Southeast Asia – that region of mystery and seduction where even A-list movie stars lose their marbles. Consider Leo Di Caprio in Beach and Ben Stiller in Tropic Thunder. Want more proof? You too will be infected with the magic of the southeastern nations when you start exploring. See if you don’t. Here are some of the best countries to explore in South East Asia, from Singapore.

Countries to Visit near Singapore

1. Brunei


Wedged between Sarawak and Sabah on the Malaysian side is this tiny, independent, oil-rich country called Brunei. Thanks to an abundance of oil and the economic freedoms it purchases, Brunei is considered a “developed” nation. If you’re a lover of beautiful old mosques, you’re in the right place. Brunei is ruled by its own Sultan, who also serves as Brunei’s Defence Minister, Prime Minister, and Finance Minister.

2. Myanmar


Myanmar offers a winning combination of tradition, culture, and history. Do visit Yangon as it’s the country’s artistic and commercial center. From an architectural point of view, lovely old pagodas sit right next to European-style structures and glittering temples on the city’s main streets. Be sure to check out Myanmar’s answer to the Taj Mahal – the Shwedagon Pagoda. It’s a marvelous structure, studded with over 4500 diamonds that include a 72 carat diamond on its crown. Check out the sunset views at Kandawgyi Lake where you’ll be mesmerized by the glorious reflection of the Shwedagon Pagoda in the waters. Pick up some gemstone jewelry and haggle over antiques and crafts at the Bogyoke Aung San Market early in the morning. Ride the Circle train, and admire the countryside and suburbs as they pass by. You can hop on and hop off at any point and explore vistas on foot.

3. Malaysia


Malaysia is incredibly beautiful and the food is even better than the scenery. Even though it’s become a tourist hotspot in recent years, Malaysia is still pristine and untouched. The country’s temples and religious edifices are rich with many Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist influences. One of the most notable temples in the beautiful Batu Cave Temples, Hindu shrines dedicated to Lord Murugan. Kuala Lumpur being the capital offers a more cosmopolitan experience, with an intriguing mix of the new and the old. You cannot visit Malaysia and not go to rain forest trekking or scuba diving. Be sure to visit the majestic island of Borneo which is also a part of Malaysia.

Check Out: How to Apply Malaysia Visa Online

4. Philippines


If you love grand architecture like heritage mansions and beautiful old churches, then the Philippines is a must-visit. If you’re lucky enough to be in this beautiful country during one of its many festivals, you’ll be part of a most colorful scene. The throbbing nightlife scene and the many bars and restaurants make this country an inviting tourist destination. Visit the city of Iloilo to check out the many UNESCO World Heritage sites, old museums, Spanish churches, and the Lapaz public market. Enjoy the lovely sunsets, the fabulous food and the picture-perfect beaches and waterfalls around the country.

5. Vietnam


Vietnam is the perfect destination for you if you love street food and fashion. Visit Hoi An to get some fabulous custom made clothing, and the UNESCO World Heritage site Halong Bay for its majestic limestone cliffs, isles, and emerald waters. The best way to enjoy this fabulous place is to hop on a cruise. You’ll pass many fishing villages and experience the raw beauty of the hidden lagoons of Cong Dam and the loveliness of Sung Sot Cave. The French colonial architecture will greatly please history buffs in Hanoi, as will the National Museum of Vietnamese History and Hanoi Opera House.

6. Laos


Luang Prabang is the place to head to if you love nature. Some of the world’s most gorgeous mountains are to be found here, with bamboo bridges scattered romantically here and there. The city of Luang Prabang was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage stamp in 1995 for incredible beauty. Be sure to exclaim over the exquisitely preserved cultural landmarks and truly remarkable natural wonders. Visit the city’s oldest temple (Wat Wisunarat) and make a trip of lesser temples, finally ending with Wat Long Khoung. Check out the Pak Ou caves with their dramatic cliffs and amazing shrines. The Elephant Village Sanctuary is a worthy stop, where you can get personal with rescued elephants.

7. Indonesia


The capital, Jakarta, boasts of incredible, jaw-dropping natural wonders, just perfect for the adventurer and the explorer in you. Be sure to take a tour of the Kraton Palace and Taman Sari, the Water Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rickshaw rides are common in Indonesia so don’t miss out on this method to navigate the city’s quaint alleyways. Check out a shadow puppet show at Museum Sonobudoyo and the sunrise over the Borobudur temple. Do some cave tubing at Goa Pindul and check out the massive Jomblang Cave. Indonesia is one of the lushest countries near Singapore, well worth a long visit.

8. Thailand


The best cities to visit and explore in Thailand are Bangkok and Chiang Mai. At Bangkok, visit several of the famous rooftop bars such as Moon Bar or Vertigo. Check out the Golden Palace and the many temples, notably Wat Arun. Be sure to enjoy street food at Chinatown. Spend an afternoon at the huge Chatuchak Weekend Market, and enjoy a dirt-cheap massage that’s nevertheless the best you’ve had. At Chiang Mai, enjoy the incredible towering mountains, ancient temples, hill tribes, the cooler climate and the remarkable temples everywhere.

9. Cambodia


Visit the ancient civilization of Angkor Wat, the glorious ruins of Cambodia. The country is full of small art galleries, museums and a culturally-rich countryside where you can enjoy an authentic taste of Cambodian life. Visit Siem Reap and explore its street-side markets and art galleries. Sign up for a balloon ride over the Angkor Wat temple ruins, to get the complete picture. Check out the Song Saa Private Islands with its incredibly lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and beautiful reefs. Explore the majestic coves and kayak on the aqua waters. This amazing escape makes for the perfect holiday.

10. India


India is too vast to be enjoyed in just a few days or weeks but you can plan on seeing a few of the most remarkable sights. Be sure not to miss viewing the Taj Mahal in Agra, and exploring the ruins of Old Delhi. Visit Rajasthan and its cities – Jaipur, Udaipur, and the Thar Desert. If you have the time, explore the Himalayan hill stations of Dehradun, Shimla, and Gangtok. You’ll be stunned by the beauty of these hill stations and captivated by the incredible colonial architecture. India is one of the most intriguing countries to visit near Singapore.


There are several other countries that are not far from Singapore but if you have a short amount of time, you can visit the listed countries for a brief exploration and plan to visit the others later.

You might be interested – Singapore in February | Singapore in April

Aanchal is a writer by profession and an avid foodie. She loves travelling, exploring and adding cherished experiences to the book of life.

  • 25 thoughts on “Surreal Places To Take Short Trips From Singapore In 2024
    1. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I am a fan of European countries and fortunate to have visited a few. You blog has excited me to shift my attention towards Southeast Asian. Are there any specific off-the-beaten-path spots you’d recommend for a traveler seeking unique experiences?

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        Happy to know that you found our blog exciting. To explore the off-the-beaten path, Timor-Leste, Jaco Island, and the Ramelau Mountains are good choice. From pristine beaches to lush landscapes, and amazing culture, explore enjoy these spots for a unique adventure.

    2. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I usually choose a destination based on its cuisines. That’s because I enjoy savoring different types of foods. Which of the listed countries can offer an unforgettable gastronomic adventure to an ardent foodie like me?

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        Thailand is a culinary haven where you can enjoy a spectrum of flavors. From street food to high-end restaurants, you can indulge in authentic dishes such as Som Tum. Bangkok and Chiang Mai that will tickle your taste buds.

    3. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I am captivated by the Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda and dying to explore it. Along with these wonders, are there any spots in Myanmar that you’d recommend exploring?

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        Yes, there are a few spots such as the Bagan, where you can enjoy cultural experiences visiting the ancient temples and breathtaking views taking a hot air balloon ride. Other treasure of Myanmar are Mandalay’s U Bein Bridge and Inle Lake.

    4. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I am a seasoned traveller and have experienced the Philippines and Cambodia. I liked the sunrise and sunset views at Angkor Wat. Are there similar views I can enjoy in any nearby Southeast Asian country?

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        For a seasoned traveler like you, the best destination can be the Philippines. The sunset view at the pristine beaches will mesmerize you. And if you want to explore exotic marine life, don’t miss the Palawan’s hidden lagoons

    5. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      We have two weeks to spend while on Singapore trip. According to you, which country is good to visit with family so that we can make the most of two weeks we have?

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        To save time and make the most of two weeks, you can fly to Malaysia. The distance between Malaysia and Singapore is shorter. Thank you for your excitement! Considering your limited time, I’d recommend exploring Langkawi, Malaysia.

    6. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      We are just starting to plan a trip starting in Singapore. We only have 2 weeks and would also like to visit some of the places you have recommended as well. Which places do you think would be the most time prudent and roughly how many days do you recommend staying in Singapore?

    7. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I have lived in 3 countries and traveled to every continent including 72 countries and Cambodia is definitely in my Top 5 pick. There are just no words to describe the beauty of this part of the world. Watching the sunrise and sunset at Angkor Wat is something I will keep with me forever.

    8. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I will choose Myanmar if I have to travel from Singapore. This country is mysterious, charming, and alluring. I know Myanmar has more numbers of pagodas in the world. But as per your writing, the Shwedagon Pagoda appears like the richest and most mesmerizing.

    9. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I have visited just one country from the list – Thailand. We all know why this Asian country is one of the most visited one. What caught my attention is the mention of Luang Prabang, which is something new I got to read. I will search about this country and will plan a visit if it lures me.

    10. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      All the countries listed in the post are extremely beautiful, full of history, culture, and picturesque sites, both ancient, medieval, and modern. Thanks for publishing this attractive list.

    11. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I am a foodie and usually plan my trip to a destination where I can enjoy a variety of food. So, which one would be an ideal country for me to satiate my taste buds?

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        All these countries are well-known for their cuisines. You can visit any or all to enjoy delicious street foods and yummy dishes at medium and high-end restaurants.

    12. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      India has been one of the Asian countries that is on my bucket list for a long time. Is it good to visit it during the winter since I heard that India gets extremely hot during the summer?

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        India is a beautiful country and offers diverse types of experiences. You can visit it anytime of the year. But winter is one of the best times.

    13. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      Beautiful photos of all the attractive countries of Southeast Asia. The blog has inspired me to think beyond European holiday destinations.

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        We are glad that you liked the photos. A trip to any of these wonderful countries will definitely provide you with lots of insights on history, culture, and tradition.

    14. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      I have visited Thailand and Vietnam. Both these Asian countries are charming and quite distinct in terms of food and culture. This time, I would like to visit Myanmar. I want to explore the Shwedagon Pagoda.

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        The Shwedagon Pagoda is a sacred Buddhist site. You should also visit the Taung Kalat Monastery. Located on top of a volcanic mountain, you will enjoy visiting it.

    15. Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

      Fine list of countries to visit from Singapore! Picking one to travel is tricky. Anyway, Cambodia has been on my mind ever since I first saw the Angkor Wat temple and would like to start with it.

      • Avatar for Aanchal Iyer

        Thank you for liking the post! Cambodia is a fabulous country. Besides age-old temples, you can enjoy pristine and sunny beaches, natural landscapes, and delicious food.

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