long weekend travel

Where to travel for food during Singapore long weekends

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I absolutely love weekend travelling. (I love weekend travel so much I even wrote a book about it.)

Even though travelling during the weekend means my trip is short, I enjoy hoarding annual leave so I can splurge it at one go.

If you’re planning a long weekend trip from Singapore, here are five cities I recommend visiting for their food.

  • Ipoh, Malaysia
  • Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
  • Shanghai, China

Ipoh, Malaysia

I would visit Ipoh again and again for its food. It might not be as famous as Penang for its local food but that little town serves really good chicken.

There are loads of other good food around too.

Ipoh Beansprout chicken
Beansprout chicken feast in Ipoh.
Famous Ipoh coffee in iced form.
Famous Ipoh coffee in iced form.
Ipoh coffee and egg tart
Ipoh coffee and egg tart
Frozen beer/ cider
Frozen beer/ cider
Assorted ice and fruits
Assorted ice and fruits

How to reach Ipoh from Singapore:

Long-distance bus (7 to 8 hours)
Several bus companies run Singapore – Ipoh routes.

Airplane (1 hour 35 minutes)
Firefly and Tigerair has flights between Singapore and Ipoh. Remember to research on the timing.

Airplane + Bus (~5 hours)
You can fly to Kuala Lumpur and take the mid-distance bus to KL. Remember to research on timing too.


 

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Pronounced as “Jogjakarta”, the town on the Java Island is home to gorgeous historical sites such as Borobudur and Prambanan. But the food is fantastic too.

I was deceived by nasi gudeg the first time I ate it. I thought the dish had a surprisingly generous serving of beef boiled so soft that I don’t have to chew it like a cow. Later found out that the “beef” is actually young jackfruit. I was disappointed but it’s still a very tasty dish.

yogyakarta nasi gudeg
Nasi gudeg from Yogyakarta [Photo Source]
When you’re in Indonesia, do not miss the ultra delicious jus alpukat. Avocado juice.

Imagine creamy avocado blended and served in a tall glass which has chocolate syrup drizzled at the side of the glass. HEAVEN!

How to reach Yogyakarta from Singapore:

Airplane (2 hours 15 minutes)
AirAsia flies to Yogyakarta at a rather good timing. But the flight back leaves in the morning which is annoying.

If you find the flight timing for Yogyakarta terrible, your second best choice is Jakarta since it is the capital. There you can drink all the avocado juice you like.


 

Bangkok, Thailand

I went to Bangkok for my birthday in April, spending a three-day weekend there. I ate normal stuff like pad thai, I didn’t eat enough food. I still haven’t tried Mango Sticky Rice.

Pad Thai
Pad Thai

How to reach Bangkok from Singapore:

Airplane (2 hours 25 minutes)
Loads of budget airlines fly from Singapore to Bangkok. Pick those with good departure and return timings so you can maximize your trip.


Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

When I was in university staying in the dorm, my Vietnamese neighbors would cook with fish sauce. The potent smell wasn’t to my taste so I avoided Vietnamese food.

Then I went to Vietnam and I discovered that fish sauce is kind of like durian–stinky when you smell it but delicious when you taste it. I also discovered many other deliciousness that doesn’t involve fish sauce.

I am absolutelu in love with Vietnamese food, especially its noodles (pho), baguette overstuffed with filling and sweet Vietnamese coffee.

Vietnamese pho
Vietnamese pho
Banh mi (Vietnamese baguette)
Banh mi (Vietnamese baguette)
Vietnamese coffee (with ice)
Vietnamese coffee (with ice)

How to reach Ho Chi Minh from Singapore: 

Airplane: (2 hours 5 minutes)
Loads of budget airlines fly from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh. As usual, pick those with good departure and return timings so you can maximize your trip.


Shanghai, China

I would travel to Shanghai for just a weekend so I can eat the food. In fact, I did it in May 2015.

My tongue still longs for the taste of shengjianbao: dumplings fried on one side ’til crispy. Take a bit and the soup flows out so you have to slurp it up fast. After two slurps, you can eat the meat along with the crunchy part.

The most delicious tiny buns/dumplings: shengjianbao
The most delicious tiny buns/dumplings: shengjianbao
小笼包 (xiao long bao)
Can you look at these delicate 小笼包 (xiao long bao) and not feel like licking your screen?

The home-cooked style restaurants in Shanghai are fantastic too. The soups come in porcelain basins and the servings are gigantic. I loved Grandma’s Place (a chain restaurant) when I was in Shanghai.

A feast at Grandma's Place.
A feast at Grandma’s Place.

How to reach Shanghai from Singapore:

Airplane (5 hours 25 minutes direct)
Choosing a plane with a good timing is critical. I took Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to reach Shanghai early at 7:30am on my first day and leave at 2pm-ish on my last day.

Another good alternative is Taiwan if you don’t want to fly that far to Shanghai.

If you’re comparing air tickets, you can check out sites such as Traveloka Malaysia for amazing MAS online booking flight deals and hotel bookings too.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Weekend Travel and plan the best weekend trip.

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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