Bad tourists, Taiwan and weekend getaways: Top 10 travel stories of 2019

Bad tourists, Taiwan and weekend getaways: Top 10 travel stories of 2019

To wrap up the year, CNA Lifestyle looks back at the travel stories you’ve eagerly read and shared.

A composite image of a man on a plane and a woman getting a massage
(Photos and art: nozawa-onsen.com, Jasper Loh, Banyan Tree Bintan)

Singaporeans love to travel a lot – and now we’ve found out they’ve really got a soft spot for Bintan and Batam, as well as Taiwan. We also found out they’re curious about going naked in an onsen and love reading up on fellow travellers on their worst behaviours. Read the stories below.

LUXURY SPAS IN BATAM? FANCY WEEKEND GETAWAYS VERY CLOSE TO SINGAPORE

Banyan Tree Bintan massage
(Photo: Banyan Tree Bintan)

Bintan, Batam and Johor have always been popular destinations for a quick getaway, especially among budget travellers. But surprise – you can also live it up at various resorts and spas. And with 2019 having four long weekends, it was the perfect story for those wanting something same same, but different.

NAKED ETIQUETTE: FROM ONSENS IN JAPAN TO JJIMJILBANGS IN SOUTH KOREA

onsen japan do you have to be naked etiquette CNA Lifestyle nozawa
(Photo: nozawa-onsen.com)

We’re not surprised that this old story from last year continued to have legs throughout 2019. Japan and South Korea are favourite holiday destinations and visiting their bath houses is something many people like to tick off their bucket lists. With the idea of taking it all off in front of total strangers rather daunting, this story continues to be rather handy, and includes tips when in Turkey and Sweden, too.

THE WORLD'S WORST TYPES OF TOURISTS: FROM 'BEGPACKERS' TO EXHIBITIONISTS

worst type of tourist Hero 1
(Illustration: Jasper Loh)

Stories about bad behaviour when travelling overseas struck a chord with our readers. This is the first of three on our list – a simple compilation of actual people doing really stupid things in real life, who you really don’t want to meet while on a holiday.

TAIPEI STREET FOOD GUIDE – FROM ELVIN NG, ROMEO TAN, DESMOND TAN AND ZOE TAY

Elvin Ng and Romeo Tan enjoying street food at a Taipei night market
Elvin Ng and Romeo Tan each spent about four months filming in Taiwan for the drama All Is Well. (Photo: Instagram/Romeotan)

Taiwan is yet another popular destination – and it’s not as if Singaporeans don’t know what the capital city’s famous night market offers. But it was fun to get some insider recommendations from these four, not because they’re celebrities, but because they spent a lot of time there, filming for months for the TV drama All Is Well.

THE SNORER, THE STINKER AND THE SEAT KICKER – 10 WORST PEOPLE TO BE SEATED WITH ON A PLANE

Hero Worst people to sit with on plane
No one likes a seat kicker. (Art: Jasper Loh)

Our next most popular “travellers behaving badly” story features stereotypes of really horrible people – before you’ve even reached your destination. Sure, it’s a tongue-in-cheek read, but we’ve all encountered some of them. Hopefully not all at once.

LOO AND BEHOLD: USE THESE APPS TO LOCATE CLEAN RESTROOMS WHILE YOU TRAVEL

toilet apps world
(Illustration: Jasper Loh)

We take our toilets for granted. Wherever you are in Singapore, you can rest assured there will always be a clean one relatively nearby for emergencies when you’re out and about. That’s not always the case overseas. So we compiled the number one toilet apps to help you do number two – anywhere in the world.

PASSENGERS BEHAVING BADLY – AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THEM

Flight cabin passengers
(Illustration: Chern Ling)

The third and final travel horror story on the list is a bit more proactive. Yes, you have the power, thanks to travel experts who gave some useful advice on dealing with irritating people during your flight, from manspreaders to those who sneak in smelly food.

YOU KNEW IT: MILLENNIALS AND THEIR PARENTS ARE VERY DIFFERENT TRAVELLERS

TripAdvisor Travel Trends of 2019
(Photo: Unsplash/Michael Baron)

Seems like the generation gap when it comes to travelling isn’t just anecdotal. TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer global study revealed quite a few interesting things, such as how baby boomers spend an average of S$1,540 – twice as much as millennials, who had a more frugal expenditure of S$675. Also, young people love deals. Your parents? Not so much.

IN SEARCH OF TAIPEI’S CAT VILLAGE, EXCELLENT OOLONG AND A NIGHT MARKET BY THE SEA

A cat at the Cat Village in Houtong
O, to live in a Cat Village, where one’s chief task is to be admired. (Photo: Hon Jing Yi)

Our second Taiwan story on the list seemed to have ticked all the right boxes: Yummy street food, a picturesque destination right out of a Hayao Miyazaki anime film and lots of cats. And all three places – Houtong, Jiufen and Keelung – are just a short drive out from the city.

WALKING TOURS: MORE SINGAPOREANS ARE STEPPING UP TO THIS HOT VACATION TREND

Walking tours holidays
(Photo: Trafalgar)

One travel company in Singapore said they saw a 15 per cent growth for adventure holidays with a lot of walking. We compiled a list of places that’s perfect for doing just that – from more familiar destinations such as South Korea’s Jeju Island and Hong Kong’s Lamma and Hong Kong Islands to exotic ones such as Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve. And we threw in travel hacks to boot.

Source: CNA/mm

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