If you're a beach person, the best part about living in Southeast Asia is the fact that it is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Just hop onto a plane from Changi Airport and you can get to a tropical paradise. Whether you're a pro surfer, diving enthusiast or just a beach bum, these are the best weekend beach getaways from Singapore.
An hour south from popular spots in Bali like Seminyak and Canggu, Uluwatu is a surfer's paradise. It's characterised by rugged cliffs overlooking the turquoise ocean and sandy white beaches. Spend a day sundazing at its many beach clubs and relaxed surf bars like Omnia Dayclub Bali and Single Fin Bali; or catch a wave at Padang Padang or Dreamland Beach.
Savour wholesome Balinese cuisine at The Warung (at Alila Villas Uluwatu), treat yourself to mouthwatering Mexican grub set against panoramic views at Mana Uluwatu or have a romantic dinner at Ulu Cliffhouse, spearheaded by world-renowned Peruvian Chef Diego Muñoz. One of the best things about Uluwatu is the numerous stylish accommodation options, from the Insta-worthy Dreamsea Surf Camp Bali to the ultra-luxurious Six Senses Uluwatu.
The southern Thai province of Krabi is just a 1.5-hour flight away from Singapore. Much like Phuket, you'll find the jagged karst limestone islands surrounded by azure blue seas. More than just a beach destination, there are lots to do for outdoorsy types – whether it's swimming in the Krabi crystal lagoon, hiking 1,237 steps up the Tiger Cave Temple or going rock climbing at Railay Beach. Hungry? Tuck into a mouthwatering spread of seafood at The Beach Ao Nang or dig into authentic Thai cuisine at the family-run Krua Thara.
When in Thailand, have a massage at a reputable spa along the main thoroughfare or book an appointment at the resort you're staying in. We love Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve and The Elements Krabi. On the other end of the spectrum, Link Hostel Aonang and Blanco Hideout Railay offer the best value for money.
Here's the deal, we think Langkawi is an underrated beach destination – especially since it's super convenient to get there from Singapore (a 1.5-hour flight). Nicknamed 'The Jewel of Kedah', Langkawi is a stunning island in the Andaman Sea dotted with white sand beaches set against verdant rainforests. In fact, the archipelago is home to one of the world's most ancient rainforests, with Southeast Asia's first UNESCO Geopark.
Follow Junglewalla's naturalists on a mangrove tour around Kilim Geoforest Park or walk along the Langkawi Sky Bridge located 2,300 ft above sea level built on top of Gunung Mat Cincang. If a day at the beach is what you need, head on to beach bars of the popular Pantai Cenang. We love Kalut Cafe and Bar and Yellow Beach Cafe. Looking for a place to stay? Check out The St. Regis Langkawi or the chic Bon Ton Resort Langkawi, which is home to a phenomenal restaurant serving traditional Malay cuisine. Tip: Order the Nyonya-style fried rice with chicken satay, chilli prawns, beef rendang, acar, green vegetable and crackers.
The Philippines is the perfect weekend tropical escape, especially Cebu, a province surrounded by 167 surrounding islands and islets. With pristine beaches and beautiful coral reefs, Cebu attracts both travellers looking for a relaxing getaway and avid divers hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous whale sharks.
Cebu is also home to a number of spectacular waterfalls, such as Kawasan and Tumalog Falls. Spend a lazy Sunday morning having an all-day breakfast at hipster cafes such as Birdseed Breakfast Club and Crate Cafe or chill out at a beach resort like the Amihan Beach Cabanas.