If you’re looking for destinations with a slower pace and alternative vibe, this list is just for you.
Whether you are recovering from a hectic work week, or in need of break from Singapore, holidays are always a welcome affair. If you don’t have a lot of time or money to splurge on a faraway destination, why not visit one of these chic and chill destinations right at our doorstep? Online travel agency ZUJI gives us some great recommendations for your next short getaway!
1. Shimokitazawa – Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is not just about Disneyland or the Shibuya crossing! The next time you head to this bustling city, explore further to the west of the city, to the small town of Shimokitazawa, or Shimokita. This quaint town is unique with its lively winding streets. Get ready to do lots of walking though – many of these narrow alleys are inaccessible to cars! All the better to wander around the various nooks and crannies of the place, we think. Expect to find bars and boutiques along the streets, as well as numerous small businesses that range from vintage stores selling knick knacks, to cafes, hole-in-the-wall bars, bike shops, and even studios for musicians.
2. Ayutthaya – Thailand
The next time you plan on making a trip to the Land of Smiles, don’t just visit the usual Bangkok, Krabi, or Phuket. If you are looking to explore a more historical side to Thailand, you have to make a trip down to Ayutthaya. Located 80km north of Bangkok, this place was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, and you can visit the ruins of the old city in the Ayutthaya Historical Park. There, you can find palaces, Buddhist temples like Wat Phra Si Sanphet (the largest temple in Ayutthaya), monasteries, and statues. Animal lovers would love a trip to the Elephantstay, a non-profit programme dedicated to the conservation of old elephants.
3. Newtown – Sydney, Australia
If you’ve been to the vibrant cities of Perth and Melbourne, or are keen to explore an alternative to usual Australian tourist hotspots, try a trip to Newtown. A suburb located just southwest of Sydney’s CBD, this place oozes with an eclectic vibe, with its mix of rock music venues, hipster coffee joints, and antique shops. Of course, no trip is complete without a round of good food! Have your pick of amazing food choices from restaurants and cafes offering various cuisines, such as soul food, Thai, and even Japanese Spanish fusion. There are definitely many Instagrammable moments to be had here too! Newtown is famous for its amazing street art (perfect backdrops for your holiday #OOTD), as well as numerous bars, where you’ll find interesting cocktails and lots of retro furniture.
4. Bassac Lane – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cambodia is increasingly becoming a destination of choice for Singaporean travellers, and it is easy to see why. While we might simply associate Cambodia with bamboo trains and the Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s increasing urbanisation yields great new finds for travellers. Bassac Lane is one such gem – a small urban lane which houses an array of tiny, trendy bars owned by two brothers. Take your pick with micro-bars like Seibur, or Meat and Drink, which serves grilled fare alongside your tipple, or even Hangar 44, a hipster bar, motorcycle showroom and boutique hybrid. This place is not just about creative cocktails, tapas, and live music either. You can also find graffiti-inspired art surrounding the industrial décor in some of the bars, which would definitely appeal to the free-spirited and boho crowd.
5. M50 – Shanghai, China
If you’ve not explored Shanghai’s incredible art scene, you are definitely missing out. Known as the city’s most blossoming arts district, 50 Moganshan Road (M50) is home to contemporary art galleries, workspaces, and a long wall of street art. There is an air of conviviality as you walk the streets here, with artists decked out in streetwear, ducking in and out of cafes, art supply stores, and galleries that were once factories and warehouses. Art lovers would enjoy spending time taking in the breathtaking, and sometimes bizarre, works of art, as they sit in one of the city’s many hip coffee joints.
Visit ZUJI at www.zuji.com.sg for more details on travel deals.