Credit: The Travel Intern
December 2023


The year is coming to an end and you’ve probably used up all your off days. But good news for those already dreaming of your next vacation — 2024 comes with five long weekends!

Bali and Bangkok might be every Singaporean’s go-tos for short getaways, but why not switch things up by visiting other lesser-known (but still gorgeous) destinations near Singapore?

PSA: Read till the end for exclusive travel promos for UOB Cardmembers! 


1) 6D5N in Donsol, Philippines 

Photo credit: @with.loveandtravel via Instagram


Donsol is one of the best places to dive with whale sharks ethically in the Philippines. Whale sharks naturally migrate to Donsol for its nutrient-rich waters and rules are enforced to ensure they remain protected. For instance, dive group sizes are limited, plus feeding and touching wildlife are not permitted. 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Manta Bowl is one of the top dive sites in Donsol, reaching a maximum depth of 20 meters. You might even spot thresher or hammerhead sharks here if you’re lucky!

Besides whale sharks, Donsol is also home to a vibrant mix of marine creatures like manta rays and tropical fish. 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


After three to four days of scuba diving, take some time to explore the rest of Donsol! Go island-hopping around the Ticao Islands and hike up Quitinday Hills, the Chocolate Hills of Albay.


2) 3D2N in Hua Hin, Thailand 

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Road trips don’t have to be long or far away. Less than a 3-hour drive south from Bangkok lies Hua Hin — a massively underrated city blessed with white sand beaches and nearby national parks.


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Stop by two famous Thai markets en route to Hua Hin — Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Mae Klong Railway Market. 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


For those who love hiking and all things outdoors, Hua Hin has Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. There’s enough here to fill an entire day — hike up to Khao Daeng Viewpoint, visit the mesmerising Phraya Nakhon Cave and end the day with a boat ride at Thung Sam Roi Yot Freshwater Marsh.


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


There’s also several water activities to try — take on Thailand’s longest water slide at Vana Nava Waterpark, go kiteboarding at Hua Hin Beach or hike along Khao Kalok Beach. 


3) 4D3N in Eastern Taiwan

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


While we love Taipei’s street food and bubble tea, Taiwan has so much more to offer. If you’re looking to escape the usual scenes of Taiwan’s capital, consider a trip along the east coast to Taitung, Green Island and Hualien!


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


First, head to Mr Brown Avenue. It’s known for vast golden rice fields and visitors can rent a tuktuk to explore the area. Next, enjoy steaming hot pot at Ning Ji Hot Pot and check out local crafts and food stalls at TTwilight Bazaar.


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


A 50-minute ferry ride from Taitung, Green Island is an oasis with clear waters ideal for scuba diving and scenic nature spots like the Little Great Wall and Wangong Arch. 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Eastern Taiwan also includes Taiwan’s largest county — Hualien. It’s home to one of Taiwan’s most famous attractions, Taroko National Park. Enjoy short hikes here like the 1.5km Shakadang Trail (above), which follows the course of a turquoise river. 


4) 4D3N in Hainan, China

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


You’re probably familiar with Hainanese Chicken Rice, but not Hainan Island in China. For starters, it’s dubbed the “Hawaii of China” because of its tropical climate, beaches and picturesque landscapes!

More importantly, Hainan is just a 3.5-hour direct flight from Singapore — so it’s easy to plan a long weekend getaway there.

One of the best things to do in Hainan is a trip to Leiqiong UNESCO Global Geopark, home to over 40 volcanoes. Go on beginner-friendly hikes to different viewpoints around the park, and spot caves and craters along the way! 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Over on the arts and culture front, visit Movie Town — a recreated movie set inspired by films reminiscent of the Republic of China (1912 – 1949) era. 

There are different zones featuring various cities and time periods in China within Movie Town and visitors can rent traditional costumes for just 50RMB for the whole day to take photos!


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Then head to Sanya city to explore Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park — home to a 168m-long rope bridge with scenic views — then surf along Houhai Village’s coast.


Photo credit: The Travel Intern

Lastly, take a day trip to Wuzhizhou Island. Relax at the island’s beaches or try out water sports like parasailing and jet skiing!


5) 3D2N in Halong Bay, Vietnam 

Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Halong Bay is undoubtedly one of Vietnam’s top attractions; it’s even on the VND200,000 note! 

But before you point out that Halong Bay isn’t a hidden gem — most tourists only see a small portion of it on a day trip! If you spend a couple of days exploring Halong Bay, you’ll be able to uncover a lot more. 


Photo credit: The Travel Intern


Start with an iconic Halong Bay cruise! It includes not just viewing the limestone caves from the boat, but also kayaking at Luon Cave and exploring the Cave of Surprise. 

Next, take a day trip to Cat Ba Island — the largest of 367 islands in the archipelago. Choose from a wide range of outdoor activities, from snorkelling and kayaking to trekking and rock climbing!


Photo credit: Sun World Ha Long


Fun fact: Ha Long Bay is also home to a massive theme park, Sun World Ha Long. It’s 20 times the size of Universal Studios Singapore! There are two main areas — Coastal Amusement Park and Ba Deo Amusement Park — connected by a 2km cable car system that crosses the sea.


Exclusive Travel Deals for UOB Cardmembers 

Already dreaming of your 2024 getaways? Enjoy perks as a UOB Cardmember with these travel deals:



Up to S$120 off Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights on (till 31 May 2024)


15% off bookings on Klook with a UOB Visa card, a min. spend of S$50 (till 31 March 2024) 

Up to S$10 off tours and attractions on (till 31 May 2024)


Get 7% off bookings on Agoda with select UOB Cards (till 31 December 2025)

Up to S$100 off hotels on (valid till 31 May 2024) 

Up to 15% cashback on accommodation bookings on (till 31 January 2024)


10% off car rental on with a UOB Visa card (till 1 April 2024)


Don’t have a UOB Card yet? Get 2.4 miles per S$1 overseas spend and enjoy up to 50,000 miles when you sign up for a UOB PRVI Miles Card! Promo ends 29 February 2024, T&Cs apply.






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