10 Less-Travelled Destinations That S’poreans Can Consider for Their Year-End Vacation

Who doesn’t love to travel?

I for one know that I do. There’s nothing quite like packing your things (last minute, of course), hopping on a plane and going someplace far, far away.

It’s like one moment you’re in Singapore, and the next thing you know, you’ve slept, woken up and are in a whole other country!

To me, nothing is more thrilling and exhilarating than that.

So if you want to know what are the best and less-travelled destinations in 2018, read on.

And get your credit/debit cards ready – you’ll get major wanderlust and will want to book your tickets right away.

I don’t blame you. Me too.

1. Mauritius 

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Mauritius needs to be on your bucket list of places to travel to this year. A country on East Africa in the Indian Ocean, it is paradise.

With the bluest oceans, white beaches and an overall chilled out vibe, skip out on the traditional beach vacay destinations and make your way into this exotic haven.

Stay at one of the many beautiful villas and resorts if you can, or look up places on Airbnb.

They shouldn’t cost too much, too. Spend your days taking incredible photographs of the island paradise, parasailing, water skiing and a bunch of other water sports.

And they also have an incredible national park to hike at – Black River Gorges National Park.

Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius – grab some interesting souvenirs, and explore the predominantly French architecture. Eat at cafes and explore museums here.

The verdict is in! This year, Mauritius is the place to be.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

Image: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

If you find yourself wanting to go to the US, do not miss visiting New Orleans.

Known for being a hipster’s paradise, this place boasts drinks all day, amazing creole-cajun culinary feats, loads of amazing street food, and even some voodoo attractions to keep you on your toes.

A place known for its live music, dancing, amazing food and fun, this is the perfect travel spot for anyone wanting to let loose and have a good time on holiday.

Oh yes, and 2018 is the year that New Orleans turns three hundred years old! So you know everything will be bigger, better and more fun when you visit.

3. Kampot, Cambodia

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Cambodia is more than just Angkor Wat and museums.

It’s got an amazing natural secret – Kampot.

A sleepy little riverside town, you’ll definitely feel time slow down here (perfect for us Singaporeans that are always rushing everywhere).

Explore Bokor Mountain for a beautiful, mystical experience, with incredible views. Watch the sunset go down in a blaze of fiery colours along the Kampot River, with Bokor in the backdrop.

Visit spice farms, have leisurely breakfasts, and treat yourself to a full spa day.

Kayak and swim in the river, if you want to. Kampot is for anyone who wants time to slow down so they can breathe and be reenergised.

It’s a leisurely, relaxing holiday destination that shows you Cambodia in a whole new light.

4. Bulgaria

Image: naskopi / Shutterstock.com

Bulgaria doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you’re talking about a European holiday, does it?

But this year, put Bulgaria on your list of places to visit.

With quintessential European architecture, the signature cobblestoned streets, beautiful blue waters and very affordable ‘on-the-ground’ costs (like food and accommodation), your romantic notions of an idyllic European holiday will be fulfilled.

Stroll through the picture-perfect streets, lounge at cafes, explore museums and art and enjoy some amazing (and cheap) street food.

Almost every spot in Bulgaria provides some insta-worthy shots, so your feed is sure to be the envy of everyone with all the pictures you take!

5. Zanzibar

Image: Nick Johanson / Shutterstock.com

Zanzibar is also not what springs to mind when someone speaks about travelling.

But it should be.

Not only are the on the ground costs decent, but it will give you a holiday experience like no other.

You can visit little local shops selling exotic souvenirs, herbs and spices, eat at the many cafes lining the quaint streets, and enjoy the resort life on the island with its blue af waters.

It’s a chill holiday destination that’s new, different and importantly, safe for tourists. Also, it’s perfect for those looking for non-traditional vacation destinations.

(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:

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6. Yunnan, China

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Step into a whole new world when you visit Yunnan. Located in China, getting there from Singapore is pretty affordable (woohoo!).

And man, it’s really a place of fairytales.

It’s got breathtaking rice terraces, one of the world’s deepest canyons, delicious food like fried cheese and Yunnan BBQ, incredible snowcapped mountains straddling the border of Tibet and Yunnan, and amazing Oriental architecture.

This is where the sunrises and sunsets are absolutely unreal, the entire place is soul-refreshing and it’s basically on of the most beautiful places on earth.

Must. Go.

7. Togean Islands, Indonesia

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Looking for a beautiful island retreat but don’t want to travel too far?

Togean Islands in Indonesia should make it on your list of the next place to go.

Perfect for people who want to dive, they have diving expeditions and diving schools, so if you are looking for a new spot to jump in, or want to learn this spot, this is for you.

For the more non-adventurous lot, spend your days lounging by the amazing blue waters, getting some spa treatments in, and stuffing your face with some delicious delicious Indonesian cuisine (the most important part, if you’re asking me).

The islanders are all super friendly and welcoming. You’ll feel so pampered and rejuvenated during your stay there, coming back to Singapore becomes a chore.

8. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

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Andaman and Nicobar Islands are located in the Bay of Bengal, making it another exotic ocean getaway without the hassle of travelling too far.

Live the life of luxury here by chilling out on the white beaches, exploring the surrounding islands, eating amazing food and treating yourself to some quality spa time.

The beautiful clear waters make this place perfect for snorkelling and diving, for those looking out for more adventurous activities.

Perfect as a romantic holiday spot, impress your significant idea by spontaneously suggesting a trip here.

Have candle-lit dinners by the water, go on long romantic strolls and enjoy connecting with each other away from the noise and distractions of busy everyday life.

9. Lombok, Indonesia

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If you want an adventure and don’t wanna go too far, our neighbour Indonesia has everything we need, yet again.

Lombok has everything from incredible natural blowholes, to pink sand and white sand beaches, the majestic active volcano Mount Rinjani (which you can climb, btw), waterfalls, and an otherworldly national park.

If you like to be on the go and want to see as much of this beautiful Earth as possible while you still can, this is the place for you.

You will have your breath continuously being taken away by the awesomeness of Mother Nature in Lombok.

10. Takayama, Japan. 

Image: mTaira / Shutterstock.com

When you think about visiting Japan, often the classics come to mind – Tokyo, Hokkaido, Osaka, and the like.

But if you want to take the road less travelled, immerse yourself in Japan’s inland mountain culture at Takayama.

Not only do you get to see folky villages and step back in time at the Sanmachi Suji District, Takayama is also the starting point of a lot of Japanese alpine hikes/climbs.

After you’re done immersing in the rewinding of time with traditional villages, cafes and shops, head down to Kamikochi – the starting point for some of the best hikes in Japan’s alpine region.

You can also take a cable car to get some intense panoramic views of the entire Japanese Alps, if you don’t want to hike.

Stop by the UNESCO village – Shirakawa-go, and marvel at the traditional Japanese architecture that has carefully been preserved and maintained.

For those that want to experience Japan in a whole new way, Takayama is the place to be.


So, all that’s left to do is to start booking your trips to these amazing, exotic holiday destinations scattered all across the globe!

There is no way you will regret visiting any one of these stunning, less-travelled to destinations.

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Rachael Divya

Rachael Divya

Life is one big adventure, so you can find her on the next flight out. (But when flights are too expensive, you can find her in bed catching up on the twenty TV shows she’s decided to watch.) Food time is her favourite time of every day, and way too many things interest her so now she’s just a jumbled-up ball of curiosity navigating this messy, happy little world she has.
Rachael Divya