“Live life with no excuses, travel with no regret.” Oscar Wilde
Why not maximise those extra days off over the Eid al-Fitr holidays with a trip overseas. As the UAE is such a great travel hub it’s easy to get to many different countries with a direct flight in under ten hours. The upcoming Eid holiday is the perfect time to explore a new destination or revisit an old favourite.
Here’s a few of my favourite places that I’ve visited on my expat travels that are a flight away and perfect for an Eid vacation (click HERE for some road trip and short haul ideas)
LONG HAUL (over 6 hours flight)
CAPE TOWN – There’s something for every budget and taste in Cape Town. Beaches, wildlife, museums, surfing, hiking and wine tasting to name but a few. Visit the Waterfront, take a helicopter ride and check out the colourful houses at Bo Kaap. The Boulders Beach penguin colony is a must-visit as is the Cape of Good Hope, Table mountain, Hout Bay, Camps Bay. Wine tasting at one of the many vineyards is obligatory. Read more about Cape Town HERE
My hotel pick V & A Waterfront – Based on location alone this hotel is an ideal base in Cape Town. Rooms are a fair size and the restaurant has a good menu and extensive cellar selection. There’s plenty of activities, shops and restaurants within walking distance and good transport links to explore everything else this vibrant city has to offer.
HONG KONG – New York may be my favourite city but Hong Kong comes a very close second. Vibrant and exciting, this busy city has so much to offer from history and culture to diverse cuisine and cocktail bars. Take a trip to the Peak, visit the Big Buddha and ride the star ferry. Wander through the colourful, aromatic markets and feast on some of the best street food.
My hotel pick InterContinental Hong Kong – This luxury hotel on the Kowloon waterfront offers spectacular views of the skyline across the water. It’s ideally located to explore the markets and restaurants of Kowloon and just a short walk from the Star Ferry terminal. Expect fine dining including two celebrity chef restaurants, elegant rooms and the luxurious I-Spa.
SINGAPORE – Probably the cleanest, most efficient city I have ever visited, Singapore is a delight when it’s not too humid or torrentially raining. There’s so much to do and see but it’s easy to traverse the city with the MRT, the city’s well organised public transport network. Take a day trip to Sentosa Island, explore the famous Botanical gardens, Chinatown and Little India.
Visit the iconic Marina Bay Sands complex, enjoy the city’s thriving art scene, fabulous restaurants and rooftop bars. Discover the shopping in Orchard Road. Sample Singapore Slings at Raffles Long Bar, if you fancy a treat have afternoon tea in the stunning lobby. Nowadays even the new Changi Airport is a destination in itself.
My hotel tip Fairmont Singapore – Located in the heart of the city, the Fairmont Singapore is ideally situated for exploring the city. There’s a MRT station in the hotel mall and sights within walking distance including the famous Raffles hotel. Rooms are elegant and spacious, there’s plenty of dining options and you can re-energise at the Willow Stream Spa. Read more here www.fairmont.com/singapore/
BANGKOK – Thailand’s capital city is an assault on your sense from the minute you land, it’s everything you ever expected and more. Vibrant, pungent and noisy this city has much to offer from culture to street food. Visit the traditional markets and swanky malls. Enjoy the scenic rooftop bars, flamboyant nightlife and five-star hotels aplenty. Travel in a colourful tuk-tuk and visit a night-market to experience the real Bangkok.
My hotel pick Oriental Residence Bangkok (ORB) – The sophisticated ORB is located within walking distance of luxury malls in Sukhumvit and the nearby Ploenchit BTS Skytrain. The elegant self-contained suites are spacious, well equipped and comfortable. Facilities include the Parisian inspired Café Claire and Play Deck that houses the fitness centre and outdoor pool. Read more here anexpatabroad.com/2016/05/31/ORB
KOH SAMUI – Stunning beaches, massages and Thai food await you on Koh Samui island, just an hour flight from Bangkok. Head to Chaweng for some raucous Thai nightlife. Hike, raft and zipline through the mountainous jungle, stop at waterfalls and visit Wat Phra Yai temple to see the golden Big Buddha. No trip to Samui is complete without seeing the rock genitalia formations of Hin Ta (Grandpa) and Hin Yai (Grandma). Seeing is believing.
My hotel pick Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort – The five-star resort combines Thai design with the highest quality modern comforts. Opulent and comfortable rooms and suites. Splash your cash on a pool access villa or palatial seaview pool villas, it’s probably the best we’ve ever stayed in. There’s a choice of restaurants, Anantara Lawana Spa offers treatments, watersports and dive tours are available from the beach. Impeccable service too. Read more anexpatabroad.com/2016/06/19/anantara-lawana-koh-samui/. Read more about Thailand HERE
Whether you decide to have a staycation in the UAE or travel further afield this coming Eid Al Fitr, I wish you safe and happy travels.
Read more Eid Travel inspiration in previous post Eid Escapes from the UAE 2019 | Road Trips and Short Haul and in Travel Guides. For further travel and hotel ideas visit the TRAVEL and STAY sections of anexpatabroad.com.
All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2019. All rights reserved. Singapore photos used with courtesy of www.visitsingapore.com