#TRAVEL
Quick Getaways

Exotic destinations that are not as far flung as you might think, within five hours by plane, for a long weekend or more.

By Teoh Tze Pin      1 May 2018

Holidays can end up becoming pretty hectic and stressful, especially if you’re taking your whole family with you, over a long weekend or a week-long break from school. For such vacations planned within a smaller window of opportunity, time is clearly more precious.

Naturally, you would hope to take flights from Singapore of no more than five hours to and from your preferred destination. Any longer than that could chip away at that relaxed mood you’ve been trying to cultivate. And long flights can certainly make the kids, and spouse, cranky. Whatever the reason, here are some handy, nearer-than-you thought destinations to consider:

Maldives

www.visitmaldives.com
Flight Time To Male: 4 hours 30 minutes on average

Many destinations have been called “paradise”, but the Maldives deserve the description. This island nation that barely sits above the Indian Ocean, just southwest of India and Sri Lanka, is made up of nearly 1,200 islands atop 26 coral-lined natural atolls. Pristine sun-baked beaches and clear warm waters that afford plenty of aquatic adventures are obvious attractions for the tourists that flock to the well-established resorts dotting the islands. And there is no shortage of activities to indulge in at this precarious paradise, the flattest country in the world that is at risk from rising waters, with a highest natural point of only 2.4m.

Since the Maldives is spread out over a thousand islands, transportation and tours tend to be conducted by seaplane and boats, some of which have glass bottoms. Then there are water sports ranging from kid-friendly to extreme, such as free-diving, snorkelling, surfing, parasailing, flyboarding, kneeboarding, tubing, wakeboarding and jet-skiing. For non-divers and even non-swimmers, there are safe alternatives for exploring the waters. Some of the many high-end resorts have underwater spas and underwater restaurants, where you can feel like a Bond villain enjoying a break from scheming to take over the world. But if you still want to venture into the ocean, there are also underwater electric scooters you can ride – helmet and air supply provided – in comfort at a depth of about 5m.

TOP READS

SAFRA Tampines Upgrades

Fresh from an improvement, this clubhouse celebrates the new milestone with much fanfare.

Never The Twain Shall Meet?

As two disparate food cultures, Spanish tapas and Asian hotpot could not be more different. Or are they?

Master Commander

Ruminations of National Service and fatherhood.