As much as we love Bangkok with all its hearty hustles and buzzing bustles, it’s always good to get out of the Big Mango — even if only for the weekend. Every month, we put together a list of four weekend trip ideas to bring you a refreshing dose of travel inspo from around the region. Go on one of them or go on all of them, and prepare a big fat red marker to check off this one resolution for 2019 on the monthly: to travel brilliantly.

For our September getaways list, we’re revelling in true Southeast Asian pride and taking to trips that bring us out of the city for an ideal unwind not too far from home. Whether you’re more of an urbanite who seeks some sweet wall art to capture for the ‘gram, or more of a beach bum looking to embrace a Bali surfer culture, there’s a little for a lot of different lifestyles here. From Palm Springs-inspired interiors to colonial mansions, here are the four weekend trips near Bangkok you should take this September.

Featured and Hero image credit: The Clubhouse at Ulu

1
1.5 Hours Away: Mia Saigon, Vietnam

There’s so much to love about Ho Chi Minh City, between history, art, and incredible cuisine. Yet where the hustle of Ho Chi Minh can get a bit much sometimes, we’re heading to a sweet urban sanctuary just a little outside of the dynamic downtown. Boutique hotel Mia Saigon is made up of 35 rooms and 17 lavish suites, bringing together a perfect harmony of city life and duvets-and-room-service life. With a view over the serene Saigon River and a private butler at your call, it’s the suburban escape ideal for those who couldn’t actually bear to actually leave the urban, and love to indulge in culture, cosy surroundings, and a late breakfast menu offering.

Eat: A banh mi sandwich — of course — filled with shredded cured pork skin, pate, Vietnamese radish, pickles, cucumber, coriander, and fresh chilies. Divine
Play: Take a Saigon craft beer tour and explore some of the city’s best breweries
‘Gram: The sights from a Vespa tour past the colourful flower market, the Chinese district, the Saigon Cathedral, and the Central Post Office

Mia Saigon, 2-4 Street No. 10, An Phu Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, +84 28 6287 4222.

2
2 Hours Away: The Edison George Town, Penang, Malaysia

There’s something beautifully under-the-radar about Penang, and those who have visited tend to only have big heart eyes and praises to share. Bringing together much of George Town’s charm, this September visit the The Edison: a restored colonial mansion in the heart of the historical town. Blending a classic with a modern design ethos, the sweetly ‘grammable art deco hotel serves as a perfect gateway to explore the nearing UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, and all its region-wide renowned culinary offerings. Between sky-high buildings and charming shophouses, The Edison is where traditions and contemporaries collide, in the most effusive of ways. A little bit dreamy and colonial Wes Anderson, a lot of Penang local touches, and plenty for lesser mainstream travellers to enjoy.

Eat: Stir-fried flat rice noodles Char Koay Teow and flat rice noodle in broth Koay Theow Th’ng, as well as sweet Indian pancake appams for dessert
Play: Visit the Chinese Clan house of Khoo Kongsi and admire the ornate designs
‘Gram: The absolutely charming wall art along Armenian Street

The Edison George Town, 15 Lebuh Leith, George Town, Penang, Malaysia, +604 262 2990.

3
3.5 Hours Away: Amangalla, Galle, Sri Lanka

Following on with a colonial theme, Amangalla is housed within a Dutch 17th century building, which for over 100 years served as the New Oriental Hotel – a true star in the heyday of steamship travel. Whilst flights are plenty and we’ve come a long way since Sri Lanka by steam engine, the UNESCO-protected fort still boasts a lot of this old-world charm. Between green tea plantations, tranquil temples, and whale-spotting (yup), Amangalla is a relaxing getaway still very much unlike the ordinary. Set within the Galle fort, stroll inside the 200-year-old gardens, take a dip in the 21m swimming pool, and go for an Ayurveda spa treatment. Inhale the serenity, exhale the stresses, and revel in the magic of where the past meets the present in one remarkable citadel.

Sip: A cup of tea at the Hadunugoda tea plantation
Play: With a revitalising experience inside the resort’s hydrotherapy chamber
‘Gram: The handmade wooden masks in the nearby town of Ambalangoda, one of the world’s most atmospheric folk rituals

Amangalla, 10 Church St., Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka, +94 91 223 3388.

4
4 Hours Away: The Clubhouse at Ulu, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia

If there is one place to be at this time of year, it is this one. Dear avid travellers: it’s officially Bali season.

Possibly our favourite season of them all, this September head to the all-new Clubhouse at Ulu, a sister-property to the already rad and raving Ulu Cliffhouse in Uluwatu. The new venture is a small yet extravagant affair: composed of only 7 exclusive suites, all designed with an extremely photogenic design concept. Set atop Uluwatu’s dramatic cliffs, it’s a great weekend for those who like their suites with a unique interior, individual name, and storied inspiration, between nomad-style artwork, 1950s California furnishings, and private bartenders. A tropical Balinese soul meets an American West Coast surf culture. We ship it.

Eat: Embrace the growing coffee culture and go organic with a fresh smoothie bowl at one of the many health cafes
Play: A day party at Ulu Cliffhouse, of course
‘Gram: The sunset at Single Fin or the recently opened Omnia

The Clubhouse at Ulu, Jl. Labuansait No.315, Pecatu, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia, +62 813 3999 7598.

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.