowess and panoramic view of the island, the award-winning restaurant perched on a cliff is known for serving up innovative Malay and Continental dishes with a unique twist. Diners still feeling full from a huge lunch should consider sipping on a glass of The Cliff’s signature cocktail, the “romantic poison rose” while allowing their gaze to linger on the ember sun that slowly distributes itself over the water.
What to do/visit Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls
If Langkawi is known for anything, it would be it’s incredibly stunning waterfalls. Amongst them is Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, which means “Seven Pools” in Malay. The source of the seven natural pools are seven different cataracts that originate from Mat Cincang Mountain. With lush vegetation providing ample shade from the sun as rushing waters crash against the mossy rocks that keep the area cool and breezy, Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls is the ideal spot for a lovely picnic.
Where to stay Temple Tree at Bon Ton
Travellers searching for an exquisite accommodation situated in a prime location, with a price tag that lands somewhere between suspiciously-cheap and crazy expensive should look no further than Temple Tree at Bon Ton. This property set along Pantai Cenang boasts an award-winning kampong style accommodation that exudes an elegant colonial charm. Guests travelling in smaller groups are free to choose from any of the eight rooms and six suites that are available for booking, while larger groups may prefer to rent the entire property as a whole.
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When it comes to short getaways, quieter towns like Ubud often do not get the attention they deserve. A mere 40 minutes drive from Bali will open travellers up to a whole treasure trove of cultural landmarks, scenic landscapes, and unique attractions this quaint Balinese town has to offer. With most of its attractions within driving distance from the town centre, Ubud is an excellent destination for those looking for a relaxing holiday spot away from the crowd.
What to eat Locavore
This wildly popular haunt uses only sustainably sourced ingredients from around the island and serves their dishes using locally made utensils and cutlery. At the helm of Locavore’s kitchen are Ray and Eelke, the power duo that exploded on Ubud’s culinary scene by whipping up contemporary European fare from the finest seasonal ingredients available in the region. Hungry diners lucky enough to get a table are in for an unforgettable culinary adventure!
What to do/visit Tegallalang Rice Terraces
The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are known for their gorgeous views of rice paddies and their centuries-old traditional Balinese irrigation system that according to local legend, was passed down to the residents by a holy man during the 8th century. The cascading rice terraces and stillness of the afternoon lend an almost ancient quality to the entire area, as the fields appear to be unravished by time. Travellers are welcome to grab a bite or pick up a handcrafted souvenir or two from the row of cafes and kiosks perched near the ledge of the valley.
Where to stay Kaamala Resort Ubud
With the town centre and Ubud markets within walking distance, there are plenty of options available for guests craving for some local delights. Each villa is furnished with a balcony for guests to catch a breath of fresh air and enjoy the smell of rain without having to leave the comfort of their room. The resort also boasts an outdoor swimming pool with waters that look extremely inviting on a warm, lazy afternoon. Situated in the heart of Ubud, Kaamala Resort Ubud is the perfect hideaway for couples looking to create new intimate moments with their significant other.
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Siem Reap, Cambodia
Home to the Angkor temples that were once under the rule of the sprawling Khmer Empire. Besides Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, Siem Reap is a close second when it comes to exponential growth in tourism. Apart from the wide array of hulking structures now in a state of dilapidation, Siem Reap’s draw is in its abundance of attractions and activities. From Apsara traditional dance that draws from a tradition as old as the Angkor Wat dancers from which they derived their names, to soaring across Siem Reap’s countryside in a 2-seater plane,
Siem Reap is teeming attractions that would leave excited travellers spoilt for choice.
What to eat Pou Restaurant and Bar
The restaurant specialises in taking your regular Khmer food and elevating them to the next level. Besides embellishing the dishes with vibrant-coloured sauces and edible flowers, the attention to detail can be tasted in every bite. Diners with nerves (and stomach) of steel can give their herb-infused local wines a try! But be warned, it is not for everyone.
What to do/visit Les Artisans d’ Angkor
Besides the famous Angkor temples, the influence of the once powerful empire lives on through the art of the Cambodian people. The Les Artisans d’ Angkor is a social enterprise that labours to keep the ancient Khmer arts alive. Besides visiting their showroom in the city, travellers who are feeling a little crafty and a few hours to spare can consider signing up for one of their workshops!
Where to stay Viroth’s Hotel
Nested in the bustling Wat Bo area at the heart of Siem Reap, guests of Viroth’s Hotel get to enjoy the convenience of a central location while basking in the serenity of the urban sanctuary as beautiful vertical gardens shroud them from the busy crowd beyond the hotel’s premises. Known as the most romantic accommodation in the whole of Siem Reap, each suite is furnished with a King bed, private terrace, and Cambodian art. Couples who feel guilty for choosing not to leave the bosom of this urban enclave will find their guilt slowly melting away as they immerse themselves in their favourite novels after a relaxing swim in the gorgeous hotel pool.