10 Off The Beaten Road Places To Go During The Long Good Friday Weekend

10 Off The Beaten Road Places To Go During The Long Good Friday Weekend

So the long Good Friday weekend is coming up – where will you go?

Move over, Bangkok, Bali or Hong Kong! How many umpteen times have we seen the same-old tired pictures of the same-old tired places pop up on our Instagram feed? Snooze. Don’t you think it’s about time for a change?

We vote yes! Good Friday is coming up, and it’s helloooo long weekend (25-27 Mar). We say it’s time for you to pack your bags, and go to any of these 10 places that people don’t normally swarm to. Are you ready for an adventure way off the beaten road?

1. Sri Lanka

Image credit: Bernd Thaller

Sri Lanka is, for lack of a better word, downright fascinating. There’s just something about the country that seems so hopelessly exotic, dangling promises of intrigue, mystery and wonder. The country is home to eight (eight!) UNESCO World Heritage sites – a true testament to its rich heritage and history. Go hunting for wildlife on safari at its extensive national parks, grab a pina colada at its white sandy beaches, or embark on romantic walks to cascading waterfalls. Sri Lanka is, indeed, a hidden gem simply hiding in plain sight!

Also read: Budget Adventure Guide through Sri Lanka

2. Surabaya, Indonesia

Image credit: © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Surabaya [fzPrice]SUB[/fzPrice] is the gateway for Mount Bromo and Ljen Crater, two famous Java volcanoes totally worth a visit. Ljen crater is best-known for its turquoise-coloured crater lake, as well as the stunning electric-blue flames emitted after nightfall. As if such spectacular natural sights aren’t enough to give you that extra push, you can even go horse-riding or have an ATV adventure at the base of Mount Bromo.

Also read: Surabaya Travel Tips and City Attractions

3. Oslob, Philippines

Image credit: Janey

Ever wanted to swim with whale sharks? Yup, you heard it right – At Oslob in Cebu [fzPrice]CEB[/fzPrice], you’re able to enjoy a refreshing swim with one (or many!) of these majestic giants. The whale shark is the largest fish in the world – gulps! – and grows up to 12 metres long! Despite its size, the whale shark is an exceedingly gentle giant. Get up close for an once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity! Do take special care to abide by tour operators’ guidelines, and bask in this amazing experience that definitely deserves a spot on your #bucketlist!

Also read: My South Cebu Trip: 4 Days of Great Adventure with My Barkada

4. Bandar, Brunei

Image credit: Bernard Spragg, NZ

Brunei [fzPrice]BWN[/fzPrice] is a country much shrouded in mystery – what exactly is there to do in Brunei? Besides absolutely stunning mosques with golden domes with artificial lagoons, open-air markets, river safaris, and enchanting waterfronts, Bandar (Brunei) is home to a cluster of stilt villages known as Kampong Ayer. Known colloquially as the “Venice of the East”, the village is home to approximately 10% of the country’s population. Get to the village via a water taxi, and marvel at the largest water settlement in the world!

Also read: 6 Interesting Facts About Brunei

5. Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos has a stealthy yet steady way of creeping into the heart of every traveller who sets foot on its shores. Luang Prabang is home to the stunning Kuangsi Waterfalls and the spectacular Pak Ou Caves. The nearby Elephant Village even lets you get up and close to the humble beasts, and try your hand at washing or riding the elephants. Luang Prabang is located at the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers, and enjoys picturesque views in every direction. Top off your nights by going bargain hunting at the night market – a one-stop treasure souvenir treasure trove for all your friends and family back home!

Also read: One Week in Laos: Top 10 Attractions You Should Visit

6. Hat Yai, Thailand

Image credit: Axel Drainville

So everyone’s heard about Bangkok or Phuket… But what about Hat Yai [fzPrice]HDY[/fzPrice]? Despite being hopelessly overshadowed, Hat Yai is every bit as fantastic as its other Thai counterparts. In true Thai style, be prepared to be overwhelmed with an onslaught of food, sounds, smells, and a twirling kaleidoscope of colours. Street food are aplenty, so are bargain wares that get cheaper by the minute. As if shopping on land isn’t enough, venture to Khlong Hae floating market for some action on the water. Don’t forget to get the quintessential Thai massage while you’re there!

Also read: 10 Things Every Traveller Must Do in Hat Yai and Songkhla

7. Kuching, Borneo

Image credit: Thomas Wanhoff

In Kuching, surprises greet you at every turn. Despite being known as a sleepy town, its’ walls are adorned with adorable orang-utan themed murals that are totally worth hunting down. Kuching is also located in close proximity to various national parks, such as the Kubah National Park and the Semenggoh Orang-Utan Sanctuary. Indeed, one of the best things to do in Kuching would be to arm yourself with sunglasses and a pair of sturdy shoes, and wander aimlessly around the town for an entire afternoon!

Also read: 10 Reasons Why Kuching Should Be Your Next Weekend Getaway Destination

8. Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

Image credit: Aaron Bradford

Channel your inner Tarzan and stay in a treehouse right here on Koh Rong Island in Cambodia! Live six metres above ground amidst lush verdant greenery, with the beach right at your doorstep! Think serenity, beauty and romance ­– these treehouse bungalows have got it all. Enjoy pristine unspoilt beaches, and immerse yourself into the heart of one of the world’s best tropical playgrounds. Go swimming, snorkelling, trekking, or simply enjoy the blissful feeling of doing nothing. Sounds like a dream to me!

Also read: Koh Rong Islands – Cambodia’s Unspoilt Beach Paradise

9. Port Dickson, Malaysia

Image credit: Phalinn Ooi

Listen up parents, this is for you! Port Dickson is known to be extremely family friendly, appealing to both adults and children alike. Grab the chance to stay in a water chalet at the Avillion Port Dickson, which is b-e-a-utiful. The water chalets – yep you guessed it – are chalets on stilts above water! Fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves… blisssss! There’s no need to worry that your kids will get bored – the Avillion boasts a butterfly patch, an orchid enclosure, three swimming pools with a water slide, family movie screenings, and even a petting zoo. It’s doesn’t get any better than this!

Also read: 12 Destinations in Malaysia for Your Next Weekend Getaway

10. Inle Lake, Myanmar

Image credit: Marc Veraat

Okay we are just going to put it out there – the Inle Lake is BEAUTIFUL beyond words. And yes it is just a lake, but no it is not just any lake – this lake shimmers in the sun, and exudes a feeling so idyllic that the word ‘zen’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. Even though it’s a lake, it’s far from boring and there are countless things you can do! Take a scenic boat ride, take on a lotus silk workshop, go canoeing in an old-school wooden canoe, or watch the fishermen hard at work. Relax in the hot springs at the west side of the lake, or indulge in some wine tasting at Inle Lake’s vineyard restaurant. Pamper yourself, you deserve it!

Also read: Why You Absolutely Must Make that Weekend Escape to Myanmar

So what do you say? Do you dare to be different and venture to any of these lesser-known places? Have a great Good Friday weekend, y’all!

About Author

E-lyn Tham
E-lyn Tham

Having a strong conviction that getting lost is just another adventure in itself, E-lyn takes particular delight in wandering stranger lands, inhibitions and fears thrown asunder. There’s so much left in the world to see, and there’s nothing she would like better than to spend her days dreaming whimsical, thinking adventure, and laughing curious.


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