It’s pretty hard to get gifts for men.  It’s often the usual ties, socks, wallets… hard to get creative! But what does Papa really enjoy? A little quiet time fishing? A manly outdoors adventure where he gets to pitch tents and use fancy tools? A relaxing game of golf with his buddies? Or a family holiday at HIS destination of choice — no shopping allowed?

Whether he’s the outdoorsy type, a foodie or just deserves some pampering, here are some great ideas for a dad-cation not far from Singapore.


1. An Outdoor Adventure in Johor, Malaysia

Johor is just a hop, skip and a jump across the causeway, but it offers a wealth of wide open spaces that little Singapore lacks.


Photo: Corbis

Enjoy a day on the green with your dad at one of Johor’s golf courses, such as the Tanjong Puteri. You can also learn the basics of horseback riding and dressage at a ranch such as Rider’s Lodge and go on a trail ride through the countryside together.

Nearby, Desaru is an idyllic beach town that’s great if you and dad are in need of some rest and relaxation. There are plenty of family-friendly resorts to stay at here and wide expanses of sandy beaches where you can soak up the sun or have a good chat over a jug of cold beer.


2. A Manly Wellness Retreat in Goa, India

Alila Diwa Goa Dining by the Poolside

Poolside Dining at Alila Diwa Goa, Credit: Alila Hotels

Inspire dad to kick-start his health and fitness regime with a five-star retreat in Goa, India. This laid-back seaside town on the west coast is one of the country’s most popular vacation spots and is chock-full of wellness enterprises, from Ayurvedic treatments to yoga centres.

The detox retreat at Alila Diwa Goa is an all-inclusive programme that includes Ayurvedic consultations, dietary advice, daily workshops, yoga, meditation and exercise. Have fun whipping up wholesome yet delicious meals with dad at the resort’s cooking classes and work up a sweat together during one of the fitness sessions.

Then, soothe those aching muscles with an indulgent massage because dad deserves to be pampered, too!


3. Gastronomic Adventure in Bangkok, Thailand


Chinatown at Yaowarat Road, Credit: Thinkstock

This foodie’s paradise has it all, from mouth-watering street food to award-winning fine dining restaurants. Kick back and bond with your father over some of Asia’s most delicious – and fiery – dishes at Bangkok’s famous street stalls, such as boat noodles, mango and papaya salads and all kinds of curries. If he enjoys fuss free dining that is hearty and fills the belly, he’ll love Bangkok.

Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown, is one of the most popular street food haunts and you could spend days (and nights) exploring all the gastronomic offerings in this area. They’re all good, so scope out what the crowds are eating and order whatever tickles your fancy.

If you’re in the mood to splurge, Gaggan, which ranked number one on San Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, serves up molecular Indian cuisine that will surprise and delight your taste buds. Alternatively, for some of the most exquisite Thai food you will ever taste, check out Nahm, which is located in the Metropolitan by Como hotel (don’t forget to make a reservation to secure a table).


4. A Thrilling Break in Bali, Indonesia


Gunung Batur, Credit: Thinkstock

If your father is the adventurous sort, give him the trip of a lifetime in the tropical paradise of Bali.

Besides pristine beaches to sunbathe on, this island has plenty of options for thrill seekers in search of an adrenaline rush. If dad’s a water baby, take him surfing along the beaches at Uluwatu or PadangPadang, famed for their giant waves. You can also check out newfangled water sports such as kitesurfing, stand-up paddle boarding or flyboarding at Nusa Dua or Sanur. Nothing like a new sport to make Dad feel young again.

To get the blood pumping, sign up for a white-water rafting adventure and navigate the rapids in Ubud.


Once you’ve dried off, be a daredevil by climbing up Gunung Batur, Bali’s most active volcano, which still spurts and spews lava on a regular basis. The hike will lead you to some stunning lookouts with panoramic views of the Balinese landscape – just be sure to sign up with a guide from a reputable agency who will keep you out of harm’s way!


 5. A Cultural Trip to Seoul, South Korea


Samcheong-dong district, Credit: Flickr

K-pop fanatics visit Seoul to shop and eat their way through the South Korean capital. But if your father is a culture vulture, he will love this bustling city’s vibrant arts scene.

The Samcheong-dong district, commonly known as Gallery Street, has a row of art galleries that feature a comprehensive roster of South Korean artists, from established heavyweights to avant-garde newbies who are only just beginning to get noticed on the international scene. The Seoul branch of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, with a focus on East Asian and Korean art, is also located in this area.

To see futuristic architecture at its best, check out the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, designed by world-renowned architect, Zaha Hadid. Dubbed the cultural hub of Seoul, the space plays host to a rotating roster of design-related exhibitions, conventions and events.


 6. A Glitzy Weekend in Cotai, Macau


Photo: Image100/Corbis

Take dad on a good old fashioned boys’ night out at the glitzy casinos in Macau. From Blackjack to roulette and poker, test your mettle and pit your wills against the croupiers and fellow high rollers in town. The Cotai Strip is a good spot to have as your base, as many of the most luxurious casinos and resorts are located here, such as the Crown Towers and Four Seasons Hotel Macao at Cotai Strip.


Cotai Strip, Credit: Thinkstock

Need a break from the rolling dice and card shuffling and want to spend some of your winnings? There are gourmet restaurants to wine and dine at in style and designer shops aplenty for browsing. They’re all conveniently located mere steps from the casinos, making Macau a fantastic playground for big spenders.


Feature Image: Desaru Beach, Credit: Flickr