Where to Next? Exciting Travel Destinations for Long Weekends

It’s Friday! With your backpack filled with OOTDs for the weekend, you message your buddies about your early morning flight the next day. Do you have your essentials? Cash and credit card, check. Phone and camera, check. Selfie stick and mini tripod, check. Power bank and chargers, check. Plane ticket, passport, and itinerary check. Now think of all the adventures you’ll have and all the Instagrammable pictures you’ll take!

Plan your next long weekend adventure around these destination suggestions!

Local

Cagayan de Oro-Bukidnon. An hour and a half away by plane from Manila, Cagayan de Oro promises a weekend with nature and adventure. River trekking at Mapawa Nature Park will have you jumping off cliffs and climbing up hills. More than the vigorous workout, however, this adventure will let you commune with nature in the most intimate way. If you must get your adrenaline pumping, make sure to pay a visit to Seven Seas Waterpark with its thrilling rides.

From Cagayan de Oro, travel for an hour and a half to Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon where you can go ziplining, dropping 120 feet, or racing downhill. Further off is Mount Kitanglad Agro-Eco Farm, where you can experience what it’s like to sleep in a tree house. Bird watchers will have a pleasant time here, along with urban dwellers who just want to get some peace and quiet.

Coron. Whether you explore this tropical paradise on your own or make a reservation for a guided tour through klook.com, do include a visit to Kayangan Lake, said to be the cleanest in the Philippines. You can also go snorkeling in Quin Reef or just walk along the white sands of CYC Beach and Banol Beach.

The more adventurous can book a dive tour to see corals or wrecks under water. The physically and mentally strong can go kayaking around Coron Island and Busuanga Island with a guide.  Otherwise, you can rent a boat and hop from Coron Island to the Calamian Islands. Find hidden coves. Go sunbathing on the white sand beaches of Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, Culion Island, North Key, and Pamalican Island. Relax in their gentle waves. Watch the sunset from Mount Tapyas. It’s about 710 steps up, but it would be well worth it! You’ll surely have beautiful pictures to share with family and friends.

Bohol. Bohol is filled with nature’s treasures on earth and there are daily flights to Tagbilaran City from where you can ride a van or jeepney to go around the island.

Chocolate Hills and Tarsier Sanctuary are must-visit destinations. In Loboc, you’ll find paddleboarding tours and floating restaurants. Cruising along Loboc River and crossing the long bamboo bridge across the river are also guaranteed to be fun, memorable experiences.

Chocolate Hills

Spend your second day spelunking in Hinagdanan Cave in Dauis,  diving into Kaligoon Cave Pool in Anda, or go dolphin watching in Balicasag. At Danao Adventure Park, you can go kayaking, bouldering, root climbing, and rappelling. If you’re up for it, try The Plunge, said to be one of the highest canyon swings in the world.

Make time to relax in Panglao’s beaches though. Dumaluan Beach comes highly recommended because of its pristine white sand beach.

Don’t go home without dropping by Dalareich Chocolate House in Tagbilaran City to partake of their world-class chocolate concoctions.

International

Taipei, Taiwan. Enjoy an interesting weekend of food and culture in Taipei. On your first day, go to the Chang Kai Shek Memorial early in the morning before the tourist crowd arrives. The grounds are clean and beautiful. If you can’t avoid going in the afternoon, aim to be there before 3:00 PM for the changing of the guards. From the memorial, just nearby, you can find Chun Shui Tang, said to be the origin of pearl milk tea in the 1980s. They still offer the original pearl milk tea but you’ll find many flavors to choose from. Take the train to Longshan Temple, which was originally built in 1738. From there, head for Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings with one of the fastest elevators in the world.  Try some Taiwanese beef noodle soup at the dining floor before you head back to your hotel.

Xiangshan Hiking Trail

Try the Xiangshan Hiking Trail, also known as Elephant Mountain, on your second day. It would take you 15 to 20 minutes to reach the top, where you’ll find a breathtaking view of Taipei’s skyline. Head for the original Din Tai Fung Restaurant on Xinyi Road near Dongmen Station for a late lunch. After your meal, ride the Maokong Gondola, the first gondola system in Taipei. If you make it in time for sunset, you’ll have a four-kilometer ride to view the sky’s spectacular changing colors. End your day at Shilin Night Market for some fun shopping!

Visit the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan on your last day, and have lunch nearby before heading to Songshan Airport, which is only about 20 minutes away.

Osaka, Japan. A three-day weekend trip to Osaka can be quite fun. Flights arrive in the afternoon so take the opportunity to freshen up and enjoy a Japanese meal. Try the okonomiyaki, the savory vegetable pancake that Osaka is famous for. Be at the Universal Studios Japan by 8AM the next day as seeing all the attractions will take the whole day. Tickets can be bought at the entrance. Fast Passes can be purchased separately, online, or from convenience stores, if you want to avoid lining up for hours. USJ is the haven for Harry Potter fans in Asia so be ready to see Potterheads in full costume!

Osaka Castle

Start your second day at Osaka Castle which is quite picturesque, especially in the spring. Have lunch at Yoshino Sushi, a 170-year-old sushi restaurant in Osaka. A special meal set with Hako sushi or boxed sushi that is so pretty can be had for about 3,000 yen. Visit Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium afterwards to see blue whales, manta rays, sharks, all sorts of jellyfishes, and even some penguins. Before you get there, you might want to check out Legoland Discovery Center Osaka.

On your last day, eat some Japanese street food at shops along Dotonbori Street. You can find kushikatsu (deep fried skewered meat and negi/Welsh onion slices) at Daruma, a famous kushikatsu store (remember to dip into their sauce just once!), and takoyaki at Kukuru. Just two minutes south from Dotonbori, you’ll find Hozen-ji Temple, which houses the Moss Buddha. People can pour water over it while making a wish. Stepping into the temple grounds is like going into the past, a peaceful era different from the flurry of activity on Dotonbori.

Azure Urban Resort Residences. If you’re not up for a long trip, you can always opt for a Siglo Suites  staycation in Azure Urban Resort Residences, just 30 minutes away from the domestic and international airports.

aerial shot of Azure Urban Resort Residences

It offers a taste of the beauty, comfort, and luxury of a resort-inspired community with the Philippines’ first man-made beach in a residential development, which amazingly is just an elevator ride away from your suite.

Paris Beach Club

The exclusive Paris Beach Club designed by Paris Hilton has a gym, male and female spa, a movie room, a game room, function rooms, and other luxurious lifestyle amenities. You’ll also find fun amenities such as a wave pool, a beach bar, a beach volleyball area, and a children’s beach playground for year-round summer activities!  You can be sure you’ll enjoy your weekend!

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