As much as I’m repelled by the Hallmark holiday that is Valentine’s Day, it seems like an opportune time to collect a list of romantic weekend getaways near Delhi. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill getaways with a million and one other couples, nor do they offer a luxurious stay in a fancy hotel that’ll burn a deep hole in your pocket. These trip ideas are romantic in the artistic sense of the word, ones that make you realize how beautiful life is, and often transport you back in time. Read more
Posts tagged ‘weekend getaways’
You’re forgiven for cursing the sun gods for the signature Delhi heat. But thanks to them, the long weekends of Dussehra & Diwali are beckoning you to ditch the sunscreen, lose the ice stock, drop your sun hat, and set out for a breath of fresh air. Read more
I’ve often wondered how explorers must have felt chancing upon seemingly magical islands in their travels. Nikoi Island, off Bintan in Indonesia, is perhaps the closest I’ve come to experiencing that kind of travel ecstasy in Southeast Asia.
The journey to the island is a perfect prelude to the island experience. After the regular ferry ride to Bintan from Singapore, you are fast-forwarded through a special immigration to a one hour drive through the winding road and greens of Tanjung Pinang, to Nikoi’s personal jetty, to a one-hour speed boat ride on rough and breezy seas. If I understate it, arriving at Nikoi Island feels like you’ve entered a whole other world.
Think beauty. Think isolation. Think perfection.
Nature is the recurrent theme on the island. The chalets are purely made of wood, with not an inch of concrete, and some original tree-barks used as pillars & foundation. The openness of the rooms to nature is immediately striking, and in some way, leads to an openness of thoughts too. You can let your doors remain open at night, with the waves soothing your every dream.
For me, the monsoon season meant little sun and lots of wind, and an extremely stormy sea, aka just the way I’d like a beach holiday to be. We sailed and kayaked on high tide, thrilled to feel welcome even by the angst of the waters. That memory fills me with an urge to transform it into poetry.
The jetty on the far end of the island is a piece of heaven, perhaps even a chunk. Each evening, it greets you with a fierce wind and fierce waves. As the sun starts to set, you can witness from this jetty, the entire sky turning a magical blue and blending with the color of the sea. It’s magnificent. It makes you want to close your eyes, feel the wind, and never leave.
I could afford a visit to this sheer beauty, only thanks to a contest I won on Nikoi Island’s Facebook page. Below is a video I created for the contest, purely based on my imagination & the pictures I saw. I can gladly say that Nikoi is all that I imagined and so much more!
Close to each weekend, I desperately resort to Google to find offbeat ideas for weekend getaways from Singapore. In the midst of my travel research, I came across these 5 weekend getaways in Malaysia and Indonesia that will pamper your senses and indulge you. So ditch your weekend travel to Kuala Lumpur, and rejuvenate in lesser know Southeast Asian hideouts!
1) Tempat Senang, Indonesia
An hour’s ferry-ride away from Singapore, in the neighborhood of Batam Island (Indonesia), lies this exotic little gem. It’s a boutique resort, with under 10 suites, each designed, decorated and modeled after an Asian country. Besides the likes of Bali room, Indian room and Japanese room, there’s a Tree Room with a bed suspended in mid air. It’s also home to a traditional Balinese spa with a wide range of rejuvenating massages, and a pampering staff.
Also read: Tempat Senang: Rejuvenation
2) Nikoi Island, Indonesia
Close your eyes and imagine you are sprawling on a beach chair on white sands, in the company of crystal blue waters, sipping a drink. Just across the shores of Singapore, Nikoi Island affords you that luxury. Many describe this private island & its ecotourism resort as magical. Of course, a picture speaks a thousand words.
3) Lake Kenyir, Malaysia
Most spas have an artificial waterfall in the background, to soothe your senses with the effect of trickling water. Imagine looking into a lake instead while being pampered, reflecting upon life in its vastness. That’s the Lake Kenyir ecotourism resort & spa for you, in Terengganu, Malaysia.
4) Tanjong Jara, Malaysia
Tanjong Jara replicates the magnificent palaces and the pampering luxury of Malay kings in Terengganu, Malaysia. On the coast of turquoise seas, this traditional resort swept away Time‘s editors too. After all, you must live life king size, at least once!
5) Pangkor Laut, Malaysia
You have probably heard of Pangkor Island on Malaysia’s west coast, but Pangkor Laut, a private island resort, is a world in itself. Think crystal blue waters, white sands, chalets on stilts. Think indulgence.
Which of these 5 getaways have you already pampered yourself at? Do you know of any other secret pampering getaways?