This article first appeared on Expedia Singapore: https://travelblog.expedia.com.sg/
Here comes some good news for 2018! We’ve looked into our crystal ball and all signs point to the Year of the Dog being a great year for travelling. With the 2017 Chinese calendar coming to a close and a new year on the horizon, a change of scenery could be just what you need to mix things up a little. It’s said that travel is good for the soul and opens up the mind and body to new experiences. And with that in mind, we spoke to Master Seldan Lim, a knowledgeable fengshui expert, to find out the most promising travel destinations for 2018. Master Seldan is a metaphysical coach, keynote speaker, trainer and fengshui master who has consulted with clients from all walks of life.
In our previous Fengshui Travel Guides, we explored where the winds of change would take you – so what’s written in the stars for you this year? Master Seldan offers advice that’s tailored to each Chinese zodiac sign, suggesting where you should go in 2018 for the very best fengshui, and even who your travel buddies should be. With many destinations to choose from, you can pick a single location and plan a once-in-a-lifetime annual holiday, or travel to a few different places and cross them all off your bucket-list! Once you’ve decided where you’d like to go, keep a close eye out for the best travel deals on Expedia, subscribe to get member-exclusive pricing, and remember to always book early to get the best rates.
Born in the Year of the Dog
2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
2018 is the year of man’s best friend, the Dog – though, cat lovers would tell you that you’re barking up the wrong tree with that one. So why not gather up your closest mates and jet off to far-flung East Asia to truly make it your year?
If you choose to start with a holiday on the islands of Malaysia, you can then fly from Singapore to for a trip to Kyoto, Japan’s former Imperial capital city. Wander among the historic temples and castles in the Land of the Rising Sun and sniff out the freshest sushi and sashimi along the way.
Or, set your sights on Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of rugged Borneo. Kalimantan is known for its national parks where you can explore the lush landscape of misty forests and snaking rivers, and try to catch a glimpse of an orangutan, a clouded leopard or even a family of gibbons. Go shopping in the seaport city of Balikpapan, snorkelling with sea turtles off Maratua Island, bargain-hunting on the floating market in Banjarmasin or visit the Equator Monument in Pontianak. After all your trekking, take some time to rest and refuel by sampling the sumptuous local cuisine.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Tiger, Rabbit or Horse
Born in the Year of the Pig
2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
Who says Pigs can’t fly? If you want to go the whole hog on your 2018 holiday, why not venture to Asia and take a holiday to Guangzhou in Southern China? Renowned for its methods of cooking and seasoning, Guangzhou is a foodie’s paradise. Dim sum is a local speciality, with a variety of both savoury and sweet options available.
Don’t worry about all that pigging out though – there are plenty of activities in the city to keep you on your toes. You can hike up Baiyun Mountain to wander its manicured gardens and bird sanctuary, explore the Chimelong Safari Park with its famous panda residents, or simply amble around the city to appreciate architectural feats such as the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House.
Next on the cards for you is a holiday in Taiwan. Its capital, Taipei, is home to iconic Taipei 101 building which stretches over 500 metres into the clouds. Towering high above the rest of the cityscape, a trip to the top is a must. Taiwan’s second-largest city, Kaohsiung, which was a former industrial city, is now a modern metropolis. Boasting multiple night markets and shopping districts, as well as restaurants serving world-class cuisine, you’ll be living the jet-set life in no time.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rabbit or Goat
Born in the Year of the Rat
2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
The Rat is known to be very aware, composed and alert of its surroundings. In the New Year, how about letting your hair down a little and leaving the rat race behind you?
If New York is the Big Apple, then Manhattan is its core. Home to iconic attractions such as Central Park, Rockefeller Centre and Carnegie Hall, it’s the perfect starting point to explore the rest of the city. Venturing out a little further, you can choose to take in a show on Broadway, sink your teeth into a hotdog from one of the many street-side vendors on dazzling Times Square, and get caught up in the exhilarating atmosphere of this concrete and neon jungle. You’ll find everything you could want in a holiday in New York!
A trip to Brazil offers a different type of experience that’s no less electrifying. Footie fans are in for a treat in São Paulo, arguably the football capital of the world, while party-goers can go wild at the colourful carnival celebrations in places like Salvador, Bahia, Recife, and of course Rio. Fancy a break from the hustle and bustle? Retreat into the Amazon Rain Forests or pay a visit to the majestic Iguaçu Falls – leave the stress behind and become one with nature.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Cow, Dragon, or Monkey
Born in the Year of the Ox
2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
The Ox is known for being hard-working and putting 100% effort into whatever they do, so taking time off to travel and letting the weight of the world fall from those strong shoulders requires a little more effort for you than most.
Instead of just watching nature documentaries on the TV this year, become a part of it all instead and go on safari in South Africa. Keep your eyes peeled for the so-called “Big 5” – the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros – as well as the plethora of other spectacular wild beasts on the plains. After your wild adventures, a journey through South Africa’s wine regions is the perfect way to unwind and also take in its lush valleys and historic towns.
Add some sparkle to your life with a trip to Tanzania, one of the finest gemstone-producing countries in the world. While these rubies and sapphires are hidden below ground, the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, extends high into the sky above. If you’re feeling as strong as an ox, you could always attempt the dizzying climb, or simply admire the natural wonder from the base with your two steadfast hoofs firmly on solid ground.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rat, Snake, or Rooster
Born in the Year of the Tiger
2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
This year, Tigers should be brave and try something new. Don’t make the same old holiday choices – a tiger should be free to change its stripes! Cities can offer many opportunities to unleash your wild side. Cosmopolitan Tokyo in Japan and bustling Jakarta in Indonesia are both good bets.
A trip to Tokyo successfully combines contemporary and traditional to create a truly unique city where the flashing neon signs of skyscraper buildings juxtapose the ornate designs of historic shrines. The Shibuya district has an especially modern feel, boasting chic boutiques and exclusive shops, while sacred buildings like the Meiji Shrine take you right back to the city’s roots –all together in the foreground of the majestic Mt Fuji.
Jakarta is another city that manages to blend the old with the new. The traditional markets of Jakarta are one of its main attractions, selling clothes, fabrics, jewellery, artworks and food. More modern must-see attractions include the Monas national monument and the Istiglal Mosque.
The Tiger’s confident and charming personality will see you making new friends in your journey, so don’t be shy, and ask for recommendations to the hidden pathways to see the local side of these popular cities.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Horse or Dog
Born in the Year of the Rabbit
2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Rabbits are friendly and sociable, and known to be independent travellers who relish the opportunity to open their minds to new experiences.
In 2018, take a trip to Germany and marvel at the stunning landscape dotted with ancient castles and expansive forests. For those born after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, it may be hard to imagine a time when the country was so divided. Berlin is an ideal base to learn about the country’s storied history and how it has developed into the modern European powerhouse it is today. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Museum Island, is your best bet – home to five of Berlin’s main museums, you won’t have to travel far soak up every iota of information available.
Another great destination for history buffs is Shanghai in China. It is now one of the most modern cities in the world, with skyscrapers and high-speed trains juxtaposed against old tea houses and ancient statues. The Bund area, located on Shanghai’s waterfront, is a prime example of how the modern contrasts with the traditional. There are over fifty buildings of varying historic architectural styles all along the Bund, while just across the water, you can see modern skyscrapers rising up like some sort of futurescape.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Goat, Dog, or Pig
Born in the Year of the Dragon
2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Those born in the year of the Dragon are known to be visionary and ambitious, but also kind-hearted and willing to lend a hand to those who need their help.
More creative Dragons may seek fun and adventure in new lands where they can be truly inspired, with a holiday to San Francisco, California being a perfect option. As well as its famous orange exports, California also has some of the best grapes in the world.
Dragons are also known to be quite brilliant leaders, so the many tech giants that have based their headquarters here surely deserve a spot on the itinerary.
The magnificent expanse of San Francisco’s signature landmark, the Golden Gate bridge, and the lush flora and natural eccentricity of nearby Golden Gate Park are sure to add a shot of fire to any dragon’s belly.
A more exotic destination that’s sure to attract the adventurous soul of the dragon is the ancient city of Malacca in the south of the Malay Peninsula. Jump on one of the many food, nature and architecture trails that reflect the cultural fusion between the diverse ethnic groups that have made their home here.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rat, Monkey, or Rooster
Born in the Year of the Snake
2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
If born under the sign of the Snake, you’re known for your wisdom, elegance and fondness for the finer things in life.
What better way to indulge in this love of all things sophisticated than a trip to Colombia, a country renowned for its gemstone production, especially its emeralds. Home to arguably the highest-quality coffee output in the world, the climate of Colombia’s coffee-growing regions also makes it the perfect place to sit back, relax and savour the rich flavours of the country’s exceptional coffee bean. Snakes will no doubt find themselves drawn to the city of Medellin, an amazing place to begin your holiday to Colombia.
Also known for their sensitive, searching souls, Snakes are often charmed by historical places steeped in art and culture. And you don’t even need to leave the UK to find some of the most spectacular sites on the continent. Edinburgh in Scotland is a history buff’s dream come true, with its stunning highlands, storied dungeons, a fortified castle that dominates the skyline and plenty of heritage museums to keep your inner Indiana Jones more than entertained.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Cow or Rooster
Born in the Year of the Horse
2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Long celebrated for their grace, energy and enthusiasm, Horses have an appetite for excitement and the unexplored, and there’s no better way to whet an appetite like this than in the dynamic, fast-paced city of Seoul. Here you can sample the hot and spicy flavours of kimchi, a staple Korean dish that’s made from spiced, fermented vegetables and served in most traditional restaurants. Choose from any of the hundreds of different varieties available, such as kimchi pizza, kimchi pancake, kimchi dumplings and kimchi stew.
The horse is also known for its stamina, determination and drive. But downtime is important too. So those horses among us would do well to kick back and unwind with a relaxing beach getaway. Why not indulge in the fabled hospitality that has been long associated with the sumptuous island of Bali, where you can indulge in a relaxing massage or rejuvenating treatment at any of the island’s famous spa destinations? Once you’ve brought your mind and body back into balance, head for Ubud, the spiritual heart of Bali and home to great restaurants, cafés and artisanal shops, all set against the spectacular backdrop of emerald green rice fields.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Tiger, Goat, or Dog
Born in the Year of the Goat
2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
The kind-hearted and gentle Goat is also well known for their love of luxury and the finer things in life, which is what makes lavish Hong Kong such an ideal starting destination. With high-end shops, commercial art galleries and antique shops dealing in Chinese collector items, Hong Kong has something on offer for every kind of shopper. For Goats with a beady eye for a bargain, the best time to visit is during the summer sales in August.
Just over an hour away by ferry is the vibrant city of Macau. Long overlooked in favour of neighbouring Hong Kong, Macau has recently established itself as a world-class shopping destination in its own right. This shopper’s paradise is brimming with designer-label stores and malls and is the perfect place to indulge in a spot of high-end retail therapy.
Further afield is the colourful and uncompromising city of Sydney, Australia with its spectacular harbour and glorious beaches. Sydney is renowned for its melting pot of cultures as well as its wealth of high-end shops, funky designer boutiques and exquisite shopping centres, such as the Queen Victoria Building, held by many as one the most elegant shopping centres in the world.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rabbit, Horse or Pig
Born in the Year of the Monkey
2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
For a well-deserved escape from the hustle and bustle of work life, Monkeys should consider a relaxing sun holiday. Kick back and enjoy a sweet coconut cocktail on one of Asia’s best beaches.
A holiday to Phuket, Thailand is perfect for beachfront lounging with over 30 beaches dotted around the island. The turquoise blue waters and the warm sands are bound to refresh any weary soul. Phi Phi island was the backdrop for the film “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a popular spot for holidaymakers who want to walk the same sands as the Hollywood heartthrob and see the film’s iconic landmarks for themselves.
Monkeys who love their food won’t need to simply settle for peanuts with a sumptuous trip to Italy, home to the legendary 3Ps – pasta, pizza and pastry. Do as the locals do and take full advantage of the fresh Italian produce and rich flavours of the Mediterranean. And of course a trip to Italy wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a vineyard to sample the country’s famous wines at their source. If you’d like something a little different, the annual Tomato festival, La Tomatina, is a fun and wild way to get up to some monkey business while on holiday.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Rat or Dragon
Born in the Year of the Rooster
2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
As you pass the baton to the Dog for 2018, take some time to plan your travels for the year ahead. Why did the Rooster cross the ocean? To create some amazing new memories!
Roosters are known for their confidence and being the centre of attention, so what better way to make your mark than with a challenging trek up Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain? Nepal has more than just this epic mountain to offer, however. It’s a country steeped in history and natural beauty with exquisite temples and many national parks that are home to the elusive Asian tiger.
If you followed the 2017 guide and visited Adelaide last year, why not explore a little further along the Australian coast this year with a trip to Melbourne? Melbourne has developed a well-balanced combination of natural splendour and cosmopolitan life. You can take in the spectacular views of The Twelve Apostles limestone pillars rising up from the blue waters along the Great Ocean Road. In recent years, the city has become a popular spot for young holidaymakers looking to sample the city’s many restaurants, museums, festivals and other cultural activities.
Your zodiac travel buddies: Ox, Dragon, or Snake
So add adventure and exploration to your list of New Year’s resolutions. Hans Christian Andersen once said that “to travel is to live”, so live it up like never before in 2018!
From everyone here at Expedia, we wish you a very happy Chinese New Year and a prosperous 2018!