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How to make the most of the long weekends in 2020

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Whip out your calendar and start planning for your holidays in 2020. Apart from the school holidays, families can also look forward to nine long weekends.

Of the 11 public holidays, four fall on a Friday, while three fall on a Sunday.

The 2020 holidays that fall on a Friday are Good Friday, Labour Day, Hari Raya Haji and Christmas. The Sunday holidays are Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa and National Day.

For the ones that fall on Sunday, Monday will be a holiday.

For the Singapore holidays that fall on Thursday like Vesak Day, you could take Friday off. For holidays that fall on a Saturday like Deepavali, you could also take Friday off. Some may wish to take Friday and Tuesday off during the Chinese New Year holidays to further extend the break.

So, for just four days leave you get nine, nice long weekends next year.

Get the full picture with our Budget Direct Insurance infographic.

Singapore Public Holidays 2020

Get 9 long weekends in 2019. Here’s how.

The following are the official holidays that fall on a Friday or Sunday, granting you a long weekend.

Singapore Public Holidays 2019

  1. Good Friday
    19 April to 21 April
    (Friday to Sunday)
  2. National Day and Hari Raya Haji
    Aug 9 to Aug 12
    (Friday to Monday)
  3. Vesak Day
    May 18 to May 20
    (Saturday to Monday)
  4. Deepavali
    Oct 6 to Oct 8
    (Saturday to Monday)

You can extend your long weekends by taking Monday off for the holidays that fall on a Tuesday. Alternatively, you could take Monday and Tuesday off for the holidays that fall on a Wednesday.

There are two public holidays that fall on a Tuesday.

  • New Year’s Day (Jan 1)
  • Chinese New Year (Feb 5)

Three public holidays fall on a Wednesday.

  • Labour Day (May 1)
  • Hari Raya Puasa (June 5)
  • Christmas Day (Dec 25)

That makes nine long weekends!

Get planning your weekend escapes early to enjoy the best deals on flights and accommodation. Plus, the earlier you buy travel insurance the more protected you are should anything happen beforehand, and you are forced to cancel. Find out more about trip cancellation here.

In the meantime, here are some great ideas for short breaks that won’t bust the budget:

Short breaks that won’t bust the budget

1.Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Most people have the Angkor temples on their itinerary when they travel to Siem Reap and this UNESCO World Heritage site is indeed a must-visit. The temples are spread out over a large area, so three days would be just enough to take them all in. The Angkor Wat is, of course, the temple to see. It’s one of the largest religious monuments in the world!

But besides the temples, you may also want to check out Siem Reap’s traditional floating villages. If you have the time, you could also pay a visit to the War Museum. Tours of the museum are run by ex-soldiers who fought in the war against the Khmer Rouge.

2. Cebu, Philippines

Cebu, Philippines

Cebu and the islands around it are a diver’s paradise. Here, you can spot sharks, coral gardens and swim alongside sea turtles. Cebu is also home to spectacular waterfalls, with Kawasan Falls being the most stunning. It is the perfect spot for thrill-seekers. Here, you can rock-climb, and do canyoning, rapelling and waterfall jumping.

Cebu is also home to a variety of wildlife. If you are up for it, go on a scenic trek where you can spot the rarely seen tarsier.

Adventurous foodies may like to try Cebu’s street food which features exotic dishes like salt-water eels and pig brains.

3. Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang, Laos

This UNESCO World Heritage town is relatively untouched by modernisation. It’s a great place to soak up Lao culture. A visit to one of its numerous temples or wats is a must. The best-known is Wat Xieng Thong.

As with other Southeast Asian countries, Luang Prabang has bustling night markets. Here, you’ll find hill tribes peddling wood carvings, handicraft and jewellery. Nature lovers will enjoy the Kuang Si waterfall. This Instagram-worthy natural wonder boasts striking turquoise waters. You can even swim in some of its pools.

Other attractions include visits to monasteries, a traditional weaving village as well as the famed Pak Ou caves, which are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Avid cooks may want to join a cooking class to learn how to whip up Lao specialities.

4. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is one of the cheapest cities to explore in Vietnam. Spend time strolling through the Old Quarter and around Hoan Kiem Lake. Pay a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to see the preserved body of Vietnam’s 20th century leader, followed by a visit to his stilt house and the neighbouring One Pillar Pagoda. Museum lovers will want to visit the Museum of Ethnology, which features the traditions of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups.

Foodies should consider joining Hanoi’s Street Food Tours. On this trail, you can look forward to sampling local favourites like pho (beef noodles), banh da ca (fish noodle soup) and banh cuon (rice with minced pork). You may also want to take in a water puppet show at the north-east corner of Hoan Kiem Lake.

5. Padang, Indonesia

Padang, Indonesia

The capital city of west Sumatra, Padang is home to the famous Padang cuisine. Tuck into nasi padang, choosing from specialities like rendang sapi, soto padang, ayam pop and sate!

Roam around the old town which has historical buildings and a harbour built by the Dutch. There is also a beautiful bridge by the river and an old Chinatown with shophouses. In addition, you can xplore the highlands of Bukittinggi, home of the Minangkabau people. It has interesting attractions like the Pandai Sikek Village, Asasi Gunung Mosque and Anai Valley. There’s also a family theme park and water park to delight the children.

6. Yogyakarta

Borobudur temple

Yogyakarta is home to the famous Borobudur temple. Wake up early for a sunrise tour of Borobudur, followed by a visit to Prambanan, a 9th century Hindu temple. Don’t forget to include a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed water palace, Taman Sari.

7. Kuching

Bako National Park 

Kuching is a perfect holiday destination for the family. Go on a river safari where you’ll get to see dolphins and crocodiles, visit the Sarawak Cultural Village and trek in the Bako National Park.

8. Bukit Tinggi

Bukit Tinggi

Located in the Bentong district in Pahang, Bukit Tinggi is the newest highland destination in Malaysia. Here, you can enjoy cool weather and lush rainforest. Among its attractions are the French-styled Colmar Tropicale resort and a Zen-inspired Japanese garden.

For more ideas on where to go for long weekend getaways check out our article on Getaways you don’t have to fly to.

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