TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, today announced its 2019 Mid-Year* Holiday Destination Report, highlighting the 10 most popular international destinations among Singapore travellers between June and August this year, based on booking interest**. The report also shares tips on how to uncover hidden gems at these favourite destinations.
A recent TripAdvisor survey of more 500 Singapore travellers revealed that nearly half (48%) of those who plan to travel between June and August this year will do so during the four-day long weekend in August. A whopping 80% of respondents survey cited “relax and rejuvenation” as the main motivation for mid-year travel and prefer to do so with a city (70%) or beach (47%) getaway.
The Mid-Year Holiday Destination Report also found that Asian destinations are the top travel favourites with three in ten respondents planning to go on a holiday to Bangkok, followed by Hong Kong and Taipei.
Popular Mid-Year Travel Destinations and Tips on Exploring the City’s Hidden Gems
Bangkok is the go-to destination for many travellers from Singapore. While plenty shopping options, delicious local cuisine and captivating Buddhist temples are the top reasons Singapore travellers flock the Kingdom, explore a different side to the city such as a thriving art scene at the Museum of Contemporary Art or dine at Eat Sight Story, a fusion restaurant boasting a stunning view of the city landscape. Travellers can escape the busy streets and experience slow life with a stay at Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel, a rustic boutique hotel located within Old Bangkok.
Futuristic skyscrapers, neon signs and a flood of people are the first things that come to mind when Tokyo is mentioned but discover the Zen side to this city at one of its unique shrines such as the ‘lucky cat’ Gotokuji Temple, home to thousands of figurines of beckoning white cats worshipped for good luck. Travellers can whip up local dishes such as Okonomiyaki and Monjayaki at Sakuratei, a do-it-yourself restaurant for a culinary experience like no other. Complete the trip with a stay at Mimaru Tokyo Ueno Inaricho, a spacious apartment hotel that comes with well-equipped kitchens and perfect for families.
London is known for major sights such as the Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. However, travellers looking to switch up their itineraries can instead visit unconventional attractions such as the Highgate Cemetery, a graveyard with beautiful Victorian architecture and notable graves such as Karl Marx’s. Dine at Barge East, a charming restaurant based on a historic 114 year old Dutch barge and find respite at Staybridge Suites London - Vauxhall, a modern yet cosy hotel, after a long day out.
- Hong Kong
Hong Kong may be known for its lofty skyscrapers, good food and endless shopping but its great outdoors is not to be missed. Visitors who make the three-hour hike up the scenic Dragon’s Back will be rewarded with unbeatable views of nature and the ocean. Travellers can go back in time at Ho Lee Fook, a Chinese kitchen inspired by old-school Hong Kong tea restaurants locally known as cha chaan tengs, and the spirit of late-night Chinatown hangouts in 1960’s New York, before ending the day with a stay at Hotel Stage.
Phuket is not only home to impressive beaches such as Kata Noi and Nai Harn, it also has several hidden gems such as Ao Sane and Yanui Beach for travellers who want to enjoy the sand and sea with less crowds. Named after its most sought after dish, travellers can make their way to Pad Thai Shop for a taste of authentic Thai cuisines and head back to a comfortable stay at TripAdvisor’s 2019 Travellers’ Choice winner BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel.
From modern skyscrapers, insta-worthy cafes, vibrant K-pop culture to traditional Buddhist temples, majestic palaces and colourful street markets, Seoul offers something for every traveller type. Visitors looking to admire its beauty can make a three-hour hike up Inwangsan Mountain for a panoramic view of the metropolis. No trip is complete without feasting on Korean barbeque so head down to choigozip Hongdae for mouth-watering grilled Wagyu beef and pork belly. For a good night’s rest, return to Hotel28 Myeongdong which is centrally located at the heart of Seoul’s cultural district.
Situated on the island of Honshu, the port city of Osaka is one of the top tourist destinations in Japan. Travellers hoping to experience the city as locals do can stop by Isshinji Temple to witness visitors praying to Buddha statues made from human ashes or Utsubo Park where families gather for a fun day out. Curry lovers can head to Yakumido for a quick dinner before making their way back to Hotel Universal Port to recharge.
Taipei is a food haven with its lively street-food scene and many night markets, including the renowned Shilin market. Tea enthusiasts can pick from the finest selection at the city’s oldest tea shop Linhuatai, which remains highly sought-after despite being around for over 130 years. Travellers can satisfy their mala cravings at Wulao Zhongshan for an affordable yet delicious meal. Stay at the award-winning Dandy Hotel - Tianjin Branch, conveniently located minutes away from Zhongshan station.
Bali’s rugged coastlines and varied landscape of mountains, hills, waterfalls and lakes make for a postcard-perfect holiday. While acclaimed as a beach paradise, Bali also boasts a hipster café culture and bustling arts scene. Travellers can swing by the Nacivet Art Gallery in Seminyak for beautiful local photography prints, or drop in Purpa Fine Art Gallery Seminyak for contemporary art appreciation. For a taste of home-style local cuisine with a modern twist, reserve a table at Sukun Restaurant. Book a night at Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort and experience a luxurious resort stay.
Famed for its iconic beer and ski slopes, Sapporo is the vibrant capital of Hokkaido that’s slightly more ‘relaxed’ than other capital cities in Japan. Travellers can avoid queues at local-favourite ramen restaurant Ebisoba Ichigen Sohonten by visiting early, then heading to Tea Ceremony Ren and taste, learn about and make Matcha tea from scratch in a kimono. Finally, have a rest at traditional Japanese hotel “ryokan” Nukumori no Yado Furukawa, that has different types of indoor “onsens” (hot springs) and a gender-split public bath.
Pro Tip - Get appy
The TripAdvisor app is the ideal travel companion while in-destination. As soon as you log on, the homepage transforms into a personalised feed of information. When searching a particular destination, the feed automatically narrows the scope of the information displayed to that particular geographic location. Planning a trip to Bangkok you may see a food critic’s article on the best street food in the city, an influencer’s travel guide of “hidden gems not to miss,” and a friend’s review of a tuk tuk night tour around the city. As long as you’ve downloaded the app there’s no need for pre-planning and you go can go with the flow to your hearts content. The app allows you to be spontaneous while also knowing you won’t waste time or do anything that’s not highly rated by people you trust.
*Mid-year travel refers to travel between June and August 2019.
**Popular destinations were determined by booking interest from Singapore travellers between June and August 2019. Booking interest includes hotel and attraction commerce clicks/revenue.
Survey statistics based on a TripAdvisor survey of 517 Singapore travellers, conducted in June 2019.