Tired of slogging through your five-day work week already? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Expedia.com.sg®’s Expedia’s 2017 Vacation Deprivation® Study, conducted in September last year, revealed that 43% of full-time workers in Singapore spend time at work dreaming and planning for their next vacation. On top of this, 25% spend time at work planning for their next vacation and another 16 percent spend time at work dreaming about their next vacation.

If planning for your next vacation is the one thing that perks you up at work, Expedia is making it easy for you. We’ve put together a list of five hot destinations within a 7-hour flight away, to help you get on the next plane for a relaxing one week break away from work!

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1. Okinawa, Japan

With breath-taking landscapes and a rich culture, Japan is one of the most popular countries to visit among Singapore travellers. This time, skip your usual trip to Tokyo and head to Okinawa for a different kind of holiday. With direct flights to Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture- which is made up of several dozen small islands – you can island-hop between Okinawa Island, Miyako Islands and Yaeyama Islands while immersing yourself in the unique Ryukyu culture of the Okinawans.

When To Go

Spring time (late February to early May) is a great time to visit, avoiding the rainy season.

Where To Stay

Check out Hotels in Okinawa.

Getting There

What to do in Okinawa

Look forward to a plethora of water activities at Mission Beach! A beach-lover’s paradise, you can jet-ski or wakeboard over the pristine waters, or dive deeper into the waters to discover exotic marine life with kaleidoscopic colours. While you would need to pay a small entrance fee to this privately-owned beach, you’ll gain access to all the facilities you need, including showers, toilets and locker rooms.

Another must-do when in Okinawa is to immerse yourself in the unique Ryukyu culture of Okinawa at World Heritage Site Shurijo Castle Park. Home to powerful Japanese Kings for over 400 years, the castle had been ravaged by fires and warfare through the years, and was completely destroyed in World War II, before being reconstructed from photographs and records to preserve the fascinating history behind it.

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2. Hue, Vietnam

Looking to take the path less travelled? Instead of visiting the popular Vietnamese cities of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi or Da Nang, you can head to the lost imperial city of Hue, located along the beautiful Song Huong, also known as the Perfume River. As a former royal capital, the city of Hue boasts an astounding history which you can learn about by visiting the Imperial Citadel and ancient king tombs, some of which require a small admission fee. If you’re a cultural history buff, this is a great destination to get your fix of ancient history and have your energy levels charged up for work!

When To Go

With sunny weather and just a sprinkling of light rain, summer (which begins in February) is the prime time to visit Hue.

Where To Stay

Check out Hotels in Hue.

Getting There

What to do in Hue

Walk through the impressive Ngo Mon Gate to begin your long adventure in the Imperial Citadel. Built in 1804, the citadel has stood the test of time and was present at the end of the Nguyen Dynasty in 1945 when Emperor Bao Dai abdicated the throne. If you get hungry during your visit, there are food stalls aplenty for you to buy tasty local snacks.

The Tomb of Khai Dinh, with its strikingly sinister black buildings set against Hue’s idyllic green hillside, hosts Vietnam’s most hated emperor. Be awed by the intricacies of the spectacular tomb, which was forged as a result of Khai Dinh mercilessly raising taxes to pay for its construction.

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3. Melbourne, Australia

If you love the laid-back culture of Australia, Melbourne is one city that will always have something for new and repeat visitors seeking a good combination of entertainment and relaxation. With a coffee culture that triumphs everywhere else in the world, Melbourne is the go-to place for café-hopping. Plus, with a ton of museums, laneways and beautiful landscapes for you to explore within a two-hour drive from the city, there’s definitely something for everyone in this remarkable city.

When To Go

March- the start of autumn- is a great time to visit, with its cool weather amidst sunny skies.

Where To Stay
Getting There

What to do in Melbourne

Café-hopping is truly the best way to know Melbourne. Grab a good book (or two) and smell your way to any of the many cafes in Melbourne for a quiet, relaxing day. Think aromatic cups of flat whites paired with a generous plate of chorizo Scotch eggs while buried in the drama of your novel. Drool-worthy? Definitely. While you can find cafes almost literally everywhere in the city, here’s our pick of the best cafes in Melbourne.

Opened in 1854, the Princess Theatre is considered by some to be Melbourne’s most spectacular landmark. After an afternoon of hanging out at the cafes, look forward to fun comedic theatrical productions such as The Book of Mormon or even all-time favourites The Phantom of the Opera or Swan Lake at this classic theatre to end off your day.

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4. East Java, Indonesia

If you fancy yourself getting far away from the city life and into the wilderness, consider backpacking to both Mount Bromo and Ijen Crater in East Java, Indonesia. These active volcanoes are hot destinations for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers. Be awed by the majestic landscape you will find yourself in and let your worries melt away in the heat of the two volcanoes.

When To Go

March- the start of autumn- is a great time to visit, with its cool weather amidst sunny skies.

Where To Stay
Getting There

What to do in East Java

A hiker’s dream- get ready to wake up at 3 a.m. to catch the sunrise over Mount Bromo before making your way to the summit to get a glimpse of the caldera. You can even opt to ride a jeep or a pony for your journey!

 

And for those that are not vertically challenged for a climb, a more difficult terrain than Mount Bromo is Mount Ijen. This destination boasts a stunningly turquoise sulphur lake. While the view will take your breath away, take note to go well prepared as you will be exposed to noxious sulphur gases. Do also look out and be humbled by the sulphur miners in the volcano!

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5. Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Taipei, as one of the most popular destinations among Singapore travellers, is understandably a clear favourite with its amazing variety of food and activities available. If you’re a regular Taipei visitor, why not check out the city of Kaohsiung, an industry city that has transformed into a modern metropolis today? Here, night markets are all the rage, along with affordable shopping options and a wide variety of attractions including the nearby Cijin Island, Love River, Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum and more!

When To Go

The months of October to December are the best time to visit, with mild autumn weather and cool temperatures across the city.

Where To Stay
Getting There

What to do in Kaohsiung

For a truly authentic local food and shopping experience, head to Ruifeng Night Market– one of the two most famous night markets in Kaohsiung. Packed with a plethora of street food vendors and local night market-goers, make your way through the grid of streets and sample the small eats as you weave through the crowds. And don’t forget to check out Angel Chicken- the most famous fried chicken in Kaohsiung’s night markets.

As one of the most iconic attractions in Kaohsiung, the Lotus Lake is home to the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. Symbolising auspicious power and strength, dragons, in Chinese culture, are believed to have control over water, including rain and floods, and are used by emperors in ancient days as a symbol of power. Tigers, on the other hand, symbolises prowess, righteousness and harmony, and are revered by the Chinese population. Here, you can check out the intricate historical paintings within the two pagodas and immerse yourself in the magnificent views of the Lotus Lake.

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The great thing about living in Singapore is that you’re never short of travel options. With direct flights to a variety of destinations within Asia, and more that can be reached via an additional connection flight, there’s always somewhere new for you to explore, relax and recharge with just one week away from work. For great deals, more savings, book your getaway at Expedia!