Here are our top 5 recommendations, 'cause we all need a jolly holiday to wrap up 2017!
1. For the adrenaline junkies
This may come as a surprise - Shenzhen has risen through the ranks to become a tourist favourite for theme parks. Be spoilt for choice with thrilling rides, games and entertainment.
Happy Valley Shenzhen in Nanshan District, Shenzhen, is every adrenaline junkie’s dream come true. Built at a cost of RMB 2 billion, the 86-acre attraction has more themed areas than Tokyo Disneyland. Spin around on the Bullet Coaster with high acceleration and extreme speeds; throw in inversions, twists, turns, and drops that will leave even the most seasoned thrill chaser’s heart pounding. Experience weightlessness as you dangle your legs high up in the air on the Snow Mountain Flying Dragon. Perfect place to test the limits of your courage - or dare your friends to.
If your stomach feels a little queasy at the sound of that, take it down a few notches at the Window of the World. Jules Verne wrote about travelling the world in 80 days. In this 118-acre theme park, behold 130 miniature replicas of famous landmarks across the globe in just one day.
After you journey the world in a day, rest your weary feet at Ascott Raffles City Shenzhen at the heart of Nanshan District. It is a part of the first Raffles City integrated development in South China. Luxury and comfort can be expected. Unwind at the indoor heated swimming pool or mini golf course. Enjoy promotional rates when you book online.
2. For a peaceful retreat
The picturesque volcanic island off the coast of mainland South Korea is popular among vacationers for its scenic tranquility.
Take a hike up Hallasan Mountain. The tallest in South Korea, it is as breathtaking as it is picture perfect. The view from the snowcapped peak is every hiker’s grand prize.
Beneath the frosty surface, another spectacle awaits. The 8 km-long Manjangul Lava Tube is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest lava tube systems in the world. The teeth-like stalagmites are almost a metre long, and the naturally formed multi-coloured walls that stretch up to 30m high are awe-inspiring to say the least.
As the sun sets on this island haven, step out of the cold and warm yourself at the newly opened Somerset Jeju Shinhwa World. It is part of the Jeju Shinhwa World integrated resort spanning approximately 2.5 million square metres. Enjoy the Stay and Play package, which includes food and beverage vouchers and theme park tickets when you book online.
3. For discovering a piece of undiscovered paradise
Some of life's best adventures are in discovering the unknown. The city of Makassar, Indonesia, offers just that.
Losari Beach at dusk is a perfect Instagram moment with few tourists getting in your way. A stroll down the beach, a sip at one of the bars or a sit-down for some street food all present the perfect opportunity for you to interact with the friendly locals.
A short 45-minute boat ride from Makassar will take you to Keke Island. Dive into the clear waters and enjoy a peaceful moment snorkelling. When you have had your fill of corals and fishes, savour the view of white sandy beaches and azure blue sea.
Wash off the sand and towel yourself dry at Citadines Royal Bay Makassar. The serviced residence is only a few minutes walk from Losari Beach.
4. For the jolly good fellas (or a chance to meet some)
“Christmas markets with a chance of snow” - that's the official forecast for Berlin around this time of the year. Starting end November, over 60 markets draw locals and visitors alike as the scent of hot cocoa and mulled wine waft through the streets.
The Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market is by far the most festive. The Konzerthaus Berlin concert hall and two large domed churches flank the square located in central Berlin. More than 1,000 strings of lights transform the square into a festive dream each year. The array of handmade artisanal goods, Christmas food, entertainment, and just the highly festive atmosphere draw over 60,000 visitors yearly.
Other notable Christmas markets worth a visit include the Roten Rathaus, Wintertraum am Alexa and Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz markets.
Frank Sinatra aptly described New York when he sang “If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.” Artistes and talents flock to this city that remains one of the theatre capitals of the world. It is only natural that only the crème de la crème make it to the stages of Broadway.
New York is heaven on earth for musical lovers. Classics such as Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Chicago are still must-sees for fanatics. Other popular shows include Wicked and Lion King.
This is the city where playwrights become icons and artistes become stars. It has more to offer. Broadway blockbusters aside, New York has many Off-Broadway gems. The hit musical, Hamilton, first debuted at The Public Theatre in 2015. Musicals like Avenue Q and Friends! The Musical Parody are definitely worth a watch.
Theatre buffs will never have to go a day without a show in New York. The city presents visitors the opportunity to have a non-stop art and cultural extravaganza the entire trip.
Stay at one of Ascott's four properties in the Big Apple from Tribeca to the Fifth Avenue like Hotel Central Fifth Avenue New York. The locations are perfect for anyone who wants to shop, dine and enjoy the best of musicals in the theatre district.
With the year drawing to a close, what better way to finish it than welcoming the new year with joy. Give in to your wanderlust.
Staying at any of our Ascott properties? Share your photo experiences with us and tag us @CapitaLand! And check back here next week for more travel stories.