The best vacation is one that is tailor-made to your needs.
Jan 4, 2017
Can’t decide where to go for your next holiday? We understand your struggle. With so many places offering a myriad of experiences, it can be a bit daunting trying to find the perfect holiday destination.
Every destination offers a different experience. Whether your passions lie in playing with lions in South Africa or studying limestone sculptures in China, every perfect holiday starts with following your heart.
Here is a list of destinations for every type of traveller.
Home is where the mall is, and you truly believe that the concrete jungle is where dreams are made of.
Tokyo is fast-paced and lively, the perfect getaway for urbanites. You could spend a lifetime just wandering around its shopping and food districts with its neon lights, Japanese electronic music and the thick aromas of teriyaki sauce and street food.
Ginza is Tokyo’s biggest shopping district, with a mix of cult luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, MCM and Christian Dior, as well as fast fashion favourites Zara and Abercrombie & Fitch. Also located in Ginza is Uniqlo’s global flagship store, with 12 floors of shopping. Another must-visit in Tokyo is DisneySea, the only one in the world.
A vast mountain landscape forms the backdrop for Tokyo’s modern cityscape — a representation of the city’s culture. Tokyo is all about bright lights and city life, yet it maintains a firm hold on its traditions. You can catch sumo fighting tournaments, daydream under a cherry blossom tree, or eat your heart out in an underground beer-and-yakitori bar.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon offer flight deals to Tokyo with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
New York is loud and ambitious. The city that never sleeps offers everything from museums, restaurants and bars, to shopping, entertainment and street performances.
Times Square is the epicentre of New York’s entertainment scene. Behind the doors of the city’s theatres are an endless stream of productions, ranging from stand-up comedy, indie cinema, burlesque, jazz and poetry slams to contemporary dance and classical ballet. Surrounding Times Square is the city’s Theatre District, with Broadway theatres all over 41st Street to 52nd Street, and Sixth Ave to Eighth Ave. Catch globally-acclaimed musicals such as The Lion King, Wicked and Phantom of the Opera.
Manhattan’s Chinatown is also a worthy tourist spot. Stepping into Chinatown transports you to an entirely different world. The area teems with culinary delights from every province of mainland China, as well as Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. There are Buddhist temples, Chinese museums, traditional Chinese pharmacies, Chinese grocery stores and tea parlours. Chinatown also merges with Little Italy, where you can find good Italian restaurants and bars.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to New York with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
You experience new cultures and places through your tastebuds. It is far more important to you that a destination has great food rather than great views.
Hong Kong is known as a foodie’s paradise, and with good reason. The city streets are lined with food stalls selling roast goose, traditional Hong Kong pastries and steamed dim sum. ‘Dim sum’ literally means ‘touch your heart’ — and for reasons inexplicable, that’s exactly what dim sum does.
The Hong Kong experience starts with a trip to a traditional night market, with opera singers and fortune tellers. The food stalls are the highlight, with hawkers shouting above each other to attract customers. One of the busiest night markets is Temple Street Market — a favourite among locals and tourists. The fare in Temple Street is homely and unpretentious. Traditional Hong Kong eats are sold, from the popular deep fried squid to more adventurous delicacies such as roast pigeon and chicken testicles.
Every foodie visiting Hong Kong probably has Java Food Market in their itinerary. Since celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s visit to Tung Po Seafood Restaurant in Java Food Market back in 2007, the place has become by far the most popular restaurant in Java Food Market. The Cantonese cuisine is, of course, the main attraction, but the ambience is one of a kind too. Diners get a free ginger and sweet potato dessert, and late at night, the restaurant blasts clubbing music.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Hong Kong. Choose between nine daily flights from Singapore to Hong Kong – more than any other airline. Find out more here.
Another must-visit destination for foodies is Taipei. The affordable and tasty street food there has made dining out such a part of the city’s culture that most studio apartments do not come with a kitchen. Eating is serious business in Taipei, with many of the city’s streets transformed into night markets hawking an array of Taiwanese snacks and delicacies.
One of the most famous night markets is RaoHe Street Night Market. The buzz surrounding this market is attributed to one stall: 胡椒餅 (hu jiao bing), which literally translates to “pepper bun”. Situated at the entrance of RaoHe Street Market, its beeline is the first thing you’ll see when you enter the night market. Compared to the famous Shilin Market, this one is less commercial but packed with local flavour.
If you want to venture beyond casual Taiwanese fare, visit Yong Kang Street. It has a delicious mix of trendy cafes and gourmet boutiques, as well as traditional Taiwanese eats such as beef noodles and cong zhua bing (scallion pancake). Din Tai Fung’s Xinyi flagship store is also located at Yong Kang Street.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon offer flight deals to Taipei with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Your chill pill: Vitamin Sea
Not many people are familiar with Sanya, an idyllic city within Hainan Island. However, this will change soon, thanks to its beautiful beaches that are reputed to be the best in China. If you are looking for a beach holiday, Sanya is the ultimate destination for some down time in the sun, sand and sea, set against a ring of misty mountains in the horizon.
For the best views, check in at Clear Water Bay Hainan. It is 45km away from Sanya Airport and centres on a 12,000m crescent-shaped beach. There are six beach resorts, three golf courses, a shopping mall, restaurants and hundreds of villas. As its name suggests, the water at Clear Water Bay is crystal clear.
If you prefer exclusivity, Yalong Bay offers a perfect beach getaway far from the crowds with 7.5km of sandy shores and clear waters.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon offer flight deals to Sanya with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Did you know that Okinawa is actually a cluster of more than 150 small islands? This means an array of beautiful natural beaches. The Japanese flock to this tropical prefecture every summer to escape the city and enjoy the country’s best beach views.
A popular island destination is Kondoi Beach in Taketomi Island. When the tide is low, walk along the jetty and you will see schools of colourful fish swimming in the transparent waters.
If you need a more luxurious option, Busena Terrace Beach Resort is a high-end beach getaway with round-the-clock butler service, shopping, spas, bars and restaurants. There is also an exciting range of marine and outdoor activities for guests. The beach itself is one of Okinawa’s most popular beaches. The water is so clear you can see the fish from the sandy shores. Near the beach is an underwater observatory with a 360-degree view, as well as a glass bottom boat dock.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon offer flight deals to Okinawa with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Mother Nature is all you talk about, but in her presence you turn speechless.
Nature-lovers will appreciate Sapporo, which boasts breathtaking mountains, hot springs and lots of beer.
The people of Sapporo take pride in their flora and fauna. They make sure that you are greeted by lush landscapes of cherry blossoms or exotic greenery anywhere you go. In Hokkaido University, there is a botanical garden featuring 200 plants and herbs, and a landscape inspired by Hokkaido’s alpine scenery.
The Japanese have a word for ‘sunlight that filters through the trees’: komorebi. One of the most beautiful sights of komorebi in Japan can be found in Maruyama Park, the best place in Sapporo to view cherry blossoms. Within the park is the Hokkaido Shrine, a nature-rich shrine filled with cherry and plum blossoms, and home to forest animals like squirrels and wild birds.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Sapporo with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Guilin is essentially an enormous, spectacular nature reserve. With a myriad of limestone hills, waterfalls, caves and mountains, Guilin is synonymous with the best of China’s natural scenery. The Reed Flute Cave is a testament to the city’s time-honoured beauty. The 240m natural limestone cave is illuminated by coloured lights, and along the cave walls are inscriptions of travelogues and poems, said to date back to the Tang Dynasty.
Hiking along the Li River is another great way to enjoy Guilin’s scenic views. The waters flow through bamboo trails and golden rice fields and you can dip your feet in the water at certain spots. You can also camp along the river banks at sunrise or sunset.
Located in the eastern suburbs of Guilin, 10km from the city, is Yao Mountain. The mountain’s peak is the highest point in Guilin’s cityscape, and is accessible via cable car or a hike up the hill. The mountain is covered with wildflowers and azaleas, and visitors can cart slide down the length of the mountain in a specially designed cart for 35 RMB (S$7).
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon offer flight deals to Guilin with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
All you need is a compass and a map, and you’re all set to lose yourself in the right direction.
Adventurous travellers may want to make a trip to Johannesburg, a vibrant city at the heart of South Africa. Buzzing with boldness and novelty, it is the perfect backdrop for adventure.
Their one-of-a-kind safari is one of the few in the world to put its visitors, instead of the animals, in enclosures. In a wilderness where lions, cheetahs, zebras and many other South African wildlife roam free, an enclosed truck keeps visitors safe while letting them get up close with the animals.
The people of Johannesburg like to keep active, but instead of jogging, they engage in extreme water sports. A popular pastime in Johannesburg is waterskiing — without the boat. Visitors can try this at StokeCity WakePark in Midrand.
Johannesburg’s theme park is a must-visit for adrenaline junkies. The star of the show is a 50m mineshaft, aptly named Tower of Terror; daredevils strap themselves to a seat at the bottom of the shaft that slowly ascends to the top, where a view of the entire theme park awaits. Of course, what goes up must come down, and riders plunge 90 degrees down into an open mine shaft at 100km/h. The theme park is an attraction within Gold Reef City, an entertainment belt that includes theatres, casinos and restaurants.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Johannesburg with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Nothing stirs the soul of an adventurer quite like the thought of being amid majestic mountains and glaciers.
Where better to revel in the breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks than in Zurich, Switzerland?
It is home to Uetliberg, a mountain in the Swiss plateau which stands at roughly 871 metres above sea level, where a hike up to the summit grants you panoramic views of the entire city of Zurich, Lake of Zurich, Limmat Valley and – if you’re lucky – the famous Swiss Alps.
November is said to be the best time to explore Uetliberg as autumn’s cool temperature is perfect for a hike. A blanket of fog covers the city, adding to that awe-inspiring view when you reach the top. Once December comes, the hiking trails turn into sledding runs for visitors to get some heart-stopping, quintessential winter fun, or for skiers to slalom their way down the mountain.
Contrary to popular belief, an excursion to Uetliberg is pretty elderly-friendly, thanks to the 20-minute train ride which has been the only form of transport since 1875. Of course, if you’re young, wild and free, then a hike to the top is a must – it will take you about two hours if you’re moving at a comfortable speed.
Now, since you’re already in Zurich, make the most out of your trip and sign up for a guided day trip to the Swiss Alps! Most of the mountain action can be found in popular regions such as Berner Oberland, Wallis, Graubunden and Ticino where you can take on different types of hiking trails – glacier, white water, cableway and more.
Whatever the adventure you choose, the rugged, picturesque Alpine views coupled with the dizzyingly beautiful natural landscape will satiate your thirst for exploration.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Zurich with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Travelling with your little ones or elderly relatives requires destinations that cater to the needs of everyone in the family.
Osaka has everything for everyone in the family. It is a fun-loving city with lots to see and do. Osaka’s attractions might be touristy, but they are popular for a good reason — almost all of the city’s sights boast something unique and exclusive to Osaka.
Japan’s second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo has plenty of places that will excite the young ones. The Osaka Aquarium, in particular, guarantees a whale of a time. One of Japan’s most spectacular aquariums, the Osaka Aquarium has eight floors and 15 tanks of exotic marine life that will leave even the grumpiest tots wide-eyed in wonder. Look out for the Ocean Sunfish, a giant fish that resembles a swimming head. It is a rare beauty, with only four held captive in the world’s aquariums.
Dotonbori is another must-visit for families. It is a favourite among locals and tourists for food and shopping, illuminated with bright neon signage and of course, the iconic Glico billboard of a boy crossing the finishing line. Some restaurants hang huge blimps over the entrance to attract tourists, adding to the quirkiness and liveliness of Dotonbori.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Osaka with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
If you are going on a family vacation, Taichung is one of the best destinations. The city offers a lot of fun experiences that both young and old will love.
The Yuemeitianma Farm is an alpaca farm, where friendly alpacas roam free. Visitors can purchase food pellets from the farm to feed the alpacas and interact with them. The farm also has other animals such as ostriches, parrots and horses that are child-friendly.
The Sea of Flowers, an hour’s drive from Taichung City, is one of Taichung’s most scenic places. As its name suggests, the Sea of Flowers is an endless meadow of colourful blooms set against the white and blue of Taichung’s mountains. The elderly and little ones will be able to enjoy the sights along with the rest of the family, as wheelchairs and strollers are available for loan.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon offer flight deals to Taichung with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
You put your money where you can see it — in your closet.
Paris has established itself as a premier shopping destination, especially when it comes to luxury brands. On Parisian streets, you will find style inspiration. In the stores, you’ll find haute couture aplenty.
The Boutiques du Palais des Congres is an upscale mall housing over 80 stores, with most brands such as JMLEGAZEL, Finsbury and Georges Rech not yet available in Singapore.
For a city that breathes fashion, shopping centres are so passe. Head to Bercy Village instead — the paved courtyard with white stone terraces is a must-visit shopping complex featuring clothing stores, art and concept stores, as well as the Fairground Arts Museum.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Paris with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Bangkok is a shopaholic’s paradise. In the Thai markets you will find everything from clothes, antiques, and handicrafts to spices and even small, furry animals. Prices are extremely affordable, and you can haggle your way to a bargain. Anything with a tagged price is merely a suggestion.
Chatuchak Market is 1.2 million square feet of sheer shopping madness, almost twice the area of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. With over 8,000 stalls selling anything buyable (or not) – such as vintage Nokia bar phones and baby rabbits – plan to spend an entire day here.
Rot Fat Market is one of Bangkok’s most popular shop-after-dark bazaars and is open from sunset to midnight. The market boasts Bangkok’s retro and vintage gems, from 60’s fashion to glittering antiques, and not to mention, the city’s love of food. With a plethora of food stalls and food trucks, from quaint bars in a vintage Volkswagon van to pop-up bars and even hipster barber shops, Rot Fat Market buzzes with charm.
Pacific offers flight deals to Bangkok. Find out more here.
You look for something that gives you a better perspective of the world and your place in it. You re-read the archives so history repeats itself.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do: go to the Colosseum or St. Peter’s Basilica and bask in the history and culture of the city. Rome is a modern renaissance where the people have preserved Rome’s history and built a picturesque city upon.
The Vatican Museums boasts one of the world’s greatest art collections along 7km of halls and corridors, including the Michelangelo-painted Sistine Chapel, the four Raphael Rooms frescoed by Raphael and Michelangelo, and a collection of portraits of the Popes from the sixteenth century to date.
The city is known for its many archaeological sites. One of the grandest is the Roman Forum, which was ancient Rome’s grandiose district of temples, basilicas and vibrant piazzas. A former burial ground during 7th century BC, it was subsequently developed by the Romans. When the Roman Empire fell, so did the Roman Forum. Excavations have been carried out since the 18th century and continue today.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Rome with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Culture vultures will love a trip to Boston. It is the oldest city in America, and almost every building in Boston has a significant history — from the first public school in the United States to Boston’s oldest church building, to historical sites linked to America’s fight for independence from Britain.
The Institute of Contemporary Art is a museum showcasing local and international artists, incorporating multimedia platforms such as videos, paintings and mixed-media mash-ups. The building is also an attraction itself. It rests atop a seascape, and a glass wall removes any visual barrier between the viewer and the sea.
For history buffs, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is definitely worth a visit. The museum uses live re-enactments as well as audio presentations, multimedia and other fun interactive exhibits to transport visitors to the 1773 American Revolutionary War.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Boston with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
Eat, sleep, rave. Repeat.
Amsterdam loves to party; the city’s clubs have devoted themselves to covering every genre of music possible, from electronic dance music and hip-hop to indie and jazz.
Noodlanding! is one of Amsterdam’s liveliest clubs, opening its doors to partygoers on Thursdays — a day ahead of the rest. Week after week, the basement of the club transforms into a party space for indie initiatives and underground DJs and is highly popular amongst the students. The club features hip-hop, rock, dance and electro music.
For a cosier experience, head to the quirky Club Up that is tucked away in a narrow two-storey building. The club has a very intimate setting with a relatively small dance floor. The DJs at Club Up are young upcoming talents who attract fans of house, disco, techno and R&B. The club is associated with the exclusive artists’ society De Kring, which operates on a members-only system.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to Amsterdam with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.
If you find Amsterdam a tad too tame, New York City’s nightlife is unbeatable — the New Yorkers know how to party and the best clubs for a great night out.
Bossa Nova Club is one of the most popular night spots in the city. The tropical fantasy dance club has a bar-meets-club concept and boasts a well-built, sound system and a solid line up of DJs that attract revellers from all around the world.
There is no better time than now to go clubbing in Brooklyn — the clubbing scene is livelier than ever, with swanky, mega clubs popping up all around the neighbourhood. However, partygoers can expect to pull more out of their pockets, with entry fees to Brooklyn’s clubs getting increasingly pricier.
If you’re itching for a club night but refuse to deal with exorbitant prices, Good Room is the perfect solution. It features a huge dance floor and a small stage for live performances, as well as a bar with affordable drinks.
Cathay Pacific offers flight deals to New York with seamless connections via Hong Kong. Find out more here.