Here and Back: 5 Mini-Vacation Ideas For The Long Weekend

If there’s something 2018’s got a lot of, it’s long weekends—perfect for scheduling that much-awaited barkada trip!

There are two long weekends coming up next month: August 18-21 (the 21st being Ninoy Aquino Day) and August 25-27 (27th being National Heroes’ Day). If you’re not keen on weathering the Metro traffic that normally accompanies long weekends, taking a short trip away from the Metro might be just your cup of tea!

Book your hotel accommodations online at until August 18, 2018 and pay with your Maya to get 7% OFF your bookings upon checkout! Discount is automatically applied once you enter your Maya card details. Learn more here.

*All listed accommodations priced based on a 5-person group.

Hikes and Bites in HONG KONG

HK’s more than just skyscrapers and amusement parks!

View of Hong Kong islands and mountains surrounded with waters

Photo courtesy of The Hong Kong Less Traveled

Retreat into nature for a day and level up your photography skills at the same time with a five-hour Eco Photography Tour inside the vast Tai Lam Country Park. It’s recommended for groups of five and above, and includes a guided tour of the park’s most popular trails, hands-on teaching from a professional nature photographer, and a spectacular sunset viewing session!

Hong Kong small pond with falls above

Photo courtesy of Klook

Visit from August 16 to 20 and the squad can take a train from the nearby Tuen Mun Station to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre for a post-hike food trip at Hong Kong Food Expo 2018!



For about PHP 205 (HKD 30 for tourists, with passport) per head, you can taste the best of HK’s authentic cuisine, plus special dishes from concessionaires from all around the globe!

Stay at:

Inside hotel with king and queen size beds

Photo courtesy of Agoda

Traveller’s Hostel (Hong Kong International), Hong Kong

Executive Suite: PHP 3,983 / Night

2 Bedrooms (4 Beds), Free WiFi, Fully Furnished

6 Adults, 3 Children max.


Swim and Chill in TAGAYTAY

View of tagaytay mountains and ocean

Tagaytay draws visitors by the carful with the spectacular views of Taal Lake and its assortment of leisure and dining hotspots. Explore the holiday town at your own pace by turning a simple daytrip into a 2-3 day staycation!

Inside Kasa Luntian view with houses and pools surrounded with trees

Photo courtesy of Agoda

Picking out a good hotel is a must for longer Tagaytay trips. Take the highly-starred Kasa Luntian: it’s got amenities like a heated pool, a wide garden, and on-site restaurants for stay-in days, but is only a few minutes’ drive away from locations like Sky Ranch and popular Taal Lake viewing decks at Starbucks Tagaytay and Taal Vista Hotel.

Stay at:

Inside Kasa Luntian king size bed

Photo courtesy of Agoda

The Serviced Residences at Kasa Luntian Managed by HII, Tagaytay, Philippines

2 x Junior Suite: PHP 9,794 / Night

2 Bedrooms (2 Single, 2 Queen Beds), Free WiFi, Fully Furnished

6 Adults, 2 Children max.

Dine in Style in TAIPEI

View in front of Taipei restaurant

Photo courtesy of 中央公園咖啡館 via Facebook – CENTRAL PERK

You can’t talk about Taipei without also mentioning its famed quirky restaurants and cafes. Taiwan’s capital gives Tokyo and Seoul a run for their money for the range and creativity of its themed dining establishments.

READ ON: 10 Themed Restaurants And Quirky Cafes To Visit In Taipei In 2018

They’re scattered like hidden jewels all across the city, and your barkada could easily spend three days exploring even the more famous ones.

View inside of beautiful restaurant with tables, chairs, and a pink car

Photo courtesy of PS BUBU 金屋藏車食堂 via Facebook – PS BUBU

In the city center alone, there’s Central Perk near National Taiwan University, modeled after the neighborhood cafe from the sitcom Friends; Yummy Sushi, which delivers your sushi to your table by toy cars; and PS BUBU, a cafe celebrating everything vintage 60’s America— down to a Volkswagen Beetles “parked” around the dining area.

View inside GUDETAMAO restaurant with tables and chairs

Photo courtesy of Gudetama Chef-蛋黃哥五星主廚餐廳 via Facebook – GUDETAMA

Good food and IG-worthy shots? Yes, please!

Stay at:

View inside of Backpackers Hostel-Changchun, Taipei, Taiwan with tables and chairs

Photo courtesy of Agoda

Backpackers Hostel-Changchun, Taipei, Taiwan

2 x Triple Room with Shared Bathroom:PHP 4,570 / Night

2 Bedrooms (2 Bunk Beds), Free WiFi, On-Site Laundromat

6 Adults, 4 Children max.



Play Unlimited in SINGAPORE

View of Universal Globe with pink smoke around in Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore has proven itself a must-visit attraction during a trip to the Lion City. Kids and kids-at-heart alike can enjoy the mascots, rides, live shows, and other parkwide activities. (Ride the Battlestar Galactica? Always yes.)

Photo by Resorts World Sentosa on Facebook

The park even extended its closing time from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM until August 25, 2018 –  good news for any guest with a ride-all-you-can One-Day Pass (around PHP 2,800 – 3,000 at discount sites)!

Photo courtesy of Resorts World Sentosa on Facebook

Stay at:

View inside of Arianna Hotel, Singapore with two beds and pillows

Photo courtesy of Agoda

Arianna Hotel, Singapore

2 x Triple Room: PHP 7,558 / Night

2 Bedrooms (2 Singles, 2 Queen Beds), Free WiFi, Near Train Station

6 Adults, 4 Children max.


Eat Local in BANGKOK

Different kind of dish in Bangkok local market

Nowadays, it’s better to try for a more authentic or cultural experience rather than patronize tourist traps when traveling abroad. Bangkok is known for its varied and delicious street food, and a Best Eats Midnight Food Tour By Tuk Tuk is one way to discover small restaurants and eateries that will allow you to taste Thai food as the locals do.

Tuk Tuk tricycle in the road with cars

Tuk-tuks are basically the larger Thai equivalent of our tricycles, and your driver-turned-tour guide for the evening will drive you around the city in search of the best eats for dinner. Due to seat limitations, tours like this are best for groups of four to six people.

Photo courtesy of Thailand Food Tours on Facebook

Apart from the good eats, it’ll make for one good vacay story to share with your friends afterward!

Stay at:

View inside of Decor Do Hostel, Bangkok with bed and pillows

Photo courtesy of Agoda

Decor Do Hostel, Bangkok

2 x Triple Room: PHP 2,172 / Night

2 Bedrooms (2 Singles, 2 Double Beds), Free WiFi, Near Train Station

6 Adults max.

Hey, #NowNation! Book your tickets now on and pay with Maya before August 18, 2018 to avail of the discounted rates!

Learn more at:

No Maya yet? Download the free app here:


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