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
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.
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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