Whether you’re joining the throngs of merry holidaymakers to ring in Chinese New Year or waiting for the crowds to die down for a more relaxing vacation, there’s no better time than now for a weekend getaway to Southeast Asia’s best destinations. The weather is generally dry and sunny, without the scorching temperatures that tend to hit in the summer months, while the wet season is still months away. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore our top Southeast Asia travel destinations this month.
Adventure-trekking in Malaysia
From climbing Mount Kinabalu 4,000 metres above sea level to exploring the murky depths of the largest cave chamber in the world, Sarawak Chamber, Malaysia offers an abundance of activities to satisfy the adrenaline-seeking junkie. Head to the island of Langkawi to spend a weekend exploring Malaysia’s most well-known archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, with a diverse landscape of white beaches, towering mountains, rainforest and mangrove wetlands. Here you can immerse yourself in water activities, including snorkelling at Pulau Payar, diving, jet skiing and boating. The island is filled with luxury resorts at low prices, allowing for travellers to experience a world-class holiday at the fraction of the price of many other popular destinations in Southeast Asia.
If city life is more what you’re after, plan a trip to the state capital of Kuala Teregganu to explore a city filled with culture and unique heritage sites including the Crystal Mosque and the Istana Maziah Palace.
How to get there: AirAsia offers flights to Langkawi for as low as HK$560 (one-way base fare) and Kuala Teregganu for HK$443 (one-way base fare), with a layover in Kuala Lumpur. While enjoying the bustling transition hub of KL, AirAsia passengers can enjoy access to the AirAsia Premium Red Lounge as well as the option of the add-on Value Pack with extra check-in luggage, seat selection and in-flight meal.
CNY Special: AirAsia is currently offering discounted flights to Sabah, Malaysia; book at airasia.com.
Sunbathing in Thailand
Thailand is undoubtedly one of Asia’s most popular destinations, with its plethora of pristine beaches and iconic temples. A resort town near the Andaman coast, Krabi is beloved for its limestone karsts, mangrove forests and crystal clear waters. Explore the miles upon miles of lush coastline while participating in water sports, rock climbing and cave exploration. Remaining relatively untouched by mass tourism — although fast gaining in popularity — Krabi is one of the best destinations to visit in Thailand before the crowds swarm in.
Alternatively, head to the second largest of Koh Samui, a tropical paradise which is known for its palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves and swanky resorts that pander to the well-heeled traveler. Here you can luxuriate in some of the best hotels and resorts in Southeast Asia, with world-class dining and service at your fingertips. Koh Samui is one of the most beautiful islands in the area, a tranquil paradise that offers breathtaking views from any vantage point on the island. Secluded beaches to scenic treks are around every corner for travellers to explore the vast beauty of the island.
How to get there: AirAsia offers flights for as low as HK$533 to Krabi and HK$533 to Surat Thani (Koh Samui) for a one-way base fare. Both require a stopover in Bangkok, a destination city in its own right where you can spend plenty of hours shopping and eating before your next flight.
CNY Special: Check out the discounted rates to Thailand for the CNY holiday at airasia.com.
Culture-hopping in the Philippines
Made up of more than 7,000 islands, The Philippines is both growing in population and popularity with an abundance of natural wonders and one-of-a-kind attractions to explore. The capital of the province of Bohol, Tagbilaran is known as “The City of Peace and Friendship”, with rolling hills, lush greenery, and friendly locals to guide you around the main tourist attractions.
Visit Kaingit Beach to spend a day sunbathing on the white sand with the blue waters nipping at your feet, or head to the Provincial Capitol building to discover the beautiful Spanish architecture in the arcs and columns of old government structure. At night, climb Banat-I Hill, the peak that marks the southern border of Tagbilaran City with scenic views of the Mindanao Sea and the Strait of Panglao Island.
How to get there: AirAsia offers flights for as low as HK$500 (one-way base fare) to Tagbilaran with a layover in the capital of Manila.
CNY Special: AirAsia is currently offering discounted rates to Manila, Philippines at up to 50% off flights at airasia.com.
This article is sponsored by AirAsia.