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Old 25.06.2009, 21:46
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a trip to Asia ?

A friend of mine and I are thinking of going to Asia for 1-2 weeks this fall and I was wondering if you guys can share experience/give suggestions based on your experience and travel to the region.
In short the options that we were wondering about are:
- go for 7-10 days, fly to a place (e.g., Singapore), eventuallyu go to 1-2 other places (e.g., Hong Kong) and fly back
- choose an package for a week or so - flight, visiting a few cities, hotel, a guide or so (e.g, Hong kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Bali)
- go to Japan for 7-10 days
- go somewhere else
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Old 25.06.2009, 22:01
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

You might wanna try lonely planet / rough guide, they have billions of threads of this nature.

But I'd recommend Thailand Book now, flights are a steal.
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Old 25.06.2009, 22:10
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

As I am from Bangkok Thailand, I think you can make a trip to BKK for a few days to visit Grand Palace, Golden Pagoda Temple etc. only in the city center because it will take more than 2-3 days to go around and see most of BKK. From there you can have flight to Bali or Hong Kong, depending on what you want to see the beaches in Bali or Chinese style skylines in HK. Actually, it may be a good choice to travel to Vietnam as well.

Anyway, you can spend the whole vacation in Thailand only if you plan to go BKK then to southern of Thailand. The beaches are so beautiful in Koh Tao especially if you like diving or snoggling.

I really miss Thailand too but anyway i will probably spend 3 weeks in TH in Jan, 2010.

Wish you enjoy your trip!
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Old 25.06.2009, 22:24
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

it really depends on what you are into, from SE Asia:
  • "sun, sand, sea" - Bali, Lombok. Pulau Langkawi. Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Pangan.
  • "rustic, asian vibe" - Bangkok, Angkor Wat, Ho Chih Minh, Hanoi
  • "cosmopolitan, shopping" - Singapore, Hong Kong

these cities are more or less "clustered" together, so you can mix and match, and all are within short traveling distance.

if you like asian food, singapore, hongkong, bangkok are all very good for that. i sometimes get into a cab and ask the cab to bring me where he gets his meals.

flights to asia are typically quite long, so you wanna be comfortable. look up SQ, they have some specials which are really cheap. eg. something CHF800 to go to Singapore, although i would not recommend staying there too long.
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Old 26.06.2009, 00:20
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

hi there,I've read about you're opcomin trip, and I have a great money saving tip for you- ACCOR hotels are now offering a 60% off starting rates at usd 25, in a super sale- 27 cities, 10 countries in asia pacific.
I think it's a good deal you could use.
if you like more information, you can go to http://pea.to/amp12
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Old 26.06.2009, 01:28
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

Definitely use Singapore as a base to explore the rest of Asia!

Just to give you an idea of the distance of other countries from Singapore:

1. Hong Kong: 4 hours flight
2. Thailand (places like Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin): depends whereabouts in Thailand but on the average, about 1.5 hours flight.
3. Indonesia: 1.5 hours flight from SG to Bali.
4. Malaysia: 7-8 hours by coach / 45 minutes by plane to Kuala Lumpur and a little bit more for Penang.

I would recommend flying as I personally cant stand sitting down for too long.

5. Philippines, which has amazing beaches as well like Boracay is 2-3 hours flight.
6. Cambodia: 2 hours flight.
7. Vietnam: 1 hour flght.

Loads of budget airlines fly in and out of Changi Airport to these places at reasonable prices if you book early enough. Japan might be a little tricky as its about 7-8 hours flight on a commercial airline from SG.

Budget airlines operating from Singapore Changi Airport:

1. Tiger Airways
2. Jet star Asia
3. Air Asia
4. Lion Air
5. Cebu Pacific

If you prefer more comfort during your flights, Singapore Airlines has a sister airline, Silk Air that covers some of these destinations too.

Depends on what you want to do (shopping / sights / nature / beach) but I would personally spend the longest period of time in HKG. Amazing and vibrant city with fantastic shopping, food, culture and sights. 2-3 days each in Singapore and Bangkok should suffice.

Other tips that I can think of at the mo:
1. The temperature in South East Asian countries like SG, Malaysia and Indo hardly fall below 27C at any time of the year. So pack light and slap on the suntan lotions. The sun and humidity can be quite unforgiving. Usually 90-95% humidity most the time. Ick.
2. HKG will be a bit more cooling in autumn so a cardi at night should do the trick!
3. Keep you Singapore Airlines boarding pass with you as it gets you discounts in certain restaurants and shopping within the city.
4. Transportation is efficient in cities like Hong Kong and Singapore. They have the equivalent of the London tube, with less strikes and break downs though. Get a tourist pass and hop on and off for sightseeing.
5. Traffic is a nightmare in Bangkok so dont waste your time and money with taxis. Easier going around in those little tuk tuks zooming in and out of the traffic!

I'll update it if I can think of anymore!

Good luck with your planning and have the most amazing time!
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Last edited by summerrain; 26.06.2009 at 01:49.
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Old 26.06.2009, 08:40
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

1. Borneo island - Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysian states) are unique with their myriad indigenous groups (welcoming & friendly folk) and fascinating wildlife and plants. The Mulu Caves near Miri, Sarawak, are breathtaking in their rainforest setting. Delicious and affordable fresh seafood in restaurants in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. River adventures in Sabah (Kinabatangan River) to view the proboscis monkeys and orangutan, etc, in their natural habitat. Idyllic islands and great dive sites.

2. Cambodia - the Angkor Wat ancient temple complex is amazing and thoroughly memorable. Phnom Penh has its quaint laidback atmosphere with folk picnicking on grass verges and traffic islands, and 4-on-a-motorbike surprises. Wonderful, approachable people.
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Old 26.06.2009, 09:15
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

There's a big difference between one and two weeks in terms of what you can fit in. If your friend is only going for a week, then be realistic about what you can fit in. Take it from someone who used to fly around the region for a living and as Summerrain has pointed out, flying between different countries could use up significant time. And don't just look at flying times. For example, allowing for check in times, flight times, immigration processing on arrival, airport transfers and traffic, time difference etc, if you left Hong Kong in the morning you wouldn't arrive in Tokyo until late afternoon so you'd a lose a day just getting there. So if you only have a week, I would choose either North Asia (China and Japan) or South Asia, but not both.

As for itinerary, Hsiang has some great suggestions but it depends on what you want to do when you get there. If you have two weeks you could easily do one week beach and one week sightseeing. For example two days Bangkok, five days Thai beach (eg Phuket), two/three days Ankor Watt, two days Hanoi, one or two days in Hong Kong would be just about doable. Personally, if time is limited, I think it would be a shame to spend your time in clinical airconditioned shopping malls...it's a long way to just to get to the shops!! But each to his own I guess. When it boils down to it, for me one South Asian city is very much like another..glass sky scrapers and shopping malls so you'll miss a lot if you just do the cities. Or maybe I was just out there too long. If I had to choose between Hong Kong, Sing and Bangkok. I'd go for Hong Kong or Bangkok- more to do and see. Singapore is small and sleepy by comparison.

To add to Hsiang's South Asian list, if you go to North Asia I'd recommend Beijing in China (Great Wall, Forbidden Palace). I'd give Shanghai a miss unless you're into glass and steel and once you've seen the Bund there's precious little that hasn't been bulldozed away. In Japan I'd focus on the Kyoto/Osaka/Nara region and Tokyo/Kamakura. use the bullet train to travel between the two. To be honest Japan deserves at least a week on it's own.
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Old 26.06.2009, 09:44
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

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To add to Hsiang's South Asian list, if you go to North Asia I'd recommend Beijing in China (Great Wall, Forbidden Palace). I'd give Shanghai a miss unless you're into glass and steel and once you've seen the Bund there's precious little that hasn't been bulldozed away. In Japan I'd focus on the Kyoto/Osaka/Nara region and Tokyo/Kamakura. use the bullet train to travel between the two. To be honest Japan deserves at least a week on it's own.
i agree, japan deserves at least a week. throw in south korea, and you can expect to stay for quite a while, budget-permitting.

which brings the discussion also to, whether one should spend more time in a few places or less time in many places. personally, i'd do more cities in SE Asia and fewer cities in say China or Korea-Japan, given the same timeframe.

ps: u can visit singapore en route to Australia
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Old 27.06.2009, 18:58
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

thank a lot for your recommendations... I will continue with the planning.. as of now, I will just book a flight to Singapore and will plan the rest
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Old 27.06.2009, 19:02
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

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But I'd recommend Thailand Book now, flights are a steal.
Yeah, just don't criticize the royal family or you may just end up in jail forever.

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking...ry_324015.html
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Old 06.08.2009, 16:27
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Re: a trip to Asia ?

Folks,

I'm off to Asia in October for 6 months or so with the missus, and I wonder if I can pick up any handy tips on here.

I'm wondering if anyone has decent local knowledge of places like: Bangkok, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Delhi, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Yangon, Vientiane, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur.

Mostly what I'm looking for are things that may not necessarily be in the guide books. It would be great if I could go armed with a list of good restuarants/bars/other, which may not be on the typical tourist trail.

For example, inevitably we'll be going through Bangkok a lot on route to other places, but I don't want to end up eating in some backpacker place on the Kho San Rd, when I could be eating great authentic thai somewhere else for half the price.

Any tips muchly appreciated .
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