Off-peak travel: When to enjoy the freshest uni or escape the heat, without the crowds

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SINGAPORE: So, you missed the boat – or reasonably, that elusive discounted early-bird airfare on your June getaway to a well-liked trip spot. Upsetting as which may be, there’s a silver lining in deferring your journey.

In some circumstances, the crowds will probably be thinner, lodge charges will probably be decrease, and you may take within the sights at a much less frenetic tempo. Employees might even be extra receptive to particular requests. 

So, cheer up. We’ve got rounded up some off-peak and shoulder-season locations to get probably the most bang on your buck – from a well-liked ski spot that is really a sea urchin extravaganza in summer season, to Santa’s summer season hangout the place you possibly can go horseback driving underneath the midnight solar.



The snow has melted and the ski slopes are closed. However that, not at all, makes Hokkaido a ghost city. 

For one, the island has the mildest summer season temperatures (a median of 22 levels Celsius) in all of Japan, owing to its far north place. That is additionally the time when Nature places on its finest show of wildlife. The marshlands develop into a nursery for goosanders, Japanese crane chicks, and feminine sika deer with calves in tow.

Hokkaido lavender


And do you know that earlier than tourism grew to become an enormous a part of Hokkaido, it was identified for its lavender? You’ll be able to nonetheless see huge fields of purple at Furano, that are at their peak if you arrive in mid July to early August.

Different flowers cultivated right here in summer season embody rape blossoms, poppies, lupins, lilies and sunflowers.

Hokkaido uni


If you’re a fan of uni, Hokkaido is the proper place to seek out these gonads (sorry to interrupt it to you however that is not roe). The perfect time to take pleasure in them is from June to August, after they invariably wind up on Japan Hour or some Japanese TV present equal. 

Japan Hokkaido Shakotan

Shakoten Peninsula the place the very best uni is caught. (Photograph: GFDL+artistic commons2.5)

What makes the area’s uni particularly good is the kombu or kelp that the urchins feed on. Shakotan Peninsula, two hours west of Sapporo, which is Hokkaido’s capital, is the place the uni-fishing motion is.



That is the candy spot on the Korean tourism calendar when crowds are usually smaller. Summer season breaks are over, and the locals visiting from different provinces have gone residence. Additionally, these escaping Singapore’s warmth will probably be glad to know this: Seoul’s common temperature is 20 levels Celsius in September, and 5 levels Celsius in November. 

Namsan Park Korea

Namsan Park. (Photograph: Go to Seoul)

A favorite nationwide pastime in autumn is catching the foliage’s altering colors. The Koreans are so severe about it, a forecast calendar is rolled out yearly for the very best locations to admire the leaves’ vibrant colors.

For those who’re in Seoul, Namsan Mountain is an efficient start line. Hike up for a chook’s eye view of town and its surrounds. Or head for Namiseon Island, the scenic island that performed backdrop to the hit Korean drama Winter Sonata. 

Namiseon Island Korea

Namiseon Island. (Photograph: Go to Korea)

Fall can be harvest time in Korea, which culminates within the huge competition Chuseok. Take be aware that this 12 months’s competition falls on Sep 23 to 25, so many locations will probably be closed. Just like the equal of Thanksgiving, it’s a interval for individuals to return to their hometowns to spend time with their households.

Nonetheless, you possibly can, and completely ought to, have a style of autumnal meals if you’re there.

Rice, an enormous a part of the Korean eating regimen, is harvested presently of the 12 months (the rice served at different instances is often imported from China), which implies the rice desserts or tteok are going to be particular. They are often full of crimson bean, coated in nuts, thrown right into a scrumptious soup (tteokguk) or used within the spicy deal with that’s tteok-bokki.

To heat you up, search for jook or porridge – the autumn model comes with crimson bean or candy pumpkin.  

Korea Chuseok songpyeon

Historically eaten throughout Chuseok, songpyeon is a rice cake full of substances comparable to sesame seeds, black beans, mung beans, and steamed with pine needles. (Photograph: Go to Korea)

For one thing historically eaten throughout Chuseok, hunt down songpyeon, a rice cake full of substances comparable to sesame seeds, black beans, mung beans, cinnamon, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, jujube and honey. These desserts are steamed over a layer of pine needles for a singular aroma.



This island paradise is usually much less crowded in the course of the monsoon season, however in case you can put up with some rain, you may reap room costs and villa leases which can be as little as half of their high-season charges, in response to For the very best of each worlds, drop in simply earlier than and after the height intervals – July to August and December to January – when it isn’t too moist. 

Bali river rafting


September can be a very good time to schedule a Bali vacation in case you are into water actions comparable to scuba diving, browsing, snorkelling, waterfall chasing and river rafting. Throughout this month, the waters are clear and the river stream is nice.

Even land-based actions like purchasing, eating, temple-visiting or a spa day trip subsequent to a padi subject will really feel extra relaxed when there are fewer individuals to jostle with. 

Bali temple visit

(Photograph: Bali Tourism Board)

Visitors can be extra bearable, which is actually a consideration in case you’re placing up within the standard seashore areas of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, the place the slim streets are packed in the course of the busy intervals. 



The commonly standard seasons for Kiwi Land are summer season (December to February) and winter (June to August). You will both be jostling with the locals and vacationers for seashore homes and towel house, or avoiding different skiers on the slopes. 

However in case you do not need to watch for spring (September to November) or subsequent autumn (March to Could), late August is perhaps a very good compromise, notably in case you’re into snow actions. Coronet Peak on the South Island would be the nation’s oldest ski subject, however it’s not too previous to pack a celebration ambiance, with slopes staying open until 9pm. It’s also simply 20 minutes away from Queenstown, in case you want a change of surroundings. 

Coronet Peak New Zealand skiing

Coronet Peak. (Photograph:

Getting your self in scorching water is one thing else you may need to do in New Zealand – a soak in naturally heated scorching springs is commonly free for all to take pleasure in. Simply be aware that swimwear is required.

Rotorua is known for its scorching water wonders, as is the South Island’s Hanmer Springs. The latter is near a ski subject too – making it an ideal stopover after a day hitting the snow. Taupo, Tongariro, and the Bay of Loads’s White Island are the opposite thermal treasures to find.

Hot spring New Zealand


Not a fan of snowboarding? There’s all the time sight-seeing to be executed on the snow-dusted Southern Alps that backdrop the mirror-still Lake Wakatipu. Right here, vineyards include mountain views and the world-famous Pinot Noir. 

Whale watching New Zealand


Autumn and winter are additionally the seasons to move all the way down to Kaikoura for whale watching. The truth is, July is when these majestic creatures are on the peak of their migration interval, so that you’re prone to see various totally different species abruptly.

Different locations to catch sight of the whales embody Wellington and Picton.



In Finland, a summer season day actually lasts over two months. And within the southern elements of the nation, it by no means will get darkish – simply twilight for just a few hours. Think about horseback driving or quad biking in the course of the evening, underneath the glow of the midnight solar. 

Santa Clause Rovaniemi Finland

Santa serving to guests cross the border to Rovaniemi. (Photograph:

Chances are you’ll affiliate Santa Claus with snow and winter, however do you know you possibly can go to him at any time of the 12 months? Santa’s official workplace, located on the Arctic Circle within the metropolis of Rovaniemi, is open each day of the 12 months.

Horse riding Finland


The Finns are very linked to nature (in any case, 70 per cent of the nation is forest and 10 per cent waterways) and sometimes hunt down the peace and quiet of the woods or a strip of shore.

Even in case you’re not a lot of a hiker, these strolls via the forest can have a therapeutic impact on frazzled metropolis nerves. There are 40 nationwide parks to discover, so you do not have to look too far for some nature remedy. Begin with Nuuksio Nationwide Park, simply lower than an hour’s bus journey from Helsinki. 

Berry picking Finland


And since it is “each man’s proper within the nation’s forests”, you possibly can decide and eat the berries alongside the best way. Bilberries, cloudberries and lingonberries that ripen underneath the white summer season nights are merely nature’s path combine on the go – tasty, and filled with nutritional vitamins and flavonoids.

The perfect berry-picking season lasts from finish July till September. Mushrooms can be picked from late summer season till the snow comes. However don’t put something in your mouth until you are completely certain it is edible.

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