Whether you’re looking to get away with the girls, ready to feast on pepper pork buns with your significant other, or keen to explore solo, Taipei is one of our all-time favourite travel destinations – and with a flight time of under two hours, there’s good reason! Brimming with night markets and unbelievable street eats (grilled squid, papaya milk smoothies, stinky tofu, peanut-coated mochi – you name it!), Taiwan is also gearing up to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival so be sure to soak up the atmosphere and split a mooncake under the stars.
Fly to: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Flight time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Tip: During Mid-Autumn you’ll traditionally find people barbecuing on every street corner and the markets booming (more than usual!) over the holiday, so we fully encourage you to stop and hang out with locals and sample everything from dumplings to traditional barbecue eats, with frequent shots of rice wine, of course!
Read more: 48 Hours in Taipei: A Guide for First Time Visitors
Though it’s most commonly known to be a highly sought-after travel hotspot in April (as cherry blossoms reach full bloom), there’s still plenty happening in Osaka all year round. Whilst it’s highly tempting to spend your weekend at Orlando Studios, the city offers so much more than just amusement parks. Why not dress up as Mario and the gang and live out your Mario Kart dreams? Or don a kimono in a traditional tea ceremony? With quirky activities and a constant buzz, it’s easy to see why Osaka is hot on the list for this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival.
Fly to: Osaka International Airport (Itami Airport)
Flight time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Tip: Kishiwada Danjiri Matsur (float-pulling festival) is taking place on select dates in September and October, so it may be worth planning your trip to coincide with this unique spectacle.
Read more: Travel Kyoto: Top Picks and Local Favourites
Hot on the heels of Osaka, and in no need of introduction, Toyko is perfect for a quick trip away. From the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, straight in to the buzzing streets of Shibuya and Shinjuku; spend your evening sipping sake in Golden Gai, and snapping up fresh sushi from the market. And if you have a bit more time to spend in Japan, check out our Japan travel guide, featuring the best of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.
Fly to: Narita International Airport
Flight time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Read more: Nightlife in Japan: A Guide to Tokyo’s Small Bar Scene
If plates of sweet mango sticky rice and and tantalising Tom Yam Goong is more your thing, then head to Bangkok for a long-weekend getaway that won’t disappoint. Infamous Khao San Road aside, Thailand’s capital is the ideal spot for a few days of gorging on incredible food, perusing markets (Chatuchak is the ultimate, and the most busy) and a good dose of culture. Don’t forget to feast on popular street food snacks such as Gai Yang (street-grilled, skewered chicken thighs), Kai Jeow (Thai deep fried omelette), Guay Teow Ruea (Thai boat noodles) and, of course, Itam Kati (coconut ice cream)
Fly to: Suvarnabhumi Airport
Flight time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Read more: 48 Hours in Bangkok: The Ultimate Foodie Guide
Known as Chuseok, Korea celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival, one of its biggest holidays, across three days (from Thursday, 12 September to Saturday, 14 September) and can loosely be compared to Thanksgiving in America. Locals traditionally travel to their hometown to spend time and eat with their families, but it is also an important festival to pay thanks for the good harvest in South Korea. There is sure to be plenty going on over the festivities as you explore this unique city, so be sure to soak in the atmosphere and indulge in all the Bibimbap and Bulgogi that you possibly can.
Fly to: Incheon International Airport
Flight time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Read more: Quick Flights: Best Cities For Street Food
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 by Lexi Davey, and was updated on 2, August 2019 by Tania Shroff.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash, image 1 courtesy of Unsplash, image 2 courtesy of Unsplash, image 3 courtesy of Unsplash, image 4 courtesy of Unsplash, image 5 courtesy of Unsplash.