2019 long weekend holidays - Weekend

2019 long weekend holidays

By Patricia May P. Catan
Photo: N.S. Villaflor

 

IT’S high time to turn your travel goals into reality this 2019. If seeing the world is on top of your bucket list, it’s better to plot your local and overseas travels ahead. There’s quite a number of public holidays in Cebu or all over the Philippines in a year. We don’t see any reason you shouldn’t book a flight. Asia alone has plenty of places worth visiting. It’s a good continent to start with if you’re still a newbie traveler. There’s no need to worry whether you’re the jet setter kind or a newbie full of wanderlust. We’ve listed down some public holidays with must-see places of that month as your guide to fulfill your travel goals this year.

Tourists and locals bathe at a pool in Pura Tirta Empul, or Holy Water Temple, in Bali, Indonesia. The springs at the water temple are deemed sacred by the Balinese Hindu worshipers.

FEBRUARY

It’s going to be a long weekend for us come February 24 and 25 in observance of Cebu City Charter Day and Edsa People Power Revolution Anniversary respectively. Don’t let this long weekend go to waste and use it to your advantage. You can choose to fly to any Southeast Asian country of your liking for a balmy weather experience.

Almost all of the top destinations in Asia are in their ideal weather for travelers. Hong Kong for example is one of the world’s great cities with a rich history and culture that’s worth a visit this month. Its mildly chilly weather is perfect for a day tour around the city. Other top Southeast Asian countries with the best weather in February are Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Burma.

A giant statue of Lord Muruga stands next to the 272 steps leading up to the Batu Caves temple at dawn during the Thaipusam festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AP)

APRIL

April is the month when most Filipinos are away for Holy Week. It’s a busy week from April 18 to 21 at airports, but that doesn’t stop everyone from flying out. East Asian countries are going to be in full bloom as they welcome the spring season. Tourists are sure to flock East Asia despite knowledge of the surge.

China, Japan and Korea will be naturally adorned with everything nice and green as cherry and plum trees are in their full bloom. Out of the three countries, Japan is the most popular destination for cherry blossom viewing. Holy Week this year looks like good dates to catch the cherry trees, especially sakuras since they’re found all over the country.

Visitors enjoy the cherry-blossom viewing at Shinjuku Gyoen national garden in Tokyo. At the garden, people laid down picnic sheets to enjoy hanami, which is a Japanese custom of flower viewing. (AP)

AUGUST

The monsoon season is upon most countries in Southeast Asia this month. August brings nothing but a hot, humid and wet weather. While northern parts of Southeast Asia experience rainfall most of the time in August, Indonesia is the complete opposite. It’s mostly sunny there.

It’s great timing that Ninoy Aquino Day on August 21 falls on a Wednesday and National Heroes Day on August 26 is a Monday. The trick here is to use your vacation leaves between these two dates for a longer trip. You’re not going to regret it one bit when you’re off to Bali, Indonesia where it’s the driest and most pleasant month to visit.

A visitor walks at the Olympic Park in Seoul, South Korea. The Olympic Park is a popular park where the people gather to enjoy sports, leisure and other cultural activities. (AP)

NOVEMBER

All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on November 1and 2 respectively are the perfect excuse to plan a quick getaway to neighboring Southeast Asian countries. You’re lucky enough that both dates fall on a weekend. One popular destination that has great weather during this month is Bangkok, Thailand.

The cooler temperatures and far fewer thunderstorms make November an ideal month to visit Bangkok. It’s also an excellent time before tourists surge for the busy season. November in Thailand is the quietest, which means you’ll have all the best attractions to yourself.

DECEMBER

December is the perfect month to use all of your available vacation leaves for the holidays. December 24, 25, 30, and 31 are the declared public holidays for the month. But you can always use your leave balance for a much longer getaway. The holidays are best spent during the winter (that is if you want a different experience).

The closest winter wonderland experience you can get is in Seoul, South Korea. Coming from a tropical country, the cold might be hard for you to cope. That is why you should come prepared with padded jackets and whatnot. With the right winter gears to brave Korea, the cold won’t even bother you.

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