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8 Cooler getaways to beat the heat

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 travellers seeking to beat the heat this year.

The good news for Singaporeans is that you can drop the degrees without breaking the bank, or having to venture too far. The Cameron Highlands (flying into Ipoh) and Sapa (flying into Hanoi) are typically the cheapest heat-beating destinations on Skyscanner’s list, 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 April for travel in June and July.*

For chill-seekers, Mt Fuji (Japan) and Dunedin (New Zealand) rank as the coldest spots on Skyscanner’s list, 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 (India) (26°C), and the mountainous areas of Ella (Sri Lanka) (24°C).

Must-dos in each destination

1. Melbourne, Australia (average temperature: 10°C)

The Great Ocean Road, Melbourne

The Great Ocean Road, Melbourne

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.

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2. Dunedin, New Zealand (average temperature: 8°C)

The vast green land that leaves you slack-jawed

The vast green land that leaves you slack-jawed

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.

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3. Mt Fuji, Japan (average temperature: 4.5°C) (fly in to Tokyo)

Mount Fuji from afar

Mount Fuji from afar

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 acclimatize to the thinning air.

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4. Reykjavik, Iceland (average temperature: 11°C)

The Northern Lights

If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, there is no place like Reykjavik in Iceland. Explore ice caves, and be blown away by the natural beauty of Iceland and its friendly capital Reykjavik on a once-in-a-lifetime winter vacation!

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5. Sapa, Vietnam (average temperature: 21°C) (fly in to Hanoi)

Rice terraces in Sapa, Vietnam

Rice terraces in Sapa, Vietnam

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!

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6. Ella, Sri Lanka (average temperature: 24°C) (fly in to Colombo)

Train from Colombo to Ella

Take the train from Colombo to Ella

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.

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7. The Blue Mountains, Australia (average temperature: 5°C) (fly in to Sydney)

Visiting the Blue Mountains in Australia

Visiting the Blue Mountains in Australia

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!

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8. Craigieburn Valley, New Zealand (average temperature: 2°C) (fly in to Christchurch)

Skiing in the Craigieburn Valley, New Zealand

Skiing in the Craigieburn Valley, New Zealand

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!

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