After months of being cooped up at home, it's natural for us to yearn for the great outdoors. Biking around the neighbourhood or visiting a nearby park is nice but if you're still feeling wanderlust, there's a way to quench it: by travelling locally and exploring hidden gems. In a bid to slowly revive tourism, local vacation destinations in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines have now opened up to local tourists. Here are some domestic vacation destinations that you can now visit. It's time to rediscover home!
Places to visit in Singapore
Singapore may be a small country but the Little Red Dot is packed with architectural wonders, interesting hiking trails and, of course, diverse dining choices — after all, eating is its locals' national pastime. To encourage its citizens to explore their home country, the government will be rolling out SGD320 million worth of vouchers that can be redeemed in various domestic destinations. Already listing places to visit? Consider exploring these local attractions.
Get closer to nature
Most of us have become plant parents during the stay-at-home period. How about discovering more plant species by giving the Gardens By The Bay a visit? But take note: pre-booking is now a must and so are wearing of masks (taking them off for photos is not allowed).
If you want to explore nature at its raw form, head over to the MacRitchie Reservoir where the iconic TreeTop Walk — plus, its fun-filled hiking trails and serene sceneries — awaits you.
If you sorely missed the sea, you might want to try Kayak Fishing Fever where you'll have four hours of fishing experience. Each trip needs to be scheduled and only up to four people will be accommodated per boat trip so make sure that you plan ahead. However, note that you can't keep the fish for sustainability purposes (their catch-and-release rule is still in place). No worries, though, there's plenty of other fish... to eat at restaurants.
We got acquainted with our kitchens in the last months, but now we're yearning for that outdoor dining feel. Experience a fresh change of scenery while dining at the Tiong Bahru Bakery Safari at Minden Road.
That canopy really gives off the cottagecore vibes that are all the rage these days.
Places to visit in Malaysia
With a consistently low number of COVID-19 infections, Malaysia has allowed interstate travel as early as June with flagship carrier Malaysia Airlines bumping up its domestic flights. Locals are free to travel as long as they abide by safety regulations. And with a rich heritage, breathtaking sights and natural wonders, Malaysians are spoilt for choice on amazing domestic destinations to visit. Add these to your list!
Go on a beach adventure
Whether you want to lounge on a beach or go island-hopping, the Langkawi archipelago has it all so you can live the island life to your heart's desire. Hike to Durian Pernangin in the morning, spend the afternoon at Tanjung Rhu Beach and cap the day off with a hearty meal from the best restaurants.
Indulge in a cultural experience
Known for being a multicultural place, Georgetown in Penang has a lot of character, to say the least, and was already a popular domestic destination even before the coronavirus pandemic. Revisit this stunning town and fall in love again with creative street art and architecture — such as the City Hall and Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion — from a by-gone era.
In the Philippines, the Tagaytay area is now open to visitors
As of this writing, strict quarantine measures are still in place in the country and inter-region travel is still limited. But this week, it came as a pleasant surprise that one of the most popular domestic destinations has decided to open for visitors. You can now take a road trip to Tagaytay without a travel pass. However, you still need a health declaration form and put on a mask and face shield at all times. Also, you must still comply with all the checkpoints along the way. Once you're there, enjoy visiting these spots.
Taal Vista Hotel
Enjoy a view of the famed "volcano-within-a-volcano" and the cooler "ber months" breeze at Taal Vista, which will be open by 11 September with limited capacity; its food and beverage establishments have already opened last Friday. If you're planning a getaway, it's best to book in advance to secure the best deals — and don't forget your outerwear.
Like Taal Vista, Sonya's Garden — located in Tagaytay's neighbouring town of Alfonso, Cavite — has also already resumed operations for its restaurant as well as its bed and breakfast. There's even a scheduled three-day organic farming masterclass in October which new plant parents may be interested in.
As we enjoy these new travel privileges, let's not forget to take precautions and abide by safety regulations wherever we are. Travel safely and take care!
Next, check out a day in a life of travel blogger during the pandemic.