Start Exploring These New “Countries” In 2018

Countries To Visit 2018
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Always find yourself travelling to the same few countries year after year? It’s time to switch things up a little and take the road less travelled. Well, technically these new countries have been travelled to by other people but they are just not the common names we often here. So let’s take a trip down this list of ‘new’ countries you need to explore in 2018! We will also look into the most luxurious hotels you can stay in while you’re visiting.

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1. Bintulu, Malaysia

AirAsia flies you directly from Singapore to Bintulu in 1 hour 50 minutes. A round trip can cost you as low as $78 (based on weekday departures in July 2018). The flight timing seems relatively well-timed as well since you will reach Bintulu in the morning at 11, just before noon.

Bintulu Malaysia

Image Source: Skyscanner

Guidesify recommends staying at: New World Suites

The premier room costs S$84/night (based on weekday rates in July 2018) and has a partial ocean view. You can either opt for a king-sized bed or 2 single beds. Here’s how the room looks like:

New World Suites Agoda

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Or, if you prefer a more luxurious place, upgrade to the royal suite, where you will get a full sea view, a king-sized bed, a shower and bathtub. Inclusive of free breakfast, the price stands at S$194, but we believe it’s worth the splurge if you want the best.

New World Suites Agoda 2

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Location wise, it is located in the city centre of Bintulu where you can access Parkcity Mall and New World Mart for some groceries. There are also a couple of eateries and cafes in the vicinity. You can have your coffee-fix at Coffee Dream, just a 2-minute walk away from the hotel. Also stop by Tua Pek Kong Temple, one of the most visited places in Bintulu.

Bintulu Malaysia 2

Image Source: Pixoto

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2. Balikpapan, Indonesia

Does the name sound unfamiliar to you? It sure does for us because we’re more used to Jakarta and Bali as tourist destinations. But since it’s a less travelled area, the price for plane tickets are pretty steep too. Singapore Airlines flies you directly to Balikpapan in 2 hours 20 minutes.

Balikpapan Indonesia flight

Image Source: Skyscanner

Guidesify recommends staying at: Grand Jatra Hotel Balikpapan

This 5-star hotel has a couple of rooms for you to choose from. The most basic being the superior double or twin room at S$73/night (based on weekday rates in July 2018).

Grand Jatra Hotel Balikpapan

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With that being said, there’s also the business suite which costs S$98/night. Price includes king-sized bed and free breakfast. Look at how spacious it is:

Grand Jatra Hotel Balikpapan 2

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Located in the city centre of Balikpapan, you’re in the midst of several shopping malls like Mall E-walk that has a cinema in it. Shops, cafes and eateries are all within walking distance, so you’re in an extremely convenient location. Swing by Pantai Melawai if you want to catch the sunset by the beach, it’s a 17-minute car ride from the hotel.

Balikpapan Indonesia 2

Image Source: Tripadvisor

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3. Da Nang, Vietnam

Take a break from Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi just for a while. Da Nang is a coastal city located in central Vietnam and well-known for its sandy beaches and history as a French colonial port. Singapore airlines flies you directly to Da Nang in 2 hours 45 mins at S$395 (based on weekday departures in July 2018).

Da Nang Vietnam

Image Source: Skyscanner

Guidesify recommends staying at: A La Carte Da Nang Beach Hotel

This hotel at Da Nang was awarded as a top choice of Agoda travellers in 2016, and its bedroom studio only costs S$135/night (based on weekday rates in July 2018) and even has a kitchenette.

A La Carte Da Nang Beach Hotel

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If you’re planning to laze in bed the whole day, then you might want to consider getting the ocean view studio with balcony at S$188/night. Simply breathtaking at Da Nang, isn’t it?

A La Carte Da Nang Beach Hotel 2

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This hotel is situated along Võ Nguyên Giáp, right in front of East Sea Park and My Khe Beach. There are several seafront restaurants on the beachfront and small eateries on the streets around the neighbourhood. The Marble Mountains, one of the highly-raved landmarks of Da Nang is a 15-minute car ride away so don’t miss out on getting that stunning view from the top!

Da Nang Vietnam 2

Image Source: Tripadvisor

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4. Kalibo, Philippines

Kalibo, officially the Municipality of Kalibo, is the capital of the province of Aklan, Philippines. Scoot flies you directly to Kalibo from Singapore at S$164 (based on weekday departures in July 2018) in 3 hours 40 minutes.

Kalibo Philipines country

Image Source: Skyscanner

Guidesify recommends staying at: Royal Suites Condotel (Do check out other hotels around the area too!)

At this time of writing, Royal Suites Condotel only has the deluxe room left, and at a very affordable rate of S$64/night, it can accommodate up to 2 adults and two children. Price includes free breakfast as well.

Royal Suites Condotel

Image Source: Tripadvisor

Royal Suites Condotel is located along the Aklan River and a 3-minute walk to Pastrana Park if you want to take a peaceful evening stroll. Kalibo Cathedral is also steps away from the park so drop by if you’re going to soak in the quiet ambience. Bakhawan Eco-park is a 13-minute drive away. Walk through the nature reserve and your 1 km walk will reward you with a priceless ocean view. See this for yourselves:

Kalibo Philipines country 2

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So, what say you? Are you all geared up to visit these countries in 2018? There are a couple more ‘new’ countries worth seeing. For example, in India itself, there’s Bengaluru, which Scoot flies you direct to in 4 hours 30 minutes for $240 (based on weekday departures in July 2018).

Bengaluru India

Image Source: Skyscanner

You can even travel across Chennai, Jaipur, and Amritsar in 12 days. Scoot flies you directly to Chennai in 3 hours 55 minutes (one-way) for $130 (based on weekday departures in July 2018).


Image Source: Skyscanner

Then plan your itinerary properly, so you get the connecting flights from Chennai to Jaipur, then to Amritsar. Think it’s too tough? The Travel Intern has been there done that so there’s nothing too difficult. Here’s the inspiration we could all take in a little:


“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley

Go forth and see, touch and feel the land, my friends!

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