Great escapes, Latest Travel News - The New Paper

Great escapes


To mark Leap Day tomorrow, the youth travel expert for 18- to 35-year-olds is offering 29 per cent off 29 of its most adventurous trips.

Applicable for destinations in Latin America, New Zealand, the US, Canada, Asia and Europe, this deal is valid for 24 hours only on Feb 29, midnight until 11.59pm.

For instance, leap out of a plane on a tandem skydive over the lakeside town of Taupo, New Zealand, on the 14-day Kiwiana Panorama itinerary (from US$2,045 before discount, or S$2,850) - the ultimate adrenaline rush around New Zealand, from Queenstown to Auckland.

You can also bungee jump, go white-water rafting, free-fall on a canyon swing and take a zipline through the trees.

Alternatively, leap into the air paragliding over the spectacular Austrian Alps on the 18-day European Whirl trip (from US$3,145 before discount), weaving through 10 of the continent's most loved destinations.


The travel website recently announced the winners of the 2020 Travellers' Choice Destination Awards, and this year's line-up includes two new categories, Trending and Emerging.

Globally, Kochi is the top Trending Destination.

The Indian port city has earned its bucket list status, seeing the biggest spike in top reviews, ratings and traveller interest on TripAdvisor over the last year.

A blending of small villages on the south-western coast created the current incarnation of Kochi (or Cochin), where sunset strolls, sampling fresh fish from seaside vendors and boat rides through the islands just offshore are all part of the charm.

Within this list, Singapore travellers were most interested in Luzon and Cebu (the Philippines), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Vienna (Austria) outside of Asia.

Meanwhile, Kaliningrad, Russia, took the top spot for Emerging Destination worldwide.

A tiny sliver of Russia trapped between the Baltic Sea, Poland and Lithuania, it is now easier than ever to visit, thanks to a simplified e-visa process that Russia introduced last year.

Within this list, Singapore travellers searched the most for Phu Quoc (Vietnam), Darwin (Australia) and Agra (India).


The Nusa Dua resort in Bali is celebrating Nyepi with its seasonal Nyepi Silent Retreat from March 23 to 29, which is personalised for individual guests to help them improve focus on the present moment, clear the mind, and gain awareness and self-control.

Experience up to seven days of intense meditation practice where talking and all forms of communication are banned, allowing you to reset, relax and reconnect with nature.

The Nyepi Silent Retreat starts from US$655 for one person and US$1,012 for two in a Garden Suite with a minimum of three nights' stay.


In honour of one of Bali's most sacred holidays, Nyepi, the resort in Ubud has launched a Silent Reflection Reboot experience, designed to encourage self-reflection and enhance spirituality.

Marking the meditative period, it allows guests to experience this magical day of complete silence on March 25 with a series of activities, including nocturnal meditation sessions, a traditional water purification ritual at Wos River temple and luxurious in-tent dining, as well as the opportunity to watch Tawur Kesanga, a cultural parade of ogoh-ogoh papier mache monster dolls through the town centre.

The Silent Reflection Reboot experience is priced at US$4,100 based on a three-night stay in a one-bedroom tent.