Who doesn’t love a long weekend? It’s a good chance for anyone to recharge for the coming grind. With holidays like Independence Day (12 June) approaching, you may be deciding among countless ways to spend a break. Make sure to make the most of your three- or four-day vacay — do something different and head over to these quick destinations abroad.
Also read: 10 Long Weekends in the Philippines in 2023
Quick destinations for your long-weekend vacation overseas
1. Taipei, Taiwan
You don’t need any extensive planning for a long weekend getaway in this city. Visa-free from 29 Sep 2022 to 31 Jul 2023, Taiwan has turned into one of the most popular quick destinations for Pinoys to travel to. Thus, its bustling and vibrant capital, Taipei, is definitely the place to go this long weekend if you’re looking to refresh your spirit with foreign sights. Some popular spots to visit here are Taipei 101, the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, the National Theater and Concert Hall, and the Shilin Night Market.
2. Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
A hidden gem in Malaysia, Negeri Sembilan is only an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. Locals rave about Port Dickson, a coastal town in the state, for its beautiful beaches, shopping malls, and other tourist attractions. Majestic mountains and interesting museums also surround the area of Negeri Sembilan. Visit the intriguing Sansheng Gong or hike through the Cape Rachado Forest Reserve.
3. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
While it’s impossible to see all of Kuala Lumpur in just a short amount of time, it boasts tons of points of interest and experiences for every traveller. Thus, you can plan your itinerary according to your preferences and travel style. From culinary adventures to urban attractions and nature-filled places, this Malaysian capital has it all. If sightseeing is on your bucket list, don’t miss spots like the KL Tower Observation Deck, KLCC Park, Merdeka Square, and the much-raved-about Batu Caves.
4. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is an island wonder. Come nighttime, you’ll find yourself in the middle of one of the hottest parties in Thailand. Not much into the booze or loud music? No worries — Phuket has a variety of activities and attractions you can enjoy. Walk along the stunning white beaches, or swim or snorkel in the pristine blue waters. Or, you can also witness beautiful cultural shows at Phuket FantaSea. While you’re there, don’t miss the Big Buddha Phuket or the Buddhist temples in Wat Chalong.
5. Bangkok, Thailand
When in Bangkok, expect nothing less than spectacular cultural experiences, mouthwatering Thai cuisine, and bustling market culture. Want to make the most out of your trip to one of Southeast Asia’s best quick destinations? Here’s an idea: explore the city on an epic tuk-tuk ride!
Witness its many vibrant streets, landmarks, and ancient Buddhist temples like the Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple) and the Wat Arun Ratchawararam (Temple of Dawn). Whether it’s a quick city break or a starting point for further explorations in Thailand, Bangkok has something that’ll surely pique your interest.
With limited days to spend on vacation, travelling to the Little Red Dot can already give you a weekend to remember. As small as Singapore is, there are numerous sights to see here. Fortunately, you won’t have to spend days hopping from one attraction to another. In fact, you can visit the Marina Bay Sands, the Gardens by the Bay, the Helix Bridge, the Merlion Park, and Sentosa all in one day!
7. Koror, Palau
Looking for an uncrowded tropical paradise? Don’t lose hope. As Koror isn’t as popular as other island destinations near the Philippines, the beaches are free from the mounds of trash most well-known beaches suffer from. Go scuba diving in the scenic spots of Rock Islands, admire the colourful Palauan exhibits at Belau National Museum, or see the World War II Seaplane Base.
8. Hong Kong
If you’re searching for a weekend getaway for your whole family, then you must consider Hong Kong. Let the kids enjoy the fun rides at Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park. Meanwhile, adults can admire the Symphony of Lights or Victoria Peak. Adrenaline junkies can hike the Dragon’s Back Trail and view Hong Kong Island from the peak. Nearby, Tai Long Bay awaits with fine white sand and waves perfect for a swim or surf.
A dynamic destination tucked away on the southeastern coast of China, Macao boasts a blend of Chinese and Portuguese influences. Witness this unique fusion flourish in its modern architecture like Casino Lisboa and historic landmarks like the Historic Centre of Macao. What’s more? Nicknamed the Las Vegas of the East, Macao boasts a glamorous casino culture and vibrant nightlife, making it an urban traveller’s paradise.
10. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Backpackers love Phnom Penh — affordable hostels, hot parties, and rooftop bars are just a part of life there. Touring Phnom Penh won’t burn a hole in your pocket as you can easily explore the area with a rented bike. If you dig historical sites, you’ll love the Wat Phnom Buddhist temple, the Royal Palace, and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. On the other hand, you can also shop till you drop at the massive, art deco Central Market. Aside from its iconic architecture, you can find all sorts of cheap knick-knacks and food items here.
11. Busan, South Korea
Instead of spending your weekend bingeing on Korean drama, why not travel to South Korea? Aside from the obvious Korean culture you’ve been dying to experience for years, Busan has a variety of attractions to offer. Beach bums can relax at several beaches like Haeundae, which would be a smart choice if you want to munch on Korean food while taking in the sun. Taejongdae Park is a definite must-see, too. From here, you can witness a breathtaking view of the ocean and cliffs.
12. Jeju Island, South Korea
On top of gaining international acclaim for its breathtaking natural beauty, UNESCO recognises Jeju Island as an official World Natural Heritage Site, Global Geopark, and Biosphere Reserve. The largest island in all of South Korea, it boasts breathtaking landscapes, coastal views, and an abundance of natural wonders like the Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, Jeongbang Waterfall, and the Hallasan National Park. The best part? Philippine passport holders can enter Jeju without a visa!
13. Jeolla Province, South Korea
Recently, South Korea opened Jeolla Province as its third visa-free entry route aside from Jeju Island and Gangwon Province. That said, it has more recently become one of the most ideal quick destinations for those seeking to experience Korean culture off the beaten path. Refresh your mind by exploring its cultural and heritage hotspots like ancient temples, the Jeonju Hanok Village, Suncheon Bay National Garden, Naejangsan National Park, and Boseong Green Tea Field.
Are there any ARMYs here? You might just come across some Bangtan-themed street art and graffiti in the capital city of Gwangju, BTS’ J-hope’s hometown!
14. Bali, Indonesia
A long weekend is a pretty solid excuse to go find places that will prettify your feed. As many travellers may know, Bali has become Instagram heaven. From the quirky hostels to the spectacular infinity pools, this island province has it all. Anyone can see the sunset from just about anywhere, but there’s a certain magic when you witness the sunset in Seminyak. As you get comfy in the many bean bags at the beach, watch the sky turn orange before transforming into a stunning purple. Be sure to check out, and strike a pose at, the Bali Gate, Tegalalang Rice Terrace, and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, too!
10. Hanoi, Vietnam
Aside from being a quick flight away from the Philippines, Hanoi has a certain richness you wouldn’t want to miss. On Ly Thuong Kiet Street, you’ll find the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. With the mission to promote gender equality, the museum remarkably showcases the vital roles of Vietnamese women in their history and family.
Hanoi also houses the Temple of Literature, which honours the dedication of Vietnam scholars. Here, you can find the Imperial Academy, the first national university of the country. Other popular spots in Hanoi are the Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi Opera House, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, the Hoan Kiem Lake, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
Long weekends were never meant to just pass you by. Take the opportunity to fully experience life outside of all your day-to-day responsibilities. In other words, have fun and travel the world, one long weekend at a time with these quick destinations.