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4 Perfect Weekend Getaways

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Travel is starting again ladies and gents, and here is where to sneak away to for a couple of days.

 

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Astonishingly exotic and graced with some of the finest temples on earth, Cambodia is a small country with an intoxicating history and a compact set of highlights, making it easy to tick off all the main places to visit in a short trip. For a weekend getaway, head to one of Cambodia’s most chic and charming towns, Siem Reap, where you can experience the majesty of temples such as Angkor Wat or explore untouched villages that pepper its landscape. Your days can be filled with experiences such as a private sunrise yoga session amongst the intricate, mist-shrouded temples, cruising through the picturesque Cambodian countryside on a quad bike, to a romantic twilight dinner in a traditional Khmer Village House set at the centre of the Angkor Archaeological Park. 

Pro tip: The UNESCO protected Angkor Archaeological Park on its own is huge and it can get busy during certain times of the day.

Best Time to Visit: November to mid-April

Country categorisation: VTL active

Hoi An, Vietnam

While there are many fascinating places to visit in Vietnam, the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Hoi An, which has escaped vigorous development found elsewhere in parts of Southeast Asia, features numerous car-free streets, making it a delight to explore on foot or by kayak as you drift along the Thu Bon River. The town’s unique charm is evident in its rich heritage displayed through well-preserved Japanese houses, Chinese tea-warehouses and colonial Dutch and French architectural styles which sit side-by-side in a beguiling mix. During your visit, drop by one of Hoi An's silk centres to get an insight into the production of silk from silkworm to the finished fabric and watch Champa women use ancient looms to make silk textiles. Hoi An is known for its many tailors, so you may just leave with a new wardrobe of perfectly tailor-made clothes. For the foodies, delve deeper into Hoi An’s vibrant food scene as you visit one of the local morning markets, shopping for ingredients to use in a hands-on cooking class with a well-known local chef to whip up some Vietnamese delicacies including a steaming dish of Com Ga Hoi An (Hoi An Chicken Rice). 

Pro tip: Always get Vietnamese coffee when travelling through the country. It's the best when made locally, you can really taste the difference. Did you know that Vietnam is the number one producer of robusta beans in the world? Robusta beans often have earthier flavour notes like chocolate and nuts with deeper mouthfeels.

Best Time to Visit: Year round but January to May is recommended as there tends to be less rain.

Country categorisation: Category 2

Galle, Sri Lanka

For such a bijou island, Sri Lanka delivers on all fronts, offering a diverse mix of historic attractions, cultural heritage, natural splendour, national parks brimming with elephant and leopard, idyllic palm-fringed beaches and luxury accommodation. On your short getaway to Sri Lanka, head to Galle, a 17th century Dutch Fort and a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island’s South Coast. Take advantage of Galle’s close proximity to the Indian Ocean and head out on a private catamaran to spot some of the world’s largest mammals like whales and dolphins. The best time to go whale watching is between December and April when the sea is calm and these spectacular creatures traverse the Sri Lankan waters. With some of the world’s finest cinnamon produced in this region of Sri Lanka, upon your return to land, visit a working cinnamon plantation where you can have a hand at helping to peel cinnamon and indulge in a cinnamon infused meal at the end of the tour. Or, stroll the laid back streets of the Fort, popping into the stylish boutiques and stopping for a reviving G&T in the shaded veranda of a converted colonial home.

Pro tip: Although the majority of Sri Lanka's tea is grown in the Hill Country, during your stay along the South Coast, you may also visit a tea plantation and have a factory visit, learning about the way in which tea is grown and produced.

Best Time to Visit: Generally a year round destination 

 

Country categorisation: VTL active

Blue Mountains National Park, Australia

Explore the Blue Mountains, a World Heritage region right on Sydney’s doorstep, known for its stunning natural beauty, abundant wildlife and Aboriginal culture. Named for the blue haze emanating from its many eucalyptus trees, the region features more than 140 kilometres of hiking trails and heritage tracks, making it a haven for nature lovers. Scott Dunn can help arrange a full day tour in a luxury 4WD vehicle to explore the region at a relaxed pace as you visit fantastic panorama escarpments, unique rock formations and deep canyons with ancient rainforests away from the usual tourist spots. Alternatively, take to the skies via a helicopter in the early morning, allowing you access to a little known hidden clearing in Blue Mountains National Park to unlock a piece of Australia you would never have known existed. You’ll be accompanied by a local expert guide, who will share more about the local flora and fauna before heading to a secluded valley where you may see kangaroos grazing in the wild as you sip on some morning tea. As night falls, gather round a campfire to listen to local folklore and stargaze while toasting marshmallows and enjoying mulled wine. 

Pro Tip: The Blue Mountains are home to countless secret glow worm colonies. Experience the magic of these glowing creatures up close and personal on a guided tour. 

Best Time to Visit: Good to visit year round but best to visit from November to April

Country categorisation: VTL active

 

For more information on these holidays and for advice on getting the most out of your vacation, contact award-winning, boutique travel consultants, Scott Dunn 

 


Written by
Poppy covers a wide range of topics at Billionaire, having spent the past 13 years at companies including Singapore Tatler, Her World Plus and Harpers Bazaar UK. She has a passion for fashion, jewellery and travel as well as an avaricious fascination with crime novels. Follow her at poppypskinner on Instagram. 

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