It’s still not too late to get out of town, mama! Here are five nearby spots where you can find lots of Christmas cheer perfect for family travel!
Even with snowflakes hanging from every tree on Orchard Road, carols playing in the malls and Christmas Wonderland in full swing at Gardens by the Bay, it can be difficult to get into the holiday spirit here in Singapore. Chase those Yuletide feelings by hopping on a flight with your little pixies for a memorable Christmas away from home at these destinations recommended by the travel experts at KAYAK.sg.
1. Beijing, China
Despite the fact that China is not a Christian country, its capital properly decks the halls during the festive season. Here travellers will find plenty of twinkling lights, Christmas bazaars and wintertime fun for the whole family. Little sugar plum fairies will love the Disney princess-themed ice and snow festival at the famous Bird’s Nest in Beijing’s Olympic Park. Kids young and old will enjoy the festival’s ice dancing performances, ice skating rink, ice bumper cars and snowball fights. Afterwards, warm up at a performance of A Christmas Carol at the Beijing Playhouse. Don’t forget to pack mittens, as temperatures in China’s capital city often fall below freezing in winter months.
How to get there: We found direct flights from Singapore to Beijing from S$658 per person.
Where to stay: Prices for triple occupancy at Pentahotel Beijing start at S$126 per room a night.
2. Bangkok, Thailand
Be dazzled by the extravagant Christmas decorations along the streets of tropical Bangkok. The Thais are known for getting creative when it comes to festivities and Christmas in Bangkok is a perfect example. When night falls, Christmas lights along the streets, bridges and especially the tuk-tuks, light up the heart of the city, creating instant Christmas cheer. Try out ice skating with the kids at the Esplanade Mall or take some time off and embark on a Christmas lights walking tour along Rachadamri Road. Along the way, spot a gingerbread house and reindeer barn at The Peninsula Plaza, a sight many tourists look forward to yearly. After all the walking, hop in a cab to the Chao Phraya River to end the night marvelling at the lovely floating restaurants and party boats.
How to get there: We found direct flights from Singapore to Bangkok from S$284 per person.
Where to stay: Prices for triple occupancy at Amari Boulevard Bangkok start at S$168 per room a night.
3. Manila, Philippines
As the third largest Catholic country in the world, the Philippines knows a thing or two about celebrating Christmas. In the capital, the festive season brings lavish light and lantern displays, feasting on traditional Filipino dishes like bibingka (a fragrant cake) and lechón (roast suckling pig), and plenty of markets for picking up last minute holiday gifts. Pack several light snacks and a picnic mat and take the kiddos to the Ayala Triangle Lights and Sounds Show where you can dine beneath the dazzling lights as a family. Over the weekend, make a trip to the Mall of Asia for a spectacular fireworks display or pay a visit to the Filinvest East Christmas house to treat the kids to a feast for the eyes. The homeowner really takes pride in decorating the facade of her home for the holiday season.
How to get there: We found direct flights from Singapore to Manila from S$629 per person.
Where to stay: Prices for triple occupancy at Bayview Park Hotel Manila start at S$82 per room a night.
4. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
The Tudor-style cottages and pine trees decked in fairy lights might indicate otherwise, but the Cameron Highlands are in tropical Malaysia, less than half a day’s journey from Singapore. This former British hill station, 1,500 metres above sea level, enjoys relatively cool temperatures and is speckled with churches, homey guesthouses and lush resorts. The lads can play a round of golf while the girls enjoy afternoon tea in their best Christmas frocks. Carol singing, sparkly Christmas tree selfies and plenty of seasonal nostalgia are guaranteed.
How to get there: We found direct flights from Singapore to Ipoh from S$201 per person.
Where to stay: Prices for triple occupancy at Copthorne Hotel Cameron Highlands start at S$142 per room a night.
5. Perth, Australia
Beach barbeques and sunshine mark the Christmas season Down Under but the capital of Western Australia still enjoys all the traditional trappings of the festive season, and of course, the beautiful beaches. If you’re seeking some Christmas cheer, find Santa roaming the streets handing out Christmas goodies to good girls and boys as well as a giant Christmas tree in the city centre, or catch an annual traditional performance of the Christmas Nativity like you’ve never seen before. During the day, chow down on amazing pancakes in the city or take a stroll along Hay Street to catch a glimpse of carollers spreading Yuletide cheer from 10:30am to 1:30pm daily in the lead-up to Christmas.
How to get there: We found direct flights from Singapore to Perth from S$804 per person.
Where to stay: Prices for triple occupancy at Adina Apartment Hotel start at S$166 per room a night.
Top tip: Kayak recommends signing up to Price Alerts to monitor flight or hotel prices for your upcoming holiday travels to make sure you don’t miss out on a deal. You can also check out Explore to discover new destinations within your budget. To search and compare prices for flights, hotels, car hire and much more, visit KAYAK.sg or download the app at KAYAK.sg/mobile.
*Data provided by KAYAK.sg is based on flight and hotel searches on 4 December 2015 for travel between 23 to 29 December 2015. Flight prices quoted are per person and accommodation prices are based on triple occupancy. Prices are subject to change, availability may be limited or offers may no longer be available.