Get us in your inbox

Search
Koh Lipe
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best weekend beach getaways from Singapore

Need a break from city life? These beach destinations are less than four hours away

Dewi Nurjuwita
Cheryl Sekkappan
Written by
Dewi Nurjuwita
&
Cheryl Sekkappan
Advertising

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. 

RECOMMENDED: The best short day trips from Singapore and Weekend travel guide: 48 hours in Nusa Penida

Perfect beach vacations near Singapore

Rawa Island, Malaysia

How about heading to the Maldives of Johor for a beach holiday? Rawa Island is a gorgeous, remote island that you can reach from Singapore in just 3.5 hours. There are just two resorts to choose from: Rawa Island Resort gives the full works experience – a restaurant with buffet, a beach bar, water sports facilities and equipment, and a spa – while Alang's Rawa is for those who are happy to exchange a bit of luxury for some peace and quiet. 

Your beach holiday here can go two ways. Go all out with hiking The Hilltop Walk, swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and even scuba diving – be sure not to miss the water slides on the pier too. Or you can get a massage and spend the rest of your time chilling out on the beach. 

Koh Lipe, Thailand

This jewel in the Andaman Sea is a little bit of a hassle to get to, but well worth the trouble. First, you'll have to get on a short 1.5 hour flight from Singapore to Langkawi, before taking a ferry to reach the island. There, you'll be rewarded with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. For those who are not content to simply lie on the beach, beautiful corals and shipwrecks (for scuba divers) await underwater. 

Get oriented on Koh Lipe's Walking Street, the most bustling street on the island that's lined with restaurants, bars, and massage spots. For nosh, we favour Castaway Restaurant or Elephant, while Maya Bar and Sea La Vie make good, cosy options for drinks. But the true charm of Koh Lipe lies in its waters – rent snorkelling or kayaking equipment from your resort or get scuba certified at a well-rated shop like Pura Diva Diving

Advertising

Desaru, Malaysia

With the completion of the Desaru Coast Ferry Terminal, reaching Desaru from Singapore takes just 90 minutes – making it the perfect pick for a quick weekend getaway. Check yourself in to Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, a luxurious property that offers a serene escape on Desaru's shores. Relax in your room and gaze at the waters, or head out to have a picnic and dip at the beach.

There's lots of wholesome fun to be had beyond the resort. Top of the list is Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast, which has viking ships, rollercoasters and more watery rides (so bring your swimsuits along). For something a little different, you can ride ostriches at the Desaru Ostrich Farm, or play it safe and sweet at the Desaru Fruit Farm. Make a wish upon a lantern (for more perfect getaways) at Kota Tinggi Firefly Park to end the trip. 

 

Uluwatu, Bali

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.

Advertising

Krabi, Thailand

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. 

Langkawi, Malaysia

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. Kalut Cafe and Bar is one we love. 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 vegetables and crackers. 

 

Advertising

Cebu, Philippines

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 Abaca Baking Company or chill out at a beach resort like the Dolphin House Resort in Moalboal

Need more travel inspo?

Advertising
Recommended

    More on getaways

      You may also like
      You may also like
      Advertising