Not everyone gets time off during Christmas and New Year. If you will be working through the year-end festive season, fret not because you are certainly not alone. And just because you’ve got to work through till 2015, does not mean that you should miss out on some of the fun this December. Make the most of these final weekends and you’ll be able to say you saw the year out with a bang. We’ve got a few suggestions lined up:
1. Genting Highlands
There is always lots happening at Genting Highlands, and the cool weather certainly makes a nice change from the usual heat and humidity. Make it a fun weekend for the family by visiting the theme park and Sesame Street Live – Elmo Makes Music. The stage version of the beloved children’s television show is playing until 3 January.
When it comes to having an easygoing, laidback vibe, beautiful beaches and some of the most amazing hawker fare in the world, few places tick all the boxes the way Penang does. So why not make a trip up north this December for a lazy, food-filled weekend, capped off with leisurely strolls along the beach at sunset? And if you’re in town on or before 7 December, there’s also the Penang Island Jazz Festival (PIJF) to look forward to.
3. Kota Kinabalu
If you have never been to Kota Kinabalu, you are missing out. From pristine beaches and fresh, affordable seafood to more touristy spots such as the marine ecology research centre, the orangutan rehabilitation centre and the Mari Mari Cultural Village, Kota Kinabalu (or KK as it is commonly known) has got plenty to offer. Are you in the mood for a real adventure? Climb Mount Kinabalu, if you have the time. At 4095m high, it is one of the tallest mountains in Southeast Asia.
Cherating, in Kuantan, Pahang, is perfect for a relaxing weekend by the beach. If you can, go on the weekend of the 5-7 December, as that is when the Cherating International Surfing Competition is on. Did you miss the sporting event? Not to worry. As one of the few surf beaches in Malaysia, Cherating provides a wonderful opportunity for those who would like to try their hand at surfing – so do give it a go.
Malacca has always been a favourite among those looking for a weekend holiday, and it is easy to see why. Its old world charm, quaint little shops, historical flavour and delicious food are just some of the many reasons why people love to visit. Head over there for some chicken rice balls and cendol. As you can imagine, the place gets incredibly busy and crowded during long weekends and public holidays, so be sure to avoid those times.
The (formerly) quiet town of Ipoh has been developing a bit of a hip reputation, thanks to its growing array of trendy cafes and boutique hotels, so if it has been a long time since you last went, perhaps a weekend trip is in order. Take a step back from your busy everyday routine and spend a day or two in Ipoh old town. Sip authentic white coffee in a quaint, old fashioned coffee shop, enjoy the rustic charm of the heritage buildings around you, and don’t forget to sample some Ipoh-style chicken hor fun while you are there.