While we pine to travel amid all the restrictions, there are many ways to transport your mind and uncover hidden gems around the world. Thanks to those who participated in our Facebook and Instagram contests to share the best kept secrets in their home countries, we’ve put together a recommendation of the top 5 destinations to visit once borders reopen. No matter where you reside, there’s always a new place to discover!

North Sumatra, Indonesia

Leave the beaten track far behind and enter one of the world’s last untouched paradise — North Sumatra. From waterfalls and volcanoes to the pristine waters of Lake Toba, the largest lake in Southeast Asia, immerse yourself in its surrounding attractions.

Valleys and mountains Valleys and mountains

The largest volcanic lake in the world — Lake Toba lies in the heart of Northern Sumatra, and is known for its luscious greenery and blue waters.

Catch the magnificent Lake Toba in its full glory at the peak of Holbung Hill. The price to pay? All it takes is a 15-minute beginner-friendly trek that will have you surrounded by mountains, and make you feel like you’re being transported into one of nature’s finest masterpieces. Or take your adventure indoor and learn about Batak culture and architecture at the Huta Bolon Simanindo Museum – discover traditional wooden homes with thatched sugar palm fibre roofs that have been opened to the public since 1969.  Perfect for nature and culture lovers, North Sumatra is certainly a place not to be missed.

Nizams-Hyderabad & Gandikota, India

A magnificent mix of modernity and history, the metropolitan city of Hyderabad boasts a history that dates back 400 years. Steeped in culture, nature and flavours, let your senses take you on a journey through historical monuments, natural getaways, and endless food options in India’s main pearl trading centre — the very reason why it earned its title of being the City of Pearls.

Explore the extensive ruins of Golkonda Fort, a mud fort which sits atop a 400-feet high granite hill dating back to the 13th Century — way before Hyderabad was even founded! Did you also know that a clap below the entrance dome of this architectural wonder can be heard nearly a kilometre away?

Golkonda Fort Golkonda Fort

A historic fortress and ruined city, Golkonda Fort looms over the modern city of Hyderabad in the state of Telangana.

Next, give your legs a rest and let your mouth do the work with some authentic Hyderabadi biryani. A blend of Iranian and Mughlai cuisine, this famous basmati rice dish is touted as the world’s best biryani with good reason. Aromatically cooked with spices alongside meat marinated overnight in a special spice concoction, the cooking vessel is then sealed with dough and steamed over hot coals. The result? A spicy and complex taste with a wealth of unusually rich flavours.

And if you’re big on adventure, Gandikota is a small village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh, seven hours away from Hyderabadi by rail. Seated right above a 300-feet gorge formed by the river Pennar that cuts through the Erramala Hills, this masterpiece of nature has also been widely referred to as the Grand Canyon of India.

Hyderabad Hyderabad

Home to dense forests, incredible natural beauty, as well as rich flora and fauna, Hyderabad offers enchanting views to its visitors.

Some 365 kilometres away (approximately a 4-hour drive) from Hyderabad lies Belum, a small village home to the largest tourist cave in the Indian subcontinent. Bizarre yet wonderful, explore a labyrinth of underground waterways and unusual formations as you discover the wonders and mysteries of the Belum Caves.  A beautiful mishmash of magnificent monuments and colourful culture, you just have to experience it to understand why this is one of India’s major tourist spots.

Liloan, Philippines

Don’t be misled by the tiny coastal municipality of Liloan, for its vast shorelines mesmerise its visitors. Located in the northern part of Cebu, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the pristine waters of the Mindanao Deep as you admire the beauty of nature in its entire grandeur.

Liloan in Cebu, a beach paradise Liloan in Cebu, a beach paradise

Famed for its stunning vistas and white-sand beaches, Liloan is a coastal municipality in the province of Cebu.

The best thing to do in Liloan? Nothing! With approximately 92 hectres of ocean-front land (that’s almost 132 football fields!), kick back and take in a greener and fresher atmosphere at Papa Kit’s, a marina and fishing lagoon just 21 kilometres away from Cebu city. And if you ever get bored of being bored, the resort also offers adventure experiences like an 800-metre zipline, a jungle obstacle, wall climbing, horseback riding, as well as aqua sports.

But what’s relaxing without having food to go with it? Treat yourself to Rosquillos from Titay’s — a popular snack among locals that originated from Liloan.  Made from flour, eggs, sugar, and baking powder, this handful delight packed in a box is guaranteed to make your day better.

Perth, Australia

Witness how nature and urban life exist in harmony on the west coast of Australia. Soak in the hustle and bustle of a thriving metropolis and soak up the sun on a string of stunning beaches in Australia’s sunniest capital city. Here’s where you embrace the best of urban cool and raw natural beauty.

City of Perth City of Perth

Where nature and urban life exists in perfect harmony, Perth is the capital city of Western Australia.

Take a trip to the wineries of Swan Valley for a sip (or two!) of wine. All thanks to migrants from Europe who moved to the region after World War I and II, the wine culture has grown over the years in one of the oldest valleys in Australia. And with majority of the 40 odd wineries being family-owned, you’ll be able to taste the variety of flavours and witness the unique traditions passed down through time.

Right in the middle of Swan River is Heirisson Island. Despite being situated in the city centre, most locals wouldn’t have heard of this hidden treasure where you can chill out with kangaroos roaming freely while you take in the cityscape. And why not enjoy a lovely arvo by having an authentic Aussie barbie with their public BBQ facilities?

Coney Island, Singapore

A red bridge in Coney Island A red bridge in Coney Island

Rich in history and greenery, Coney Island is a 133-hectare island located off the northeastern coast of Singapore.

Trade the city skyline with the shoreline of white sandy beaches on the beautiful oasis of Coney Island, a rustic green space located off the north-eastern coast of this little red dot, Singapore. Home to a vast variety of tropical flora and fauna, kick back and set foot on untouched trails that stretch across mangroves, coastal forests, grasslands, and casuarina woodlands.

On the western end of the island is Casuarina exploratory, an area specially dedicated to Casuarina trees — slender and wispy trees that grow up to 30 metres tall with distinct cone-like fruits. You’ll even find a playground made completely with wood uprooted from Casuarina trees!

If you go along the coastal trails, you’ll be able to spot birdwatchers and photographers in designated bird-watching huts — all trying their luck at spotting endangered birds that have been spotted on the island including the Spotted Wood-Owl, Red Junglefowl, Grey Heron and Rusty-breasted Cuckoo. If you love the outdoors, Coney Island is definitely a place you’ll want to be.


As we await the travel restrictions to be lifted, why not start planning for your next dream holiday right away? Because it could just turn into a reality way before you know it. And if you’re still looking for even more inspiration to travel, just read our other articles here to do so.

Best time to visit

Avoid the wet weathers, visit North Sumatra between late April to early October.


The official currency of Indonesia is the Indonesian rupiah (Rp).

Book when borders reopen

Get to Medan, Indonesia in 1hr 35min via direct flights from Singapore. Then, take a 4-6hr car ride to Parapat and catch the ferry to Tuk Tuk, Samosir Island (most of Lake Toba’s tourism is concentrated here) which will take about 30-50 min. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.

Best time to visit

Winter (November to February) is the best time to visit Hyderabad with the cool climate and crisp air.


The official currency of India is the Indian rupee (INR).

Book when borders reopen

Get to Hyderabad, India in 4hr 25min via direct flights from Singapore. Then, hop on the rail to Gandikota, which takes around 7 hr. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.

Best time to visit

Liloan is can be generally hot all year round. The months with comfortable weather is from November to March.


The official currency of Philippines is the Philippine peso (PHP).

Book when borders reopen

Get to Cebu, Philippines in 3hr 45min via direct flights from Singapore. Then, journey to Liloan via a 55 min car ride. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.

Best time to visit

The ideal time to visit Perth is from September to November. If you want to enjoy a scorching summer, consider February.


The official currency of Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD).

Book when borders reopen

Get to Perth, Australia in 5hr 10min via direct flights from Singapore. Then, take a 23 min car ride to Swan Valley. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.

Best time to visit

Singapore has relatively good weather throughout the year. For sightseeing, the months of February to April is ideal.


The official currency of Singapore is the Singapore Dollar (SGD).

Book when borders reopen

Get to Singapore via Singapore, Changi Airport. Then, travel to Punggol via the MRT train and head to Punggol interchange (located at Exit C). Next, take bus 84 for 15 min to reach Punggol point Park/Punggol Settlement and stroll 500m east along Punggol Promenade Nature to reach Coney Island Park West Entrance. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets here.

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