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Where to escape to at CNY without breaking the bank or sitting at the airport

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With Chinese New Year fast approaching you suddenly get that itchy feet feeling. You haven’t booked anywhere but everyone is talking about their holidays and now you’re feeling left out. Wouldn’t it be great to get away from it all?

Most people book their CNY holiday months in advance. It’s usually one of Changi Airport's busiest weeks, so if you’ve left it to the last minute where’s left to escape it all and avoid the airports?

The team at Budget Direct Insurance has come up with a few suggestions that are close to home and won’t break the bank.


Trendy and cheap, this historical coastal town is a good place to chill out for a couple of nights.

Around a four-hour drive from Singapore, Malacca is on the west coast of Malaysia. After its historic centre was made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008, Malacca has become a hip place to hang out.

Sit back and relax and take the luxury coach from Singapore from around $50 for a return trip or if you drive check out how busy the border is by downloading an App or checking online before you travel.

We recommend The Rucksack Caratel Garden Wing and newly opened Jonker Wing with rooms costing from S$50 a night.

The Rucksack Caratel Garden Wing

Rucksack Caratel, Malacca
The trendy Rucksack Caratel, Malacca.


Get back to basics with a couple of nights on a Kelong on the nearby island of Batam in Indonesia.

Fish, hang in a hammock or generally just chill. These are great places to really get away from it all.

Many Kelongs are dotted around Batam, just a 45-minute ferry ride away from Harbour Front Centre Cruise. Transport from the ferry terminal at Batam can be arranged by your accommodation.

Kelong means an off-shore wooden platform and different places vary in what they offer in terms of accommodation, but all guarantee peace and tranquility!

Kelong, Indonesia
Kelong, Indonesia

Pulau Sibu

Sibu is a stunning island off the east coast of Malaysia. Most resorts will arrange private transfers from Singapore at a reasonable cost or you can drive up to Tanjung Leman jetty and leave your car safely.

The Sea Gypsy Village offers chalets virtually on the beach with prices starting from around $100 per night per person including all food.

Rimba Resort on the northern tip of Sibu also offers snorkeling, diving and chilling on a pretty beach. Best to email the resorts for a quote.

Rimba Resort, Sibu
Rimba Resort, Sibu


Around an hour and a half drive from the Malaysian border this area is a popular getaway.

Fruit, ostrich and crocodile farms are just some of the less obvious attractions, as well as a Fishermen Museum together with great beaches and seafood. Kota Tinggi Waterfalls are also nearby.

Fishermen Museum, near Desaru
Fishermen Museum, near Desaru.

There’s a good choice of accommodation, from five star resorts to budget at around S$85-100/- per room per night, including breakfast buffet.

Watch the strong currents on the beach especially with small children.


Forever popular as an easy getaway from Singapore, Bintan can still offer surprises.

Get back to nature and show the kids how their food is grown at the Eco Farm, spot monkeys, turtles and snakes on a Bintan Mangrove Discovery Tour or do the trip at night when the fireflies are out.

Eco Farm, Bintan
Eco Farm, Bintan.

Another undiscovered gem is Vihara Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, also known as 500 Lohan Temple. You’ll be greeted by more than 500 life-sized, human-like statues, all standing to attention.

Treat yourself to at stay at the Cassia, a chic hotel-apartment. It may cost a bit more but it’s CNY so you’re allowed to splurge!

Cassia, Bintan
Cassia, Bintan.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good travel cover.
Check out Budget Direct Insurance for your best deal

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