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Top 10 travel destinations for Singaporeans in 2023

Here's our guide to the top travel destinations to help you plan your upcoming travels in 2023

So many places, and so little time, we’ve never been more grateful for the chance to explore the world. Here are 10 popular hotspots that you should have on your travel wishlist for 2022 and 2023.

1. Bali, Indonesia

Is there ever a bad time to visit the Island of the Gods? Now that this idyllic vacation paradise has re-opened, it’s just a quick flight to get your fix of babi guiling and bucket of cold Bintangs, preferably while watching a glorious sunset at one of their many laidback beach clubs (we like Sunday’s Beach Club at Uluwatu and La Brisa in Canggu).

For more active travelers, there are always good waves happening somewhere on the island, or just head east to Amed for some excellent diving.

Be sure to check out our travel guides for Bali and Indonesia.

Woman on boat sailing toward a temple in Bali

2. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Go for the temples, stay for the revived pulsating vibe coursing through Siem Reap thanks to the 38 Roads Project, a government-initiated overhaul of the city that now includes 9 km of riverside paths, a new airport, and major sights like Angkor Wat given a long overdue refresh.

If it’s “old” Siem Reap you miss, don’t worry you can still take hot air balloon rides to admire the ancient temples, and the beauty of Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei has been left untouched.

Angkor Wat Temple before sunset, Siem Reap, Cambodia

3. Tokyo, Japan

The world had long been waiting for Japan to re-open and since September 2022 fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to produce a negative coronavirus PCR test result within 72 hours of departure to enter.

To avoid the crowds in Tokyo, head to lesser-known neighbourhoods to explore the back streets of buzzy electronic hub Akihabara and Tsukishima (known for being the place to have monja), trendy Ebisu with its bustling food alleys, and Nakameguro for its hipster boutiques. Chances are you’re going to sniff out some hidden finds making your return to Japan even more memorable.

If you are looking to travel to Tokyo or anywhere in Japan safely, get informed and review our guide on the best travel insurance for Japan.

Kabukicho red light district, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

4. Hawaii, USA

Few beach destinations tick as many boxes as Hawaii. A year-round destination that’s swimmable even during the year-end winter months. Stunning beaches are fringed by fine golden sand and excellent snorkeling (book a visit to Hanauma Bay where the fish are super-sized), while the city has all urban conveniences imaginable and a lively food and drink scene showcasing Japanese, Filippino, American and Polynesian cuisine.

Whether you’re looking to catch a monster wave up North and hang with the pros, attend one of their many festivals (they’ve got one specially dedicated to Spam), hike up Lanakai Pillbox, or just enjoy a pink-orange-purple sunset with a mai tai in hand, Hawaii will have you sorted.

Waikiki beach resort in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

5. Bangkok, Thailand

Ah… the trifecta of all-night shopping, cheap and delicious street food, and affordable massages and spas makes Bangkok such an easy destination to visit.

While the city isn’t back to its pre-pandemic vibe, there are fewer crowds making places like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho a lot more pleasant to visit and cool hoods like Thong Lor easier to navigate. Oh, and of course, Chatuchak Weekend Market is still worth a good chunk of your weekend.

For more info on Thailand travel, be sure to also read our Thailand travel guide and guide to Thailand travel insurance.

Pagoda at Wat Phra Kaew or Royal Grand palace, Bangkok favorite landmark, Thailand

6. Desaru, Malaysia

Didn’t you know that the sleepy Desaru coast is back in fashion? Spoil yourself and revisit this once-popular seaside spot in style with a stay at the One & Only Desaru Coast, the hotel group’s first Southeast Asian resort.

If don’t manage to snag a reservation there, the 22-metre stretch of golden beach, a waterpark, and the charming fishing village still make it a quick and easy weekend getaway if you’re time-crunched and just want to get somewhere by car.

For more info on Malaysia travel, be sure to also read our Malaysia travel guide and guide to Malaysia travel insurance.

Aerial shot of the sandy Desaru beach in Malaysia alongside the clam blue sea on a sunny day

7. New York, USA

If you’re long overdue for some bright lights and big city action, the Big Apple is back, and with a vengeance. The city has gone all out to roll out new Broadway shows (The Kite Runner, a reboot of Cinderella by Andrew Lloyd Webber), state-of-the-art museum showcases, and always the best shopping, food, drink, and people-watching action to be found anywhere around the world.

For a taste of New York’s multicultural makeup, explore the Asian culture in Long Island City, Harlem’s Black-owned businesses and Bushwick’s Latino vibe.

Be sure to travel safely when heading over to the US and consider purchasing travel insurance for the USA.

Aerial of the Statue of Liberty, New York, USA

8. Barcelona, Spain

Don’t wait till the mid-year for a European escape, Barcelona’s gentler climate means it’s never too cold to visit. With jaw-dropping Neo-Gothic architecture, mouthwatering tapas and a hip city vibe in neighbourhoods like Poblenou and Northern Gracia, there’s so much more to explore beyond the La Rambla and Gothic Quarter.

Plus, you may finally get the chance to admire the iconic Sagrada Familia cathedral where the second-highest tower (138 metres tall) has been completed and now lights up with a 5.5. tonne star at its apex.

High angle view of Barcelona skyline, Catalonia, Spain

9. Penang, Malaysia

Eat your fill of char kway teow and load up on lok lok before indulging in a bowl or three of chendol… it’s all good in Penang cause you’re going to walk off the calories exploring the colourful street art found around Lebuh Armenian and Lebuh Acheh streets.

Prefer to relax by the beach? Take a ferry to Penang National Park and make tracks to Monkey Beach where you’ll feel like you’re in Thailand minus the crowds.

Penang, Malaysia

10. Seoul, Korea

With a rich history, lively culture, and loads of free and affordable attractions – visit Bongeunsa, a 1200-year-old Buddhist temple for free, the Gyeongbokgung Palace costs just $3 – a Seoul vacation won’t break the bank. Food-wise, a bowl of bibimbap rarely costs more than $10 and delicious Korean BBQ, even at Eongteori Saenggogi near Jeongja Station, is all-you-can-eat for under $15.

Walk off your Korean feast doing what Koreans love to do: having makeoli (Korean rice wine) at a mountain’s peak. This does require some physical exertion but the views – Cheonggyesan Mountain looks out to the city on a clear day – will be worth it.

Please read our guide to travel insurance for South Korea while you plan your trip.

People relaxing by Cheong-Gyecheon stream in the centre of Seoul on a summer evening

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