With temperatures set to rise in Singapore during the warmer months of June and July, global travel search engine Skyscanner has compiled a list of the coolest destinations in Asia-Pacific for you to beat the heat. The good news for Singaporeans is that you can drop the degrees without breaking the bank or venturing too far out. The Cameron Highlands and Sapa are typically the cheapest heat-beating destinations with average prices over the past three years starting from as little as $132 and $225 respectively for one-way flights from Singapore booking in May for travel in June and July.*
For the real chill-seekers, Mt Fuji and Dunedin rank as some of the coldest spots with average July temperatures of 8°C and 4°C respectively. Whilst for those who have a lower tolerance for the cold and want to enjoy air-con temperatures, Skyscanner recommends the rolling tea plantations of Munnar (26°C) and the mountainous areas of Ella (24°C). Check out Skyscanner’s heat-beating map for tips to visit Skyscanner’s 10 cool-spots this year!
1. Hobart, Australia (Average July temperature – 8°C)
Standing at 1,271m, Mount Wellington towers over the city of Hobart and offers breath- taking views of the landscape below. Known by locals simply as “The Mountain”, the summit is easily reached by car and takes approximately 20 minutes from the city centre. At certain points of the year the mountain has thick snow on top which adds to the experience.
2. Melbourne, Australia (Average July temperature – 10°C)
One of Australia’s greatest natural treasures is Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, a 243 km stretch of road that hugs a beautiful and scenic coast. The road wraps along looming cliffs, waterfalls, gleaming beaches, the famous 12 Apostles, national parks, and an ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see. Embark on your road trip adventure, starting right at the beginning of the route in Melbourne and keep your camera at the ready for the breath- taking sights you will definitely encounter along the way.
3. Dunedin, New Zealand (Average July temperature – 8°C)
Dunedin is a lovely picturesque town founded in the Victorian era, and glimpses of this past are evident in its architecture and culture today. With its large Maori influence, it is also a great place to taste the complete range of Kiwi culture. Outdoor enthusiasts will also have plenty to keep them busy with a full slate of hiking and cycling trails. The Otago Peninsula’s dramatic scenery will leave you slack-jawed as you pass through. If you are lucky, you may even spot the one of the world’s rarest penguin – the Yellow Eyed penguin.
4. Mount Fuji, Japan (Average July temperature – 4.5°C) (Fly in to Tokyo)
No trip to Japan is complete without a visit to Mount Fuji. The distinctive sloping sides of the volcanic cone and its snowy peak have been central to Japanese art and culture for hundreds of years. Those not satisfied with merely taking pictures from afar are welcome to get close and hike the mountain. Do not be fooled by the well-trodden paths and the elderly Japanese who do not even breaking a sweat scaling the summit; beginners and seasoned trekkers alike should still plan their route and know when and where to stop, to acclimatise to the thinning air.
5. Munnar, India (Average July temperature – 26°C) (Fly in to Kochi)
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, there is no place like the Top Station in Munnar. It is the highest point on Munnar-Kodaikanal Road, and offers a breath-taking panoramic view of Tamil Nadu, with surrounding mountains and lush-green plantations. It is also home to the rare Neelakurunji (Strobilanthud) flower that blooms every 12 years, so keep a lookout for that as well!
6. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia (Average July temperature – 27°C) (Fly in to Ipoh)
Cameron Highlands are known for their strawberry and bee farms. Try your hand at picking your own strawberries and enjoy your haul at the farm’s restaurant. Or visit the apiaries to see how local beekeepers produce honey and learn more about those little hard-workers. If you still have time on your hands, you can explore some of the tea plantations in the area too—a perfect way to wind down your evening with a soothing cup of quality tea!
7. Sapa, Vietnam (Average July temperature – 21°C) (Fly in to Hanoi)
Misty Sapa is the perfect mountain-top settlement that you can head to discover the myriad facets of nature. The town is known for its ethnic communities, who create traditional wares that are a huge hit among tourists and locals. But the biggest attraction is, of course, the picturesque rice terraces that most travellers associate with Vietnam—and with good reason. So don’t forget your cameras!
8. Ella, Sri Lanka (Average July temperature – 24°C) (Fly in to Colombo)
If you are not one of those hard-core climbers but love a good hike, Little Adam’s Peak is your place to be. Due to the comfortable nature of the hike (tall trees, breezy trail, and a short distance), it is one of the most popular things to do in Ella. The view at the top is wondrous, and has garnered rave reviews from travellers all over the world. If there is one place to be during sunset, this is it.
9. The Blue Mountains, Australia (average July temperature – 5°C) (Fly in to Sydney)
There are many tours that you can embark on in the Blue Mountains, but one of the most interesting ones that you could ever go on is a glow worm tour. Imagine walking through an ancient canyon surrounded by thousands of little glowing lights. Learn interesting facts and stories about this fascinating creature, and get up close and personal with them. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
10. Craigieburn Valley, New Zealand (Average July temperature – 2°C) (Fly in to Christchurch)
Famous for its many hiking and ski-touring opportunities, Craigieburn Valley is the perfect place to escape the heat and pick up a new skill. While the terrain is more suited for intermediate to advanced level skiers, a determined beginner can learn much in a day. There is also the infamous 600m vertical descent of Middle basin—definitely not for the faint-hearted but perfect for thrill-seekers!
We hope you find the information useful. Start gathering your travel mates and book early for the best prices!
*All price information is based on the average price of one-way journeys from Singapore, booked in May 2014, 2015 and 2016, for travel in June and July 2014, 2015, 2016. Prices are estimated based on the current exchange rate from British Pounds to Singapore Dollars at the time of publishing.