Wander the Medieval City of Dubrovnik

Dominican Monastery. Dubrovnik. Croatia.

With the latest season of Game of Thrones set to hit our TV screens soon, get set for medieval-era mania to reach fever pitch. Get into the thick of things by visiting Dubrovnik in Croatia, where scenes from the series were filmed. With ancient monasteries, stunning churches and picture-perfect buildings, this magnificent walled city is a dream to wander around as you immerse yourself in some European history and culture.

Let’s go!

It’s a 19-hour plus journey from Singapore to Dubrovnik (DBV) on Lufthansa, with stopovers in Frankfurt and Zagreb. 

Where to Stay
Boutique Hotel Stari Grad is in the centre of Old Town for maximum convenience, while the stylish Bellevue Hotel offers gorgeous views of the Adriatic Sea.

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Experience Latin American Culture in Colombia

Santa-Marta-Colombia

With all eyes on Brazil for the 2016 Olympics, there’s bound to be a tourism bonanza in this Southern American country this year. Luckily, there’s neighbouring Colombia to give you the quintessential Latin American experience, minus the hordes of travellers.

From the beautifully preserved examples of colonial architecture in Bogota and Cartagena, delicious South American cuisine and vibrant nightlife to archaeological remains and the picturesque Andes mountain range, get set for an unforgettable immersion into the exotic culture of Colombia.

Let’s go!

How to Get There: The 28-hour flight to Colombia’s El Dorado International Airport (BOG) requires a single stopover in a European city such as Paris or Frankfurt.

Where to Stay

Where to Stay in Colombia: The Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia is a charming Art Deco hotel with luxe touches such as flat-panel televisions and a spa, while the Ramada Bogota Parque 93 offers unbeatable rates in the heart of the city centre.

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Explore the Underwater World at the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Australia

With iconic naturalist and presenter Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary about the Great Barrier Reef set to air in 2016, you can bet the eyes of the world will be on this UNESCO World Heritage Site this year.

For easy access to the Reef, the world’s largest reef system, base yourself in Cairns in Far North Queensland. See for yourself the mind-boggling array of marine creatures that inhabit this underwater world. From the ever-lovable turtles to adorable clown fish and majestic sharks and rays, you’re sure to lose count of the number of species you encounter while snorkelling, diving or perhaps viewing the reefs from a glass-bottomed boat.

Let’s go!
 How to Get There: Fly to Cairns (CNS) via Brisbane, where you can spend a few days exploring the sunshine capital, before hopping on a connecting flight.
Where to Stay

Where to Stay near the Great Barrier Reef: The Sea Change Beachfront Apartments comes highly recommended if you wish to cook some of your own meals. The Hilton Cairns and Marlin Cove Resort are also popular picks.

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Go Theme Park Crazy in Dubai

Waterpark of Atlantis the Palm hotel, Dubai, UAE

Whether you’re a thrillseeker who loves roller coasters or a parent hoping to give junior the trip of a lifetime, Dubai is the city for you.

This glamorous Middle Eastern metropolis is not just a playground for the rich and famous – there are also plenty of theme parks that will provide hours of entertainment for the young, and the young at heart. SEGA Republic is an indoor amusement park in the Dubai Mall where kids (and maybe Dad) can be entertained while Mum shops, while the Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm is a massive beachfront water playground that’s sure to be a hit.

Also coming in 2016 is LEGOLAND Dubai and Motiongate Dubai, which is expected to house a Hunger Games theme park within its grounds.

Let’s go!
How to Get There: Fly direct to Dubai (DXB) on Singapore Airlines or Emirates in under 8 hours.
Where to Stay

Where to Stay in Dubai: There are plenty of five-star options in the city, including the Taj Dubai, Armani Hotel and Shangri-La Hotel. You can also get rooms for under SG$200 at the ibis Styles Dubai Jumeira or the Citymax Hotel Al Barsha Dubai.

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Soak Up the Sun, Sand and Sea in Okinawa

Okinawa

Everybody loves a beach vacation, but for one that’s out of the ordinary, head to Okinawa. The denizens of this region are an indigenous population and their culture is a unique blend of Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese influences.

With clear waters, pristine beaches and – best of all – plenty of uninhabited islands to explore and claim for your own (even if it’s just for a day), this is the dream island getaway you’ve always wanted.

Let’s go!
 How to Get There: Fly to Okinawa (OKA) on China Airlines with a stopover in Taipei or on Cathay Pacific with a stopover in Hong Kong. Both routes will get you there in about 8 hours.
Where to Stay
 Where to Stay in Okinawa: DoubleTree by Hilton Naha and Mercure Okinawa Naha are family-friendly hotels located close to many popular attractions.

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Attain Gastronomic Nirvana in Hanoi

Pho Bo in Hanoi

You know the ins and outs of regional Thai cuisine and can differentiate the fiery flavours of the various sambal chillies found in Indonesia and Malaysia. Now it’s time to explore the nuances of Vietnamese cuisine, which is far more extensive than just pho (beef noodle soup).

Hanoi is widely regarded as the culinary capital of Vietnam, and is a great place to start your gastronomic adventure. Explore the street food and sample local delicacies such as banh xeo (rice crepes filled with meat and vegetables), nom hoa chuoi (banana flower salad) or banh goi (meat, veggie and vermicelli filled pastry).

You might also want to check out modern reinventions of street cuisine at establishments such as Wild Rice or Bobby Chinn, where creative chefs have put their own spin on these traditional dishes.

Let’s go!
How to Get There: SilkAir, Singapore Airlines and Vietnam Airlines fly directly to Hanoi (HAN) in just over 3 hours.
Where to Stay
 Where to Stay in Hanoi: The Hilton Hanoi Opera is a classic favourite in Hanoi, while the Hanoi Pearl Hotel is a well-priced boutique hotel.

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Go on a Family Adventure in Bintan

The Sanchaya, Bintan resortThe Sanchaya, Bintan

This Indonesian island – just an hour’s ferry ride from Singapore – may have looked a little run-down in recent years, but that’s all set to change in 2016. A host of new developments have sprung up on the island to cater to all budgets and will appeal to families with slightly older children.

Besides wide expanses of beach to enjoy, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to experience on this tropical island, such as visiting sea gypsy villages, exploring old temples and forts, water sports and kayaking, as well as guided hikes into the jungle.

Let’s go!
 How to Get There: Take a one-hour ferry ride to Bintan from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
Where to Stay

Where to Stay: Splurge with a stay at the ultra-exclusive The Sanchaya. Alternatively, check out Swiss-Belhotel Lagoi Bay Bintan, which has a children’s pool for little ones to splash around in.

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