For the thrill-seekers, the culture vultures, and the shopaholics – a guide to short weekend getaways you can take to satisfy that wanderlust.
For The Thrill Seeker – World’s Steepest Roller Coaster>
If you want a true escape from reality and to feel some extreme adrenaline pumping, then Takabisha is just the thing for you. A steel roller coaster located at the Fuji-Q Highland theme park in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan, the Takabisha is famous for its steep drop angle of 121°.
In fact it is so steep you probably need a heart of steel for it. As such, you need to be at least 10 year old but not older than 60 year old to take the ride.
The track is 1,000 meters long, and begins with a sudden drop into pitch darkness before entering a slow heart line roll. Within 2 seconds, the coaster launches itself into a long tunnel and reaches a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. In between, there are endless drops and turns, and many unexpected jerks. The whole ride is over within 2 minutes, or 112 seconds. Watch the video below to find out more:
The ride will cost you 1,000 YEN, or SGD12.27. The park entrance fee is set at 1,400 YEN, or SGD 17.18. If one roller coaster ride makes you crave for more, there are other exhilarating rides in the Fuji-Q Highland theme park for you to choose from. One of them is DODONPA, a speedy roller coaster that accelerates to 172 km/h in just 1.8 seconds!
Or you can try out FUJIYAMA, which is named the “king of roller coaster”. It has a maximum drop of 70 meters, and a maximum height of 79 meters. Both DODONPA and FUJIYAMA cost 1,000 YEN (SGD 12.27) as well. The theme park is located near Mount Fuji, so if all these roller coasters are still not enough for you, the view of Mount Fuji certainly will take care of the rest.
Source: The Daily Mail
For the Culture Vulture – Historic City of Vigan in Philippines
Located in the large island of Luzon, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its untouched, unique fusion of oriental and Spanish colonial architecture.
Here are a few attractions to fill your appetite for one whole day
Calle Crisologo is what you would expect to see in any painting of the Spanish colonial era – a dream come true where the cobblestone streets are lined with balustrades and azoteas in Spanish, Mexican and Chinese architectural styles.
You might even want to take a ride in a calesa, or horse drawn carriage to savour the unique fusion of cultures and history of this quaint town.
St Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
No Spanish city or village is complete without a cathedral. Head down to the St Paul Metropolitan Cathedral to spend a few quiet moments in this Baroque style church that has a long history dating back to 1574.
Just a 10 minutes drive from the main city of Vigan is the Baluarte zoo, where you can not only get shutter happy with the resident dino structure, but with the freely roaming animals witin the zoo!
No worries, the more dangerous animals like the tiger, crocodile and ostrich have been safely caged. Otherwise, it is as close to nature as you can get.
For the Shopaholic
With highly accessible prices, no one could ever get sick of shopping in Bangkok, even if you’ve already been there.
Source: OASPA Website
Petchaburi Road houses the famed Platinum Shopping Mall and morning Pratunam Market, where apparels are sold wholesale at prices that can’t be matched by Singapore’s pricey retailers. (200 baht or about S$8 for three skirts – can’t beat that!) Situated on the same street is Central World, which bears a greater resemblance to our shopping malls at home. It is also where you can buy Naraya bags, if that is your thing.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
The Chatuchak Weekend Market (open on Sundays) is a great place for shopping not just for clothes and accessories but also books, antiques, handicraft and more. However during peak hours, traffic around the market may get rather crazy and taxis may refuse to go by the metered fare, so do ask around and compare for the best price!
It is also a must to visit night markets, such as Asiatique the Riverfront and the area around Siam Square. Apart from the surrounding food streets, there are also many boutiques that sell unique and trendy clothes and accessories, however they may not be as attractive as the wholesale prices of Pratunam Market. You could also spend a chill evening at the pubs at Asiatique and enjoy the live entertainment such as family-friendly ladyboy shows. Patpong Night Market is another option for shopping as well as for Bangkok’s notorious nightlife district.
A few other options include:
- Union Mall: trendy clothes with also less expensive hairdressers, nail salons and beauty parlours
- MBK Center: near 29 Plaza and Siam Square
- Siam Paragon: great for upscale shopping
- Terminal 21: each storey and its toilets are themed after different countries (Don’t believe us? See these photos)
Can you feel the excitement already, shopaholics? Bangkok has an immense shopping scene, so it’ll be advisable to do some research to see which places best match your time, budget and preferences. As Bangkok is rather well explored by shoppers already, much information can be found online, such as bargaining tips. To start off, you can watch local fashion bloggers visit some of the places listed above, and find blog posts by those who’ve been there.
Pro tip: Bring a big eco-friendly shopping bag if you don’t want to end up carrying a whole bunch of small plastic bags. Refuse the plastic carriers and help save the Earth!
So what are you waiting for? Plan a trip for this upcoming weekend now!