Your Chinese New Year Getaway

Michele Koh Morollo
Y! Travel Journal

Itching to escape the city this CNY? Then head to these destinations, where a variety of sights, sounds and activities await you. Just don’t forget to book early!

Tioman Island, Malaysia
Located 32 km off the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, Tioman is a relatively easy place to get to: It’s about a three-hour drive to Mersing from Singapore, then about a two-hour ferry ride to the island from Mersing. What’s more, it has a range of budget and high-end accommodations along its various beaches; numerous coral reefs and clear waters that are popular with scuba divers and snorkellers; and lush tropical jungles where you might just spot threatened and endangered animals like the binturong, mouse deer or the frigatebird.

Beijing, China
If you really want to get into the spirit of Chinese New Year, head to China’s imperial capital. Highlights include temple fairs or miao huis, with the largest and longest running in Ditan Park in the northern part of Central Beijing. From 9 to 15 February, the grounds will be filled with puppet shows, stilt walkers, snake-swallowing acts, drum troupes, calligraphers, fortune tellers, opera singers, acrobats and more. Visitors can also feast their eyes on elaborate rituals or carnival sideshows while tucking into Beijing snacks like grilled mutton kebabs or candied hawthorns. Entrance to the fair is 10 Yuan per person.

Siem Reap, Cambodia
Celebrate the Lunar New Year by watching the sun rise over the stunning ancient ruins of Angkor Wat; then visit heritage temples and sites like Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and Bantaey Srei. Take a trip with Quad Adventure Cambodia on an-all terrain vehicle if you’re looking to explore the countryside.

Darwin, Australia

The capital city of the Northern Territories, Darwin is a great choice if you’re looking for some nature, sunshine and fresh air. It has Aquascene, a fish feeding sanctuary at Doctor’s Gully where you can hand-feed tropical fish; Casuarina Coastal Reserve, where you can walk along the beach and watch the sunset from the cliffs; and Cullen Bay Marina and Stokes Hill Wharf, which have a good selection of alfresco restaurants, cafés and gift shops. If you like sampling artisanal foods and souvenirs, the outdoor Palmerston’s Friday night market, the Saturday morning Parap Village markets, and the Sunday morning Nightcliff and Rapid Creek markets are perfect.