Malaysia has a reputation for being a football crazy nation, and once every four years, the frenzy goes into overdrive – TV stations televising 24/7 football matches from past to present, overcrowded mamak stalls with chairs and tables that spill-over onto the streets, and the sudden spike in medical leave the morning after a big game – these are sure signs that the Football fever has hit!
But are you among those who would rather catch the flu than watch a game of football (much less the five weeks of straight football!)? No need to go to such drastic measures—Agoda has some suggestions on where to go to escape the football madness. You’re welcome!
1. Koror Island, Republic of Palau
Head to the South Pacific island of Palau where abundant marine life, volcanos and epic waterfalls are the main attractions. Palau also wins bonus points for not having national football team. Check out the Palau Royal Resort for beach views and vibes.
2. Baler, Philippines
You’ll likely meet more surfing fiends than football fans in Baler, also known as the ‘birthplace of surfing in the Philippines’. Home to sandy beaches and epic waves, plus scenic winding mountain roads and hiking excursions, this island won’t get a ‘red card’ from you. Bright and breezy Costa Pacifica Resort on Sabang Beach is the ideal basecamp.
3. North West Cape, Western Australia
The North West Cape in Western Australia is home to the Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Reef, where you’ll encounter exotic wildlife that don’t care about ‘games of two halves’. Sal Salis, an exclusive safari camp surrounded by only bush and beach, makes an ideal basecamp for exploring the area.
4. Galle, Sri Lanka
Renowned for its cricket, rather than football, enjoy the gentle pace and laidback streets of Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’ll be no penalties for shopping on this trip. Fort Square Boutique Villa, which is conveniently located in Galle’s city center, is worth a visit.
5. Pangkor Laut Island, Malaysia
You won’t risk being ‘offside’ with your own private island. Pangkor Laut Resort is made up of 140 villas and 8 estates on privately-owned 300-acre island, offering complete privacy amidst gorgeous ocean views.
6. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
For a truly ‘off the grid’ experience, head to the Raja Ampat, where the lack of internet and Wi-Fi mean you will easily lose track what day it is, let alone whether the football is still on. At the Waiwo Dive Resort, you can kick back and relax with massages and yoga classes.