Give in to your wanderlust and expand your horizons in 2018 with these hot destinations, from Vietnam's island paradise to Taiwan's underrated port city. 

 

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Airline: Bangkok Airways
Price: The current promotion for this route is B8,100/round trip. The airline offers four flights a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday). 
Why you should visit: Despite the island’s growing popularity among the wintertime migration of European tourists, there remain stretches of powdery, barely-trodden beach worth adding to your list of holiday must-go’s. Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s most beautiful and largest island and recently welcomed its first big luxury hotel, JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort and Spa (pictured above), which will be followed by Dusit Princess Moonrise Beach Resort, among a slew of other developments. 
 
City Wall, Xian. Credit: Maros Mraz via Wikimedia Commons

Xian, China

Airline: NokScoot
Price: Expect returns tickets at around B10,000, which includes meals and a checked bag. Three roundtrip flights per week on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Why you should visit: Xian is the capital of China’s northwest Shaanxi province. The city’s often referred to as the birthplace of Chinese civilization as it was the reigning seat of 13 imperial dynasties. Today, it’s known for historical must-visits like the Terracotta Army—over 7,000 life-sized sculptures of cavalry, soldiers and chariots—entombed with Emperor Qin Shi Hyang as protection in the afterlife.
 
Luang Prabang. Credit: David McKelvey

Luang Prabang, Laos

Airline: Thai Smile
Price: Bangkok-Luang Prabang return flights cost B5,200 through Mar 4.
Why you should visit: The tranquil city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site, sits in a valley of lush green mountains where sacred temples and abundant natural beauty jostle for attention. Often described as the “Jewel of Laos,” the city has a definite stuck-in-time feel to it. Wake from 5:30 am to partake in the sacred Buddhist almsgiving ceremony on the main street or head 45 minutes out of town to swim in the stunning jade pools of Kuang Si Waterfall.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Airline: Thai Smile
Price: Bangkok-Kaohsiung return is a little over B9,000.
Why you should visit: Next to Taipei, Kaohsiung attracts Taiwan’s highest number of visitors thanks to its hall of giant Buddhas in Fo Guang Shan monastery and the cheap seafood street on Cijin Island. This modern metropolis is home to the Dream Mall, considered the largest shopping mall in Taiwan, while the Pier-2 Art Center showcases giant-size art pieces. Come nightfall, lose yourself amid the two biggest night markets in Southeast Asia, Kaisyuan and Jin-Zuan, where you’ll find everything from crispy fried squid to "Gaoyuei" shrimp mooncakes.
 
 
Kawasan Falls Credit: Tom Dirst Via Flickr.com

Cebu, Philippines

Airline: Philippine Airlines
Price: The three weekly flights operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, clocking in at less than 4 hours of flight time for B10,515 round-trip.
Why you should visit: This gorgeous island is home to a 196km-long beach, the 50-foot Kawasan Falls and downtown Cebu, a colonial-inflected city with myriad bars, eateries, shops and historical sites. Good adobo, Spanish architecture, famous dive spots and an opportunity to swim with whale sharks are just some of what makes it a good alternative to your usual Phuket pilgrimage. 
 
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna. Credit: Simon Matzinger

Vienna, Austria

Airline: Thai Airways
Price: From B29,415 for round trip with four flights per week, available to purchase until Mar 31.
Why you should visit: Boasting stunning Baroque architecture and cobbled streets, Vienna is known as the city of music, having been home to famous composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Hayden. Visit the picturesque Imperial Palace, the “Kirche am Steinhof” church and the State Opera House to get a feel of the city’s rich history. Don’t forget to try Austrian delicacies like wiener schnitzel, a fried cutlet of veal, and sachertorte, the traditional Viennese chocolate cake.

thaiairways.com 

 


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