12 months, 12 fascinating ways to spend it. Tick off your travel bucket list with our places to go this year, and the best months to visit. Whether it's learning about a new culture in a different city or getting away for some me-time, be a setter of your own rules and make 2019 a year of adventures. No matter the location, curate authentic memories for the modern explorer in you. Book early and enjoy our special Advance Purchase rates online.
JANUARY: Frolic through Seoul’s winter activities
January is one of the coldest months in South Korea with temperatures often plunging below zero. Despite the chilly weather, winter in South Korea can be incredibly enchanting. Picture Hanok rooftops covered with glistening snow and crystal-white landscapes that resemble scenes straight out of a Korean drama. Whether you’re planning to escape by shopping indoors or embracing the cold with an outdoor ski trip, there’s plenty of things to do in winter. For a unique winter activity, take a day trip to Pyeongchang to try barehanded fishing on the frozen Odacheong River at the annual Pyeongchang Trout Festival.
Beat the cold weather blues and keep illness away with these must-try Korean food that will keep you warm in winter. Drink up a bowl of nourishing Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup or head to Gwangjang Market for a taste of piping hot street snacks.
FEBRUARY: Immerse in Singapore’s unique cultural displays
More than just Lunar New Year celebrations – come and experience Singapore at its prime, with unique cultural displays that extend beyond the festivities. Soak in the festivities at the heart of Chinatown, where light-up decorations featuring handmade sculptured lanterns add to the joyful atmosphere. Score a ticket to the annual Chingay Parade, Singapore’s largest dazzling street parade that started back in 1973.
The Lion City doesn’t come to a standstill during the Lunar New Year. From shopping at humble markets in Little India to taking Instagram-worthy photos at Kampomg Glam’squaint heritage shophouses, discover exciting local haunts and uncover hidden gems at vibrant neighbourhoods and cultural precincts beyond the CBD.
MARCH: Dive into adventure at Kodhipparu, Maldives.
Teeming with pristine waters and a breath-taking display of nature’s splendour, escape to your tropical paradise in the Maldives. Whether you’re planning a honeymoon or a well-deserved break, March is one of the best time to visit Maldives without worrying about a wet weather plan.
There’s a lot to do when in paradise or simply choose to do nothing at all. Be inspired by the mysteries of the ocean with a snorkel or diving trip to meet encounter colour fishes and some of the best house reefs. After a day out under the sun, leave your cares behind and enter a peaceful sanctuary at The Spa - a tranquil space to feel restored and revitalised.
Embark on a 360° barefoot island adventure and immerse in the tranquillity that nature has to offer at Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives only 20 minutes away by speedboat from the international airport.
APRIL: Get into a tropical state of mind in Bali
Satisfy the adventure seeker in you with a host of outdoor activities on offer in the sunbathed region of Bali. Plan your trip in April for the best weather with little rain and plenty of sun. From catching the perfect wave to sipping cocktails, Bali offers different ways to enjoy sun-soaked adventures at the beach and on the hills. Adrenaline junkies are spoilt for choice when it comes to water sports. Take your pick from the thrill of white water rafting to flying above the sea like a superhero using a jet pack.
If you’re a foodie or travelling with kids, don’t miss the Ubud Food Festival in April for a sensory experience for visitors of all ages with activities such as cooking masterclasses and tasting sessions. The festival celebrates Indonesia’s culinary heritage, in which every ingredient, recipe and tradition tells a story.
MAY: Welcome Spring in Otaru
Located in Western Hokkaido and just a 30-minutes train ride from Sapporo, this quaint picturesque port city is a popular holiday destination in Japan throughout the year. Known for its rich history, fresh seafood, old-world architecture and spectacular landscapes, Otaru offers diverse experiences and activities for just about everyone.
Cherry blossom season is especially beautiful and tells a picture-perfect depiction of Otaru’s timeless allure. Forecasted to bloom in early May, enjoy free admission to Temiya Park and witness magnificent hues of pink cherry blossoms, lush greenery and the sparkling blue sea. For an authentically local hanami viewing party, set a mat under a flowering cherry blossom tree and remember to pack essential picnic food such as onigri and bento sets.
Grand Park Otaru
JUNE: Heart-pounding action in Hong Kong
A major event and popular sport in Hong Kong, celebrate the traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival with a colourful spectacle of dragon boat racing set against the stunning modern skyline of Victoria Harbour. It’s not just about the race as the Dragon Boat Carnival will please the young and the young at heart with live entertainers, food trucks and even lion dances!
Make the most out of summer in June with off the beaten path escapades in Hong Kong’s happening neighbourhoods and charming enclaves. Explore narrow alleys and steep staircases by foot in the hilly terrains Sheung Wan or take the iconic ‘ding ding’ double-deck tramcar for a ride around the up-and-coming cosy neighbourhood of Kennedy Town.
JULY: Escape to the solitude of Kunming
Brilliant flowers abloom and inviting cooling weather, “the City of Eternal Spring” presents the ideal destination for a quiet mid-year getaway. Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, is blessed with ethereal landscapes and heritage sites. Don’t miss a visit to the UNESCO-listed Stone Forest Geological Park, a stunning limestone forest with unusual rock formations that come alive with colours during spring season.
Plan your trip in early July to experience the Yi Torch Festival, an ancient folk custom of the ethnic Yi minority centred around fire to ward off evil and wish for a good year of harvest. During the three-day festival, locals build a large bonfire and celebrate with a series of activities from horse-racing to impressive song and dance performances.
AUGUST: Drift along the quaint canals of Wu Xi.
Known as the “Venice of China”, snake through the charming canals of Wu Xi to learn more about its history as the hub for commerce and transportation. To capture the best shots of Wuxi’s famed natural sceneries, visit to popular tourist resort Turtle Head Island to appreciate the natural wonders of the city.
For a glimpse into old Wuxi, go on a journey through Huishan Old Town, described as the city’s open-air museum. One of the famed Wu Xi attractions, this historic enclave not only offers spectacular gardens, temples and atmospheric lanes; it’s also home to 118 ancestral halls built over centuries to honour family ancestors and historical figures.
Grand Park Wuxi
SEPTEMBER: Gear up for an electrifying time in Singapore
Set your September ablaze with the annual biggest sporting event in Singapore – the Singapore Grand Prix. More than just a race, treat yourself to a weekend of fun at the Marina Bay Street Circuit with performances by international artistes and look out for various race-themed fringe activities across the city. Also happening in September, the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations is the best time to indulge in mooncakes and admire marvellous lantern displays. Head to Gardens by The Bay for moon-viewing parties, cultural performances and larger-scale lanterns that tell the stories behind the festival traditions.
OCTOBER: Take a step back into ancient times at Xi’an, China
A historical city that dates back to more than 3,000 years old and is said to be the birthplace of Chinese civilization, make Xi’an one of your must-visit places in 2019. Mention Xi’an and the first thing that comes to mind would be the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ancient Terracotta Army, first discovered in 1974 and have since captivated the world.
A tour to Xi’an, however isn’t just about going back in time. Come nightfall, you will find streets and buildings bathed in vibrant lights, a reminder that this city is moving with the times. The 1000-year Big Wild Goose Pagoda provides a spectacularly-lit backdrop to Asia’s biggest musical fountain show that takes place nightly at the huge square.
Grand Park Xian
NOVEMBER: Fall in love with Autumn in Seoul, South Korea
Bright strobing lights. Frenetic pop beats. Despite its sprightly representation, the pulsating city of Seoul also boasts a wide array of idyllic spots to admire beautiful autumn foliage and cool, crisp weather. One of the best autumn viewing spots, take in the beauty of the season at Yeouido Park with a picturesque bicycle ride along the Han River.
With an estimated of 2 million attendees every year, the Seoul Lantern Festival is one of the city's best-known cultural celebrations. Held along the Cheonggycheon Stream in downtown Seoul, the free admission event features hundreds of intricate life size lanterns created by both international and local artists. Take part in a variety of lantern-themed activities including a lantern making contest.
December: Festive cheer in Singapore
A great yearend destination option, Singapore presents an exciting line-up of merry events in the month of December. Dance music lovers won’t want to miss a chance to party with the internationally renowned DJs at ZoukOut - the biggest annual dance music event in Asia. Lap up the yuletide cheer in Singapore’s prime shopping district and famous shopping belt – Orchard Road, where dazzling displays of giant Christmas trees and decorations take centre stage. End the year on a high note with a variety of New Year Eve countdown options, whether it’s ushering 2020 at Marina Bay with fireworks and live performances or partying till dawn at Sentosa.
Photo credits (Top to bottom): Korean Tourism Organization, Singapore Tourism Board, Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives, Bali Tourism Board, Otaru Tourism Association, Discover Hong Kong, Chinaculture.org, china.org.cn, Singapore GP, Wikipedia, Korean Tourism Organization, Singapore Tourism Board.