6 Trip Ideas To Spend Quality Time And Bond With Mum

There's nothing like going on holiday to create those priceless memories.

By Diana Najm        19 May 2023

Mother’s Day may be over but we’re sure we can all agree that it’s not the only day of the year to show appreciation and love for your mum. Especially with life’s hectic pace these days, it’s easy to get caught up with work and other day-to-day responsibilities. Well, here’s an idea: go on a mother-son or mother-daughter bonding trip – at any time of the year. 

It’s a wonderful way to reconnect and strengthen your relationship with the queen in your life. Not only will you get a chance to create new memories, you also get to explore new places, and share experiences that both of you will cherish years from now. 

Whether you choose to relax on a beach, explore a new city, or embark on an adventure, these are destinations within 7 hours from Singapore to travel to with your mom. 

1. For foodies – Taipei, Taiwan

Some people eat to live, while some live to eat. If you and your mum are part of the latter, it’s time to book flights to Taipei. This is a food haven, filled with endless options of street food, night markets, and traditional restaurants. Is there a better place to go on a food tour around the city? 

Eat: Shilin Night Market

You can’t visit Taiwan without visiting the famous Shilin Night Market, located in the Shilin District. Explore the maze of alleyways filled with a variety of local, traditional, and international merchandise that attract both locals and foreigners. Look out for local specialties such as oyster omelettes, grilled squid, Taiwanese sausages, tempura, stinky tofu, beef noodle soup, and even bubble tea. Koi, who? 

Do: Cooking class at Ivy’s Kitchen

If you haven’t had enough of Taiwanese food, it’s time to pick up the cooking skills and learn to make it yourself. Sign up for a cooking class at Ivy’s Kitchen, where you’ll learn to make all types of dishes from scratch – from fried dumplings to gua bao (Taiwanese hamburger) – while sampling a variety of ingredients. A cooking class for two starts from NT$2,700/pax (about S$117), where you’ll learn to make three dishes from scratch from a choice of three menus. For more information, visit Ivy’s Kitchen’s website

SAFRA members get a free 90-Day Tripbeat Premium Membership where you’ll receive up to 60% off stays at over 600,000 hotels worldwide, among other privileges, till 30 June 2023. Find out more at safra.sg/promotions/tripbeat

2. For adventurous ones – Cairns, Australia

If the main lady in your life is an adventurous spirit, hop on over to the land Down Under. Located in tropical North Queensland, Cairns is a vibrant and picturesque city, with a range of outdoor activities and natural wonders to explore. What more, Singapore Airlines has direct flights from Changi Airport, which will only take you 6 hours 40 minutes. 

Do: Hiking at Daintree Rainforest

Of course, the number one thing you have to do in Cairns is snorkelling or scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. But once that’s done and dusted, go on a hike in the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest rainforest in the world that’s a two-hour drive from Cairns. There are many boardwalks and trails you can choose from, depending on your fitness levels. 

One of the prettiest features of the national park is Mossman Gorge, where you can take a dip in the cool waters of the Mossman River known for its mossy granite boulders. With the beauty and completely out-of-this-world experience, you and your mum will create memories that’ll last a lifetime. 

Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cairns

DoubleTree by Hilton looks out to views of the Coral Sea, while still located a short walk from Cairns city centre.

Plus, we’ve got tips for SAFRA members to get 8% off your room rates on Agoda. Simply use the promo code “SAFRA8” when you’re checking out. 

SAFRA members also enjoy $80 off flights from Singapore to Australia on CheapTickets.sg (terms and conditions apply) till 30 June 2023. Find out more at safra.sg/promotions/cheaptickets.sg

3. For history lovers – Hanoi, Vietnam

If you and your mother are history lovers, why not plan a bonding trip to Hanoi? The capital city of Vietnam boasts a rich and complex history, with traces of both Chinese and French influence. Expect to find old-school architecture, museums, historical artefacts, and of course, great food. 

Do: Explore the Temple of Literature

Tap into Hanoi’s deep and rich history at Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam, also known as the Temple of Literature and Imperial Academy. There are two main areas – the Temple of Literature and Imperial Academy, which were built in 1070 and 1076 respectively. This is the best place to learn more about Vietnam’s history and culture since the 10th century. After all, the temple is dedicated to Confucius and his disciples, and was home to Vietnam’s first national university. 

Eat: Go on a food trail

Vietnam has some of the most delicious cuisine in the world. So going on a food trail is definitely a good idea, especially if both you and your mum are foodies. When in Hanoi, bun cha is a must-try classic. It’s a dish with charcoal-grilled fatty pork served in a soupy bowl with pickled vegetables, usually accompanied by sticky rice noodles and greens such as lettuce, coriander, and mint. 

Another dish to try is cha ca, catfish caught in the rivers of northern Vietnam served with rice vermicelli, roasted peanuts, and coriander. Head on to a famous eatery called Chả Cá Lã Vọng to try it.

4. For chillax mums – Bintan, Indonesia

Granted, as much as you love your mum, time may not always be on your side. If busy schedules are a worry, know that you can get to Bintan in under two hours from Singapore, which makes it perfect for a quick weekend trip. It’s also perfect for some R&R, where you can relax at a beach resort, go for a spa treatment, or simply stroll along the shoreline. 

Stay: The Residence Bintan

With so many accommodation options in Bintan, it may be hard to decide. But for an amazing mother-daughter or mother-son time, The Residence Bintan is a good idea. It’s literal paradise, with 127 terraces and villas overlooking lush gardens and a tranquil bay.

We’ve got good news for SAFRA members too – you can enjoy 15% off best available rates at this resort and 10% off all recreational activities. Plus, enjoy a complimentary room upgrade from Garden Terrace to Upper Sea View Suite with minimum 2 nights’ stay. Offer valid till 30 June 2024. Find out more at safra.sg/promotions/the-residence-bintan 

Do: Treat yourselves to a massage

After all the sacrifices your mum’s made over the years, she deserves all the pampering in the world. Surprise her to a massage sesh at Banyan Tree Spa Bintan, located within a lush tropical setting overlooking the South China Sea. She’ll get to enjoy the sound of lapping waves while experiencing a combination of soothing strokes and classic massage techniques with signature aromatherapy oils. For bookings, visit Banyan Tree Bintan’s website

5. For art & culture lovers – Yogyakarta, Indonesia

If your happy childhood memories include going to galleries and learning more about other cultures around the world, your mum’s definitely one to appreciate art and culture. Enter Yogyakarta, a bustling city on the island of Java with a thriving art scene, located just 2 hours from Singapore. Not to mention, it also boasts a rich cultural heritage, having long been the centre for the arts in Indonesia. 

Do: Go gallery hopping and watch a traditional Javanese dance

Did you even go to Yogyakarta if you didn’t spend a day (or two) visiting art galleries, museums, and other cultural institutions in the city? The first spot you should head to is the Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta’s own museum of modern art. You’ll find provocative pieces from international and Indonesian artists, as you’d expect from contemporary art galleries. 

After which, catch a traditional Javanese dance performance at Taman Budaya Yogyakarta. And of course, don’t forget to add the famous Borobudur Temple to your itinerary. 

Stay: Greenhost Boutique Hotel Prawirotaman

For a peaceful stay away from Yogyakarta’s busy city centre, Greenhost Boutique Hotel Prawirotaman is a great choice. This eco-conscious boutique hotel is chic and accessible at the same time, punctuated by natural elements and greenery. 

6. For city lovers – Tokyo, Japan

Now, you didn’t think we’d end this list without mentioning Japan, did you? For mums who thrive on the electrifying energy found in big cities, you need to book a trip to Tokyo, pronto. The Japanese capital has a little bit of everything for anyone – delicious food, rich culture, and even IRL filming locations of famous movies like Lost In Translation, Kill Bill, or Godzilla. 

Do: Toho Cinema Godzilla Kabukicho

Watching a movie in Tokyo is a completely different experience, especially if you’re headed to Toho Cinema in Kabukicho in the heart of Shinjuku, known for its 12m-tall Godzilla sculpture towering over the building. Plus, this particular cinema has IMAX, 3D and MX4D theatres – all with massive screens and electric reclining seats. How’s that for a futuristic cinema experience? 

Eat: Tokyo Ramen Street

No matter how long your stay in Tokyo is, you’d never run out of places to eat at. Not to mention, you can even dine out at a Family Mart or 7-Eleven and the food will still be decent (the egg mayo sandwiches from these konbinis are a cult favourite). You may be surprised, but one of the destinations foodies should go to is located within Tokyo Station – which boasts a myriad of dining establishments under one roof. 

The place is called Tokyo Ramen Street, and it houses eateries with snaking queues just outside – that’s how you know it’s legit. For a taste of tsukemen, a dipping noodle dish, Rokurinsha is the spot. They serve up rich pork and seafood broths that’s been simmered for 13 hours to achieve a super rich base to dip your noodles in. We’d recommend ordering up the Tokusei Tsukemen at ¥1,080 (about S$10.60).

Another eatery you can’t miss is Oreshiki-Jun, famed for its tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen. You get to build your own bowl, first choosing the firmness of your noodle from level 1 t0 5. Other noteworthy dishes here include curry, dumplings, and rice bowls.

NSmen, sign up for your complimentary 1-year SAFRA membership and enjoy discounts on dining and shopping purchases at over 2,000 merchant outlets islandwide, as well as members’ rates at more than 45 sports facilities at SAFRA clubs! What’s more, your family can enjoy the privileges too – your 1st dependent pays $10/year, and it’s free for your 2nd dependent onwards. Click here for more details.

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