Love your kids, but really need a break without them? Get the respite you need at these charming tropical destinations…

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Parenting, though really rewarding, is often hard and exhausting. For stay-at-home mums and dads, it’s a full-time job that takes up most of your time and energy. You do it out of love and because you want to give your children the best care and attention.

But when was the last time you had some time for yourself, especially as a couple? Your mind and body are probably telling you that you and your spouse are desperately in need of a vacation, however, you find it hard to leave your kids behind.

But did you know having a kid-free holiday is the best thing you can do for your marriage? It gives you both quality time to connect as a couple without any distractions. You return to your kids well-rested, refreshed and ready to give more of yourselves.

Remember, happy children have happy parents. So, ditch the guilt and book one of these short sojourns, stat. All within Asia, these destinations promise you and your spouse a relaxing few days ― yet you aren’t too far away from the kiddos…

Doi Mae Salong is a village in the Chiang Rai Province, surrounded by mountains and valleys.

Doi Mae Salong, Thailand

Surrounded by mountains and valleys, this northern Thailand village in the Chiang Rai province is six- to eight hour flight from Singapore (including one stop over). If you’re looking forward to much-needed peace and quiet, this beautiful mountain destination is the place to be.

The climate in Doi Mae Salong remains cool throughout the year, though it gets really chilly and misty between December and February. Make sure to pack some sweaters, warm socks and shoes. Because it’s cherry- and white plum blossom season, expect more tourists during this period.
Things to do:
* Visit tea houses and plantations.
* Taste the local cuisine ― popular dishes include stewed pork leg and steamed buns.
* Check out the morning market, which sells one-of-a-kind items and accessories.
* Drive around to take in the fresh mountain air and stunning views.
Getting there: Fly to Chiang Rai (from $270 return), then take a cab (1¼ hours, 65km journey, about $40) to this scenic spot.

Gaya Island, Malaysia

Gaya Island is a mere 15 minutes away Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, Malaysia, and a two-and-a-half hour flight from Singapore. A treasure trove of jungles and rich marine life, you’ll have plenty of exciting things to do on this tropical island, especially if you’re a nature lover who enjoys snorkelling.

Stay at the Gaya Island Resort, which promises world-class service and pampering. You’ll be housed in elegant villas (from $290++ per night), enjoy the panoramic views and dine in a luxury setting.
Things to do:
* Go snorkelling and experience the stunning amazing marine life first-hand.
* Swim in the legendary beach at Police Bay known for its crystal clear waters.
* Take part in cooking classes or get a massage at the spa.
* Go on guided jungle walks to see the rich animal life.
Getting there: Fly to Kota Kinabalu (from $230 return). The resort provides return scheduled speedboat transfers to and from Jesselton Point.
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Kuching, Borneo

Though Kuching has a typically tropical climate, tourists flock here for its diverse culture and exciting experiences. Since it’s just 1½ hours by air from Singapore, the largest city in Borneo makes an ideal destination for a fast and quick getaway.

Here’s an idea for a romantic evening ― soak in the long, meandering, and beautiful Sarawak River in a sampan with your beloved by your side. Thanks to the plentiful wildlife and greenery, you’ll be making great treks. Kuching is also a treat for architecture aficionados as the city boasts buildings erected during different eras.
Things to do:
* Go on day-long wildlife treks.
* Visit the Kuching Waterfront, Old Sarawak Museum and other heritage sites.
* Check out the Sunday market for its wide variety of fruit, meat, eggs and much more.
* Find Indian-inspired textiles and kitchen items at India Street.
Getting there: Fly to Kuching (from $80 return).

Rich in culture, tradition and natural sights, Guilin city is one of the most beautiful places in China.

Guilin, China

Rich in culture, tradition and natural sights, Guilin city is one of the most beautiful places in China. Famed for its scenic beauty and the serenity, it’s well worth your while to journey to this northeast city in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of South China.

Picturesque landscapes, rural life and sprawling rice terraces await you here. You can even make short trips to neighbouring cities like Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Yangshuo County by bus or high-speed train.
Things to do:
* Check out the Li River, billed as one of the world’s “Top 10 Watery Wonders” by National Geographic magazine. Be blown away by colonial limestone peaks and the gorgeous emerald water ― best experienced via a cruise or a leisurely hike.
* Sample the scrumptious local street food like barbecued meat, spicy noodles and dumplings at local pedestrian streets.
* Pick up souvenirs from West Street or other shopping spots.
* Check out the local nightlife featuring folk songs and dances.
* Take picturesque cruises on ferries and boats.
Getting there: Fly about seven hours to Guilin (from about $500 return).

Use these quick getaways to spend some alone time with your spouse, strengthen your relationship, rejuvenate your marriage and be better parents. Happy travelling!

This article was written by BankBazaar.sg, a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for the best offers across all financial products: credit cards, personal loans, home loans, car loans & investments.

Photos: iStock

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