The situation we are facing now brought by the COVID-19 pandemic is extremely challenging and stressful for many sectors. And among the most affected of the economic downturn is the hospitality industry. This leaves the industry, especially hotels, in a precarious situation now that the crisis is getting worse.

However, in every crisis lies opportunities as well, and these need to be considered with a proactive and innovative mindset in order to succeed in the long-term.

We talked to Maxime Chaury, the Country Manager of ZEN Hospitality Solutions Malaysia, and curated some tips for you on how you can make the most of your downtime during the COVID-19 outbreak.

asian business meeting

1. Think about your long-term business strategy

This is the perfect time to think about what you can do now to help your business recover faster once the crisis is over.

2. Launch new projects and renovations

Now that travel ban is implemented worldwide, most hotels have low to zero occupancy. But this could also mean a great opportunity for you! Benefit from lower occupancy to finally launch your new projects or do renovations that were postponed several times to avoid hurting the monthly sales.

3. Re-evaluate your management system

Study what is missing in your hotels in terms of systems and automation. Focus on making sure you have the right cloud technology (Property Management System, Channel Manager and Booking Engine), and learn to master your functioning, as such skills are becoming absolutely necessary to remain on top of the hospitality game moving forward.

4. Utilize the website personalization technology

Create a personalized messaging for local markets focused on waiving cancellations, prevention plan in place and reassuring guests.

5. Let your guests know about your actions

For upcoming reservations while COVID-19 is still active, consider emailing future guests to inform them of your hotel’s prevention plan, provide tips for their upcoming stay, and link to any FAQs. This way, your guests will be assured that it is safe to stay at your hotel.

6. Invest in an all-in-one hotel management system

An integrated hotel technology can actually help you in cost cutting. An all-in-one hotel management system already includes hotel software, booking engine and channel manager. These systems take care of bookings, inventory distribution, check-in and check-out, billing, online reviews, housekeeping and everything else to reduce the need of a dedicated resource behind several operations, and even saves time. In short, they do the work for you. 

There are, of course, many other levers to consider, and also to each individual business to think about their priorities and future.

“There is no doubt that hospitality will keep growing at an accelerated pace in the coming years. While the short-term is challenging, the medium and long-term look incredibly bright for the industry,” Chaury says.

Eager to know more about how you can improve your hotel management? Know more at http://www.zen-hs.com/zen-emanager/

 

 

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Who doesn’t love vacations? For sure, if we’re given all the time in the world, we would probably be found sunbathing at our favorite beach or doing the most thrilling activities. The problem is, it’s (kind of) impossible. Because with all the work we do, the stacks of files we need to face, and the meetings we need to attend to, how can we really take the long vacation we’re always dreaming of, right?

But sometimes, vacations are not what we’re expecting it to be. Sure vacations are nice and sound so relaxing but they can also be an energy-killer with all the planning and budgeting we have to go through because it gets exhausting.

Good thing, there is an alternative way to relax— a staycation.

Staycations and vacations offer the same things, but because they don’t involve long traveling, staycations cost you a lot less, not just in financial savings but also the time and stress of planning, that typically make up the preparations for a vacation.

Here are the 7 reasons you should take staycations often!

asian woman enjoying her coffee in her hotel room

1. It restores your whole being 

A small study from the University of Vienna found that after taking time off from work, vacationers had fewer stress-related physical complaints such as headaches, backaches, and heart irregularities, and they still felt better five weeks later.

2. It is faster and easier to plan 

Unlike vacations, staycations don’t need much planning as it does not involve so much planning and can even be arranged within a day. There’s no need for packing many things too, so less stress for you to aim that deserved rest.

3. It helps you master your area 

Being busy with work, we tend to overlook the places around that may help us with our daily needs. Like some stores that are cheaper than the usual stores, we buy our supplies. This is a perfect time for you to get updated and discover newly built places that would be helpful to lessen your expenses. Do remember that the nearer ones to your home, the lesser it would be to your expenses.

4. You can save money and time

As mentioned in #3, if your hotel for your staycation is just near your place, there’s no need to spend much on transportation. It saves time as well from long hours of travel. More time for you to rest.

5. Best for bonding

This is perfect for your family, friends or your significant other. Since the travel time got lessened, there are more hours to bond. For families, being away from home is your time off from daily chores then you get to focus more with your kids knowing their new interests that update you on how to guide and support them.

6. Contributes to productivity and creativity

Rest or proper sleep has been overlooked by many. Do remember that having some time off is beneficial for your work. Quality time outside work fuels energetic resources on the job, reflective time is critical to producing solutions and creative breakthroughs. 

7. Amenities of the hotel can add value to your rest

Gym, spa, pool, play area for kids, etc. are the amenities that you can take advantage of while having the staycation. Additional activities that you can do for more bonding, health or relaxation. A change venue of the usual amenities of your condominium or village is something beneficial for your mental health that can give you a different perspective after your staycation.

Everyone deserves a break. That’s why staycation is there to cater to the ones who are not ready to travel long and far yet.

 

 

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Malaysia is one of the most interesting countries in Southeast Asia to visit. It has diversity in landscapes, culture, and activities from walking around the UNESCO-listed George Town to exploring isolated islands, jungles, and caves—tourists have plenty of places to visit and fun things to do in Malaysia. 

With its variety of activities and historical sites, Malaysia is truly a vacation destination where everyone can have fun and that too without putting a hole in your pocket. 

Here is a list of 12 incredibly fun things to do in Malaysia!

1. Feel like on top of the world at Petronas Twin Towers

The Petronas Towers is the most popular destination in Malaysia. Being one of the world’s tallest buildings, it will surely give you the excitement of feeling like you’re on top of the world. Tourists never miss this destination because of its beauty. But what makes the visit to Petronas more fun is the sky bridge right in the middle of the twin towers, offering breathtaking views of the city below. It isn’t every day that you get to feel on top of the world, so make sure you buy your tickets in advance. The most thrilling part? It only takes about 41 seconds for the elevator to reach the sky bridge making you feel like you’re being transported to another place in a snap! It surely is one of the most exciting things to do in KL.

2. Enjoy the culture in Melaka

Explore and get lost to Melaka’s historic streets as it brings you back to the past. The place has an amazing architecture that mesmerizes tourists. Thus, becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with George Town, Melaka has been named by UNESCO as Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca. It is rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks, and colonial structures— the imprints of British, Dutch and Portuguese forces left behind. The state is said to have the most interesting architecture in all of Malaysia. There are also museums, galleries, and places of historic interest for tourists to explore. You won’t run out of fun things to do in Malacca.

3. Go trekking in Taman Negara National Park

If you love nature, Taman Negara National Park is the perfect place. The 130 million years old virgin rainforest is known for its world’s longest canopy walkway and tourists can also visit the aborigine village, trek under a rainforest canopy, climb the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia, camp, observe wildlife, and so much more. Taman Negara National Park has definitely lots of fun outdoor activities for everyone!

4. Explore Kota Kinabalu

If you’re looking for a very laid-back and relaxed city in Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu (KK) might be the right place for you. This place is also ideal if you’re looking for an adventure as it has a lot to offer. Whether it be diving, tanning at the beach, wildlife watching or Mt. Kinabalu hiking, you’ll always get excited at the things to do in Kota Kinabalu. KK is easy to get around, but more than this, you’ll love the friendly locals, breathtaking fiery sunsets, lively arts, and music scene and a rich culinary spectrum spanning street food to high end.

5. Be amazed at the magnificent beauty of Batu Caves

One of the top things to do in Malaysia is exploring Batu Caves. It houses several caves and Hindu shrines. There are three main caves composing the Batu Caves: Art Gallery Cave, Museum Cave, and Cathedral cave—the most famous cave. To reach it, visitors must climb to 272 steps. The interior of which is decorated with ornate Hindu shrines and features a large opening at the top where the sunlight streams through.

Of course, when in Batu Caves, the first thing you’ll notice is the 140-ft. Golden statue of Lord Murugan, the God of War.

6. Have fun at Legoland Malaysia

Johor Bahru is home to activities perfect for the whole family. And one of the best and most fun things to do in Johor Bahru is trying the rides at Legoland Malaysia! Anyone traveling with children should make sure to visit Legoland Malaysia which has around 40 different rides to try.

7. Indulge in Malaysia’s best dishes

Malaysia is a foodie’s paradise, boasting cheap prices, traditional cooking, and mouth-watering cuisine. One of the best dishes to try in Malaysia is Nasi Lemak. It consists of rice cooked in coconut milk paired with roasted peanuts, crunchy anchovies, boiled eggs, and the sweet-spicy sambal. It’s best to pair it with fried chicken. You should also try the Satay, Fried bee hoon, Chicken rice, and Nasi goreng. Penang is a popular place to try Malaysian cuisine. Food tripping is one of the best things to do in Penang!

8. Admire Ipoh Street Art

If you’re looking for things to do in Ipoh, what tops the list is exploring its streets. Ipoh is a perfect place for artists. The streets are full of art and once you’re there, you can’t resist but to take photos of them. From colorful birds to human sketches, Ipoh will amaze you with its artistic touch. 

9. Get up close with the orangutans in Sepilok

Sepilok is one of Malaysia’s most popular prime tourist attractions because of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Its main purpose is to rescue orphaned orangutans and teach them how to survive on their own. Visitors can walk along the man-made path through the jungle to the main feeding area. 

10. Skydiving

If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure in Malaysia, try skydiving! For sure, it will give you all the chills and adrenaline you’re looking for. If you’re a beginner, a professional skydiver will be with you during the dive. Some companies also offer photo and video services to document this one of a kind experience. It’s a bit pricey though. The price ranges from MYR800-MYR1,500. That’s around PHP10,000 per person. 

11. Scuba Doo (Underwater Scooter)

One of the best water activities you can try in Malaysia is the scuba doo. You can explore underwater and see coral gardens and schools of fish while the underwater scooter takes you around. In this activity, it’s not required to be a professional scuba diver. You’ll be assisted by professionals and you can breathe normally underwater through a special helmet.

12. Langkawi Cable Car

Langkawi is off the grid for most tourists but others won’t let their Malaysia trip go by without visiting here. It has 99 islands, enough to call the attention of those in-the-know. One of the best activities to try here is the Langkawi Cable car, also known as the Sky Cab, that claims to be the steepest cable car ride in the world. It has a height of 708 meters above the sea level, letting the tourists see the island from above. The views from the top of this peak make getting onto this ride absolutely worth it and memorable. 

Do you have a place to stay in Malaysia? You can book budget hotels in Malaysia that are guaranteed high-quality accommodation at an affordable price at www.zenrooms.com!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Southeast Asia has proven the world that it’s a beautiful summer destination. And just as beautiful as it is during the sunny days, the region is also a good place to spend Christmas as most of the countries here have grand Christmas celebrations to spread holiday cheer!

Looking for best places to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia? We’ve got you covered!

1. CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES

There’s nothing in the world quite like the holiday season in the Philippines. Preparations begin months in advance, that’s as early as September! Families celebrate the holidays together at home, and decorations often contain Christian themes and symbols. There are also lots of light shows performed during the Christmas season at different parts of the country. No wonder, the Philippines is the best place to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia.

Best places to celebrate in the Philippines

Boracay

This island needs no introduction as this is a world-famous beach! Boracay has been listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. 

Best places to eat in Boracay

Jonah’s Fruit Shake & Snack Bar, Spice Bird, Los Indios Bravos, and Halowich

What to love in Boracay 

You’d never run out of things to do in Boracay— from island hopping, water activities, bar hopping to just chilling at the beach. Everyone loves Boracay’s pristine beaches because of its fine white sand and clear blue water.

Where to stay in Boracay

Rooms in Boracay under P2,000/night

ZEN Rooms Basic Matt Guesthouse Boracay

ZEN Rooms Abozza Station 2

ZEN Rooms Blue Dawn Station 3

Rooms under P3,500/night

ZEN Premium Station 1 Road Front

ZEN Rooms Pito Huts Station 3

Book budget hotels in Boracay here.


La Union

La Union has been a favorite weekend destination for many Filipinos who want to escape the bustling city life. Most people come here to surf, while others enjoy LU’s best food spots. 

Best places to eat in La Union

Gefseis Greek Grill, Halo Halo De Iloko Balay, Makai Bowls La Union, and El Union Coffee

What to love in La Union

Though the beaches aren’t white sand, you can still relax here or surf the big waves. Aside from the beach life, people come here for the Instagram-worthy cafes in the area!

Where to stay in La Union

Room in La Union under P2,000/night

ZEN Rooms Monaliza Surf Resort

Premium Rooms in La Union

ZEN Rooms Basic North Coast Resort

ZEN Rooms Le Marc Beach Resort La Union

Book budget hotels in La Union here.


Cebu

If you’re looking for a place that offers a mix of modern city living, old traditions, and island life, Cebu is the place to be. One should not miss touring the city and Northern (for a relaxing tour) and Southern (for a thrilling adventure) parts of Cebu. 

Best places to eat in Cebu

House of Lechon, The Pyramid, The Oriental Spice Gourmet, Rico’s Lechon, and Big Jel’s Cebu

What to love in Cebu

Cebu may not be the capital of the Philippines but you’d see the modernity and progress of the province. Tourists can enjoy many activities Cebu has to offer— from the city tour, island hopping at Bantayan Island and even swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob.

Where to stay in Cebu

Rooms in Cebu under P1,500/night

ZEN Rooms A. Villalon Drive

ZEN Rooms Center Suites Cebu

ZEN Rooms S Hotel & Residences Cebu

Premium Rooms in Cebu

ZEN Premium Banilad

ZEN Rooms Cortes Street

Book budget hotels in Cebu here.


Pampanga

Aside from being famous for its undeniably delicious cuisine, Pampanga is also known for its Christmas celebration. Every year, they hold a Giant Lantern Festival where huge and colorful lanterns are paraded together with the dynamic street dance performances.

Best places to eat in Pampanga

25 Seeds, ESTOS Kitchen + Cafe, Piccolo Padre, L.A. Bakeshop, and Al Bacio Ristorante

What to love in Pampanga

When in Pampanga, you’ll never feel out of place as the locals are friendly. There are also many tourist spots to visit and the Kapampangan cuisine is something anyone should never miss!

Where to stay in Pampanga

ZEN Rooms Garden View Pampanga


Makati

Being the central business district of Metro Manila, Makati has everything to offer. From the fine dining restaurants, best party hubs, or just a place to unwind and be one with nature, then Makati is the place to be. A must-visit place in Makati during December is the Ayala Triangle Gardens where you can watch the annual Christmas Light Show.

Best places to eat in Makati

Tapenade, Wildflour Café + Bakery, Early Bird Breakfast Club, Blackbird Makati, and The Wild Poppy

What to love in Makati

You can feel the festive environment during the Christmas season, there are many good hang out places especially in Poblacion, nice restaurants to try, and establishments and museums are walking distance.

Where to stay in Makati

Rooms in Makati under P500/night

ZEN Hostel Haven Backpackers

ZEN Hostel Danlig St. Makati

Rooms in Makati under P1,500/night

ZEN Rooms Lorenzzo Suites Makati

ZEN Premium Uptown BGC

Premium Rooms in Makati 

ZEN Premium near Rockwell Makati, Loft

ZEN Home Gramercy Residences Makati

Book budget hotels in BGC and Makati here.


2. CHRISTMAS IN INDONESIA

Indonesia may be one of the top summer destinations but it could also be your best bet to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia! Indonesia has about 17,000 islands and because of this, it’s hard to know which vacation-worthy spots should be visited first. From volcano climbing, island hopping and white-water rafting in Bali to temple hopping in Yogyakarta and searching for Komodo dragons in Komodo— you wouldn’t run out of things to do here. Indonesia definitely deserves to be on the top Christmas destinations in Southeast Asia.

Best places to celebrate in Indonesia

Bali

Dubbed as the Island of the Gods, Bali gives its visitors a dose of sun-kissed skin, sandy cheeks, spirituality and cultural pleasure all in one! This place also never disappoints to amaze tourists with its Balinese culture and architecture.

Best places to eat in Bali

Motel Mexicola, Bali Asli, Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen, and Chandi

What to love in Bali

What’s not love in Bali? It has everything we need for island life! Bali has many beautiful beaches, temples, and Instagram-worthy cafes.

Where to stay in Bali

Rooms in Bali under P2,000/night

ZEN Rooms Pratama Nusa Dua

ZEN Rooms Jimbaran Udayana

ZEN Premium Seminyak Braban

Book budget hotels in Bali here.


Jakarta

Jakarta is also the best place to spend Christmas in Southeast Asia because of its charismatic beauty and tons of activities that you can enjoy with your friends or family. 

Best places to eat in Jakarta

Bunga Rampai, Naughty Nuri, Hakkasan Jakarta, and Smarapura Resto

What to love in Jakarta

Jakarta offers some of the best shopping, dining, and nightlife in Southeast Asia. Aside from these, you’ll also love Jakarta’s natural landscapes, cool mountainous climate, and rich culture.

Where to stay in Jakarta

Rooms in Jakarta under P500/night

ZEN Rooms Duta Merlin

ZEN Rooms VK Pods PIK

ZEN Rooms Mangga Besar Raya

Premium Rooms in Jakarta

ZEN Rooms Mutiara Suites

ZEN Rooms Plaza 54 Residence

ZEN Rooms Magnolia Hotel

Book budget hotels in Jakarta here.


Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is the historical epicenter of Javanese art and culture. This place is the Cultural Hub that you should visit next.

Best places to eat in Yogyakarta

Abhayagiri Restaurant, Canting Restaurant, Mang Engking Soragan Castle, and Via Via

What to love in Yogyakarta

One thing to love here is the contemporary art scene that really sets this historic city apart from others. You’d also love the shopping districts here as you’ll find the best bargain buys!

Where to stay in Yogyakarta

Rooms in Yogyakarta under P1,000/night

ZEN Rooms Pogung Syariah

ZEN Rooms Bausasran 34 Pakualaman

Premium Rooms in Yogyakarta

ZEN Premium Malioboro Gajah Mada

ZEN Premium Prawirotaman 2

Book budget hotels in Yogyakarta here.


Surabaya

The city of Surabaya is not as well known on the tourism scene as other places in Indonesia. For most foreign visitors, the city is merely a transport hub but for locals, Surabaya is the bridge to the birth of the Indonesian nation because this is the place where the battle for independence began.

Best places to eat in Surabaya

BU Kris, Domicile Kitchen & Lounge, Layar Seafood, and Soto Ambengan

What to love in Surabaya

Its historic Arab Quarter, like mazy old Arabic town centers, is a fascinating complex of lanes, and the city has one of Indonesia’s biggest Chinatowns and some disintegrating but impressive, Dutch colonial architecture.

Where to stay in Surabaya

Rooms in Surabaya under P1,000/night

ZEN Rooms Kalimantan Pusat

ZEN Rooms Basic Kalimas Sunan Ampel

Premium Rooms in Surabaya

ZEN Rooms Mandiri Mansion Galaxy Mall

ZEN Rooms Kalimas KH Mas Mansyur, Suite Room

Book budget hotels in Surabaya here.


Bandung

Dubbed as the “Paris of Java,” Bandung has its old-world charm that captivates the hearts of the tourists. Bandung is also popular for being home to some of the best known indie rock bands in the country.

Best places to eat in Bandung

Dapur Dahapati, Batagor Kingsley, Tahu Susu Lembang, and Martabak San Francisco

What to love in Bandung

You’d fall in love with Bandung’s lush mountainous backdrop and its abundance in greenery. Another thing you’d admire is Bandung’s art deco buildings of Dutch colonial heritage.

Where to stay in Bandung

Rooms in Bandung under P1,500/night

ZEN Rooms Puma Hotel

ZEN Rooms Talaga Bodas

ZEN Premium Near Rumah Mode

Book budget hotels in Bandung here.


3. CHRISTMAS IN SINGAPORE

While it’s not snowing in Singapore, that doesn’t mean the Yuletide season will be less fun. In December, the city’s streets are turned into a whimsical land with its Christmas decorations. Singapore also offers a lot of festivities and amusements for everyone— from parties, concerts, art exhibits and of course, shopping bargains! That being said, Singapore is in the list of the top Christmas destinations in Southeast Asia.

Best places to celebrate in Singapore

Gardens by the Bay

When in Singapore, you should never miss Gardens by the Bay. It’s an iconic sight in Singapore thanks to the photogenic Supertree Grove and impressive indoor waterfall. This place surely will make your Christmas in Southeast Asia a December to remember.

What to love in Gardens by the Bay

Everything! You can spend a day and not get tired of walking around to see the spectacular views of the different gardens and parks, and the best shopping spots are found here. This place is surely a feast for the eyes.


Orchard Road

When it comes to shopping, Orchard Road in Singapore is a must-visit. With its seemingly endless row of malls, Orchard Road is surely a shopaholic’s haven.

What to love in Orchard Road

Aside from its popular retail scene, there are other things Orchard Road has to offer. You can enjoy its green parks, a view of the presidential palace, and sidewalk cafés.


Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore is Southeast Asia’s only Universal Studios theme park. The theme park is 20 hectares, that’s about the size of 25 football fields combined.

What to love in Universal Studios Singapore

The theme park offers some of the world’s most thrilling rides. If you’re feeling too adventurous, experience the thrill of the world’s tallest dueling roller coasters – Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs. CYCLON.


Haji Lane

Haji Lane may be one of the narrowest streets in Singapore but it will surprise you in so many ways! There’s an abundance of fusion restaurants and bars all around. Also, it’s hard not to notice the incredible artwork on the building walls. 

What to love in Haji Lane

This place is best for indie-minded shoppers interested in trendy, youthful, affordable brands. Art lovers will also find this place more amusing rather than plain. Haji Lane is a great photo wall for the Instagrammers as it has so much vibrancy and quirkiness in the area.


Joo Chiat

Joo Chiat is known for being one of the first heritage towns in Singapore. This town is a mix of old and new. From traditional heritage shophouses to hipster bars and shops, this is definitely an area not to be missed when you are visiting Singapore. 

What to love in Joo Chiat

You’ll be amazed at how colorful and lively the place is. Every corner in Joo Chiat is Instagram-worthy and perfect for your OOTD shots! You can also find the cheap and authentic street food here.

Best places to eat in Singapore 

Latteria Mozzarella Bar, Alley on 25, and Brotzeit

Where to stay in Singapore

Rooms in Singapore under P1,000/night

ZEN Hostel Aljunied

ZEN Rooms Thad’s Boutique Hostel

Premium Rooms in Singapore

ZEN Premium Kampong Glam

ZEN Rooms Orchard

Book budget hotels in Singapore here.


4. CHRISTMAS IN MALAYSIA

Just like other top Christmas destinations in Southeast Asia, Malaysia’s celebration is filled with warmth, cheers, and excitement. During the Christmas season in Malaysia, everyone can enjoy the best bargain buys, music festivals, night parties or just a chill day.

Best places to celebrate in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

This place never fails to amaze tourists with its colonial architecture, countless natural attractions, jaw-dropping skyscrapers, and dazzling skyline. But more than these things, Kuala Lumpur’s locals are what also make the city a must-visit.

Best places to eat in Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Alor Night Food Court, JOLOKO, Serena Brasserie, and Devi’s Corner

What to love in Kuala Lumpur

You’ll be amazed at the traditional and whizzy modern skylines and skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur. Though you’ll see the modernity of the city, they manage to progress without losing their rich culture.

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

Rooms in Kuala Lumpur under P300/night

ZEN Rooms Hotel Royal Palm Lodge

ZEN Rooms Dorms KL 2

Premium Rooms in Kuala Lumpur

ZEN Rooms Ceria Hotel Bukit Bintang

Summit Signature Hotel OUG Kuala Lumpur

Book budget hotels in Kuala Lumpur here.


Langkawi

Langkawi is off the grid for most tourists but others won’t let their Malaysia trip go by without visiting here. It has 99 islands, enough to call the attention of those in-the-know.

Best places to eat in Langkawi

Pia’s the Padi, Orkid Ria Seafood Restaurant, The Cliff Langkawi, and The Gulai House

What to love in Langkawi

Langkawi’s heavenly islands always amaze its visitors as the views are breathtaking. The place is rich in tapestries of culture, wildlife, and vibrant rituals.

Where to stay in Langkawi

Rooms in Langkawi under P1,000/night

ZEN Rooms 8 Doors Inn Langkawi

ZEN Rooms Basic Senyum Inn

Premium Rooms in Langkawi

ZEN Rooms Villa Bunga Padi

ZEN Home Lagenda Homestay

Book budget hotels in Langkawi here.


Penang

Penang is best known for its glorious and mouth-watering street food. Some say Penang is Asia’s next foodie city.

Best places to eat in Penang

Kheng Pin Cafe, Gerai Gerai Padang Brown, Air Itam Asam Laksa, and First Famous Federal Restaurant

What to love in Penang

Forget the city but never miss trying Penang’s street food! Aside from its famous food scene, you’ll also love Penang’s street art and its unique blend of architecture. 

Where to stay in Penang

Rooms in Penang under P1,500/night

ZEN Rooms Mirzal Guesthouse

ZEN Rooms Eden Parade

Premium Rooms in Penang

ZEN Rooms JSW Inn

ZEN Home Bukit Gambir

Book budget hotels in Penang here.


Melaka

Together with George Town, Melaka has been named by UNESCO as Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca. It is rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks, and colonial structures— the imprints of British, Dutch and Portuguese forces left behind.

Best places to eat in Melaka

The Baboon House, Geographer Café, Veggie Planet, and Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant

What to love in Melaka

Explore and get lost to Melaka’s historic streets as it brings you back to the past. The place has an amazing architecture that mesmerizes tourists. Thus, becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Where to stay in Melaka

Rooms in Melaka under P1,000/night

ZEN Rooms Coastal Park Hotel

ZEN Rooms V’La Heritage Melaka

Premium Rooms in Melaka

ZEN Rooms Hotel Weilia

ZEN Rooms Coastal Park Hotel

Book budget hotels in Melaka here.


Kota Kinabalu

If you’re looking for a very laid-back and relaxed city in Malaysia, consider visiting Kota Kinabalu (KK). This place is ideal if you’re looking for an adventure as it has a lot of things to offer whether it be diving, tanning at the beach, wildlife watching or Mt. Kinabalu trekking.

Best places to eat in Kota Kinabalu

Little Italy, Brass Monkey, Kohinoor North Indian Restaurant, and Welcome Seafood Restaurant

What to love in Kota Kinabalu

KK is easy to get around, but more than this, you’ll love the friendly locals, breathtaking fiery sunsets, lively arts, and music scene and a rich culinary spectrum spanning street food to high end.

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu

ZEN Rooms Basic Star City Complex

ZEN Rooms 1 Borneo

Book budget hotels in Kota Kinabalu here.

If you want to make the most out of your Christmas vacation, choose to Travel More and Pay Less when you book quality budget accommodation with ZEN Rooms. Book Smart!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Make your summer break fun and exciting with these summer holiday ideas that are definitely worth considering and sharing with friends.

From outdoor adventures to indoor activities, you can make your vacation more wholesome and memorable with these summer ideas.

1. Screaming your hearts out in an amusement park

No time to go to the beach this summer? Go on a trip to an amusement park with your friends instead! Try all the exhilarating and thrilling rides like the roller coaster! But if you’re not up for those kind of rides, you can just try the ones that won’t make you throw up like the carousel, giant flying swing, or Ferris wheel.

2. Having fun at the beach with friends

What’s summer without hitting the beach? Pack your best swimsuits and get ready to be baked and have your dream tan lines! Make sure to make the most out of your beach trip by booking the best island tours.

3. Hosting a pizza party

A pizza party never goes wrong! Call your friends and host the most fun pizza party ever! You can do this after work or in a slumber party with your gals.

4. Trying a new skin care regimen

Still having breakouts or your skin’s dry? Maybe it’s time to switch to a new skin care so you’ll be summer-ready when you hit the sun!

5. Creating a summer playlist.

Be your own DJ and create your summer playlist whether for the road or for the beach. We recommend making several summer playlists like the ones with the upbeat songs and the ones with the mellow songs to cater everyone’s music taste.

6. Traveling out of the country

This is the perfect time to finally go out of the country! Explore a place you’ve never been to whether you’re alone or with someone. Try all the new dishes and visit every local tourist spots.

7. Jumping in the ocean

Don’t be a kill joy and just jump in the ocean, with caution of course. It’s fun when you do it together with your friends.

8. Baking

Summer break means more free time. This means, you can already do what you’ve been wanting to do for so long. Cooking or baking is a good thing to try this summer. Enroll in a short course class or even a workshop. There’s nothing more fulfilling than tasting the fruit of your labor!

9. Going out for some ice cream

Enjoy life’s simple pleasures and have the best time of your day. Go for an ice cream date with your partner or friend and order a flavor you’ve never tried before. Who know? It could turn out to be your new fave flavor!

10. Binge-watching a series

Feeling lazy to go out? Binge watch a new TV show or K-Drama and go kilig all over again! Our favorites so far are: Descendants of the Sun, Kingdom, Crash Landing on You and, Cheese in the Trap!

11. Decluttering your room

Need a room makeover? It’s now time to declutter it. Summer is the perfect time to do it because you have your time on your hands. Clean your room and you’ll be surprised how big your space it once you decluttered everything.

12. Stargazing

Watch the stars with your loved one, hold hands together, and when you see a falling star, close your eyes and wish. Isn’t it romantic?

If ever you need a place to stay in summer, book only the best budget hotel so you can enjoy a quality accommodation at a very affordable price!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Holy Week in the Philippines is the best time to travel and spend a fulfilling getaway with your family. This prestigious holiday takes place on Palm Sunday, April 5 and ends on Black Saturday, April 11. While Holy Week Philippines 2020 serves as a break from the fast-paced lifestyle in the city, it also serves as one of the longest and most anticipated holidays in the Philippines.

People all over the country perform rituals and traditions in celebration of his death and resurrection. Deciding where to go this holiday is a cause for much excitement, so we’re giving you a number of churches to visit and traditions you can partake in while enjoying your week-long vacation.

1. Simala Church, Cebu

If you wish to get far away this holy week, Simala Church in Cebu is a great destination. Simala Church is a prestigious castle-like structure in the heart of the province. Home to the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, people from all over the world flock to this pristine church to witness traditions and religious gatherings.

Not only will you find yourself seeing some of the prettiest churches in the Philippines, but you’ll also be greeted by a number of beaches and activities you can do during the trip! It’s no doubt you can enjoy Holy Week Philippines 2020 and summertime here all at once!  

2. Moriones Festival in Marinduque

Marinduque’s Moriones Festival is one of the most colorful festivals in the country. It is an annual week-long commemoration of the life and death of Jesus Christ every Holy Week.

In this folk religious festival, locals wear costumes and masks replicating biblical Roman soldiers, reenacting scenes from the Passion of Christ. The festival also celebrates the life of Saint Longinus, the half-blind Roman soldier who speared the crucified body of Jesus. Longinus is believed to have regained his vision when Jesus’ blood hit his eye, restoring his vision.

It does not only serve as a tourist attraction but also a good way to remember the suffering of Jesus Christ.


3. Laguna Province

Another popular Holy Week destination in the Philippines is the province of Laguna because it is home to historic and remarkable churches built during the Spanish Colonial era.

Many devotees opt to do their Visita Iglesia in Laguna because it is just a short drive south of Metro Manila.


4. Quiapo Church, Manila

Most people fast during the Lenten season, while others attend mass every day. Quiapo Church is worth the visit this Holy Week if you’re planning to stay in Manila. This grand church is home to the famous shrine of the Black Nazarene. This church is usually packed during Maundy Thursday, where a large group of devotees carry crucifixes and recreate the scenes of the crucifixion.


5. Via Crucis at San Fernando, Pampanga

Every year on Good Friday, tourists flock to San Fernando, Pampanga to witness the world-renowned staging of Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) for Holy Week. Devotees imitate the suffering of Christ and participate in real-life self-flagellation, Passion Play which culminates with the crucifixion penitents.

Re-enacting the crucifixion is a way for devout Catholics to express their faith in the most extreme way.

Witness this reenactment for a one-of-a-kind Holy Week Philippines 2020 experience.


6. Baguio Cathedral, Baguio City

If you’re in Baguio City for Holy Week, there are several churches for you to visit while enjoying the cool climate and the fresh scent of pine trees and highland flowers. These include Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral which is just located at the city’s most popular street, Session Road and the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church in Burnham Park.


7. San Pedro Cathedral, Davao

The oldest church in Davao City, the San Pedro Cathedral is now recognized as a National Cultural Treasure. It’s famous for its architectural structure, a curved roof reminiscent of the traditional vinta— a traditional outrigger boat from the Philippine island of Mindanao. This is one of the many churches that people visit when celebrating Holy Week.


8. Tukon Church, Batanes


If you want to reflect on things and just have a retreat, Batanes is the perfect place. Its scenic views and peaceful surroundings make up a tranquil retreat. The best place you can visit in Batanes is the Racuh A Payaman, Tayid Lighthouse and the Tukon Chapel in Basco.


9. Mt. Apo, Davao

For those who want to have a different type of pilgrimage, climbing Mt. Apo in Davao is something to try. It usually takes two days to reach the summit. While the trek can be challenging, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous sights like the 150-feet Tudaya Falls and a breathtaking view. It’s perfect for those who want adventure while showing their devotion to tradition.


10. Manila Cathedral, Manila

The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, also known as Manila Cathedral, is the cathedral of Manila and basilica located in the historic walled city of Intramuros. Aptly honored as the Mother Church of the Philippines, one should not hesitate to visit this pristine church during the holidays. You’ll find yourself admiring the beautiful structure, especially its religious mosaic art that can be found inside. It should definitely be one of the churches that you and your family will be visiting this Holy Week!

If you wish to travel to these holiday destinations this Holy Week Philippines 2020, don’t hesitate to book ZEN Rooms in Davao, Bohol, Manila, Cebu and Baguio City!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and updates! Visit www.zenrooms.com now!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Make the most of your summer break with these ZEN travel ideas in Southeast Asia. It’s time to go out of your comfort zone and take your summer plans to the next level! And if you’re looking for the best things to do in Southeast Asia in summers, we’ve got you covered!

Here are the 13 most fun activities to try this summer!

1. Jump into the pool in Bali, Indonesia

Find yourself in an indoor paradise when booking ZEN Rooms on your next trip to Bali, Indonesia. Relax, unwind and get into that bikini vibe as summer rewards you with an endless supply of calm, peace and comfort! There’s no better way to spend the summer than to slip into a zen mode and float on a pool of peace and serenity. Click here to view other properties that offer a relaxing indoor pool.

2. Enter the underwater world of the S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore

Home to more than 100,000 marine animals, with over 1,000 different kinds of species found across 50 habitats, this aquatic conservatory hosts the latest conservation efforts and promotes a unique underwater experience to its visitors. Adventure-seekers can swim just inches away from some of the ocean’s stealthiest predators in their Shark Encounter program, and try a once-in-a-lifetime experience of walking and breathing freely underwater in their Sea Trek adventure.

3. Feast on Penang, Malaysia’s street food

The abundance of street food in Malaysia can be overwhelming, yet satisfying. Stalls upon stalls can be spotted in Penang, and the same dishes repeat themselves but never falls short of delicious. However, this is where you can find the entirety of the authentic Malaysian cuisine. The streets of Penang City are known as a food paradise mainly due to its diversity in ethnicity, culture, and religion. From noodle soups to laksa, and Indian curry to crepe-like snacks! There is a wide variety of food options that’s definitely worth the visit! Don’t miss this as this is one of the best things to do in Southeast Asia in summers.

4. Witness installations in the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands

The ArtScience in Marina Bay Sands beautifully pushes the boundaries between art and science. When technology and knowledge are fused with art, a wide range of innovative designs emerge from the ideas of world-renowned creatives. A multitude of works from the arts and creative fields are displayed, which features eye-catching exhibitions and installations that perfectly demonstrates the possibilities of technology when combined with art. Visitors can immerse themselves in a dynamic 1,500-square-metre digital universe of interactive art installations revolving around the themes of Nature, Town, Park, and Science.

5. Go kayaking in El Nido, Palawan

If there’s one thing that tops the list of things to do in Southeast Asia in summers, it’s the combination of kayaking, sight-seeing, and snorkeling all in one hot summer day! It wouldn’t be a summer worth reliving without a sweet escape to the beautiful island of El Nido, Palawan. Surrounded by limestone karsts protruding from the sea, you’ll discover lagoons and giant rock formations that can only be accessed by hidden entrances and secret passageways. This island is full of hidden gems under the sea and on land.

6. Go shopping in Hong Kong

There’s no doubt that Hong Kong is a popular shopping district among fashion lovers and designer brands. From high-end luxury items to street bazaars with reasonable bargains, this shopping haven offers a wide variety of shopping districts and avenues that are certainly worth visiting and spending money on! Like walking straight into a fashion catalog, this city meets the standards of those with lavish lifestyles and designer dreams.

7. Climb Sigiriya in Sri Lanka

One of the “Eight Wonders of the World”, Sigiriya is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka. This ancient palace and fortress complex has significant archaeological importance and attracts thousands of tourists every year, mostly for its story and the breathtaking view when you reach the top. Sigiriya rock plateau, formed from magma of an extinct volcano, is 200 meters high in the jungle. Its view astonishes visitors with its unique harmony between nature and human imagination. Missing this adventure is like ditching the best things to do in Southeast Asia in summers.

8. Visit the magnificent Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Northern Bali, Indonesia

A summer trip to Bali isn’t complete without visiting its temples! Ulun Danu Beratan Temple complex is located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains near Bedugul and looks as if it is floating on water. Due to the importance of Lake Bratan as a main source of irrigation in central Bali, the temple is used for offerings ceremony to the Balinese lake river goddess Dewi Danu. This hidden gem in the north continues to attract visitors for its sacred waters and shrines, finding harmony between man and nature in one magnificent complex.

9. Pass through Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand

Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand is a backpacker’s trail and a traveler’s perfect stopover. You can find cafes, bars, restaurants, massage parlors and market stalls along its vibrant and colorful streets. You might even find yourself listening to tales of traveling and become inspired to take on a random adventure around the country. Tourists can definitely feel the openness and infectious vibe of this road, for it is popular among locals, foreigners, and art students. Spend a culture trip, eat some food, and buy yourself some souvenirs upon passing through this lively avenue and include this to your list of things to do in Southeast Asia in summers.

10. Escape to Phi Phi Islands in Thailand

Summer days would not be complete without the sand, beach and the sea! Featuring tropical beaches, stunning rock formations, and vivid turquoise waters, this paradise in the Phi Phi Islands of Phuket, Thailand is one of the loveliest places in Southeast Asia. The islands are teeming with rich and vibrant marine life and provide a great choice of tours and activities to vacationers. This picturesque nature destination is the ultimate tropical getaway for a sweet summer vacation.

11. Shop for souvenirs in Little India, Singapore

Radiant and lively, you can immerse yourself in the ethnic district of Little India in Singapore for a colorful and festive vibe. The busy streets of this brightly-colored neighborhood are filled with malls, jewelry stores, and tailor shops that are perfect for souvenir shopping. Discover tasty Indian cuisines, Indian ornaments, Hindu temples, spice shops and so much more. It’s always a treat to dive into the culture and traditions of different countries and bring a little piece of it back home for the memories.

12. Bask in the beauty of The Sam Poh Tong Temple in Ipoh, Malaysia

Malaysia is home to dozens of astonishing temples, one of which is the Sam Poh Tong Temple, also known as the Three Buddhas Cave. Built within a raw limestone cave in the mountains, it is the oldest and the biggest Chinese Buddhist temple cave in Ipoh, Malaysia. Until today, nuns and monks who dedicate their lives to Buddha still occupy the Sam Poh Tong. Statues of Buddha are displayed among the stalactites and stalagmites. It is brimming with spirituality and is considered a work of art between man and nature.

13. Watch the sunset in Boracay

It wouldn’t be a summer worth remembering if it doesn’t involve a beautiful sunset at the end of the day. Sit back, relax and enjoy a stunning, colorful sky on the island of Boracay, Philippines. You can peacefully watch the sun bid farewell to the ocean and its seaside lovers, while enjoying the view of sailboats and tourists ending the summer day with a beer on one hand, and a phone to capture the natural beauty of nature. It’s time to party afterwards, or maybe stargaze as the ocean welcomes a warm, summer evening in paradise. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Southeast Asia in summers!

If you wish to travel to these destinations at a low price, we’ve got budget hotels that can cater to your travel needs! Book now at www.zenrooms.com!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Many tourists are frequenting Southeast Asia because aside from having amazing destinations, it is also an affordable region to travel to. From visiting temples in Thailand to art-appreciation in the Philippines, the countries are definitely worth your time and if you’re looking for the cheapest places to travel in Southeast Asia, you’ve come to the right place!

We’ve listed 7 remarkable but budget-friendly spots to visit in Southeast Asia! Most of these destinations are either under $10 or FREE! Find out where you can spend your next budget-friendly trip!

1. Golden Temple of Dambulla in Sri Lanka

Location: Kandy – Jaffna Hwy, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Entrance Fee: 9 USD

Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, is a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country. The caves are nearly 2,000 years, yet they still remain remarkable and fascinating. Dress codes are strictly implemented, which means you can’t wear shorts and the women should have their shoulders covered. If you don’t bring the appropriate clothes, you may borrow a wrap from the entrance. This is definitely one of the greatest and cheapest places to travel in Southeast Asia.

2. Pura Lempuyang Temple Bali (Gateway To Heaven)

Location: Jl. Pura Telaga Mas Lempuyang, Tri Buana, Kec. Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia

Free Admission

The Gates of Heaven at Pura Lempuyang Temple is a stunning “split gate” in the style of Hindu Balinese architecture, which represents the boundary between the outer world and the outer realm of the temple. It is one of the oldest and most sacred temples on the island and it will surely leave you stunned and in awe. This wonderful landmark is definitely worth visiting when traveling to Indonesia and requires no entrance fee. However, they do accept donations. Don’t miss this tourist spot as this is one of the most beautiful and cheapest places to travel in Southeast Asia.

3. Singapore Botanic Garden

Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore

Entrance Fee: 3 USD

If you’re seeking for a nice stroll in the city, then this urban garden is a must-see in the heart of Singapore! The Singapore Botanic Garden showcases the best and most spectacular tropical floral set. You can view 300 species of plants in the Ethnobotany Garden and see full-blown beauty in the middle of this landscape. 2,000 hybrid plants and 1,000 different kinds of species are displayed in the garden for all to see and admire. From ponds to rain forests, guests are free to explore the magnificent landscape for just a few bucks.

4. National Museum of Natural History in the Philippines

Location: Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila

Free Admission

The newly-opened museum is brimming with new pieces and historical artifacts. It houses the most important ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual artistry of the country from the prehistoric period to the modern times. If you find yourself walking along the streets of Padre Burgos Avenue, Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila, this landmark is a must-see. Looking into the history of one’s country is vital in understanding its culture and people. So if you find yourself seeking a budget-friendly activity in the metro, we suggest you explore the National Museum of Natural History.

5. Batu Caves in Malaysia

Location: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

Free Admission

Situated in Malaysia, Batu Caves is a limestone hill with a series of caves and temples that are said to be 400 million years old. It is being guarded by the Hindu deity Lord Murugan, so it’s no doubt that this is one of Malaysia’s national treasures. A majestic scene can be witnessed upon entering these caves, such as monkeys welcoming guests, bats fluttering beneath a light that seeps through the hills, as well as glowing stalactites.

6. Wat Arun in Thailand

Location: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand

Entrance Fee: 4 USD

Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand is one of the cheapest places to travel in Southeast Asia and easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok. The designs are quite intricate and distinct from many other temples found in Bangkok. Situated near a riverside, this landmark is brimming with color and decor, whilst standing on water.

7. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Hong Kong

Location: Pai Tau, Hong Kong

Free Admission

The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is a mid-20th century Buddhist temple located in Sha Tin, Hong Kong. It consists of multiple temples and shrines and requires a steep hike up the hill. This tourist attraction is one of Hong Kong’s most famous Buddhist temples and can be visited by all.

Want to visit these Southeast Asian destinations? Book ZEN Rooms on your next trip! Visit www.zenrooms.com or download our mobile app. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates and promos.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

The numerous cheap, but enjoyable budget-friendly things to do in Southeast Asia prove that you don’t need to spend a lot to have fun! For just under $10, you can already enjoy delicious food, museums, performances, parks, and many more!

Here’s a list of affordable activities that you can do in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore!

Indonesia

Watch the Kecak Dance

Location: Bali, Indonesia

Cost: $8

tourists watching the kecak dance

Your visit to Bali will not be complete without watching some of the most captivating traditional performances. One of those is the Kecak Dance, a form of Balinese hindu dance and music drama that was developed in the 1930s in Bali, Indonesia.

Held in the open air at sunset, usually above a cliff facing the sea, the drama depends entirely on the natural light of day. What makes this dance unique is that the drama doesn’t use artificial backdrop and musical instruments. The focus is entirely on the concentric circles of about 50 to 60 men, bare-chested, wearing only distinct Balinese sarongs sitting cross-legged around a set of torches in the center.

Eat Babi Guling

Location: Everywhere in Indonesia

Cost: $4 – $10

Babi Guling is an Indonesian dish similar to the Philippines’ lechon. It is a roasted suckling pig. What people like about Babi Guling is its golden crispy skin and tender juicy meat. Don’t miss this when you’re in Indonesia.

Visit the Jakarta History Museum

Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Cost: $0.5

inside the jakarta history museum

The Jakarta History Museum, also known as Fatahillah Museum, is housed in the former City Hall located in the old part of the city now known as Jakarta Kota. The museum exhibits a collection of antique furniture, pieces about the history of the capital from Dutch colonization to the Japanese occupation, an underground dungeon where Indonesian heroes Pangeran Diponegoro and Untung Suropati were said to have been imprisoned, and more.

Philippines 

Stroll in Intramuros

Location: Intramuros, Manila

Cost: $2

People touring intramuros in bambook bikes
Photo courtesy of Bambike

A trip to Manila isn’t complete without exploring its Walled City—Intramuros. Be amazed by the city’s preserved old hispanic architecture and cobblestone streets while riding a bamboo bicycle. The bamboo bike rental starts at $1. You can also go to Fort Santiago where the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution.

Explore the National Museum of the Philippines

Location: Ermita, Manila

Cost: Free

facade of national museum of the philippines

If you really want the best budget things to do in Southeast Asia, you should already include the National Museum of the Philippines in your list. You’ll love it here if you’re an art and history lover. The National Museum of the Philippines houses some of the country’s greatest masterpieces—from history, art, and culture. You can find here one of the most precious art pieces in the world, Spoliarium, by Juan Luna, that features a glimpse of Roman history centered on the bloody carnage brought by gladiatorial matches. With a size of 4.22 meters x 7.675 meters, it is the largest painting in the Philippines.

The National Museum of the Philippines also has other branches and galleries you can visit like the National Art Gallery and Planetarium.

Food trip at Chinatown

Location: Binondo, Manila

Cost: $2 – $10

facade of the chinatown in binondo

Since you’re already in the Intramuros area, why not go straight to Binondo and have a food trip at Chinatown? Enjoy the Filipino street food and authentic Chinese food all in one place! From haka and toasted siopao to beef lamien and hopia. Plus, they’re so affordable so you can eat everything you want without breaking the bank. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Southeast Asia.

Thailand 

Ride a boat in the Floating Market

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Cost: $1 – $5

Complete your Thailand experience by riding a boat in the Floating Market. Shop like no other at the floating stores or just stroll around the area. The boat ride here is affordable but the goods sold in the floating market are kind of expensive compared to the ordinary markets. Also, don’t be too surprised when the river has a traffic, too because the floating market tends to get crowded due to tourist influx.

Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cost: $2

sunset ambiance at Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Can’t think of what to do in Southeast Asia? Go to Thailand’s temples! The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the most sacred temples in Thailand. According to legend, the temple was built in 1386 to hold a Buddha’s shoulder bone. One of those bones was mounted on a sacred white elephant who then climbed Doi Suthep mountain. After trumpeting three times, the elephant laid down and died in the jungle. The place where he lay is where Doi Suthep’s temple was founded.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple also houses a meditation center where you can learn and practice meditation. And just a reminder, make sure you’re wearing proper clothes that cover your knees and shoulder before entering the temple as they are very strict with the dress code.

Eat Mango Sticky Rice

Location: Everywhere in Thailand

Cost: $1 – $5

colorful mango sticky rice in thailand

Oh when in Thailand, don’t you dare miss its famous delicacy—mango sticky rice! The mango is paired with sweet glutinous sticky rice with coconut milk. It’s very delicious and very filling that could already be an alternative meal. If you’re an adventurous foodie, you can try different flavors of mango sticky rice. Some sell it with colorful sticky rice with different flavors.

Malaysia 

Explore Batu Caves

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Cost: Free

colorful stairs at batu caves

One of the best things to do in Southeast Asia that you shouldn’t miss is exploring Batu Caves. It houses several caves and Hindu shrines. While you’re there, you can visit the three main caves composing the Batu Caves: Art Gallery Cave, Museum Cave, and Cathedral cave—the most famous cave. To reach it, visitors must climb to 272 steps. The interior of which is decorated with ornate Hindu shrines and features a large opening at the top where the sunlight streams through.

Visit National Planetarium

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Cost: $3

students enjoying the planet exhibit

If you’re a science geek or just someone who loves astronomy, the National Planetarium (Planetarium Negara KL) is for you. It’s a fun and educational place to learn about the planet and universe. The main entrance shows a teleport chamber which leads into a series of halls containing two planetariums that have interactive exhibits: the touch-screen interactive computers and hands-on experiments, plus a Space Theater.

Eat at Purradise Cat Cafe

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Cost: $5

Photo courtesy of @timeoutkl

Want a taste of a different cafe vibe? Check out the Purradise Cat Cafe where you’ll dine with cats of different breeds! Oh the cat moms are so gonna love this! While in the cafe, you may play with the cats, feed them and even take them home!

Singapore 

Watch a free movie

Location: Sentosa, Siloso Beach

Cost: Free

Photo from Sentosa

On selected weekends and holidays, you can watch a free movie screening of popular movies at Sentosa. This is perfect for families and couples who want an unforgettable evening of entertainment under the stars. Watching a free movie by the beach is definitely one of the best budget things to do in Southeast Asia!

For more information about the movie screenings and date, check out their website.

Visit the Singapore Art Museum

Location: 8 Queen St., Singapore

Cost: $10

facade of singapore art museum

The Singapore Art Museum exhibits international contemporary art practices, specializing in Singapore and Southeast Asia. SAM houses the world’s largest collection of modern Southeast Asian art. From film to experimental media, you won’t find the typical oil paintings here.

Explore the Gardens by the Bay

Location: Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore

Cost: Free

people strolling around the gardens by the bay at night

If you don’t know what to do in Southeast Asia, just explore Gardens by the Bay and you’ll never be disappointed. It’s like being in a whole new universe when you enter. Entrance to this beautiful park is free and getting a glimpse of the giant SuperTree Grove is simply a Singapore-must. Come at night and enjoy a spectacular sight as the trees light up during the Garden Rhapsody lights show.

Keep ZEN Rooms in mind on your next adventure. Book your accommodation at a very affordable price so you can travel more and pay less!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Traveling to another country can cost a lot of money—flights, hotel rooms, food, and so much more. And when we finally see the expected expenses, the excitement fades. Good thing, there are so many free things to do in Southeast Asia! And we can help ourselves but be excited! Because let’s be honest here, who doesn’t want free things?

So if you’re on a budget or just a sucker for all things free (like us), here are the 12 activities in Southeast Asia that are totally free!

Philippines

1. Appreciate the Philippine culture at the National Museum

Location: Manila, Philippines

people observing the national museum

Know and appreciate the history and culture of the Philippines through the National Museum. It houses the most important ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual artistry of the Philippines from the prehistoric era to modern times.

2. Join a walking tour in Cebu City

Location: Cebu City, Philippines

people strolling around magellan's cross in cebu

Take a trip in the Queen City of the South, Cebu, located at the central part of the Visayas Island. Itinerary for the walking tour is a must for all tourists because Cebu has several historical sites that will take over your list. On the off chance that you are staying for a couple of days in the city, make sure to look at their occasions and talks that advance the neighborhood’s history. We suggest visiting the famous Magellan’s Cross when in Cebu because aside from being a historic site, you don’t have to pay anything!

Malaysia

3. Enjoy the beauty of nature at the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls

Location: Langkawi Island, Malaysia

greenery surrounds the telaga tujuh waterfalls

This is considered as Langkawi Island’s most wonderful natural attraction. Its name means Seven Wells Waterfalls, referring to a series of seven connected natural pools fed by seven separate waterfalls in Mount Mat Cincang. The beauty of the flora existing here gives the place a magical look.

4. Visit the Penang National Park

Location: Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

hanging bridge at the penang national park

A great day trip while visiting Pulau Pinang is to travel out to the Penang National Park (Taman Negara), located on the north-west corner of the island in Teluk Bahang. The park is easily accessed from George Town or Batu Ferringhi by public transport. Even though Penang National Park is the smallest national park in the world, the area is home to an extraordinarily wide spectrum of tropical plants, animals, and geographical features!

5. Do sightseeing at the Malacca River

Location: Malacca, Malaysia

a boat passing through the colorful village beside the malacca river

One extra charm of historic Malacca is the lovely Malacca River that meanders its way through the heart of the historic district. Walkways line both sides of the river for several km, making it a relaxing place to stroll especially in the morning hour and evening. Along the riverside, you’ll come across potted plants and gardens, benches, several public toilets, a few eating spots, a section of brightly painted cafes and bars which open in evenings. From the sidewalk, you can see small riverboats carry tourists up and down the river and the fee is less than $10! But if you don’t want to spend anything, walking on the streets is also okay! This is one of the best free things to do in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia

6. Interact with the locals in Jodipan Village

Location: Malang, Indonesia

colorful houses in jodipan village

This village is also known as the Colorful Village. There is a lot of interesting activities here aside from its many instagrammable locations. You can also interact directly with the people who live in Jodipan Village, the hospitality of the local residents will give you wonderful memories for your trip.

7. Get splashed by Water Blow Nusa Dua in Bali

Location: Bali, Indonesia

water splashes to the huge stones at water blow nusa dua bali

Nusa Dua Waterblow is located within Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) area, going here will only take 30 minutes travel time from Ngurah Rai Airport. Large waves and large coral reefs are a major attraction in this location. The best time to visit is at sunrise to see the waves swell into the air with the Indian Ocean in the background along with the majestic view of sunrise.

8. Get up close with the Komodo Dragons

Location: Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia

two komodo dragons hugging each other at komodo national park in indonesia

Relieve the Jurassic experience at the Komodo National Park. It is situated in the core of the Indonesian archipelago between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. The park is made out of three primary islands (Rinca, Komodo, and Padar) and several little ones. These volcanic islands are inhabited by a populace of around 5,700 gigantic reptiles!

Singapore

9. Wander through Gardens by the Bay

Location: Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore

people strolling around the gardens by the bay at night

Gardens by the Bay is an amazing vacation destination in Singapore. It’s like being in a whole new universe when you enter. Entrance to this beautiful park is free and getting a glimpse of the giant SuperTree Grove is simply a Singapore-must. Come at night and enjoy a spectacular sight as the trees light up during the Garden Rhapsody lights show.

10. Enjoy the amazing view at Marina Bay Sands Waterfront Boardwalk

Location: Bayfront Avenue, Singapore

beautiful marina bay sands at night

Singapore’s Marina Bay area is a beauty of nature. The boardwalk gives locals and tourists an up-close view of the bay and is an excellent site for a number of fun and cost-free activities along the bay.

11. Read rare book finds at the Neilson Hays Library

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

This library is a cultural hub and popular destination in Silom that helps tourists and locals unplug from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Go here for a different view of the city and read unique book finds from their wide collection.

12. Lounge in Victoria Peak Gardens

Location: The Peak, Hong Kong

old victorian-style garden in hong kong

When visiting Hong Kong, it is a must to travel up to Victoria Peak or just The Peak. It is an oasis in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong with picturesque views you can’t find anywhere else in the city.

Now, you can definitely visit any Southeast Asian destination on a budget! When you do, let ZEN Rooms take care of your accommodation! Book budget hotels for as low as $10/night at www.zenrooms.com!

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