Valentine’s Day may be a little cheesy, but you can’t deny the feel-good factor that comes with a day that’s all about celebrating love. Plus this year, February 14 falls on a Saturday, giving you the perfect excuse to whisk your significant other away on a romantic weekend.
Here are some dreamy spots, conveniently located no more than a few hours away so you can spend less time in the air and more time staring into each other’s eyes.
The idyllic old town centre in Laos has a quaint charm to it, largely thanks to its friendly denizens as well as the beautifully preserved palaces and wats (temples) that have earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Enjoy a slower pace of life by exploring the town on bicycles, stopping frequently at a cool café to refuel or to visit any sights that catch your fancy.
When night falls, get a taste of colonial French cuisine with an atmospheric dinner at the highly rated L’Elephant Restaurant.
Regarded as the cultural centre of Bali, Ubud is a far cry from the manic party scene that characterises some of the more popular seaside areas of Bali such as Kuta and Seminyak.Culture-vulture couples will love exploring Ubud’s myriad workshops, galleries and museums and maybe discover one or two up-and-coming artists. Fun couple-bonding activities include cooking classes, art courses and indulgent spas.
The exceptional Uma by COMO Ubud is located just a stone’s throw from the town centre.
If you’ve already been there and done that at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar should be on your travel bucket list. With about 2200 ancient stupas dotting the landscape, this is an ethereal, other-worldly sight that feels like a movie set. While you can hire a guide to drive you around to the more prominent (and well-kept) stupas, there is a certain rugged glamour to exploring the area with a map and a rented horse-cart or bicycle.
If you’re in the mood to splurge, the sunrise balloon ride over the ancient ruins that stretch out as far as your eye can see is an experience that you won’t forget.
For an utterly indulgent experience just a stone’s throw from home, you can’t beat Pangkor Laut, a privately owned island with just one resort. With a private bay, this eco-resort is an ideal location to get away from it all. Depending on your preference, you can book a villa on stilts over the ocean or one with a spectacular view of the hills.
Best of all, with private butlers to cater for your every whim – from restaurant and spa reservations to jungle trekking or diving excursions – you can focus on each other instead of trying to make travel plans.
If you can’t whisk your partner out of the country, there are of course nice spots in Singapore, beyond the usual crowded attractions, to have a little bit of romance. Aim for somewhere cosy with lots of character, or somewhere different you haven’t been.
The Tiong Bahru and Jalan Besar districts have an interesting mix of hipster cafes and retail shops interspersed with famous traditional hawker fare. Pop by Haji Lane, known for its indie boutiques, to get some sartorial inspiration from young fashionistas.
If you like a little bit of an alternative beat, you can make up a truly sappy excuse — as you begin your own history together, trace a little bit of Singapore’s history. Awwww… (aka cannot take it). Take a trip to the underrated Changi Museum which documents Singapore’s wartime experiences, before exploring the other historic sites in the vicinity, including Changi Village, old Changi Jail and the Selarang Barracks.
Feature Image: Sunset over the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, Laos
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Photographers under Creative Commons 2.0 License