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The Ultimate Long Weekend Holiday Guide

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Chapter 7

Travel Ideas For A 3-Day Weekend Trip

three day weekend trip

It’s the middle of the year when all the festive season holidays are over and you start to look for the next long weekend break.

While the year end holidays and festive season seems a long way off, you can still take advantage of the many 3-day weekends in the coming months. You can even take one extra day leave on either a Friday or Monday to extend your short getaway to a four-day vacation.

With 6 public holidays on Mondays and another on Friday from June to December 2022, here are two long weekend getaway options you can try.

Hua Hin, Thailand

Thailand comes to mind here not only for its close proximity to Malaysia – we’re practically neighbours – but it is one of those destinations that is great all year round.

This town is famed for a vast white-sand beach, thriving art scene and family-friendly resorts.

It is often cited as Thailand’s oldest beach destination and first appeared on the map in the early 1900s with the opening of the Thai-Malaya railway.

By the 1980s, luxury hotels started moving in and foreign tourists arrived by the thousands. Today, all the top global hotel chains have properties in Hua Hin and a growing number of wealth expats are calling it their second home through purchases of condominiums that dot the town.

There’s cheap public transport for beach-hopping and its takes a lot less effort and money to get to Hua Hin from Bangkok than to the southern islands.

Hua Hin in 3-4 days

Chatchai Market.  This day market resides in an historic building built in 1926 with a distinctive seven-eaved roof in honour of King Rama VII. Here you’ll find morning vendors selling Chinese-style doughnuts and local coffee spiked with sweetened condensed milk, as well as all-day noodles with freshly made wantons, and the assortments of fresh fruit.

Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. Nestled in a scenic mountain valley 45km west of Hua Hin, this vineyard offers tours from 1,700 baht, including wine, an excellent three-course meal and return transport. You can also just opt for the wine-tasting sessions.

Night Market. The Hua Hin rendition mixes food and clothes and draws in locals and visitors alike. Ice-packed lobsters and king prawns appeal to the big spenders but the fare at simple stir-fry stalls is just as delicious.

Plearn Wan. Here we have a recreation of the old-fashioned shophouses that once occupied the Thai-Chinese neighbourhoods of Bangkok and Hua Hin. It is as much an art installation as a commercial enterprise. Besides music and clothes stores, there’s a pharmacy displaying roots, powders and other concoctions that Thai grandmothers once used.

Hat Hua Hin. This is a pleasant but not stunning stretch of sand punctuated by round, smooth boulders. Don’t write this off just yet – it is a people-watching spot. For swim, sunbathing and fun, continue south where the sand is a fine white powder and the sea a calm grey-green.

Thanon Chomsin Food Stalls. If you’re after 100% authentic eats, these food stalls are your answer. The setting might be humble but Thais are fastidious eaters and prefer fork or their fingers to remove meat from the bones of a fried chicken rather than putting teeth directly to flesh.

Lombok, Indonesia

Looking for a family-friendly destination that’s easy on the wallet? Indonesia is calling.

Lombok, long overshadowed by its touristy neighbour, Bali. Despite being long overshadowed by its superstar neighbour, Bali across the strait, Lombok is rich with exquisite white-sand beaches, epic surf, a lush forested interior and hiking trails through tobacco and rice fields.

Besides being loaded with equatorial allure, Lombok also boasts the mighty Gunung Rinjani, the second-highest volcano in Indonesia, its summit complete with hot springs and a dazzling crater lake.

It is a challenge to truly immerse yourself in Lombok and what the island has to offer, but here are some options you could consider:

Lombok in 3-4 days

Pasar Mandalika. This vast market near the Mandalika bus terminal in Bertais has fruits and veggies, fish (fresh and dried), baskets full of colourful, aromatic spices and grains, freshly butchered beef, and pungent bricks of shrimp paste. Also, you’ll find cheaper handicrafts than anywhere else in west Lombok.

Pura Meru. Built in 1720, this is the largest and second-most important Hindu temple on Lombok. The inner court has 33 small shrines and three thatched, teak-wood multi-tiered shrines. It is dedicated to the Hindu trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Pantai Mawan. This half-moon cove is located some 8km west of Kuta and 600m off the main road. It is framed by soaring headlands with azure water and swatch of sand. The only form of development here is the fishing village of a dozen thatched homes. Ideal for swimming, this beach has paved parking, modest cafes and large trees for shade.

Lombok Handicraft Centre. Look for the arched sign over the narrow road which reads “Handy Craft”, some 2km north of Cakra. Here you’ll find crafts, including masks, textiles and ceramics from across Nusa Tenggara. Also a great place to stroll.

Gunung Rinjani. Indonesia’s second-tallest volcano boast an astonishing peak and is sacred to Hindus and Sasaks who make pilgrimages to the summit and lake to leave offerings for the gods and spirits. It attracts many trekkers, in fact the number of annual trekkers has more than doubled to more than 60,000 a year since 2013.

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