If you’re sad that you missed out during the Chinese New Year long weekend, don’t fret. There are still quite a few three-day weekends to get to. We’ve pulled out the must-go destinations on our list to head to this year.
Shanghai is once again hot on the radars of Singapore travelers as many go there for business and wild parties. It’s also home to a new Disneyland, Shanghai Disney Resort, which is set to open this spring at a cost of US$5.4 billion. Round trip tickets through Singapore Airlines are starting at $745.
Myanmar’s Andaman Islands
A 1.5-hour speedboat ride from Ranong’s shore in Thailand will take you to at least three uninhabited islands belonging to Myanmar, and Singapore citizens should get a $35 tourist visa from the official embassy before departure. These are Moe Thauk, Bruer and Cocks Comb Island, home to a deep azure inland lake dubbed “The Emerald Heart.” Book via Grand Andaman Travel, which offers all-inclusive one-day trips (including border pass) at about $156.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Siem Reap has long overshadowed Phnom Penh as a tourist destination, but now the country’s capital is beginning to shine thanks to a buzzing restaurant, cafe and bar scene. It’s also home to the soon-to-open Sleuk Rith Institute, a Zaha Hadid-designed museum, research center, library and hall of contemporary arts dedicated to the Cambodian genocide.
This year will be your last chance to visit the original site of Tsukiji Market, Tokyo’s legendary fish market most famous for its tuna auctions. After 80 years of operation, the market will close on Nov 2 to relocate to a new site in Chuo Ward, Yoyosu, and is set to reopen on Nov 7. Fans of Japanese art must also visit Naoshima Island, the country’s iconic hub of contemporary art in the Seto Inland Sea in Chogoku region, which this year will host the Setouchi Triennale (aka Setouchi International Art Festival) contemporary art festival. Events take place across a dozen islands throughout the year with dates as follows: spring (Mar 20-Apr 17); summer (Jul 18-Sep 4); autumn (Oct 8-Nov 6). Don’t forget to also check out the Benesse Museum, designed by revered Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Kyushu Island in the far southeast of the country is now more accessible than ever before thanks to cheap flights (about $614) that run between Singapore and Fukuoka. Visit in late March or early April and you’ll witness one of the most beautiful displays of cherry blossom anywhere in Japan. Kumamoto prefecture, apart from being home to the much-loved cartoon character Kumamon Bear, is also where you’ll find Kumamoto Castle, one of the largest complete castles in Japan. Head to Kagoshima Prefecture to watch the 1,117-meter volcanic island of Sakurajima as it continues to spit lava. And no visit is complete without visiting Mount Kaimon in Kirishima Yaku National Park, the only place on earth where you can experience a natural onsen-like steam sand bath.
USA’s Art and Parks
This year, the United States’ National Park Service turns 100. Among its 59 national parks, you might choose to visit Yellowstone, the world’s first national park in Wyoming, for its famous geysers. Or go down south to California’s Yosemite National Park for its picturesque landscape. Speaking of California, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or SFMoMA, also opens to the public on May 14, when it will officially be the largest modern art museum in the States.
This year, Antalya, on the country’s southwest coast, hosts World Expo 2016 under the theme “Cultivating a Green Life for Future Generations.” The expo takes place from Apr-Oct. The ancient Mediterranean city’s history runs through both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, while its coastline is full of natural attractions and historical sites including seaside Duden Waterfalls, Yivliminare Mosque and Hıdırlık Tower.
Wroclaw, Poland, and San Sebastian, Spain
Every year, the European Union crowns new cities to be European Capitals of Culture. The two named this year are Wroclaw, the administrative capital in Poland’s Lower Silesian Region, and San Sebastian, the northern coastal city of Spain’s Basque region. Wroclaw’s old town, which dates back 1,000 years, is praised as a melting pot of European culture, having been under Czech, German and Polish rule. San Sebastian, meanwhile, is a gastronomic paradise thanks to its world-renowned local tapas and Michelin-star restaurants. Actually, three of the seven 3-Michelin-star restaurants in Spain can be found here: Akelarre, Martin Berasategui and Arzak.
Travelers seeking arctic adventures are looking beyond Norway to the glorious landscapes of Greenland, which this year hosts the Arctic Winter Games 2016 on Mar 6-11. The country also offers all kinds of adventurous activities, from arctic wildlife and whale watching to bathing in hot springs under the midnight sun. Visit the official website to plan your trip.
One of the most famous cities for architecture in Europe, Rotterdam is listed as a hot destination this year thanks to the opening of Museum Rotterdam inside the Rem Koolhaas-designed Timmerhuis building. Opening this month, the museum will feature more than 100,000 objects detailing the history of this relatively young port town—it’s currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.