We promise you’ve never heard of some of these places before!

Window view from Jetstar aircraft - flight from Singapore

Photo credit: Jetstar

Phineas and Ferb once lamented that the annual problem for our generation is finding a good way to spend the summer. Indeed, it’s tough trying to find a mid-year destination that isn’t the usual tourist favourite. Plus, I confess it can be stressful to always be on alert to avoid photobombing someone’s selfie when it gets too crowded 🥲

Nonetheless, a mid-year getaway is crucial for the sanity of most (myself included) to rest and recharge — and what better way than to reconnect with nature and visit scenic spots?

So if you’re looking for a break from the popular cities, we’ve come up with a list of lesser-known scenic destinations less than a 5.5-hour flight from Singapore for your next summer vacation.

1) Krabi, Thailand’s Tropical Paradise (1hr 50min flight)

All-in one-way fare: From S$75* (SIN – KBV)

Ao Nang Beach in Krabi, Thailand - Flights from Singapore

Photo credit: @shawnanggg via Unsplash

In the wise words of TikTok: Maybe you just need to go back to the ocean 🧜‍♀️

Trade the exhausting city life for a slowed-down vacation in Krabi, a coastal town in Thailand just a 1.5-hour flight from Singapore. Surrounded by turquoise waters and towering limestone cliffs — it’s straight out of Moana but much closer to Singapore.

While Thailand has other popular beach destinations like Phuket or Koh Samui, Krabi is a quieter small town sandwiched by dramatic cliffs perfect for adventurous travellers. Think night markets, island hopping, rock climbing, ancient temples, massage and all the Thai food you can eat — is this…paradise?

Spend the day island hopping

Phi Phi Island Hopping – Flights from Singapore

Krabi’s strategic location on Thailand’s west coast makes it the perfect base for an island-hopping day trip — and the options are aplenty.

The Phi Phi Islands are the most popular ones thanks to Leonardo Dicaprio’s The Beach (2000). Its postcard-worthy emerald waters are perfect for snorkelling and its pristine beaches are ranked the third best in the world! The islands are a little closer to Phuket but you can still reach them via speedboat in ~2 hours.

*Note: Maya Bay will be closed from 1 Aug 2024 – 1 Oct 2024 for annual conservation.

Longtail boat while island hopping in Krabi, Thailand – things to do in Krabi

Photo credit: @anastasiya_dalenka via Unsplash

If you only have half a day, consider going on a 4 Islands Day Tour via speedboat or longtail boat to explore neaby islands. Specifically — Koh Poda, Koh Kai (Chicken Island), Koh Tup and Koh Mor. Tours also include snorkelling and a stop by Phranang Cave Beach where you can find an interesting shrine dedicated to phalluses.

*Pro-tip: Take the longtail boat so you can lie back and watch dramatic rock formations pass overhead from the front!

For those prone to seasickness 😵‍💫, you can still get a slice of ‘island life’ by taking a 15-minute longboat ride to Railay Beach. It’s a small peninsula surrounded by cliffs which make it inaccessible from the mainland.

Marvel at Krabi’s panoramic view from Wat Tham Suea

Wat Tham Suea Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi, Thailand - Flights from Singapore

Photo credit: @itravelonmyown via Instagram

Wat Tham Suea, also known as the Tiger Cave Temple, sits high above with an epic panoramic view of the entire Krabi province. The only catch is that it’s a bit of a climb to reach the summit — 1,260 steps to be exact 😅


The steps are narrow and uneven, but the hike will reward you with views of farmlands and the sea. It’s said that the temple got its name as tigers used to roam the caves. We don’t know how true this is but let’s just say, visitors can find a mysterious tiger paw print inside!

*Note: The temple has a dress code which requires knees to be covered, but sarongs are available for rent for ฿20.

2) Clark, Philippines’ Best Kept Secret (3hr 40min)

All-in one-way fare: From S$95* (SIN – CRK)

The Holy Rosary Parish Church in Angeles City. Photo credit: @marklesterbasco via Instagram

A former US Air Force base, Clark is a lesser-known town in the Philippines which offers a surprising blend of history, adventure, and scenic views. Nature lovers can escape to serene gardens and volcanic landscapes, while foodies will delight in the renowned Kapampangan cuisine. But if you’re just looking for a quiet vacation getaway, consider going for a spa at Puning Hot Spring.

Explore nature’s untouched wonders

Man overlooking Pinatubo Crater Lake - things to do in Clark

Mount Pinatubo is an active volcano but just like Mount Fuji, it’s safe to visit as its last eruption was over 30 years ago. Rest assured there are no poisonous puffs of sulphur and bubbling lava waiting at the top. Instead, a tranquil azure lake sits in the middle of the crater, formed after the last eruption in 1991.

You’ll need to take a 4×4 Jeep ride across rocky landscapes to the base of the mountain before trekking up for 2 hours to reach Pinatubo Crater Lake.

Feast on Filipino delicacies born in Clark

Aling Lucing Sisig - Flights from Singapore

Photo credit: @bellyhungry.siopau via Instagram

Sisig is a staple in every Filipino menu but did you know that this cultural icon was born in Clark, Pampanga?

It’s made with pork jowl, pork ears, pork belly, liver, chillies, served up on a sizzling hot plate with a citrus kick. This dish can be traced back to the American occupation at Clark Air Base. As pig heads were not used in prepping meals for the US Air Force, the excess meat was cheaper and locals transformed it into the predecessor of Sisig.

Chef Aling Lucing modernised the recipe by grilling the parts and launched it into the popular dish known and loved today. You can’t visit Clark without dropping by the Aling Lucing Sisig, the restaurant of the proclaimed ‘Queen of Sisig’ and trying the OG recipe for yourself!

3) Hainan, The Hawaii of China (3hr 35min)

All-in one-way fare: From S$128* (SIN – HAK)

Girl in Dress at Movie Town - Hainan Itinerary

Travellers looking to travel beyond Southeast Asia should check out Hainan Island! It’s a laid-back tropical version of China with historical sites, fresh seafood and delectable Hainanese cuisine (but you can still find iconic flavours like mala).

While it’s an island, it’s 49 times the size of Singapore and has 10 major cities! We recommend exploring Haikou and Sanya if you’re strapped for time.

Psst, Singapore has announced a 30-Day Visa-Exemption between Singapore and China. For those with enough annual leave days, why not spend a month exploring Hainan, as well as mainland China?

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the island

Aerial View of Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park - Flights from Singapore

Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park boasts a 400m long glass-bottom platform that towers above Hainan Island — NOT for the faint of heart but we powered through 😮‍💨

The park is so huge that it takes ~2 hours to hike to the top but there’s a sightseeing bus if you’re in a time crunch. Other attractions include the Qianli Umbrella lookout point, Natural Fit Church and the Dragon Rope Bridge which connects two mountains, giving a panoramic view of the lush rainforest!

Man Looking at Volcanic Crater - Flights from Singapore

Spot the volcanic crater!

Just like how Hawaii is known for its volcanoes, Hainan has a literal volcano-themed national geo-park with over 40 volcanoes — but not the ashes-and-lava-and-death type you’d expect.

The volcanoes in Leiqiong Global Geopark resemble a tropical rainforest, the craters blanketed in lush greenery after centuries of extinction. It takes an hour round trip to cover three different viewpoints but you can get an amazing view of the crater and the island.

Do watersports in crystal clear waters

Wuzhizhou Island Beaches - Flights ffrom Singapore

For the clearest waters, take a 20-minute ferry to Wuzhizhou Island. Known as the “Maldives of China” amongst locals, this island is one of the best places to dive in China 🐠There are water sports too like parasailing, jet skiing and even a Hydroflight where you strap on a jet ski jet pack!

Lover Bridge - things to do in Hainan

For those not big on swimming, the island is also home to other land attractions like the Lover Bridge, Heart of the Sea, Sunrise Peak, and Lover Valley. We suggest hopping on the sightseeing tour bus to explore the island as the attractions are far apart.

Read more: 4-Day Hainan Itinerary Under S$650 — A Short Island Getaway to the Hawaii of China

4) Wuxi, China’s Riverside City (5hr 20min)

All-in one-way fare: From S$188* (SIN – WUX)

Wuxi City in China - Things to do in Wuxi

Photo credit: @insta_wuxi via Instagram

No more gatekeeping, Wuxi is another travel destination that most international travellers don’t know about. It’s beautiful all year round with its metropolitan city, breathtaking scenery and preserved ancient Chinese architecture.

Located next to Shanghai, Wuxi attracts swarms of domestic visitors thanks to its cherry blossoms, plum blossoms and other Spring blooms. It even has a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the Grand Canal under its belt!

Read also: 10 Essential Apps You Must Have for Travelling in China

Pretend you’re in a Wuxia drama among ancient sights

Hui Shan Ancient Town in Wuxi, China - Things to see in Wuxi

Photo credit: @crystal.1z via Instagram

Travel back in time at Huishan Ancient Town, where the buildings look straight out of a historical C-drama. The town has over a thousand years of history preserved in its cobblestone streets and tranquil canals. It’s easy to get lost in the alleyways while exploring the different ancestral homes, shops, cafes and restaurants.

There are also hanfu shops that offer costume rental, makeup and photography services. Just pick a dynasty and have fun recreating the scenes of your favourite wuxia series!

Hardcore C-Drama fans should also check out Wuxi’s Three Kingdoms City, a full-scale palace set built for the series Romance of Three Kingdoms. While it’s a replica city, you still get a glimpse into what the past could have looked like.

Get lost in a sea of bamboo

Yixing Bamboo Sea Scenic Spot in Wuxi China - Things to do in Wuxi

Photo credit: @visit_wuxi via Instagram

Take a day trip to Yixing Bamboo Sea scenic spot to reconnect with nature and soak in the tranquillity of the forest. Wander along the kilometre-long Jade Corridor, where the winding footpath is sheltered by overlapping bamboo trees that resemble an arch. It’s said that it’s so quiet you can hear a running stream!

Discover hidden temples nestled amidst the bamboo, and soak in the serenity of Mirror Lake reflecting the majestic landscape. There are also cable cars that will take you to the peak to get panoramic views of the region 🎋

5) Perth, A Laid-back Australian Retreat  (5hr 10min)

All-in one-way fare: From S$169* (SIN – PER)

Blue boat house perth - Things to see in Perth

Perth is the perfect example of a marriage between an urban city and the great outdoors. While you can find towering skyscrapers and trendy bars in the CBD, it’s also the gateway to wilderness encounters like Rottnest Island or epic road trips around Western Australia.

Australia’s winter also falls during the mid-year so those looking for an escape from the Singapore heat will love the sweater weather.

Savour the gastronomic wonders down under

Fremantle Market - Things to do in Perth

There are just so many things to try at the Fremantle Markets!

The Fremantle Markets happening every weekend is one of Perth’s best attractions. With over 150 stalls featuring local produce, food, souvenirs, crafts and more — it can be pretty overwhelming. Nearly every food store offers something uniquely delicious — the consistent waves of locals are a testament to its quality.

Australia is also known for its vineyards. So if you’re feeling fancy, head to the nearby Swan Valley to indulge in a wine-tasting sesh while overlooking the rolling hills.

Get up close with the adorable wildlife

Rottnest Island Quokka - What to do in Perth

Look at that face, all the stress from my body just disappeared.

Wild quokkas? Say less.

The ‘Happiest Animal in the World’ can be found on Rottnest Island, which is just off the coast of Fremantle. They are a protected species on the island but you can find them roaming freely. There’s usually a large congregation of them closer to the trees by the ferry terminal if you’re looking to snap a selfie. You’ll also find other wildlife like bobtail lizards, silver gulls and other birds on the island.

*Pro-tip: Quokkas tend to look happier when they’re munching on some greens. If you spot a quokka mid-meal, don’t touch them, but don’t be afraid to lie on the ground to get a shot either!

Koalas at Caversham Wildlife Park in Perth - Things to do in Perth

Photo credit: @cavershamwildlifepark via Instagram

Or get up close and meet critters native to Australia at Caversham Wildlife Park.

Home to koalas, kangaroos, wombats, reptiles and more, visitors can learn more about the conservation, research and welfare programmes for different species from the keepers. There are also animal encounter opportunities available daily so do plan your visit according to their schedule to have the best time!

Read also: 4D3N Perth Itinerary Under S$500 — A Relaxing Getaway to Australia on a Budget

Planning your mid-year summer getaway

Girl on a glass bridge in Hainan Island - Things to see in Hainan

There’s no need to squeeze with the tourist crowd this summer as there are many lesser-known scenic destinations just a short flight from Singapore. Whether you’re looking for a seaside, forest or city getaway, there’s something for everyone — sometimes it’s a combination of all three🕺

Jetstar has also announced new direct flight routes to Krabi, Thailand and Clark, Philippines — just in time for the June school holidays 🥳 Psst Club Jetstar members, this is the time to make use of your 20% off baggage and seat selection!^

From 5 to 8 March, enjoy sale fares on flights to Krabi at S$75, and to Clark at S$95!* With summer just around the corner, make use of this promo to catch a flight from Singapore and recharge before the second half of the year!

*Pro-tip: If you miss the sale, make sure to compare options from other sites before booking your flight from Singapore. Sounds like a no-brainer, but if you do find a lower Economy fare offered by other airlines or even third-party websites that sell Jetstar flights, Jetstar will beat that price by 10%!# T&Cs apply.

What other scenic destinations do you know of that’s a short flight from Singapore? Let us know in the comments below!

This post was brought to you by Jetstar.

*Sale ends 8 March 2024 11.59pm SGT, unless sold out prior. One way, excludes checked baggage, includes taxes. Prices are quoted in Singapore dollars and are based on fee-free payment options such as SingPost offline payment mode and Jetstar vouchers. For other payment options, a payment fee may apply. Prices are correct as at 5 March 2024. Limited availability, selected travel dates and conditions apply. Singapore-Krabi flights commence on 7 June 2024, subject to government and regulatory approval. Singapore-Clark flights commence on 16 June 2024, subject to government and regulatory approval. Other T&Cs apply.

^One way, excludes checked baggage, includes taxes. Prices are quoted in Singapore dollars and are based on fee-free payment options such as SingPost offline payment mode and Jetstar vouchers. For other payment options, a payment fee may apply. Limited availability, selected travel dates and conditions apply. Club Jetstar has an ongoing annual membership fee of SGD $48. See the Club Jetstar terms and conditions for more details. The annual membership fee is non-refundable. Discounted member fares, bag and seat selection available at the time of booking on eligible flights only (excludes Jetstar Holidays). Other T&Cs apply.

#On eligible and compatible third party sites. Price beat guarantee is not available on Jetstar’s South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam or Sri Lanka websites. Other T&Cs apply.

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