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11 Best Destinations for the August Long Weekends 2019

Filipinos know this too well: when a long weekend is announced, it’s time to make travel plans. Whether you’re a working professional or still at your parent’s fortune’s mercy, a break means going out of the house.

But sometimes, spontaneity don’t always work. Lucky for you, we’ve hacked it for everyone covered!

Here’s a handy guide on the best long weekend trips to take for the coming August holidays:

I. Eil al-Adha* : August 12 (Monday)

  • Where to go

Singapore
Cebu
Palawan
Hong Kong

*pending official proclamation

II. Ninoy Aquino Day : August 21 (Wednesday)

  • Where to go

Manila

III. National Heroes Day : August 26 (Monday)

  • Where to go

Japan
Seoul
Bangkok
Taipei
Davao
Boracay

Check out the calendar below for a quick overview of the expected long weekends:

Looong Weekend Goals

Holiday: Eil al-Adha – August 12 (Monday)

Eil al-Adha is one of the two major Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide, where many of our Muslim brothers and sisters participate in this holy event. As for the rest of us, it’s an opportunity to take a breather or yes, to travel.

Falling on a Monday, this holiday points to a quick getaway somewhere close to home.

Long Weekend Combo 1: August 10 – 12 (Sat – Mon)

No. of Leave(s) Needed: None

Destination Option 1: Singapore

Gardens By The Bay Singapore

Singapore’s always been an ideal weekend destination as the myriad of activities can be done in just a few days. It’s also just about 3-4 hours away, so travel time is efficient. But most of all, Singapore offers world-class experiences for a reasonable amount.

Here are the top 5 things to do in the Lion City for a long weekend excursion:

1. Visit Marina Bay Sands – a must-see staple for the observation deck, high-end mall, promenade sites, museums around, the Merlion, and many more!
2. Shop at Orchard Road – as it’s arguably Asia’s retail Mecca. From designer brands to local good, cop everything you need and more along its boutique stores and malls.
3. Explore Gardens by the Bay – and see the Super Trees, the amazing light show at night, as well as the jaw-dropping Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.
4. Eat in Hawker Centers – such as Maxwell and Newton to experience cheap yet delicious local grub and the Michelin-Starred soy chicken in Chinatown.
5. A day at Sentosa – for some family fun at Universal Studios, KidZania, and iFly, among others. Take a Segway around Siloso Island, visit Madame Tussauds, or the Adventure Cove Waterpark for an all-around experience!

If you decide to go, here are some of the best hotels in Singapore:

Read Fun 3D/2N Singapore Itinerary: Where to Go & What to Do

Destination Option 2: Cebu, Philippines

Cebu

The Island of Cebu offers fast-paced urban living and the serenity of nature. For a long weekend, you can experience a bustling social scene in night clubs, bars, and popular food and drinking hotspots. But do allot a day or two to explore the countryside and other off-the-beaten gems that await visitors across the province.

Here’s a guide on the must-do things in Cebu:

1. Go lechon-hunting – from Rico’s to Carcar, find out more about one of the best-tasting delicacies from Cebu.
2. Swim with the whale sharks in Oslob – to experience what it’s like to be beside the gentle giants that frolic in the waters of Southern Cebu.
3. Discover its culture – by visiting heritage spots like Fort San Pedro, Magellan’s Cross, Basilica del Santo Nino, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and Mactan Shrine.
4. Head outdoors – go skydiving in Bantayan Island, wakeboarding in Danao, or canyoneering and dipping in Kawasan Falls.
5. Enjoy its waters – so go island hopping, visit Batayan Island or Moalboal’s world-class diving and scuba spots.

Take your pick on some Cebu hotels where you can stay:

Read The Ultimate Cebu Adventure Junkie Checklist

Long Weekend Combo 2: August 9 – 12 (Fri – Mon)

No. of Leave(s) Needed: 1

Destination Option 1: Palawan

Palawan Island

You can never go wrong visiting Palawan—Coron, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa. These are just some of the hottest places on the island that offer unique experiences. It’s a perfect long weekend local destination because each turn has a beautiful, Instagram-worthy scene for travelers.

The activities may be similar but the spots are distinct, so here are the locations to check out for island hopping and beach hangouts:

1. Coron – Atwayan Beach, Coron Youth Beach Club, Bulog Dos Island Beach, Banana Island Beach, Malcapuya Island Beach, and Banol Beach, among others.
2. El Nido – Nacpan Beach, Matinloc Beach, Marimegmeg Beach, Seven Commandos Beach, and Miniloc Island, to name a few.
3. Puerto Princesa – Puerto Princesa Underground River, Honda Bay, Cowrie Island, Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, and the Irawan Ecopark.

Thinking about where to stay? Here are our recommended hotels in Palawan:

Read 4-day Relaxing Coron Itinerary for Solo Travelers

Destination Option 2: Hong Kong

Peak Tram Hong Kong

Hong Kong has been consistently a top destination for Filipinos, most especially during long weekends like this. Sure, it’s also one of our closer neighbors, but the fares are generally reasonable all year round.

This country is also a one-stop-shop for travelers, offering a comprehensive amount of experiences for visitors of all types, such as these:

1. Ride the Star Ferry – it’s the cheap and iconic transportation between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon that provides well known views along Victoria Harbour.
2. Go to the Happiest Place on Earth – the closest Disneyland from the Philippines is in Hong Kong!
3. Party at Lan Kwai Fong – the most popular nightlife hotspot in Hong Kong, lined with countless bars and restaurants for locals and tourists alike.
4. Eat at Sham Shui Po – where some of the best dimsums in Hong Kong is served, ike the char siu bao. It’s also a Michelin-starred restaurant that’s light on the budget.
5. Bargain at Mong Kok – the home of cheap finds, knock-offs, and overruns. It’s also situated beside the Mong Kok Sneaker Street for the latest kicks in the market!

Here are the best Hong Kong hotels in town:

Read Best Hong Kong Hotels: Top 10 Places You Should Book Today

Holiday: Ninoy Aquino Day – Aug 21 (Wed)

On August 21, Wednesday, and August 26, Monday, the Philippines will commemorate the death of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. Ninoy Aquino, as well as the others, played a significant part in the Philippines’ democracy and freedom especially during the Martial Law days.

Both days have been declared national non-working holidays observed annually, which allow people to take a breather. For those special off days, here are vacation combos you can take to maximize the break.

Long Weekend Combo 1: August 21 (Wed)

No. of Leave(s) Needed: None

Destination Option 1: Manila

Intramuros Manila

A staycation in Manila on hump day never hurts. If you can’t go on a long vacation, why don’t you pamper yourself elsewhere—treat yourself to a comfortable bed, delicious hotel food, cool amenities, and activities close by.

For some optimum relaxation and a different city experience, here are some of the places you can stay in around Metro Manila:

1. Discovery Suites Manila Philippines – if you work in the Ortigas CBD, this hotel is perfect. Enjoy its finest offerings topped by a visit to its flagship steakhouse, 22 Prime.
2. Hotel H20 – it’s in the Manila Ocean Park, with aquarium-themed rooms for a unique experience that’s educational and immersive!
3. I’M Hotel Makati – situated at the center of Makati by Poblacion district. Enjoy night outs in the neighborhood or take advantage of its pool bar and super cool rooftop bar.
4. Azumi Boutique Hotel – if you’re staying here, it’s all the comfort you need plus everything else within reach around Alabang area. It’s chilling to the next level.
5. Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams – everything you need is in this resort complex. Its world-class service, food, rooms, and unique amenities got you and the fam covered.

Read 10 Instagram-worthy Staycation Hotels in Metro Manila Under P5,000

Holiday: National Heroes Day – Aug 26 (Mon)

Long Weekend Combo 2: August 21 – 26 (Wed – Mon)

No. of Leave(s) Needed: 2

Destination Option 1: Japan

Osaka Castle

If you have leaves to spare and a thirst for some Japanese adventure, then spend the long weekend in Tokyo or Osaka! Witness the innovations that has influenced the world of its wonder.

Taste the amazing gastronomy and fashion-forward trends, but most of all, the pop-culture we all adore. Check out some of the coolest things you can do in Japan:

Tokyo – visit Hachiko’s statue, the world-famous crossing, and fashion finds in Shibuya. Head over Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea, the only one of its kind globally. Go crazy for anime in Akihabara or experience the digital museums in Odaiba.

Explore the culture through various shrines and temple, plus the best and freshest seafood in Tsukiji Market.

Osaka – pay a visit to the historical Osaka Castle, check out the view atop the Umeda Sky Building, and indulge in the offerings of colorful Dotonbori. Head to the Osaka Aquarium, shop at Shinsaibashi or Tenjinbashi-suji, and eat all the local food you can!

Osaka is also home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter located at Universal Studios.

Need a place to stay? Here are suggestions hotel in Tokyo:

Read 10 Most Captivating Tourist Spots in Osaka

Long Weekend Combo 2: August 21 – 26 (Wed – Mon)

Destination Option 2: Seoul

Seoul Forest Public Park Cherry Blossom

Much like Tokyo, the City of Seoul in South Korea offers an electric atmosphere that touches the whole spectrum of a traveler’s experience. From tasty local delicacies to a rich culture and heritage, K-pop, Korean cinema, retail finds, cosmetic products—practically anything under the sun.

So if you’re up for a journey this coming long weekend, here’s what you can do:

1. Go crazy in Myeongdong – the hotspot where everything happens. From delicious street food to a more expensive dining experience and shopping your heart out, it’s the place to be.
2. Party at Itaewon – as the night arrives, the lights and sounds of this place erupts in revelry. Experience how the locals party and get hooked to the good vibes.
3. Take the rides at Everland – for an adrenaline rush like no other. This theme park offers rides of all sorts, ones that can make you scream in horror and others that ignite the adventurer inside.
4. Visit Nami Island – and spend a day in nature’s beauty. What else is there to say? It’s going to be one for the books here.
5. Get your culture fix – visit the various shrines, temples, and old castles around, and discover the past that led to the beauty that is South Korea today.

Try staying in these cool Seoul hotels:

Read Where to Stay in South Korea for a Great Trip

Long Weekend Combo 3: August 23 – 26 (Fri – Mon)

No. of Leave(s) Needed: 1

Destination Option 1: Bangkok

Grand Palace Bangkok

Just like the Philippines, Bangkok’s culture is best experienced when one simply immerses right into the heart of things. Through food, exploration, and even getting lost in the sights and sounds of Bangkok, it’s always an adventure.

For a complete long weekend excursion, here are some places and things to do in the Thai capital:

1. Watch a Muay Thai match – to witness one of the most important martial arts disciplines Thailand has shared to the world. But beware when you enter the Lumpini or Ratchadamnoen stadiums as it’s not for the faint of heart.
2. Go culture-tripping – from the Bangkok National Museum to the Grand Palace, and The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, there are tons of cultural destinations scattered in Bangkok.
3. Visit the markets – the floating markets on the rivers, by the train tracks, and Chatuchak, purchase everything you like at low prices.
4. Experience a Thai massage – the traditional way and feel rejuvenated with every stroke and release. Catch this relaxing method in almost all places in Bangkok.
5. Devour its street food – at each turn, don’t be afraid to eat what you think looks good, because they’re probably good! Ask about the food’s origins to learn a thing or two about it’s interesting culinary heritage.

Make sure to try and get these accommodations in Bangkok:

Read Bangkok on a Budget: 5-day Itinerary for P25,000

Long Weekend Combo 3: August 23 – 26 (Fri – Mon)

Destination Option 2: Taipei

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

First and foremost, a trip to Taipei is still visa-free. Second, it’s near, the flights are relatively cheap, and the whole experience can be accomplished in within a long weekend’s time. So, heading here during this short break is perfect, just make sure you bring your loose pants because you’ll be doing a lot of eating! Here’s what’s in-store for you:

1. View Taiwan atop Taipei 101 – one of the highest skyscrapers in the world offers a stunning view of Taipei, so take this chance to ascend and take as many photos.
2. Stroll around Jiufen – remember the animated movie, Spirited Away? This is the place that inspired the setting. Go around this food strip and let the other-worldly vibe take you to an unforgettable journey.
3. Everything Chinese art – the National Palace Museum holds the largest collection of Chinese art. So, if you’re an art buff, make sure to visit this place to have your fill.
4. Make a wish via sky lantern – in Pingxi Old Street, hoping the universe will make it come true.
5. Go food-tripping in Shilin – night markets are staple food havens in Taiwan, and there are more than one serving hundreds, thousands of grub, plus your favorite milk teas.

We recommend these hotels for a perfect stay in Taipei:

Read 9 Best Taipei Hotels for Every Kind of Traveler

Long Weekend Combo 4: August 24 – 26 (Sat – Mon)

No. of Leave(s) Needed: None

Destination Option 1: Davao

Davao Samal Island

A quick escape to our “land down under” in Davao can prove extremely refreshing before heading back to work. Haven’t been to Mindanao’s capital? There’s so much to experience and here are some of the few cool things you can do:

1. Drink civet coffee – one of the most precious and delicious coffee products is cultivated in Davao courtesy of civet cats. Try it and discover a unique taste created through an organic process.
2. Visit the great eagles – The Philippine Eagle Center is all about conservation and peoples’ education about our endangered birds. Pay a visit to know more about how you can help in their plight for survival.
3. The Roxas Ave. Night Market – the best street food and the freshest seafood, all in a bustling street frenzy that’s regarded as one of the must-do experiences when in Davao.
4. Climb Mt. Apo – the highest peak in the Philippines. Conquer great heights and claim that you’ve been atop your country.
5. Make a splash in Samal Island – one of the best beach spots off the coast of the metropolis where nature becomes the backdrop of your memorable experiences.

Don’t know where to stay? How about we recommend these Davao hotels:

Read Top 10 Things to Do in Davao

Long Weekend Combo 4: August 24 – 26 (Sat – Mon)

Destination Option 2: Boracay

Willy's Rock in Boracay

Boracay’s rebirth has been the talk of the town as this island paradise has welcomed back everyone to its shores. Cleaner and as majestic as ever, our staple summertime beach destination is also a good place to visit over the long weekend.

Need a refresher on how amazing this place is? Here’s a few reminders:

1. Chill by the beach – the very essence of heading to the islands is to relax, enjoy the scenery and just sit by the shore, listening to the waves push and pull in perfection.
2. Take on the night life – despite a more relaxed scene in its return, Boracay Island’s nightlife is still worth it. Go bar-hopping or take on the Pub Crawl to experience the fun.
3. Water activities – from scuba diving, stand up paddle board, and banana boat, among others, each ride has a unique moment to present.
4. Go island-hopping – there are nearby islands to visit from the main one to mix things up and get away from the crowded areas.
5. Sail away – go paraw-sailing or parasailing and feel the rush of a different kind.

Already excited? Don’t forget to check out these Boracay accommodations:

Read Boracay Itinerary for Couples for PHP 16,000

Excited for the upcoming long weekends? Check out the latest promos in Traveloka to achieve your #LooongWeekendGoals.

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