It’s starting to feel like we’ll never leave our homes again, let alone travel. Backpack on, suitcast loaded. Seeing beautiful landscapes, meeting incredible people. It all feels like a dream now.
We’re here to tell you that it wasn’t a dream. It was real and It will be reality once again. I’m not sure when, but we will all be packing our bags again at some point. The question is: where do we go?
As we’ve previously mentioned, people won’t take long haul travel for a while yet. Those looking for a getaway will take domestic or regional flights first. Airlines will kickstart with reduced capacity, flying more popular routes between hubs first.
If you’re based in Asia, a quick flight to Southeast Asia spoils you for choice. Popular destinations throughout the region are benefiting from time to ecologically recuperate and regenerate. Usually crowded locales will take time to pick up steam again.
In short: you’re going to get less crowded and more beautiful hotspots.
If you’re getting the travel bug and committing to flying out as soon as you can, here’s 3 mini adventures which will cater to any Millennial traveler. You’ll get a good mix of social, drinks, food and nature, with a chance to explore a few usually-packed destinations you might normally avoid. In other words, the perfect trips for your post-corona adventure.
Siargao & Boracay
First, to Siargao, the chilled out surf capital of the Philippines. I imagine Siargao resembles Bali in the 90s – relaxed, open and not yet crowded. Cloud 9 – the island’s world class surf break – lies close to the island’s main town; General Luna.
Aside from the surf, the lasting impression Siargao leaves on people is the vibe. Creativity and kindness reign supreme and a common appreciation for nature threads the community together. Within a week, you’ll feel like you know everyone. You won’t want to leave. It’s this vibe which will propel Siargao into the global consciousness and become a hype destination in the 2020’s.
After you manage to drag yourself away from Siargao, you’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a healthy, less crowded Boracay.
The Philippines’ first famous island destination has become oversaturated, crowded and busy in recent times. In 2018, it was even closed down due to overtourism. It’s become a crowded tourist hotspot, but right now it’s virtually empty.
In other words, this is the absolute best time to go. The perfect spot for a relaxing island getaway, you can expect to find some excellent deals on iconic hotels and resorts as they look to fill their rooms again in the post-corona world. The Philippines has some other destinations you might want to visit (like Palawan), but if you’ve always said no to Boracay because of the crowds, now is the time to go.
Canggu (Bali) & Kuta (Lombok)
One simply cannot write about South-East Asian destinations without writing about Bali. First there was Kuta, then Seminyak and Uluwatu came along. Now, Canggu is the place to be. The food in Canggu (as well as Bali in general) is incredible. Chic, relaxed island-style cafes and restaurants line the streets and beaches.
It’s difficult to go anywhere and be anything but happy. Locals smile at you and the large expat community create a paradoxical atmosphere; part hustle, part chill.
It’s likely Canggu will be busy regardless of the Coronavirus crisis but it is simply the best place to base yourself in Bali as you enjoy the best the island has to offer. If you’re looking for a more premium, insular stay, resorts around Seminyak and Canggu are excellent picks.
Once you’re done with Bali’s bustle, it’s time to get hopping. A few hours on a speedboat (and optional overnight stopover in the Gili Islands) brings you to Lombok, where you can make your way to a Kuta which could not be more different from it’s crazy Balinese counterpart.
Whilst Kuta (Lombok) is the island’s main tourist hub, it’s far less developed and a more relaxing, natural affair to Bali. The restaurants are more typical Indonesian Warung style and you’ll see less crowds and more stunning scenery – el naturale.
A surf town with a simple vibe, you’ll want to bring a book and hire a scooter. Exploration is the name of the game in Lombok and you’ll be going where few have gone before you. You could climb Mt. Rinjani, scoot through the rolling hills, head to Merese Hill for sunset and much more.
Koh Pha Ngan & Chiang Mai
The home of world famous full moon parties, Koh Pha Ngan is definitely our selected party place; if you go at the right times as per the lunar calendar. Koh Pha Ngan offers a distinct change in atmosphere between these periods.
It oscillates between crazy (Full Moon), mental (half moon) and relatively tranquil (everywhere in between). Boasting an excellent food and coffee scene, Koh Pha Ngan offers a complete excursion for any island hopper as long as you visit at the right time for your desired level of crazy.
The south of the island is generally more renowned for noise, dancing and partying, whilst the north of the island retreats into more yogic, boho and hippie vibes.
This difference in scene gives the island a great deal of versatility and allows the flexibility to hop back and forth as you choose. Koh Pha Ngan is an up-tempo destination to visit, with close access to health, wellness and spiritual exploration if you want to change it up.
For a complete change in scenery, head north to Chiang Mai for a cultural excursion into the Buddhist realm. With temples in clear abundance, this calm city offers deep immersion into a traditional Thai way of life. The cultural hub in the middle of the city retains all of its charm even as the city has built itself out and around it.
The city itself is also a hub for the mountainous forest region around it. Drive in a straight line in any direction out of Chiang Mai and you’ll find yourself lost in a sea of rolling green forests. Hiding in these scapes? Temples, serenity and calm awaits. If you’re looking for trees and dirt instead of water and sand, peace instead of party, Chiang Mai is the destination for you.
These are our tips on where you could head when this crisis begins to slow down. Personally? Given I’m in Manila, I’ll be heading to Siargao. Where are you going to go in the #postcorona world? Leave a comment or slide into our DM’s at @goavendi now!