Everyone’s travelling to far-off places like Europe, Australia and even the Middle East; be it for a honeymoon, a well-deserved escape from reality or just to spice up your ‘gram life.
Sure, those places are cool, but occasionally they can either burn a bigger hole in our pocket than we’d like or everyone else seems to have visited the location at least once.
Stay closer to home and still get that much-needed break with this list of little-known places and activities in Asia.
1. Feed Rabbits At Okunoshima Island In Japan (Rabbit Island)
Okunoshima Island has had a rough history but its left that past behind and become bunny-haven. Overrun by roughly a thousand rabbits, Okunoshima can only be accessed by ferry.
Direct flights are available from Singapore to Hiroshima. With an abundance of rabbits hopping around waiting patiently to be offered food (what a nice life), and a serene escape from the bustling cities that Japan’s known for, there’s no better reason to take a day trip here.
Take endless photographs of the roaming occupants or use the dilapidated buildings and surrounding scenery as backdrops for your next outfit-of-the-day posts.
To get here, use the Japan Rail Pass (JR West Pass), you can take the train down from Hiroshima to Okunoshima with no hassle.
Okunoshima Island Visitor Centre: Okunoshima, Tadanoumicho, Takehara 729-2311, Hiroshima Prefecture | Tel: +81 846-26-0100
2. Brew Bubble Tea At Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House In Taichung, Taiwan
I won’t be surprised if we each have a bubble tea checklist (this is a thing) ready in our phones for the times we just need another excuse to drink just one more cup.
Sure, bubble tea shops are abundantly popping up all over Singapore. But what’s better than buying a cup of caloric goodness? Making your own cup of delicious boba regret.
Fly to Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House in Taiwan, Taichung to learn how to make and brew your own bubble tea from the professionals behind our classic pearl milk tea.
Learn about the history of bubble tea and its evolution (yes, even bubble tea changes with the times!) and return home with a new status as bubble tea connoisseur!
Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House: B1, No.2, Sec 1, Wuquan W. Rd, West District, Taichung City +886-4-23763342 | Website
3. Snorkel At The Pink Beach In Komodo Islands, Indonesia
One of the three islands that make up Komodo National Park, Komodo Island is home to the Pink Beach (Pantai Merah).
Aside from the obvious Instagram pictures you’ll be able to take from visiting, Pink Beach is a perfect place for snorkelers and divers. With coral reefs and various species of fish to uncover, you’ll not be short of entertainment. Don’t forget to get your insurance before diving into the activities!
You can get to the Komodo Islands by flying into Bali before taking a local airline to Labuan Bajo Airport. The final stretch of the journey is to be done by speedboat, straight onto the pink sandy beach of the island.
Book a hotel on the island so you can enjoy the full grandeur of the location before it closes down in 2020 in order to improve the ecological conditions there.
Things You’ll Need: Changi Wifi Router
Tourist Information Centre Labuan Bajo: Jalan Mutiara, Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Kabupaten Manggarai Barat, Nusa Tenggara Tim, Indonesia | Tel: +62 361 271145 | Website
4. Explore Alishan’s National Scenic Area In Taiwan
Step away from the hectic city of Taiwan and discover Alishan’s nature and scenic routes.
Ride the Alishan Forest Train and enjoy the picturesque views that pass you by or trek the forest trails within the Alishan Forest National Recreational Area. Afraid of getting lost? Book a day tour!
End the day indulging in the famous Alishan tea. Completely enthralled by the sites that you decide to stay another night? Attempt to catch the exquisite sunrises that this off-the-beaten city in Taiwan is famous for.
Alishan National Scenic Area: 605, Taiwan, Chiayi County, Alishan Township, 59. | Tel: +886 5 267 9917
5. Go On A Sunset Bike Ride In Bangkok, Thailand
Run out of things to do in Bangkok? Or maybe you’re just not the sort of person who buys yet another suitcase to fit that additional pair of denim shorts you just bought from the markets.
Take the time away from the hustle and bustle of this busy city and learn to appreciate Bangkok as more than just a shopping destination by doing a sunset bike ride. This guided tour begins at Thonburi and ends at Wat Pho Temple where you can bask in the evening glow.
6. Marvel At The Shirogane Blue Pond In Biei, Japan
How can an accidental creation look so beautiful?
The Shirogane Blue Pond in Biei, Japan is a by-product of mudslide control and aluminium that seeped into the water. When the sun touches the surface of the Blue Pond, it turns various shades of blue depending on the season.
With the Japan Rail Pass and Hokkaido Rail Pass (JR Furano Line), you can take the limited express train from Sapporo to Asahikawa before transferring to a local train bound for Biei; fully covered.
Shirogane Blue Pond: 071-0235 Kamikawa-gun Biei-cho Shirokane
7. Visit Jodipan Village (Village of Colour) in Malang, Indonesia
Fly into Jakarta and take a train down to Malang, East-Java to visit Jodipan Village- easily one of the most colourful places in the world.
Before the colour was introduced to the village, the government wanted to relocate the villagers due to the terrible living conditions. However, thanks to students from a local university and help from the Air Force, Jodipan Village now has a new lease on life.
Enjoy the various murals splashed across the walls and side-track to recently discovered Kampung Biru Arema (Blue Village).
Entrance to Jodipan Village costs approximately IDR3000 (approximately S$0.30) and most of the locals earn their money through selling food and drink to tourists.
Jodipan Village: Jodipan, Blimbing, Malang City, East Java, Indonesia
8. Paraglide Over Mountains At Puli, Taiwan
If you’re a part nature lover, part city person then maybe this activity might be just right for you. Paraglide over the mountain ranges in Puli, Nantou County in Taiwan.
Where else can you take a short detour and enjoy a bird’s eye view over both cityscape and nature? Don’t worry, you’re safe with an instructor guiding you through the entire adrenaline-filled experience.
Save the hassle of booking separate insurance policies for your paragliding experience. Book with Changi Recommends and insurance is already included!
Puli Visitor Centre: No. 191, Section 4, Zhongshan Road, Puli Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 545 | Tel: +886 4 9291 6060
9. Enjoy The Serenity At Erawan National Park In Thailand
Retreat into the quiet at the Erawan National Park. Listen to the sound of the waterfall as it hits and flows over the rocks.
Stay close to this sanctuary if you’re looking for a retreat-like trip instead of the chaos that Bangkok is known for. Imagine waking up and being able to go for morning treks and catching the sunrise and the sunset as it filters through the trees.
Just immerse yourself in the greenery and avoid bringing your portable wifi with you! Instead, take all the photographs and post them only when you’ve returned back to civilisation.
If you’re intending to spend your getaway only around Erawan National Park, book an airport transfer service to avoid the hassle of having to utilise public transport.
Things You’ll Need: Thailand AIS SIM Card
Erawan National Park Office: Tha Kradan, Si Sawat District, Kanchanaburi 71250, Thailand, +66 34 574 222
10. Take A Hot Air Balloon Tour In Bagan, Myanmar
Hop on a hot air balloon and soar to breathtaking heights for an eagle eye’s view of Bagan, Myanmar!
Thousands of Bagan pagodas sit on a dry plain along the Irrawaddy River all in full view while you drift and float thousands of feet above ground. Listen to the pilot’s explanations about the rich history behind ballooning and observe these key archaeological sites pointed out.
With a 360-degree view of Bagan, you can capture all these priceless moments with your camera and remember this airborne moment forever. After about 35 to 60 minutes, land safely back at the launch site and receive a flight certificate from your pilot too.
Book a hotel in Bagan, Myanmar and take a once in a lifetime ride up into the sky.
Golden Eagle Ballooning: 97B, Wadan Street, Lanmadaw Township, Yangon | Website
With so many new places to go and uncover in Asia, you no longer have to worry about spending too much to get a unique experience. Especially with the various services that Changi Recommends offers, you’ll constantly be able to stay connected be it in the air or whilst hiking in the mountains.
They have a total of 20 Changi Recommends counters scattered throughout all four Singapore Changi Airport terminals (operating 24 hours, seven days a week) allowing travellers to collect and return their purchases with convenience.
Use ‘HypeStays’ for 10% of hotel bookings* up to a maximum of $100 and ‘2FreeDaysHype’ to savour in two free days of Wifi** (minimum of 4 days rental of the Changi Recommends Wifi Router). Promo codes valid for travel bookings by 31 October 2019.
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