Unconventional doesn’t mean inaccessible. Take off to these magnificent destinations!
This bustling metropolis is rapidly developing, but its rich traditions and culture still prevail. Glistening Buddhist temples and pagodas define its skyline; elsewhere, decaying monuments are all part of the city’s charm. When your stomach starts rumbling after sunset, visit the Anawrahta Road Night Market for local delicacies sold right by the roadside.
Getting there: Singapore Airlines, Silkair, Jetstar, and Scoot fly directly to Yangon from Singapore (2 hours 55 minutes).
NEXT: Fukuoka, Japan →
Fukuoka is known, even amongst the Japanese, for its food. At every other turn of the street in the city center, you’ll find street vendors hawking ramen, okonomiyaki (Japanese cabbage pancakes), mentaiko (marinated cod roe), and more. Plan your trip to catch the Japan Sumo Association tournament (pictured) that happens yearly in Fukuoka.
Getting there: Singapore Airlines flies directly to Fukuoka from Singapore (6 hours).
NEXT: Yogyakarta, Indonesia →
Eat, Play, Love could just as well have been filmed in Yogyakarta as it was in Bali. Life here is zen, and Javanese culture blends in perfectly with the wonders of Mother Nature, from underground caves to waterfalls. And, of course, nobody visits Yogyakarta without exploring the iconic Borobudur (pictured), one of the greatest Buddish temples in the world.
Getting there: Silkair and Airasia fly directly to Yogyakarta from Singapore (2 hours 20 minutes).
NEXT: Da Nang, Vietnam →
Beach meets city in Da Nang. Take a stroll on the soft sands, or soak in the urban charm of the city not far from the waters. Not the most popular of tourist destinations, you’ll get to immerse in the local lives of the everyday person. And a short taxi ride from the city will bring you to the Marble Mountains, a stunning cluster of peaks, caves, and tunnels steeped in ancient folklore.
Getting there: Silkair and Jetstar fly directly to Da Nang from Singapore (2 hours 40 minutes).
NEXT: Dhaka, Bangladesh →
Dhaka is busy – messy, even – but gloriously so. Colorful rickshaws occupy the streets lined with hawker stalls; the locals seem to have all the energy to keep up with the city’s snappy rhythm. It’s a thriving city that takes some getting used to, but once you do, explore the exciting museums and enticing restaurant scene, and all else there is to love about Dhaka.
Getting there: Singapore Airlines and Tigerair fly directly to Dhaka from Singapore (4 hours).
NEXT: Miri, Malaysia →
Miri boats its own unique charm that’s not quite like, say, the busy Kuala Lumpur or the acclaimed food capital Penang – it’s sometimes sleepy, sometimes adrenaline-boosting – depending on how you choose to explore it. Take it slow through the rainforests and hills, or sunbathe at Luak Bay. Party animal? A bustling nightlife awaits.
Getting there: AirAsia flies directly to Miri from Singapore (2 hours).
NEXT: Okinawa, Japan →
Even from mainland Japan, Okinawa, an island by itself south of the mainland, is only reachable by plane; and a direct flight from Singapore was only recently introduced to promote this scenic beach city as the up-and-coming destination of Asia. It’s got the best of both worlds – city life, from American-themed entertainment villages to happening shopping streets, meets dazzling white sand and azure blue waters.
Getting there: Jetstar flies directly to Okinawa from Singapore (5 hours).
NEXT: Maldives →
For a beach paradise that’s so often associated with living it up and all things luxurious, you’d be surprised to know that affordable budget airlines also serve this route. Slap-bang in the middle of the Indian Ocean, it’s a picture-perfect paradise, but of course, nothing beats being there to see it for yourself.
Getting there: Scoot, Silkair and Singapore Airlines fly directly to Maldives from Singapore (4 hours 35 minutes).
NEXT: Yangon, Myanmar →
By Pinky Chng, November 2017 / Updated September 2019
Like this? Read more travel stories here,