Travel

Go on an Easter weekend getaway

Forget done and dusted locations such as Bangkok or Bali and enjoy the Indochina region instead

The upcoming long Easter weekend gives travellers an opportunity to get away for a mini-break around the region.

But forget the usual spots of Bangkok or Bali, done and dusted locations that will likely be overrun with crowds during that time.

Head instead to the Indochina region, for instance, which sees a dip in European visitorship around March and April.

It is also the best time to go as the weather in many destinations there is at its mildest and driest.

Here are some itineraries from Jacada Travel (www.jacadatravel.com) - the award-winning luxury travel company that has been creating inspirational journeys since 2008 - that will show you the best of each country in the time you have to spare.

UNEXPECTED COASTAL GETAWAYS: CAMBODIA

APPROXIMATE FLIGHT TIME FROM SINGAPORE: TWO HOURS

See the fragile beauty of Angkor Wat and its surrounding ancient temples with fresh eyes as Jacada's guides take you to secluded spots for an intimate tour of the ruins, avoiding the crowds by visiting at select times.

Or visit Cambodia's lesser-known islands, which offer stunning white sandy shores, turquoise seas and unparalleled views.

The south of Cambodia also has its own beautiful coastline well worth exploring.

You will find pristine rainforests, pristine beaches and sleepy fishing villages that make for a wonderfully relaxing getaway that is a world away from city life.

FOR THE WILDLIFE EXPLORER: BORNEO

APPROXIMATE FLIGHT TIME FROM SINGAPORE: THREE HOURS

Part Indonesia and part Malaysia and a compound of virgin rainforest, untouched beaches and mountain ranges, Borneo remains an off-the-beaten-track adventure that can last either two days or 10.

The island is famed as the home of many incredible endangered species.

Go on guided tours around the Kinabatangan River area and Danum Valley, where you may chance across orang utans, pygmy elephants, Malayan sun bears, proboscis monkeys and Borneo rhinos.

For the perfect add-on to your jungle expedition, you can hop over to Borneo's collection of idyllic, palm-fringed islands, such as Lankayan or Mataking, where the wildlife experience continues with a wealth of aquatic life, such as sea turtles and whale sharks.

FOR THE FAMILY: VIETNAM

APPROXIMATE FLIGHT TIME FROM SINGAPORE: TWO HOURS

For adventurous families, Vietnam is a rewarding destination full of intrigue.

Explore the great outdoors of its natural wonders and famous waterways.

Jacada's portfolio of luxury vessels, including smaller ones perfect for private family charters, allows you to cruise along the Mekong, taking in the local culture, visiting floating markets and fish farms before travelling up to Ha Long Bay for a few days spent diving and exploring the cave systems there.

Further down south in Nha Trang city, an immaculate collection of first-class resorts cater brilliantly to families, with private villas and a broad range of activities such as snorkelling and sailing.

SAFARIS IN STYLE: SRI LANKA

APPROXIMATE FLIGHT TIME FROM SINGAPORE: FOUR HOURS

Those looking to delve into its natural wonders should seek out leopard and elephant safaris,the national parks and the breathtaking sandy beaches.

Monsoon season is from April to October, making this a great time to go before the rains come down, particularly in the southwest part of the country.

SMALL-COUNTRY CHARM: LAOS

APPROXIMATE FLIGHT TIME FROM SINGAPORE: THREE HOURS

Laos is compact enough for a short trip, but its wealth of natural habitats, rich wildlife, history and small-country charm make it an easy adventure for anyone from the solo traveller to the whole family.

Go off the beaten track and create some amazing experiences as you swim in secret waterfalls.

Or if it is a cultural insight you're after, spend afternoons with rice farmers and visit the rural hill tribes in the rugged countryside.

THE HAPPY PLACE: BHUTAN

APPROXIMATE FLIGHT TIME FROM SINGAPORE: SIX HOURS

You can experience this mainly Buddhist land in anything from two to nine days and beyond.

Start in the capital of Thimphu with privately guided tour that unlocks many cultural secrets.

Choose to pay a visit to the ancient dzongs (fortresses), temples and museums and take part in a local village festival to experience the alluring way of Bhutanese life.

Head to Punakha city for stunning hikes to find hidden villages, farmhouses and monasteries set in pastoral scenes.

The idyllic walks continue into Paro Valley district, where you can marvel at striking temples.

End the trip on a high with a hike up to the spectacular Tiger's Nest Monastery, which sits on a rocky cliff 900m above the valley.

TOURISM & TRAVEL