Best Couple Getaway – Discover Busan, Korea At Only $1600 Or Less
So you badly need a couple getaway from both of your hectic work schedules. But you can’t afford a long vacation because of miserable leave entitlement and budget constraint. Usual short trip destinations in Southeast Asia like Penang, Bali and Bangkok seem boring nowadays. Then how?
How about going somewhere further to Busan – the second largest city in Korea?
The trip to Busan isn’t as costly as you think. By taking just 2 days’ leave on Friday and Monday, you can enjoy the best of Busan as a couple at $1,600 or less. You can even do it all within 72 hours!
1. Affordable flights to Busan thanks to Air Asia
Air travel is so much cheaper and convenient now. A return air ticket to Busan via Korean Air will make you and your BF about $2,200 poorer. On the other hand, spend about half that amount by flying AirAsia.[caption id="attachment_13675" align="alignnone" width="254"] Air Asia[/caption]
To be exact, you only need to pay $574 nett per pax for a return trip without check-in baggage!
2. Economical Airbnb accommodation
Hostels, budget hotels? These are so passe.
Welcome to the world of Airbnb, where you can find cosy rooms or apartments in convenient locations. All these at a fraction of the price of hotels! To make things easier for you, we’ve done the research on the best locations for a great couple stay in Busan.
Seomyeon in Busan is like Myeongdong in Seoul, the Mecca for all things trendy. Shop till you drop in this hip district for great Korean fashion.[caption id="attachment_13676" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: JSs favourite things[/caption]
Furthermore, Seomyeon is also the commercial and transportation hub in the city. Staying in a private apartment near the station = great accessibility to major sights. From just $229 for 3 nights, you get to enjoy the convenience of staying in Nami’s sleek studio apartment!
Jungang Station is located near to the largest port in Korea. In addition to stunning views of the Busan port, be close to the famous Jagalchi Market, Gukje Market and other Nampo-dong attractions by staying in this area.[caption id="attachment_13679" align="alignnone" width="1464"] Image Credit: Skyscraper City[/caption]
Boasting a superb location, the cosy W House2 is a steal you don’t want to miss from $291 for 3 nights!
Busan is famous for its beautiful beaches in Korea. In fact, the popular Busan Fireworks Festival is held every October along Gwangalli Beach, a 10-minute walk from Gwangan Station.[caption id="attachment_13677" align="alignnone" width="2304"] Image Credit: Kirsten[/caption]
Stay at Yurim’s cool sea-view apartment located right next to Gwangan station from a reasonable $317 for 3 nights. Besides the convenient access to colourful fireworks, why not take a romantic stroll with your partner on the white sandy beach? Furthermore, explore the city at ease with the nearby subway and buses.
3. Highlights of Busan in 72 hours
Best part of this trip? All the lovely Busan spots don’t require an admission fee, woah!
Day 1: Central district (Jung-gu)’s Jagalchi Market, Gukje Market, Nampo-dong, BIFF Square
Take it easy on your first day, since you’ve just landed in the morning after an overnight flight. Thus, all the activities will be around the 2 subway stations on Busan Subway orange line 1: Jagalchi and Nampo stations.
You can just alight at one station and move around on foot the whole day as these attractions are all within close proximity to one another.[caption id="attachment_13788" align="alignnone" width="4928"] Image Credit: Box of Photos[/caption]
You deserve a hearty breakfast to warm your souls and stomachs. After dumping your baggage at the apartment, head to the iconic Jagalchi Market.
A trip to Busan isn’t complete if you don’t visit the largest seafood market in Korea, the best place to represent the port city.
Tuck into the freshest raw fish here at unbelievable prices. If raw stuff isn’t your thing, have them cooked in one of the many restaurants lined on the shore side road. Pay only 20,000 KRW or less (S$24.20) for a sumptuous seafood meal for 2.
Directions: Walk about 5 minutes from Jagalchi Station exit 10.[caption id="attachment_13792" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Lobsterpaints[/caption]
Proceed to Gukje Market just across the street from Jagalchi Market for another round of feasting and shopping.
As one of the largest traditional markets in Korea, it’s likely you will lose your way here. Nonetheless, getting lost is part of the fun for a great trip!
Do follow the locals and sit on the stools by the alley to try some yummy street food, just like what you see above!
Directions: Jagalchi Station exit 7. Go 30m, turn left, and walk straight for 5 minutes to reach the market.[caption id="attachment_13794" align="alignnone" width="3128"] Image Credit: The Travelogues of Nadia[/caption]
Korean movie fans must visit the famous BIFF Square where the annual Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) is held.
Spot hand paintings of famous movie celebrities along the street. Sink your teeth into the addictive Korean street snacks.
A must-try includes the nutritious Busan specialty – Ssiat Hotteok, a sweet pancake filled with a variety of healthy seeds for the extra crunch.[caption id="attachment_13795" align="alignnone" width="1334"] Image Credit: Mango Plate’s eksk@.@[/caption]
Also, shop to your heart’s content along the cultural and fashion streets of Nampo-dong, across from the BIFF Square. This is where you will find a wide range of shops selling everything from bargains to luxury items.
Directions: Nampo Station exit 1 or 3.
Day 2: Beaches to the east of Busan – Haeundae and Gwangalli
Haeundae Beach is probably the most famous beach in the country. During the peak season from June to August, throngs of domestic tourists flock to the white sandy beach to chill from the summer heat. Have fun playing traditional games such as Korean wrestling, seesaw jumping and tug-of-war at the Folk Square.[caption id="attachment_13796" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Wikimedia[/caption]
Directions: Haeundae Station (Busan Subway green line 2), Exit 5. Walk straight for about 500m.
After some beach fun, proceed to a stunning tour of Haedong Yonggungsa. Located on the coast of northeast Busan, this is a rare find of a temple by the sea. Climb 108 steps from the entrance to the rocky landscape, leading you to the main sanctuary where the ancient temple sits. Soak in the gorgeous coastal views and snap away.[caption id="attachment_13797" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Two Clowns Tripping[/caption]
If you can, climb all the way up the steep flight of stairs to pray at the temple. Reward yourself with a picturesque bird’s eye view overlooking Haedong Yonggungsa.
Directions: Take bus 181 from Haeundae Station (Busan Subway green line 2) Exit 7. Alight at the bus stop outside the temple. Follow the sign to the temple by walking about 10 minute.
Of course we shouldn’t miss out Gwangalli Beach, well known for the spectacular lights show of the Gwangan Bridge at night. As mentioned earlier, you should time your trip to coincide with the Busan Fireworks Festival if you plan to visit in October.[caption id="attachment_13798" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: ‘Seoul’ful Re’Korea’tion[/caption]
This is a wonderful “paktor” (dating) spot where you can enjoy the fine white sand and splendid scenery! Relive your childhood and have fun playing fireworks on the beach. After all the romantic moments, cure your hunger pangs in the many nice restaurants and cafes around the area.
Directions: Gwangan Station (Busan Subway green line 2) exit 5. Follow the signs on the pavement and walk about 10 minutes to the beach.
Day 3: Gamcheon Cultural Village and Taejongdae Cliff Park in the south
Start your day with a visit to the quaint Gamcheon Cultural Village in the southwestern part of the city. Because the colorful houses are constructed in a staircase fashion on the foothills in this coastal village, it is affectionately nicknamed as Korea’s Machu Picchu and Korea’s Santorini.[caption id="attachment_13803" align="alignnone" width="4628"] Image Credit: Visual Open Diary[/caption]
Allow yourself at least 2 hours to explore this artistic village. Take pretty couple shots in the village filled with vividly coloured murals & sculptures created by its residents.
Directions: Turn left from Toseong Station (Busan Subway orange line 1) exit 6 and go straight ahead till you reach the bus stop in front of Busan National University Hospital. Take the mini bus Saha 1-1, Seogu 2 or Seogu 2-2 to Gamcheon Elementary School Bus Stop (about 10 minute ride).
In the afternoon, visit the magnificent Taejongdae Cliff Park to the south of Busan’s coast. This natural site may be a bit out of the way but trust me, it’s definitely a must-do!
Due to time constraint, take the Danubi train and alight at Yeongdo Lighthouse for breathtaking view at the cliff.
[caption id="attachment_13804" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Bohwa Im[/caption]
You can also savour fresh sashimi caught directly from the sea. For Instagram-worthy shots, sit on the edge of the cliff and get your partner to snap lovely photos of you here.
Or better still, bring a selfie-stick along and pose for the most enviable couple shot in a perfect natural setting!
Directions: From Nampo Station (Busan Subway orange line 1) exit 6, walk straight for 30 seconds to the bus stops opposite Lotte Department Store. Take bus 8, 30, 88 or 88-A from the second nearest bus stop here and alight at Taejongdae Station (30 to 40 minute ride).
Day 4: F & E till your flight home departs at 10.35 am
Technically speaking, you don’t have much time today since you need to be at the airport around 9 am. The traditional markets generally open from 8 am and shops even later. So have a hearty last breakfast at a restaurant you fancy before saying goodbye to wonderful Busan.
Summary of your expected expenditure
Generally, Busan is not an expensive city, so you will be able to enjoy the scenery and delicious food it has to offer with $1,600 for 2 comfortably. Here’s a table to summarize the estimated expenditure for your couple getaway:
Generally, Busan is not an expensive city. It is possible to enjoy an awesome couple getaway in a destination that you never thought was possible. Without spending too much money and time, you will be able to enjoy the scenery and delicious food at only $1,600 for 2 comfortably.
With such a romantic trip, it’s inevitable that sparks will fly and your relationship will only strengthen. Just a PSA here: don’t forget to bring along and use contraception such as Durex.
Hurry and plan your next short getaway to Busan now before the airfare rises!
Also, read 5 Tips For A Cheaper Staycation In Sentosa
We Hopped On The Makan Bus And Didn’t Wanna Get Off – Here’s Why!
Yup. Finally the first one-of-its-kind hop-on-hop-off Makan Bus tour has arrived in Singapore. Don’t dismiss this food tour as a tourist thingy yet. Otherwise, you are missing out on fun even locals can enjoy!
We all know Singapore is a food paradise, but the best local food are usually not near MRTs or in town.
It can be pretty hard to enjoy good food if you don’t have a car. With the launch of the Makan Bus on 26 August 2016, reaching out to these great local food is now so much more convenient for everyone.
Recently, I was fortunate to be invited for a free MakanBus tour. Getting on the tour meant I had the opportunity to taste some of the highly acclaimed local food along the 10 specially-curated stops.
What I did not know was it is more than a mere foodie bus bringing us from the central to northern heartlands in Singapore.[caption id="attachment_13279" align="alignnone" width="728"] Image Credit: Makan Bus[/caption]
Our Makan Bus Journey
We received a warm welcome from the guide upon boarding the cheery yellow bus at Orchard Gateway. After an introduction, we set off!
Besides recommending good eats near each stop, he would share insights of noteworthy buildings throughout the journey too.[caption id="attachment_14389" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Makan Bus[/caption]
Interesting history that we never knew about our sunny island
We thought we knew Singapore so well since we grew up here.
But we did not know that the Burma Chinese settled in Singapore as early as the 19th century!
In fact, I highly recommend you to alight at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial stop, where the Sun Yat Sen Memorial and Burmese Buddhist Temple are.
In the main worship hall of the Maha Sasana Ramsi (Burmese Buddhist Temple) sits the majestic 11-foot marble Buddha statue. This religious landmark is the only Burmese Buddhist temple of its kind in Singapore.
The statue was carved from a 10-tonne slab of marble found in Burma’s Saygin Hill and transported here in 1925.[caption id="attachment_14391" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: ghettosingapore.com[/caption]
Bond with your family over nostalgic hawker food settings
The 10 stops on the tour will bring you through buzzing town areas to the old shophouses in Balestier and Thomson, and finally into the HDB heartlands.
This is a specially curated route to showcase the evolution and development of Singapore over the past 51 years.
Bring your whole family, including your parents onboard, so they can reminisce about the good old days.
They will certainly be able to resonate with traditional eateries such as Boon Tong Kee and Original Herbal Shop at Balestier, and Hua Nam Restaurant at Thomson.
It’s easier to strike conversations as you enjoy the food and nostalgic ambience with your family.
Who knows if these used to be their favourite haunts during their “paktor” days!
Discover yummy novel hawker food delights
While it’s obvious Makan Bus will bring you to yummy food places, you may be surprised at hidden gems within the heartlands.
Ang Mo Kio was the place I grew up in, and I thought I knew everything there. But I did not even know that there is a hawker stall selling sedap Mee Rebus Tarik for over 2 decades![caption id="attachment_14401" align="alignnone" width="1800"] Image Credit: Makan Bus[/caption]
In case you are wondering, Mee Rebus Tarik is not prepared by simply “pulling” the noodles as the Malay word “tarik” implies.
Instead, the mee rebus is laden with satay gravy and served together with either chicken or mutton satay. Such an innovative twist to the signature mee rebus!
I have tasted different versions of our favourite Indian roti prata, with egg, cheese etc for enhanced flavour.
However, it was my first time trying out some Roti Tissue along Upper Thomson Road. The prata looked like an interesting thin piece of tissue (hence its name) as seen in the image above. This is a sweet crispy prata seasoned with sugar.
Hop on and off the bus whenever you wish, wherever you fancy
There is no limit to the number of times you can hop on and off the Makan Bus.
Your $28 ticket is valid throughout the day when the bus runs from 11am to 7.30pm.
Indeed, there were times when we were engaged in such interesting conversations with the guide that we missed alighting at the designated stop.
Just continue on the looped journey and alight where you wish to tuck into the good food in the desired area.
Furthermore, you do not need to alight if you don’t find anything you fancy. Unlike other expensive food tours where you don’t get to choose the food, this is a truly flexible tour![caption id="attachment_14406" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Makan Bus[/caption]
Makan Bus definitely changes the way we can explore the hidden food joints and other untold stories of Singapore.
Bring your foreign friends on the Makan Bus tour and introduce them to life in the heartlands.
After all, this is a uniquely Singapore experience that they will not find at the usual tourist attractions. Besides, it is definitely more economical if you are travelling together in a group of 5 or more. Check out more details of this one-of-a-kind experience at Makan Bus!
(Featured image: Makan Bus)
Also, read 9 New Desserts So Wacky, You Need To Try Them At Least Once!
9 New Desserts So Wacky, You Need To Try Them At Least Once!
Desserts are sinful because they pile excess calories on you and make you fat. Hence, you’ve been trying to shun these sweet “harmful” delights because you seriously need to diet.
But wait, desserts is STRESSED spelled backwards. With so much stress everyday, surely you need some relief from it all? After all, a bite into your favourite dessert will make you happy.
Check out these top 9 best new desserts that are not only very instagrammable, but also amazingly delish. They’re so incredibly tempting, you just have to shelf your diet plans till you try them all!
1. Matchaya[caption id="attachment_14344" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Credit: Matchaya[/caption]
Singaporeans love Japanese matcha and hence, the number of matcha-themed cafes proliferate. Operating as a pop-up concept store previously, Matchaya now occupies an oh-so-Japanese wooden shopfront at Icon Village.[caption id="attachment_14345" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Credit: Matchaya[/caption]
Riding on the success of their matcha and houjicha milk teas, Matchaya has recently introduced the uber-pretty Cha Cha Pop to its desserts menu. This Magnum lookalike popiscle is first dipped in black honey and houjicha feuilletine, followed by a matcha dip topped with toasted sesame. Every bite of the popiscle is not just crunchy, but also heavenly![caption id="attachment_14331" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Image Credit: nkikichua[/caption]
Address: 12 Gopeng Street #01-72 Icon Village
Open: 9 am to 9 pm (Mon to Fri); 10 am to 7 pm (Sat to Sun)
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/matchayasg
2. Niceday Taiwan Snow & Grass Jelly Desserts[caption id="attachment_14332" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: Nahmj[/caption]
No, I’m not recommending you any Korean Bingsu. I know you’ve seen enough of the Kimchi-Land dessert.
This lovely Purple Sweet Potato Milky Snow Mountain is the proud creation of Niceday Taiwan Snow & Grass Jelly Desserts. The base is made using silky smooth grass jelly all the way from Taiwan, covered with a mountain of fluffy ice shavings and chewy balls.
Imagine yourself in Taipei as you enjoy the pleasant bowl of dessert. Notice a small bowl of Taro Q mix and mochi balls in a separate bowl? Add in the balls to your dessert when you wish, otherwise the balls may become stiff in the icy bowl if they are put together.
So thoughtful of the owner to make sure the dessert is served in the best condition!
Niceday Taiwan Snow & Grass Jelly Desserts
Address: 302 Tiong Bahru Road #02-111A Tiong Bahru Plaza (Food Street)
Open: 11 am to 10.30 pm
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/NicedayDessert/
3. Sugar Lips[caption id="attachment_14316" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: @stormscape[/caption]
Sugar Lips the latest addition to the myriad of dessert cafes in Singapore. In fact, they are currently in their soft launch opening week 1-for-1 promotion from 9 to 16 September.
Enjoy the visual feast of the gorgeous dessert platters, and sink your teeth into sweet favourites such as Rainbow Fantasy and Chocolate Seduction Truffle Cake. Life’s short, so eat dessert first and enjoy. 🙂
Address: 277 Orchard Road #02-01, Orchard Gateway
Open: 11 am to 10 pm
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/eatsugarlips
4. Meet & Melt[caption id="attachment_14317" align="alignnone" width="957"] Image Credit: Peanut Loti[/caption]
*NEW* Curry Lava Toast[caption id="attachment_14318" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: @stormscape[/caption]
*NEW* Mentaiko Lava Toast
Who says desserts can only be sweet? Visit Meet & Melt and you will be delighted to find novel savoury creations of their toasts. Previously located in ulu Tampines, they have just opened a second outlet near Somerset MRT at *SCAPE.
To celebrate their new outlet opening, the folks at Meet & Melt have introduced 2 new desserts – the Curry Lava Toast, as well as the Mentaiko Lava Toast!
Singaporeans love their curry with bread, and the Curry Lava Toast is an amazingly yummy delight you can eat anytime of the day. The Mentaiko Lava Toast is another remarkable creation that not only smells delicious, but also tastes great with the Sea Salt Gula Melaka ice cream. We wonder why no one thought about such divine concoctions earlier!
Meet & Melt
Address: 2 Orchard Link #02-33/34, *SCAPE; Blk 915 Tampines St 91 #01-49
Open: 1 pm to 10 pm (*SCAPE outlet); 2 pm to 10 pm (Tampines outlet)
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/meetandmelt
5. Epicurious Cafe[caption id="attachment_14320" align="alignnone" width="900"] Image Credit: Daniel Food Diary[/caption]
First it was rainbow cake making the Insta-rounds. Then earlier in the year, videos of rainbow-coloured cheeses stretching in various postures went viral, thanks to Kala Toast in Hong Kong. And now, our own Epicurious Cafe has also created the first Rainbow Cheese Toastie in Singapore.
The rainbow is made up of 5 different colours and flavours: Pink (beetroot), Orange (carrot), Green (Spinach), Blue (potato and garlic with butterfly pea) and Violet (eggplant and red cabbage).
Great to know that it’s made using natural ingredients and minimal colouring. At least we can eat this appealing cheese toastie at ease! Have fun stretching your rainbow for the best shots before you tuck in to the crispy and buttery toast!
Address: 81 Clemenceau Ave #01-13 UE Square Shopping Mall
Open: Lunch – 11.30 am to 2.30 pm (Tue to Fri), Dinner – 6 pm to 10 pm (Tue to Sun), Brunch – 9 am to 5 pm (Weekend/ Public Holiday)
6. The Pound[caption id="attachment_14322" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: Jiaksimi png[/caption]
Located in a shop unit of the first floor in the old commercial Sultan Plaza building, The Pound‘s classier decor makes it stand out from the rest of the shops. The Pound is a small cafe specializing in premium Dutch Iced Coffees and homemade cakes. Unlike other Korean-owned cafes, they do not sell the Korean Bingsu.
What you will find here is roll cakes that look so delicately tasteful. Leave some stomach space after a satisfying kopitiam meal nearby for their Earl Grey Roll Cake. Light with a chiffon-like texture, the earl grey flavour was subtle and a perfect dessert for a complete meal.
Address: 100 Jalan Sultan, #01-17B Sultan Plaza
Open: 9.30 am to 6.30 pm (Mon to Sat)
7. Birds Of Paradise Gelato Boutique[caption id="attachment_14333" align="alignnone" width="2976"] Image Credit: Nahmj[/caption]
Located opposite the Roxy Square, Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique is a sleek and tastefully furbished boutique in a restored shophouse along East Coast Road. The unique point of Birds Of Paradise lies in its 9 gelato flavours inspired by botanical flavours.
Think fruits, flowers, pods, herbs, and spices. Instead of your usual chocolate and strawberry flavours, get the garden taste on their special homemade thyme ice cream cones! Exquisite flavours include Basil, Lychee Raspberry, Spiced Pear, Mint Cacao, Strawberry Basil, Pandan and White Chrysanthemum.
Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique
Address: 63 East Coast Road #01-05
Open: 4.30 pm to 10 pm (Tue to Fri), 12 pm to 10 pm (Sat to Sun)
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/bopgelato/
8. KOOKS Creamery[caption id="attachment_14334" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: @ggabrielchan[/caption]
KOOKS Creamery is not just your ordinary ice cream cafe in the heartlands. They specialise in molten lava cookies (or KOOKS as the folks call them) and ice cream.
KOOKS may be just a small cosy 20-seater cafe, but they whip up a total of 18 ice cream flavours. Some of the unique flavours include Lemon Curd, Milk Cereal, Nougat and Brown Butter.
Top the smooth and creamy ice cream on the thin yet crispy lava cookie, and ta-da! Here’s your oozing sweet Molten Lava Kooks treat!
Address: 211 Serangoon Ave 4 #01-02
Open: 12 pm to 10 pm (Tue to Thu, Sun), 12 pm to 11 pm (Fri to Sat)
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/kookscreamery/
9. The Workbench Bistro[caption id="attachment_14335" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: @siewgavin[/caption]
*NEW* Red & Blue Velvet S’morffles[caption id="attachment_14336" align="alignnone" width="900"] Image Credit: Daniel Food Diary[/caption]
*NEW* Purple Japanese Sweet Potato Waffles
Located in a quiet part of Ang Mo Kio at least 10 minutes’ walk away from the MRT, The Workbench Bistro (TWB) is an unassuming neighbourhood cafe that has recently gone through a menu overhaul. Its latest original dessert creation – the Blue & Red Velvet S’moreffles seems to be flooding all the Instagram feeds.
In case you still do not know what s’moreffles is, it’s actually s’mores baked in waffles. How cool and sinful is that?! Sandwiched between two quarters of the crisp waffles are melted fluffy marshallows, drizzled with graham cracker crumbs within the waffles. Topped with big scoop of ice cream and generous chocolate sauce, this insanely awesome dessert is worth every penny and calorie!
As if the Blue & Red Velvet S’moreffles isn’t sinful enough, TWB has also introduced another irresistible dessert to their menu – the Purple Japanese Sweet Potato Waffles.
This pretty waffles is made using fresh purple sweet potato with no additional colourings. Savour the sweet potato bits in this yummy waffles drizzled with homemade Gula Melaka sauce and topped with ice cream. Don’t count the carbs, just enjoy first!
The Workbench Bistro
Address: Blk 332 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 #01-1881
Open: 12 pm to 10 pm (Mon to Thu), 12 pm to 11 pm (Fri), 10 am to 11 pm (Sat) and 10 am to 10 pm (Sun)
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/theworkbenchbistro/
Don’t you agree these 9 new dessert creations are so tempting and irresistible? Not only do they look wonderful on the pictures, they are also incredibly palatable!
Don’t just drool over your phone, iPad or laptop. Make a move to these cool cafes right now to taste the real stuff. You can always resume your diet plan after you have try them all!
Also, read K.F Seetoh Is Bringing Singaporean Favourites To A Brand New Destination – Manila!
Header image credit: Danielfooddiary.com
16 Insanely Awesome Eats In Yishun That You’ll Brave The MRT Red Line For
Yishun is probably not one of the first few places we’ll think of when we wanna look for great yummy food in Singapore. But don’t dismiss this new town up north quickly as a pathetic and boring place for foodies yet.
Let the hidden yummy food in Yishun make you relook at this suburban neighbourhood. Read on to discover the top 16 yummylicious all time best eats and new eats so good, you wish you could have them now!
All Time Best Eats
1. Hojiak Black & White Rojak[caption id="attachment_14006" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: Cavin Teo[/caption]
As the name of this stall implies, they sell real “ho-jiak” (“delicious” in Hokkien) rojak, a popular local delight.
Hojiak Black & White Rojak has been faithfully serving the palatable delight to residents around Khatib MRT for a long time. While it has moved from one coffee shop to another within the same neighbourhood, it is always strategically located next to the drinks stall.
Rojak served with the black shrimp paste (“hae ko”) is considered a sinfully unhealthy food. But who can resist the plate of crisp tofu and dough fritters, with crunchy cucumber and turnip slices drizzled with lots of diced peanuts? I can’t!
If you prefer a healthier version, try the white rojak which is served with sour plum sauce, a refreshing tangy taste that is equally yummy too!
Hojiak Black & White Rojak
Address: Blk 846 Yishun Ring Road
Open: 1.30 pm till sold out
Price: From $3
2. Yishun 925 Hainanese Chicken Rice[caption id="attachment_14191" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Credit: Image Credit: Ellena Guan[/caption]
Shami Banana Leaf Delights is a popular Indian food stall that started operations at Northpoint Shopping Centre food court since 1993. There were crazy queues in front of the stall during meal times back in the good old days.
Their signature dish has to be the nasi briyani set that comes with flavourful meat served on fluffy briyani rice. With the expansion of 2 outlets at Food Republic Causeway Point and Sembawang Road, it’s now more convenient to get your briyani fix!
Shami Banana Leaf Delights
Northpoint Shopping Centre, 930 Yishun Ave 2 #B2-10;
349 Sembawang Road;
Causeway Point, 1 Woodlands Square #04-01
Open: 10 am to 10 pm (Northpoint & Causeway Point); 7 am to 10 pm (Sembawang Road)
Price: $7 for the chicken briyani set
4. Chuan Kee Braised Duck Rice[caption id="attachment_13995" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: The Burnt Fork[/caption]
Enough of chicken, folks in Yishun love duck meat too! And so, we love Chuan Kee Braised Duck Rice in Chong Pang Food Centre. The boneless braised duck meat here comes in a generous serving doused with thick dark gravy, accompanied by slices of soft braised tofu and flavourful peanuts.
No wonder there is always a queue at the stall!
Chuan Kee Braised Duck Rice
Address: Chong Pang Food Centre, 105 Yishun Ring Road, #01-159
Open: Tue to Sun 10 am to 8 pm
Price: From $3
5. 928 Yishun Laksa[caption id="attachment_14193" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] Credit: Image Credit: Hawker Hunters[/caption]
Yet another perennial favourite of the northlanders, Chong Pang Nasi Lemak started as a humble stall in the Chong Pang Village Hawker Centre in 1973. Over the years, it has gained such a huge following with its freshly cooked dishes that it has since relocated to a coffee shop along Sembawang Road to cater to a larger crowd.
The coconut rice is aromatic but not overpowering. Popular dishes include the specially marinated chicken wings fried to perfection, spicy long beans and sambal brinjal. For a really satisfying meal with a kick, don’t forget to add their signature chilli sauce!
Chong Pang Nasi Lemak
Address: 447 Sembawang Road
Open: 5 pm to 7 am the following day
Price: varies based on the dishes you order
Official website: Image Credit: Johor Kaki[/caption]
Also found in Chong Pang Food Centre, Xiang Xiang Fishball Noodles is one of my favourite comfort food. This is a familiar name to many of those who grew up in the old kampung days in Nee Soon.
As one of the rare hawker stalls that still serves food to your table, Xiang Xiang’s fishballs are big and springy, made with fresh yellowtail fish or ikan parang. Try the dry spicy version for a savoury bowl of noodles tossed with a generous mix of lard, chilli paste and soy sauce. The accompanying soup is lightly flavoured with “chye poh” (preserved turnip) which adds to the fragrance!
Xiang Xiang Fishball Noodles
Address: Chong Pang Food Centre, 105 Yishun Ring Road, #01-177
Open: Tue to Sun 6 am to 4 pm
Price: $3 (small), $3.50 (big)
8. 618 Sim Carrot Cake[caption id="attachment_14002" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: Foodie FC[/caption]
Nestled within the quiet Nee Soon South district at Fujo Eating House, 618 Sim Carrot Cake is the place to satisfy your cravings early in the morning! Located about 10 min away from Khatib MRT station, count your lucky stars if you manage to tuck into a yummy plate of fried radish cake mixed with a plentiful amount of “chye poh”.
On weekdays till 9.30 am, you can ask for either black (fried in dark sweet sauce) or white carrot cake. However, only the white carrot cake is available on weekends. Be prepared to wait around 10 minutes or so on weekdays, and up to 30 minutes on weekends!
618 Sim Carrot Cake
Address: Fujo Eating House, Blk 618 Yishun Ring Road #01-3230
Open: Wed to Sun 6.30 am to 3 pm. Closed on Tue
Price: From $2.80
9. Heng Hua Restaurant[caption id="attachment_14009" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: Uniquelicious[/caption]
Do you know that there is a Heng Hua Restaurant tucked in a quiet corner of Yishun, serving heartwarming Fujian Henghua cuisine? It is a homely zi-char style eating house serving a variety of authentic dishes at reasonable prices. Classic dishes include the Heng Hua Style Lor Mee and Fried Bee Hoon. Who needs Putien when we have such a nice cosy eatery in Yishun?
Heng Hua Restaurant
Address: Blk 748 Yishun Street 72 #01-212
Open: 11 am to 11 pm
Price: From $4.50
10. Bei Sheng Taste of Thailand Restaurant[caption id="attachment_14011" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: The Burnt Fork[/caption]
For a taste of Thailand, Yishun residents can find comfort at Bei Sheng Taste of Thailand Restaurant in Chong Pang City. Tuck into your favourite zi-char dishes with Thai influence. A must-have at this restaurant is the Tom Yam Soup, with plenty of seafood cooked in the aromatic broth. As its name implies, enjoy a variety of fresh and yummy seafood here, such as the signature Thai Deep Fried Fish Delight.
There’s also another outlet, Taste of Thailand, run by the same family, at 1001 Yishun Industrial Park A.
Bei Sheng Taste of Thailand Restaurant
Address: Blk 701A Yishun Ave 5 #01-01, 1001 Yishun Industrial Park A, 18 Sin Ming Lane (new outlet)
Open: 11.30 am to 2 pm (lunch) and 5.30 pm to 10 pm (dinner)
Price: From $4
11. Zi Zai Vegetarian[caption id="attachment_14012" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: Gurkhason[/caption]
Vegetarians in Yishun are not left out. Zi Zai Vegetarian is a popular vegetarian eatery in the community. With a myriad of vegetarian dishes available, you’ll never be done trying them all! Must-try dishes include the signature crispy yam ring filled with lots of yam, cereal vegetarian prawns and claypot tofu. If you think vegetarian food is boring, you haven’t been to Zi Zai Vegetarian!
Zi Zai Vegetarian
Address: 236 Yishun Ring Rd #01-1000
Open: 7.30 am to 9.30 pm
Price: From $3
12. Jing Ma Che (H.K) Roasted Porridge Noodle House[caption id="attachment_14262" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: Mr. & Mrs. Glutton[/caption]
Jin Ma Che (H.K) Roasted Porridge Noodle House is another mean foodie place where you can satisfy your craving for roast meat delights. Strategically located opposite Chong Pang Camp, be prepared to fight with army personnel for your steaming plate of fragrant rice topped with thick cuts of roasted meat.
What sets this apart from other roast meat stalls in Yishun is its rich and flavourful sauce. Their porridge, only available on weekend mornings, is worth the wait too. Try some yourself and you will know what I mean!
Jin Ma Che (H.K) Roasted Porridge Noodle House
Address: 101 Yishun Ave 5
Open: 7.30 am to 8.00 pm
Price: From $4
13. The French Table[caption id="attachment_14020" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Image Credit: Food Hunting For Us[/caption]
Yishun not only has yummy hawker delights to boast of, we are also able to savour cool French cuisine at The French Table. Sink your teeth into traditional French dishes like their signature Duck Confit, and Roasted Chicken. The best part of the deal, this casual dining restaurant is wallet friendly!
The French Table
Address: Northpoint Shopping Centre, 930 Yishun Ave 2 #01-44
Open: 10.30 am to 10.30 pm
Official website: Credit: Image Credit: The Moose[/caption]
Coba Coba is a retro-looking cafe tucked in a quiet corner of a HDB block that serves traditional Nasi Padang. Tuck into favourite dishes such as Terung and Sayur Lodeh that taste just like homecooked food. No worries about the meal burning a big hole in your pocket though. A great meal with drink costs less than $10 in such a cosy ambience!
We recommend choosing your own sides as compared to ordering the Nasi Ambeng.
Address: 156 Yishun Street 11 #01-106
Open: 7.00 am to 9.00 pm
Official website: https://www.facebook.com/cobacobasg/
16. Nakhon Kitchen[caption id="attachment_14264" align="alignnone" width="960"] Image Credit: Wendy Huin[/caption]
Nakhon Kitchen is a popular casual Thai eatery that started in the Kovan neighbourhood. Since last year, Yishun residents need not travel all the way to northeast Singapore just for a taste of authentic Thai food at wallet-friendly prices. Hooray!
Satisfy your Thai cravings with Nakhon’s affordable and quality eats. Best part of the deal? No GST and service charge to be paid here!
Address: 233 Yishun Street 21 #01-03
Open: 12.00 pm to 3.00 pm (Lunch); 5.30 pm to 10.00 pm (Dinner). Closed on Wednesdays.
Instead of drooling over mouth-watering images of these yummylicious Yishun eats, make a move up north! Don’t just envy us northlanders. Discover these best food yourself for a satisfying culinary experience. Enjoy 🙂
Also, read 7 Insanely Cool Places To Chill At In Yishun That You’ve Not Heard Of
Don’t Wait 11 Years For The Northern Lights. Just Head To The South!
Missed the opportunity to catch the best aurora in the northern hemisphere before May 2016? If north is not the right direction now, just do the opposite and head south! Catch the southern lights instead, it’s going to be the better experience for the next 11 years!
I’ve only heard of the Northern Lights. Do the Southern Lights really exist?
Yes southern lights, or aurora australis, like its legendary sister, is a natural electric phenomenon that creates bright and colourful light displays in the sky.
In the south, the auroras can be seen from places like southern Australia’s Tasmania, New Zealand and Chile. While the northern lights steals all the limelight, the southern lights is just as impressive.
In fact, the southern lights is said to be even more vibrant, with hues of orange, pink, purple and gold. Furthermore, say good bye to jet-lags as Tasmania is much nearer to Singapore. Read on to discover the 5 PERFECT spots for viewing the southern lights down under!
1. South Arm Peninsula
South Arm Peninsula, located 40 km southeast of Hobart – the capital city of Tasmania, is known to be a surfer’s paradise.[caption id="attachment_13090" align="alignnone" width="3982"] Image Credit: Quartz[/caption]
Not only is the U-shaped peninsula a place with abundant pristine beaches, it also boasts wide shallow bays, ideal for catching fascinating reflection shots of the southern lights![caption id="attachment_13163" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Image Credit: High Point Photography[/caption]
Great to know that this sleepy town about 50 minutes away from Hobart isn’t heavily populated with humans, architecture and artificial lights. No wonder South Arm Peninsula is one of the best spots professional photographers head to for the stunning lights!
2. Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
Located in the Central Highlands area of Tasmania, the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.[caption id="attachment_13086" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: Aaron Jones Photography[/caption]
Besides being home to the world-famous Overland Track hikers love, the famous rugged mountain range is also a rich habitat for diverse vegetation and wildlife. There are a number of peaks you can conquer on the Overland Track, with heights ranging from 1,200 to over 1,500 metres above sea level.[caption id="attachment_13160" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Aaron Jones[/caption]
As you may already know, the chances of viewing aurora increases as it gets dark, darker and the darkest. Being high up there in the mountains, and far away from artificial city lights, makes it one of the ideal places to view the best aurora.
As a major feature of the park, Cradle Mountain is a top spot where you can enjoy your hike and look out for the southern lights at the same time. Try your luck on a clear dark wintry night on the Cradle Mountain, and count your lucky stars when you do catch them!
3. Dodges Ferry
Dodges Ferry is a small town with less than 3,000 residents in south eastern Tasmania. There’s a beautiful beach here where you can indulge in some fun water sports or just relax by the bay.[caption id="attachment_13104" align="alignnone" width="1181"] Image Credit: Precious Lady 2[/caption]
Blessed with favourable natural conditions (read: vast open land with limited light pollution), this is another gem spot for unrivalled views of the southern lights![caption id="attachment_13168" align="alignnone" width="640"] Image Credit: Instagram @mattglastonbury[/caption]
Most importantly, Dodges Ferry is very accessible, just half an hour’s drive from Hobart CBD!
4. Eaglehawk Neck
About an hour’s drive south of Hobart, arrive at the small coastal town of Eaglehawk Neck. It is so named because of the narrow strip of land known as the Neck.[caption id="attachment_13105" align="alignnone" width="1100"] Image Credit: Lisa Pagotto[/caption]
Once known for the defence line of chained dogs deterring convicts from escaping the Port Arthur settlement, Eaglehawk Neck is now synonymous as the gateway to the stunning Tasman Peninsula. Marvel in awe at some of the most rugged towering cliffs in Tasmania.[caption id="attachment_13157" align="alignnone" width="1500"] Image Credit: Brendan Davey[/caption]
Furthermore, expect to witness one of the most spectacular southern lights display in this laid back countryside with secluded bays and striking rock formations as the backdrop.
5. Huon Valley
Mention Huon Valley to any Australian and you will most likely hear “apple orchard” being linked to the beautiful region. However, there is more to the alluring region, only 30 minutes’ drive from south Hobart, than just juicy Tasmanian apples.[caption id="attachment_13155" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Image Credit: Dave Condon[/caption]
The valley is noted for its remarkable variety of picturesque landscapes, from the tranquil Huon River to the splendid Hartz Mountains National Park. In addition, there are the vineyards where you can indulge in a fine glass or two while soaking in the picturesque beauty of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.[caption id="attachment_13156" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Image Credit: Nick Monk[/caption]
Last but not least, include the fascinating glow of green and red light displays blanketing the sky at night. Surely all these make Huon Valley THE excellent spot for an extraordinary southern lights holiday?
A must-do on your travel bucket list!
The southern lights is definitely a one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon that deserves much more attention than it does now. Compared to the northern lights, putting an aurora australis Tasmanian holiday in place is better, because:
- you don’t have to travel far from Singapore to see it. Tasmania is just a 9-hour flight away.
- the southern lights is more vibrant, boasting more colours than the usual green and red!
- although the best time to see the lights is during winter, the southern lights can be viewed all year round in convenient locations around Tasmania, if you are lucky.
- the temperature in Tasmania during winter is much more bearable than northern lights destinations. So no need to dig deep into your savings for extreme winter wear clothing!
- the best time to catch northern lights is over, as the 11-year solar cycle enter a dormant phase after May 2016. Therefore, it’s really hard to see the brilliant lights at the north for the next 11 years.
With so many advantages of chasing the southern lights over its highly-publicized sister, it’s definitely a BETTER experience you must do on your travel bucket list! Procrastinate no more. Make plans to visit Down Under for the epic trip!
Also, read Here Are Some Of The Most Gorgeous Photos Of Tasmania’s Lavender Farm And Southern Lights!
Here Are Some Of The Most Gorgeous Photos Of Tasmania’s Lavender Farm And Southern Lights!
Located off Australia’s south coast, Tasmania is an isolated island state filled with rugged picturesque scenery.
Because it was one of the world’s major apple producers, literally the apple fruit, it became known as the “Apple Isle”. But it’s more than just an apple producer.
Just to put things in perspective, the Apple Isle (68 km²) is 95x the size of Singapore (719 km2)! Despite that, Singapore (5.5 mil) is 10x more populated than Tasmania (517k). What does this mean? Wilderness & beautiful scenery abounds in Tasmania!
Tasmania holds so many gems on its vast wild landscape that you will wanna visit over and over again! Discover why Tasmania is the new MUST visit place for a life full of wilderness!
1. This Mountain-Lake with Southern Lights
For a few days, hike through fascinating glacier-carved valleys, ancient rainforests, alpine meadows, waterfalls and more beautiful scenery. You can end your long walk at Lake St. Clair. Soak in the amazing and tranquil scenery at the deepest lake in Australia![caption id="attachment_13257" align="alignnone" width="2048"] Image Credit: Craig Gibson[/caption]
Even if you don’t feel fit enough for the 65 km long alpine walk, fret not. There is a variety of day walks for visitors who are looking for a great scenic hike at Cradle Mountain.[caption id="attachment_13086" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Image Credit: Aaron Jones Photography[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13258" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Signature Luxury Travel[/caption]
Don’t forget to look out for native wild vegetation, glacier rocks as well as the photogenic boat shed along the walk. Note that Cradle Mountain is also a hotspot to catch the spellbinding southern lights. So make this your first stop for some awesome Tasmanian wilderness!
2. Check out towering sea cliffs + more spots for Southern Lights[caption id="attachment_13320" align="alignnone" width="3264"] Image Credit: A Penchant for Travelling[/caption]
How does walking along one of the most spectacular coastlines, with some of the country’s tallest sea cliffs sound to you? If that’s your idea of fun, follow the Tasman coastal trail within the splendid Tasman National Park.[caption id="attachment_13321" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Isolate Yourself[/caption]
Discover the power of nature from the impressive rock formations at Tasman Arch. Also, try standing on the edge of the lookout to see if you can spot the bottom of the steep soaring cliffs.[caption id="attachment_13322" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Yuichi Takasaka[/caption]
Of course, this popular Tasmania nature spot is also one of the best places to see the impressive southern lights!
3. Roam freely in the largest lavender farm in the world
Many people flock to Hokkaido in summer for the pretty lavender farms. But do you know that the world’s largest commercial lavender farm is actually in northern Tasmania?[caption id="attachment_13306" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Image Credit: Bridestowe Lavender Estate[/caption]
Bridestowe Lavender Estate is about a 45-minute drive from the state’s second largest city – Launceston. If you visit the Apple Isle from November to January, seize the opportunity to visit the beautiful lavender farm in full bloom.[caption id="attachment_13307" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Image Credit: Bridestowe Lavender Estate[/caption]
Run through the purple lavender fields without a care in the world. Feel in heaven with the aromatic fragrance of the blooming flowers. As you roam freely on the 260-acre huge fields, capture picture-perfect shots anywhere you want.
4. Feel on cloud nine at Mount Wellington
Accessible via a short drive from Hobart CBD, Mount Wellington is one of the top wilderness spots in Tasmania. It offers fantastic bird’s eye views of southern Tasmania as well as great walking and mountain biking trails.[caption id="attachment_13189" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Australia.com[/caption] [caption id="attachment_13302" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Image Credit: Jennifer Holder[/caption]
Literally feel on top of the world as you look down from the 1,270 m summit!
Of course, at such high altitudes, do prepare warm and windproof clothing as you ascend the summit. Surely you want to be in your best form when walking on cloud nine, don’t you?
5. See adorable native animals up close
Last but not least, how can we forget about Tasmanian wildlife? After all, you can’t be bushwalking in the marvellous national parks with your eyes closed, can you?[caption id="attachment_13311" align="alignnone" width="3770"] Image Credit: Barry Irons[/caption]
Look out for the Tasmanian Devil, the largest carnivous marsupial found only in the wild in Tasmania. The cute bear-like marsupial is a local pride and joy of the island state.[caption id="attachment_13319" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: Animal Kingdom[/caption]
Besides the Tasmanian Devil, there’s a rich variety of fauna that can be found on the island. Keep your eyes open for the likes of adorable wombats, pademelon, eastern quoll as you enjoy the great walks in the numerous national parks.
Essentially, you don’t get to see them up close anywhere else except in Tasmanian wilderness!
With so many natural gems on the Apple Isle waiting for you to unveil, it’s probably hard not to fall in love with the rugged scenery! Filled with activities that will satisfy all, Tasmania certainly deserves more attention than it does now.
Rather than make repeat visits to the usual Australian cities such as Perth, Sydney or Melbourne, why not check out a different side of Australia? Create a unique Tasmanian holiday that will make you wanna live in wilderness!
Also, read Picturesque & Hidden Spots In Thailand You Must Discover Before They Get Crowded!
Because Bangkok Is Overrated, Let These Hidden Gems In Thailand Take Your Breath Away
Thailand has long been one of our top favourite travel destinations. Instead of flocking to the usual tourist spots such as Bangkok and Phuket, how about visiting somewhere different and undiscovered?
Head to these 9 picturesque & hidden spots in the Land of Smiles before everyone discovers it!
1. Northern Thailand
Surrounded by dense forests and tall mountains, northern Thailand enjoys a cooler climate compared to the rest of the country. For a long time, it was pretty much cut off from the rest of the world due to political issues. While it has since opened up, the area is still pretty rustic and retains much of its original charm!
a. Grand Canyon Chiang Mai[caption id="attachment_12799" align="alignnone" width="2289"] Image credit: VacayHack Grand Canyon Chiang Mai[/caption]
Less than an hour away from the city centre of Chiang Mai lies the unexpected and beautiful Grand Canyon Chiang Mai.
There are no insane crowds as of now, because the awesome landscape is still pretty much a local secret. So swim, sunbathe and cliff jump all you want in this offbeat tranquil space before others know about it!
Address: 244 M.3 T.Namphrae A.hangdong, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50230
How to get there: Be adventurous and rent a motorbike! Follow Google Map directions after keying “Grand Canyon Chiang Mai”. You can also arrange a red truck or taxi to bring you there.
b. Phu Chi Fa[caption id="attachment_12855" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: Book Thailand Now Phu Chi Fa[/caption]
This hidden spot is one of the locals’ favourite places to catch the sunrise, especially during winter from October to February. Because of its remote location and winding roads, it is still an undiscovered and secret spot to most foreigners.
Trek up the 1.8 km trail to the summit and be rewarded with spectacular and breathtaking views, particularly the sea of clouds at dawn! On a clear day, you can even soak in lovely views of the Mekong River and Laos.
Address: Amphoe Thoeng, 130 km from Chiang Rai city. Phu Chi Fa is a mountain located in the area of the Pa Mae Ing and Pa Mae Ngao National Forest Reserve. It’s in Amphur Thoeng in the Chiang Rai Province.
How to get there: 3-hour bus ride from Chiang Rai bus terminal at 1 pm.
2. Southern Thailand
Southern Thailand is a haven for many popular beach and island resorts in the country, including the original Thai paradise island – Phuket, Ko Samui and Krabi.
However, there are many more less well-known but surreal beaches and picturesque islands.
a. Railay Bay[caption id="attachment_13185" align="aligncenter" width="1500"] Credit: Railay Bay is a narrow peninsula near Krabi. It is accessible only by boat. Known for mind-blowing views of the sunset, this small crescent beach comes alive in the evening. But not to worry, you will still be able to find your private space easily on this amazing beach.
Image Credit: Almond Beach Club
Railay Beach rock climbing
Rent a kayak on Railay West Beach from the resorts or right in front of Walking Street. Paddle out to the south of the beach towards the rocky coastline and you can glide through some natural cave tunnels for a fun thrill!
Witness the crumbling limestone cliffs by the bay that will be tinted with rich red and orange colours as the sun sets. Feeling adventurous? Challenge yourself by climbing these towering cliffs for a magnificent bird’s eye view of the pristine beach.
These are just some experiences that will surely guarantee an unforgettable vacay!
How to get there: Take a 15-minute boat ride from Ao Nang Beach in Krabi
3. Northeast Thailand
Northeast Thailand, or Isan as it is commonly known, is home to the best national parks in the country. Here are two fascinating sites in Ko Chang – Thailand’s third largest island. You’ve got to discover it before everyone else does!
a. Koh Chang’s waterfalls
[caption id="attachment_12802" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image credit: Geocaching Kai Bae Waterfall[/caption]
Koh Chang is famous for its waterfalls. One of the better and hidden ones is Kai Bae. Tourists may flock to the other waterfalls, but Kai Bae is a well-kept secret of Koh Chang’s local residents and long term expatriates.
It cannot be found on the tourist map, but good news: the waterfalls is relatively easy to access! Free for all to enter, this hidden waterfall is just 30 minutes from the beach!
The best time to visit is from May to November, where there will be enough water plunging from the top to the plunge pool below. Enjoy the refreshing swim and create memories with your loved ones.
How to get there: It’s so undiscovered, it deserves better directions.
Start your walk at the 7-eleven opposite the entrance to Kai Bae Hut. Take the dirt road leading inland, passing by workers’ homes on the right and Sanook Sanag Resort on the left. Following, you will see the laundry for Sea View Resort on your left.
The dirt road now meanders through a pomelo field, passing by the water tower on your right. A few hundred metres further on, look for a stone walled compound about 50 metres off the road on your left.
Another few hundred metres and you will come to a paved road with a couple of bungalows and a concrete sign in Thai. Look out for a sign in English pointing the way to the footpath leading to the waterfall shortly.
4. Western Thailand
Characterised by high mountains and steep river valleys. Western Thailand is home to most of the country’s less-disturbed forest areas. If you are seeking an adventure after your usual shopping haunt in Bangkok, head to Kanchanaburi. It’s just a 3 hours’ drive from the capital city, and the Thais believe it is one of the most beautiful provinces in the country!
a. Srinakarin National Park[caption id="attachment_13046" align="alignnone" width="2880"] Image Credit: Amazing Wallpapers[/caption]
Featuring natural waterfalls, hot springs, and caves, the Srinakarin National Park spans a total area of 1,532 square km. Furthermore, the lush deciduous forest is filled with abundant native wildlife such as leopard cat, slow loris and civets.
Do not forget to check out one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand – the breathtaking 7-level Huay Mae Khamin Waterfall!
How to get there:
By Boat: Charter a boat at Mong Krathae Pier or Tha Kradan Pier, 12 km from the intersection leading to Srinagarindra Dam. It costs 1,500 THB (10 persons) to 3000 THB (30 persons). Upon arrival at Huai Mae Khamin Pier, walk for about 200 metres to the waterfall.
By Bus: Take a Song Thaeo from Wat Thung Lat Ya in Amphoe Mueang passing Ban Ton Maphrao, Ban Nam Mut, Phut Ta Sian and Namtok Huai Mae Khamin. The bus departs at noon and is about 4 hours’ ride. (Note: Departure time subject to change.)
Admission fee: 300 THB for adults, 200 THB for children
b. Elephant’s World[caption id="attachment_12863" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Image Credit: The World Is Not That Big[/caption]
At Elephant’s World, it’s you who will be working for the elephants, not the other way around!
How is this possible? Elephant’s World is a non-profit elephant refuge that offers an interesting and responsible alternative to the usual tourist elephant camps. Functioning like a “retirement home”, the village houses sick, old, disabled, abused and rescued elephants within the jungle-clad mountains by the River Kwai.
Led by a volunteer guide, you can help take care of Elephants by gathering food, feeding and bathing them. The idyllic environment allows visitors plenty of time and space for intimate encounters with the elephants. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience that brings you up close to the lovely animal.
Leave the camp feeling great that you have done something good for the elephants rather than harm them. Moreover, we don’t get such experience in modern Singapore!
Address: 90/9 Moo 4, Baan Nong Hoi, Amphoe Mueang, Tambon Wang Dong, Kanchanaburi 71190, Thailand
How to get there: From Kanchanaburi, follow the 3199 road and turn at the intersection 38/1 for going to Nijiko Resort and Country Club – นจโกะรสอรท แอนด คนทรคลบ and follow the Elephant’s World signs.
With these awesome hidden spots in Thailand so close to Singapore, it seems like your next mind-blowing vacation neither needs to be far away nor expensive!
Rather, what you need is an open mind! Furthermore, there’s so much to do in each of these secret places in Thailand.
You don’t even need to spend big bucks or endure long exhausting flights that sap your energy before you reach paradise! Head to these surreal places before they get too crowded for comfort.
Also, read Singapore’s 63 Islands! Here Are 6 Islands You Can Visit To Get Away From The Crowd!