5 Budget Destinations For a Short Getaway.


Are you wasting the last 3 weeks of your precious school holidays bumming at home? Want to go for a short getaway but the usual Malacca, Penang or Langkawi are no longer appealing to you? Indeed nothing new there to see or eat in Malaysia, even their “new” Prime Minister is the “old” one.

Here are 5 budget destinations for a short getaway beside the same old boring trip up north in Malaysia.


Frustrated by Singapore’s torrential downpours? Fret not because you can always visit Krabi for your water sports fix! You may be considering Langkawi as well but you have my word, that Krabi would be a better choice!

I would highly recommend you to book an accommodation at the Ao Nang Villa Resorts. Why? There are many amenities inside the resort and most importantly, it is near the beach!

You can engage in many water sports such as wind surfing, kite surfing, and wake boarding. What I really love to do there is scuba diving. As Krabi is surrounded by coral reefs and limestone towers so you wouldn’t want to miss this golden opportunity to check those out!


Thailand is one on the cheapest travel hubs in the world, so rest assured that accommodations would certainly be affordable! The traffic jam situation can cause a headache so take Bangkok’s BTS instead. Grab is cheap but you wouldn’t want to waste precious time being stuck in the jam. You have been warned.  Thank me later.

How can you visit Thailand and not taste their Tom Yum soup right?  Go to Pee Aor Tom Yum Goong , their Tom Yum Goong Noodle, and Prawn Omelette with Crab Egg Rice are a must-try. It will be a pity if you give it a miss.

Is that all in Bangkok? NO! The authentic Thai eating experience is all about the street food. From savory delicacies to sweet treats, make sure you try them all! I would personally recommend two night bazaars, Jatujak Weekend Market and Rod Fai Night Market. You will be surprised what you can find at these bazaars. Go ahead, surprise yourself!

Finally, what you need after a long day of food hunting and shopping is a good Thai massage which you can find at every turn in Bangkok.



Dear shoppers, I did not forget about you. You can shop until you drop in capital of Philippines.

In fact, you can start your shopping spree after you landed in Manila Airport. A huge mega mall – SM Mall of Asia, is just a 5 min taxi ride away from the airport. Depending on your budget, you can also check in to any one of the hotels near the mall with prices starting at $39 SGD per night. Do note that this mall sells mainly branded goods, but hey, definitely cheaper than Singapore.

If your budget is tight, no problem-o. I personally will recommend Greenhills Shopping Center and Divisoria Market. These two shopping places are just like our Bugis Street. Affordable yet durable clothes and footwear can be found in every nook and cranny of the mall.

Rain or shine, you can go on your crazy shopping spree and definitely be happy with your loots at the end of your trip.

Luang Prabang

Unleash your alter ego and start snapping away in Luang Prabang. This ancient town is situated in northern Laos and arguably Southeast Asia’s most beautiful spot.  Yes, it may be a bit pricey as compared to the capital city Vientiane, but trust me, it is worth it!

When I was there, I stayed in The Global Guesthouse. The staff are very friendly and helpful. Most of their rooms come with air conditioning, and breakfast is included.

The renowned Kuang Si Falls is not to be missed. Besides being astonishingly beautiful, you can take a dip in the blue turquoise water. They also have rope swings tied to a tree that you can jump from! However, please be respectful and take note of the ‘no swimming’ signs in certain areas as the pools are considered to be sacred by the locals.

You can never miss the temples in Luang Prabang because they are everywhere and surprisingly, well maintained, especially Wat Nong Sikhounmuang. The 5-headed nagas at the entrance and the beautifully carved doors are the main attractions. The gold detailing is just impeccable.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your camera and get started.

Ho Chi Minh City

Aside from KL and JB, Ho Chi Minh City also provides lots of entertainment, from historic museums to hipster cafes. Amidst the sea of motorbike traffic, I am sure you would find delicious street food and a host of attractions that will keep you entertained. A night or two of luxury is a lot more affordable than you would think! Come on down now!

Vietnam is well known for their coffee and it is a definitely must try. Amongst the cafés, The Workshop sells one of the best coffees in Ho Chi Minh City. Opened in 2014, The Workshop is carved out of a block of top-floor apartments in a building and is often packed with young folks. This place is gorgeous, I am sure you can take some Insta-worthy shots.

You can also walk down the memory lane and visit the War Remnants Museum. It is a one-off experience that everyone MUST have. The museum consists of rooms filled with historic photos and trinkets from the war, and an outdoor space where military gears (tanks, helicopters, artillery, etc) are displayed. The visit will definitely serve as reminder to take peace for granted.

Time is ticking; there is no time to waste. So, stop wasting your holidays going to Malaysia, and start packing.

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Chuan-Jin Chen



Written by 

I am now Speaker of Parliament of Sureboh Singapore. I will speak a lot and write a lot of friendly-friendly stories about Singapore. I love to run around Singapore and meet old cardboard ladies. When you see me, you must bow to me please.