A Short Break on A Bargain

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Southeast Asia is definitely blessed with a tropical weather, and this makes beach resorts and the lush rainforests surrounding this region the favourites among travellers. Here are some of the destinations we would recommend for a short-holiday budget trip.

1. Yogyakarta, Indonesia

the beautiful sights to behold

Borobudur is spectacular, and a famous heritage site not to be missed. Credit: IStock

This destination on the south coast of Central Java, Indonesia is perfect for culture and nature lovers who want the best of both worlds at such a small budget. Once considered a holy destination for Buddhists in this region, Yogyakarta boasts the great Borobudur temple. This temple echoes the history of Yogyakarta right from the ninth-century during the period it was founded.

Nature lovers may also busk in the amazement of Mount Merapi, Yogyakarta’s very own active volcano. Despite it’s activity, authorities have assured that the Mount Merapi is still safe for climb. Get yourself to the top and enjoy the sheer satisfaction of touching the clouds with your own hands, and admiring the beautiful landscape of Yogyakarta that lies right ahead.

Getting there: Air Asia, Lion Air Flight fare can get to as low as SGD$100 for return (2hrs)

Fit for a budget of: SGD$300-400.   

2. Batam Island, Indonesia

Sunset beach, credit: Fazli Mansor
Sunset beach

Despite the sleazy undertones of Batam, this island in fact boasts some of Indonesia’a beautiful beaches. Only a 45-minute ferry ride away from Singapore, Batam Island is ideal for a nice, short break with friends or family. A stay at any of the beach resorts is sure to recharge anyone who wants a cosy, relaxing day by the beach. Ladies can get their facials done, and couples may retreat to a Thai/Javanese body massage together by the local masseuse, and a body scrub to go along with that for as cheap as SGD $20.

By the evening, look far out into the horizon to watch the sky turn emerald as the sun sets. And what is a holiday without food? Stroll down to the restaurant by the beach to enjoy some big, fat and juicy lobsters and stringrays, if you are a seafood lover. Batam’s seafood is definitely a must-try while there!

 Getting there: Ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal/Harbour Front Centre. Served by Batam Express or Penguin Ferry Services (SGD$25)

 Fit for a budget of: SGD$200-300

3. KotaTinggi Waterfall Resorts, Malaysia

 Just a few hours drive away, Kota Tinggi makes an excellent destination for short breaks. It is located only 50km north-east of Johor Bahru, and is accessible by car and travel coaches. This destination holds one of the best waterfalls you can get in this region. The Lombong Waterfalls in Kota Tinggi is a popular 37-meter high waterfalls, equipped with picnic spots, a camping ground, chalets for overnight stay and restaurants. Kota Tinggi is a perfect destination for nature lovers who enjoy being amidst the lush greenery of the rainforests. Travellers to Kota Tinggi definitely have to take a plunge and a rejuvenating bath at the waterfall, and they will sure to be recharged and good to go.

 Getting there: By car. Alternatively, there is an Express Bus from Queenstreet (near Bugis / opposite Sim Lim Tower) to Larkin Bus Interchange and transfer to an Express Bus to Kota Tinggi Bus Interchange at RM 3.50 per person (1hour).

 Fit for a budget of: SGD$150-250

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