Note: Reading this in 2017 or 2018? All of the destinations we’ve listed below are still just as good as they were last year. In fact, new hotels, attractions and things to do mean that many are even better than before
It’s almost the end of the year, and vacation season is fast approaching. Here are our five picks for destinations that offer the best mix of convenience, natural beauty and adventure:
An old, reliable favorite, Bali is one of Asia’s most versatile destinations. There’s great surfing, a massive selection of excellent beaches, world class diving, cultural activities, great nightlife… and — well, lots more. If you’re searching for a place that does everything very well, it’s hard to look past one of Asia’s most enchanting islands. Just pick somewhere other than Kuta to stay.
Recommended resource: Bali Guide
Huh? Pattaya, of all places? What was once Thailand’s capital of all things seedy is quickly becoming one of Southeast Asia’s best seaside cities. Pattaya is now home to one of Thailand’s top hotels, the Hilton Pattaya, and boasts a variety of great resorts just outside the city. If you’re popping into Bangkok for a few days, there’s no reason not to make the short trip here.
Recommended resource: Guest Friendly Hotels Pattaya
Japan’s second city, Osaka doesn’t have quite as much to offer in terms of glitz when compared to capital Tokyo, but it makes up for it with a friendly atmosphere and plenty of unique sights of its own. Just be prepared to pack a coat, since the December/January weather can get pretty darn cold.
Recommended resource: Osaka Info
An old favorite, Singapore is one of Asia’s best destinations for people that love a smooth, clean and streamlined experience. From shopping on Orchard Road to enjoying the activities available on Sentosa Island, Singapore has something to offer for every visitor.
Recommended resource: Singapore-Guide
Dubai has grown rapidly over the past two decades, transforming itself from a minor city into a global phenomenon. From Jumeirah Beach to the myriad of shopping malls, supertall buildings and incredible attractions like the spectacular Dubai Fountain, Dubai has a lot to offer as a summer (or all year, really, as it’s never cold) vacation destination.
Just be aware that despite Dubai’s reputation as a place to relax, party and have fun, it’s still quite a conservative country. If you’re travelling with an unmarried partner, double check that your hotel is unmarried guest friendly before you book to avoid a frustrating experience once you arrive.
Recommended resource: The Sophisticated Life’s Dubai Guide for First-Time Visitors