The dawn of the era of budget airlines has been a heaven-sent. A little holiday in a fresh environment is a great way to give ourselves a break without breaking the bank. Thankfully, Air Asia budget airlines connects Kuala Lumpur to lots of destinations so a short flight is all we need to enjoy a weekend getaway in all kinds of flavours. Worker bees can reset with a little rest and relaxation on a Malaysian beach. Families can enjoy a nice affordable vacation altogether. Shopping queens can stock up on foreign-flavoured fashion, party animals can zone in on the hottest parties, couples can get lovey dovey watching different sunsets…
Weekend getaways are now easy peasy with all the cheap Air Asia flights. You can even get a budget flight to Australia or India! We’ve picked out some holiday hotspots that are less than 5 hours away on a cheap flight from KL.
Weekend Getaways in Malaysia
1h 10 mins to a Weekend Getaway in Penang
There are plenty of good reasons why Penang was named the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. Most visitors converge on Georgetown, the island’s main city, with its attractive colonial core and some of the best food in Malaysia – a reflection of its diverse and cosmopolitan character. Get out of the confines of the urban walls, however, and you’ll also be rewarded with tropical beaches and steamy jungles.
Average Flight Duration KL to Penang
Flights from KUL to PEN take 1 hour and 10 minutes.
5 Things to do over a Weekend in Penang
Take in the history of the Old Town
Look out to the mainland from the top of Penang Hill
Trek in the jungle at Penang National Park
Cycle in the countryside around Balik Pulau
Sunbathe at the beaches in Batu Ferringhi
1 hour to a Weekend Getaway in Langkawi, Kedah
This archipelago is shrouded in romantic legend. Most people come here for the resorts and the pristine beaches, and for good reason. But there are other wonders waiting inland, such as mangrove forests and majestic limestone formations.
Average Flight Duration from KL to Langkawi
Flights from KUL to LGK take about 1 hour.
5 Things to do over a Weekend in Langkawi
Visit the legend of Mahsuri’s Tomb.
Take a cable car to the top of Gunung Machinchang for great views.
Swim at the Telaga Tujuh waterfall.
Visit the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park.
Sail on an old Malay boat with Naga Pelangi.
3 Hours to a Weekend Getaway in Sandakan, Sabah
At first glance, Sandakan just looks like a workaday provincial town, albeit blessed with great sea views. However, although it may not be much to look at, Sandakan is the launching pad to some world-famous dive sites and major eco-tourist attractions where you can witness wildlife in their natural habitat.
Average Flight Duration from KL to Sandakan
Travel from KUL to SDK in under 3 hours.
5 Things to do over a Weekend in Sandakan
Visit Buli Sim Sim, a water village on stilts.
See how birds’ nests are harvested at Gomantong Caves.
Visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
Cruise along the Kinabatangan River.
Go diving at the islands of Sipadan or Langkayan.
Weekend Getaways Outside Malaysia
3 Hours to a Weekend Getaway in Lombok, Indonesia
If you want a quieter alternative to Bali for a relaxing weekend away – with the same cocktail of beaches, nature and traditional culture – look east across the strait to Lombok. Populated by the predominantly Muslim Sasak people, this island is seen as the more conservative and unspoiled version of Bali, which is part of its charm.
Average Flight Duration
AirAsia offers morning and mid-afternoon direct flights from KUL to LOP, which take just over 3 hours.
5 Things to do over a weekend in Lombok
Climb the active volcano Mount Rinjani.
Visit the traditional Sasak villages of Sade, Rembitan or Pujut.
Relax on the beaches of the Gili Islands.
Surf the coast along Kuta town.
Swim at the Benang Kelambu waterfall.
2 Hours to a Weekend Getaway in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Everyone comes here for Angkor Wat, but there is more to this city in case you get ‘all templed out’. A river town on the shores of the mighty Tonlé Sap Lake – with a foot in the modern world and the other in the rich tapestry of Khmer culture – you’ll find chic restaurants and contemporary art galleries alongside old French colonial buildings and Buddhist pagodas.
Average Flight Duration
Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap (REP) is a 2 hour direct flight
5 Things to do over a Weekend in Siem Reap
See the hidden ruins at the ‘lost city’ of Mahendraparvata.
Canoe in the ‘Flooded Forest’ near Kompong Pluk during the rainy season.
Visit the Cambodia Landmine Museum.
Explore the surrounding rural landscape on horseback.
Try eating bugs at the Old Market.
3h 20mins to a Weekend Getaway in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s port city is one of contrasts. It can be grimy and chaotic, but it wasn’t called ‘The Garden City of the East’ for nothing, with manicured gardens, canals and the landmark Beira Lake. It’s also a cauldron of cultures, evident in the colonial buildings and the mix of mosques, temples and churches. Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war finally ended in 2009 and the city’s fortunes are looking up.Sri Lanka Tourism Board
Average Flight Duration from KL to Sri Lanka
AirAsia offers a daily flight from KUL to CMB, which takes 3 hours and 20 mins.
5 Things to do over a Weekend in Colombo
Stroll along the seafront at Galle Face Green.
Shop at the Pettah bazaar district.
Watch a cricket match.
Take a colonial train to Mount Lavinia beach.
Watch the wildlife at the Talangama Wetland reserve.