With the brand-new year approaching, we’re sure you’re thinking of renewing your travel bucket list for 2019. Don’t worry, we feel you and that’s why we’re here to help! 😉 If you still don’t know where to go, here’s 10 destinations that we think should be on your list!
1. Hong Kong
If you’re thinking of Asia, start with Hong Kong! A bustling metropolis that is a melting pot of the East and the West, this destination promises delicious halal local fare, family-friendly attractions, convenient public transportation and shopping opportunities!
With so many things to offer, it can be pretty tough to know where to start. For a fun-filled day, look out for the dazzling fusion of quirky artistic landmarks from Hollywood Road to the old town of Sheung Wan! You’ll be surprised at the amount of street art you can find around the city. End your day with some halal dim sum at the popular Islamic Centre Canteen.
To elevate your Hong Kong experience, ride the iconic tram to The Peak, hunt for bargains at the Ladies’ Market in Mongkok, and meet Mickey and friends at Disneyland! It’s fair to say that you can’t leave Hong Kong without visiting Disneyland. Of course, the city doesn’t just house one or two attractions – you can find plenty of other awesome attractions to discover!
2. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Crystal clear water, pristine beaches and picturesque landscapes – who needs Bali when you can count on Raja Ampat? 😉 Home to over 1,500 islands and islets scattered around West Papua in the northeast of Indonesia, to say that it’s the country’s best-kept secret is an understatement.
If swimming with the fishes has always been a dream of yours, this is the perfect place for you! You also get to meet the wildlife here like the rare hornbills and birds of paradise. Although Raja Ampat is not simply a plane ride away (three, in fact, plus a boat ride), the majestic panorama of the entire place is no doubt worth every effort.
3. Sri Lanka
Would you believe that this is in Sri Lanka? Yes, set out the new year with a chill vibe and travel to this beautiful island! As an island located in the south of India, you’ll be floored by the white sandy beaches that line the coast of Sri Lanka from Arugam Bay to Bentota and Mirissa – three of which are famous beaches that allow you to relax and breathe in whiffs of salt water from the Indian Ocean.
For a little adventure, take a train ride through the countryside and stumble upon picturesque bridges like the Demodara nine arch bridge close to Ella station. Visitors have the option to either take the train or walk along the bridge in the other direction to catch the sunset. As Sri Lanka offers some of the most scenic train journeys in the world, it’s a must for every traveller to experience it!
With the presence of a bustling Muslim community, especially in Dharga Town near the capital city Colombo, it means that you’ll be able to feast on a variety of halal options. Don’t forget to visit the popular red mosque in Colombo too! Located in one of the busier commercial districts of Colombo is the striking red Jami-Ul-Alfar mosque. The locals claim that this building was once used as the landmark of Colombo by sailors approaching the port in the past.
4. Fukuoka, Japan
With the recent launch of AirAsia’s direct flights to Fukuoka, time to skip Tokyo or Osaka and head over to this gem instead. Famed for its historic attractions and unique festivals, Fukuoka is fast becoming a popular tourist destination. Start off with immersing yourself in nature at Ohori Park – a scenic spot to escape from the busy city. It was once part of Fukuoka Castle’s moat so try to spot some of the ruins if you can!
If parks aren’t your thing, then a visit to Canal City should do the trick. Fukuoka is known for this multi-storey commercial complex surrounded by a canal where visitors can shop, dine and be entertained all under one roof.
Continue your trip with a visit to Dazaifu Tenmangu – the head Tenmangu shrine in all of Japan and the Yanagawa River District, where you can go on a boating excursion amidst old traditional houses and buildings while feasting your eyes on the ancient Yanagawa Castle in the background.
5. Moscow, Russia