You won’t be sweating it — literally and financially
Summer has begun and is here to stay till September. One might argue that for us, Singaporeans, summer has no beginnings and it never ends. Whatever summer means to you, the good news is there are a few places where avid travellers can go to escape the heat – without burning a hole in their pockets. Imagine trekking without sweating profusely, skiing at affordable prices or going on a picturesque road trip where it’s a cool 22 degrees Celsius. Tempting, no? From tea plantations in Sri Lanka to Siberian Tiger Parks in China, here’s to bringing your imagination to life.
Temperature: 8°C – 15°C
Let’s jump straight to one of the coolest spots this time of the year: Melbourne, where you will be enjoying some serious sweater weather. If you’re planning to stay in the city, be sure to explore the incredible art and culture scene and the highly raved Botanic Gardens. Apart from the city, Melbourne is known for the great road trip it promises – the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Keep your eyes peeled through the scenic drive (and on Scoot, since it has frequent promotional flights to Melbourne).
Tip: Did you know that you don’t always have to fork out cash (or any money at all) to get your travel insurance? Save yourself the hassle and some shopping money by getting a credit card that will provide you with just what you need.
Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Temperature: 13°C – 19°C
Just a few hours from the largest city of Sri Lanka, Colombo, lies Nuwara Eliya, where there’s eternal temperate winter. If you’re a tea aficionado, all the more reason to drop a pin on it. Nuwara Eliya is known for its numerous tea plantations: Talk to the local tea experts, pick some tea leaves and enjoy a cup of hot, lovely tea. That’s not all. Check out the old English country homes, go for a walk or bird-watch in Victoria Garden, head to the “winter market” to score some inexpensive treasures, or check out a dairy or strawberry farm. Does it sound just like your cup of tea?
Tip: Have a feeling you might be back for more? Purchase your trip with an air miles credit card (or apply for one to earn welcome miles) and you may be returning sooner than you think — possibly for free after redemption.
Temperature: 16°C – 23°C
Known for its lush rice fields and mountain ranges, it’s no wonder Sapa makes a popular trekking base. The best part? You get to trek in cool weather. However, July and August are the wettest months and it’s not uncommon for it to get much colder at night, so don’t forget to pack the necessities. For a culturally rich experience, opt for an overnight homestay with the different hill tribe minorities. Those looking for that extra kick in their trip might want to conquer Mount Fansipan, the highest peak in IndoChina. The cherry on top? Enjoy the affordable massages and mulled wine in Sapa town.
Temperature: 16°C – 25°C
Have you been thinking about disconnecting from the world for a bit in order to connect with yourself? This is the place – a well-known secret among the Indonesian locals where they retreat to escape the heat. This hilly village in West Java means “hot spring” in Sudanese. Images of Onsen in Japan might immediately come to mind, but you don’t even need to travel that far to soak in the comfort of healing hot spring waters. Apart from the natural hot springs in Cipanas, there are also plenty of flower and fruit gardens for you to check out, too.
Tip: If you’re a frequent traveller and you’re still buying your travel insurance trip by trip, it may be time to think bigger and switch up your travel protection.
Temperature: 15°C – 27°C
Coined as “Ice City”, Harbin is known for hosting the annual International Ice & Snow Festival and being of the world’s coldest cities. But fret not, because summer is one of the best times to visit Harbin. There is much more to this place than meets the eye, such as her rich Jewish history and Russian flair and heritage. Immerse yourself in the city’s culture, go skiing, or visit the Siberian Tiger Park if you’re looking for something more thrilling.
The coolest thing about Harbin, however, is that you can embark on a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Harbin links Beijing with Chia in Eastern Siberia, where the line joins the Trans-Railway all the way to Russia’s capital, Moscow. Time to cross another adventure off your bucket list. By the way, Scoot flies direct to Harbin so keep a look out for Scoot promotions.
Tip: Since most places in China only accept credit cards issued by Chinese banks, this is when Union Pay will come in handy. Some cards have no overseas withdrawals charges nor charges for transactions made in Chinese Yuan (CNY), while others have low-cash advance rates. You do the math.
By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she’s having croissant, she thinks in French. “31 Rue Cambon” is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.