Head doctors will always tell you to “stay in the present moment” in order to live a happy, fulfilled life, making it hard for Hong Kongers to remain rooted in our nine-to-five.
So where should we go to maximise our time? Here are a few unconventional travel experiences courtesy of worldwide accommodation company Airbnb that you can treat yourself to at least one of those long-awaited public holidays.
All Bamboo House – Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Set within a river valley landscape along Bali’s sacred Ayung River, this is the epitome of exclusivity and tranquility. Well off the beaten track, but still just 25 minutes from Bali’s cultural centre of Ubud and an hour away from the surfing beaches, just in case you have a row and need to hit the road.
From: HK$2595 per night
Located: An hour north of Denpasar Airport in the district of Sibang Gede. Arrange a pickup with the host for Rp330,000 as airport drivers may be unfamiliar with the area.
Hilltribe Secluded Cabin in Nature – Doi Saket, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Fancy staying with an Ahka hill tribe family and mingling with the locals? Tucked away in a permaculture farm in Doi Saket, this very private cabin is made out of natural materials like bamboo and grass. Located 8km north of Chiang Mai, the secluded nature of the cabin lends atmosphere to a meditative, tranquil setting, making it the perfect place for a bit of R&R.
From: HK$200 per night
Located: The Doi Saket district is a 30-minute drive from Chiang Mai International Airport.
Your Own Private Island – Sierra Mountains, Manila, Philippines
This small and secluded island is located in a tranquil lake in the Sierra Madre mountains, with a simple but comfortable bungalow on top of a grass-covered knoll that gently slopes down to the water. Offering isolation and clean mountain air, the 80-square-metre house has one bedroom, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and spacious living room.
From: HK$526 per night
Located: A three-to-four hour drive from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Jump on the South Luzon expressway, exit at Calamba, drive up national highway all the way through Los Banos, Santa Cruz, Pagsanjan then Cavinti town. From the road, you can reach the island by a ten-minute boat ride.
Magical Treehouse – Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Situated near the heart of the bustling artistic and cultural centre of Ubud, this tree house is perfect for nature-lovers seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of city living, but at the same time preferring to remain close to the village centre. Aside from offering comfortable accommodation in a jungle setting, the listing also comes with stunning views of Bali’s signature rice fields.
From: HK$679 per night
Directions: Request for the host to arrange a driver to pick you up from Denpasar Airport.
Charming Natural Hillside Villa – Koh Phangan, Thailand
This luxurious cave house is the perfect setting for travellers looking to go native. Nestled in a lush tropical hillside, this three-room villa runs on solar energy and uses harvested rainwater. While there is no electricity, it comes equipped with a wood-fired oven in the outdoor kitchen to satisfy those late-night pizza cravings.
From: HK$958 per night
Directions: From Samui Airport (USM), proceed by high-speed catamaran to Koh Phangan (25-45 mins). Once on Phangan, the villa is a 20-minute drive away from the main port.