With the way the public holidays fall this year, taking just four days holiday leaves you with a 10-day break over Easter to spend as you choose. And while we’ve all known this for a while, you’d be forgiven for forgetting to actually do anything about it. You won’t be alone in your last-minute longing for a holiday, and thankfully, there are several gorgeous nearby destinations with warm weather, clear skies, and an endless list of things to explore that won’t break the bank. Here are our top picks for where to travel during the Easter holidays.
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Less than four hours by plane, Penang offers an equatorial climate and a unique blend of colonial architecture, traditional Malay cuisine, and contemporary street art that has become near-synonymous with Georgetown and featured on the account of every Instagrammer to pass through. The tropical destination is never free from rain, but monsoon season tends to hit later in the year (between September and November), guaranteeing you at least some fair weather.
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April draws an end to the peak travel months for southern Thailand, and it also marks the end of the dry season, making it the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a few days of sunshine. This year, Song Kran (Thai New Year) falls only a few days before the Easter holidays, so booking your holiday to begin after the festivities could save you some dollars. Koh Samui is easily accessible from Hong Kong with twice daily direct flights with Bangkok Airways and several connecting options.
The Kingdom of Cambodia offers a wealth of cultural experiences, from temple trekking across famed historic sites to exploring the country’s far-reaching corners, off the beaten path. On the southerly edge, Kampot and Kep provinces are closer in distance to Vietnam than either of Cambodia’s cultural capitals of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. It offers peace and quiet, authentic Khmer cuisine, and a wide range of freshly caught seafood, as well as a whole host of riverside activities and adventures. If you’re looking to capitalise on the cultural festivities, then Khmer New Year is observed just before Easter, between April 14 and 16.
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Home to the famed Annapurna range, there are few better times of the year than April to embark on one of Nepal’s most notable treks. Just a 25-minute flight from the country’s capital, Kathmandu, Pokhara is an easily accessible travel destination and one worth spending the extra time in. Annapurna – the range’s eponymous and tallest mountain – towers above the rest, standing over 8,000 metres above sea level. Other popular activities around the region include paragliding, exploring the many temples and caves, and meditation and yoga retreats.
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Beijing bears bitter winters and sub-zero temperatures, but it’s much milder spring season typically arrives in April, promising more tolerable temperatures. With clear skies and little chance of rain or smog, it’s not only a great time to explore the city and its many sights, but also to venture further afield to the Great Wall. There are even companies that offer multi-night camping trips, allowing you to explore the lesser-known stretches of the wall away from the crowds, and to see one of the world’s seven wonders.