Asia travel advice?

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Schaible 4 May 2016
at 14:20
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)

  • Anonymous

    AllOverTheGaff
    Participant

    Following on from the Rio thread, I’ve been pondering what to do whilst in Asia later in the year. I’ve a week or so in between business in Singapore / KL and am wondering where to go. I had the same trip last year and did a cruise on Ha Long Bay which was sensational, so good I am considering it again as one of my options with some time in Ho Chi Minh. (I stayed in Hanoi last time before cruise and wasn’t massively impressed)

    Other options on my shortlist:
    – Bali (currently running as 1st choice)
    – Philippines
    – Thailand (albeit not enthused with the current terror alerts)
    – Phuket and or Penang

    I’ve done Australia a few times, I’ve done Hong Kong a number of times too, both as tourist and business. Would consider anywhere in the region, either a city break or a beach resort. If anyone has any ideas of must sees (Burma perhaps?) then I’m all ears. Time of travel will be September.

    Rgds.
    AOTG.


    peter19
    Participant

    I love Vietnam and Ha long Bay is amazing.
    I prefer Saigon to hanoi and there are quite a few good trips you can do from there as well. Cu Chi tunnels and the Mekong Delta for a couple examples.

    Cambodia might also be worth another option to your shortlist.


    AnthonyDunn
    Participant

    Having spent the best part of a month in Burma over the Christmas 2015 and New Year period, I would thoroughly recommend it. Some caveats: getting around can be hard work (if you go by surface transport) whereas there is a burgeoning network of domestic airlines now, mainly using ATR-72s. Burmese air transport is an entirely new experience… As you’ve only a week, you should forgo the bone-shaking experience of Myanmar Railways.

    Rangoon is fascinating with the old colonial-style architecture worth seeing then there is the Shwedagon pagoda and sundry other points of interest. Alternatively, Lake Inle (served via Heho from Rangoon, Mandalay and other points) – which is indescribably beautiful. The locals are overwhelmingly friendly and genuinely delighted to see visitors after decades of life in an economic deep freeze.

    September is likely to be the end of the rainy season in that part of the world so be prepared for hot and wet.

    I would very happily give you some good recommendations of where to stay and who to book through courtesy of our own experiences.


    Speedbird_ABZ
    Participant

    Jump on a cruise and get a leisurely taste of a few places?


    SenatorGold
    Participant

    I can highly recommend Penang. It’s one of the best food centres in South East Asia. I’ve stayed at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel (the E&O) in Georgetown which is very good. Another place to consider is the Seven Terraces (www.seventerraces.com) if only for dinner. Outside of Georgetown there are various beach resort hotels including a Shangri-la. However, the advantage of staying in Georgetown is that the old town is very accessible.


    planegeek
    Participant

    If you do head back to Vietnam and want to relax, take a flight down to Da Nang and stay in Hoi An – i found it the most enchanting place in the country. Hue is pretty interesting too and you can take a train between.

    Totally agree about recommending Cambodia also – if you fancy seeing the temples at Angkor Wat there is now no shortage of high end hotels in Siem Reap if you want to combine it with some luxury


    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    My favourite would probably be Indonesia:
    Loads of options & very varied – For a week, Bali certainly is easy and not a bad start, Lombok slightly less touristy (if a snorkeler try the Gillies) – in both cases self-drive is not difficult & excellent hotel mix. With an “or so” you could add in a wander round Java (Solo, Yogya, Borabadur &, more atmospheric, Dieng temples). If you are fit enough for gentle walks the Rantepau area of Sulawesi is great fun: spectacular villages ornamented with buffalo horns & cliff carved tombs packed with ancestral skulls.

    Cambodia, as suggested, also great for short stopover – Tonle Sap lake dwellings plus PnomPen both worth a look and Ankor is marvellous though the area has developed enormously since my first visit early 90’s.

    Laos also good for a short stop also with flights from BKK. Luang Prabang is well worth a few days for stunning temples and river trip options – more interesting than Hoi An in Vietnam where you’d spend about the same time (though train to Hue is a good add on)

    In some ways AnthonyDunn may well be correct suggesting go now to Myanmar as much will change very fast. Enjoyed a delicious curry with wife and german friend in Mandalay in 2004 and including beer the three of us were charged just under 2 US dollars (in chat). Yangon is wonderful, and Mandalay to Bagan by river well worth it. Also nice places south of Yangon and along the coast so you could easily spend 2-3 weeks and no longer a pain with currency transactions


    AllOverTheGaff
    Participant

    Thanks to everyone for the tips, so much choice but I am really keen to go back to Ha Long Bay, so the current favoured itinerary is:

    Tues – Sing to Siem Reap
    Tues – Fri = Cambodia
    Fri – Mon = Ho Chi Minh
    Mon – Wed = Ha Long Bay
    Wed – Ha Long to KL

    Cambodia does indeed look quite remarkable, and Ho Chi Minh has some fascinating history. I wish I could spend more time in the region but have to leave KL straight after…..there’s always next time though.

    Thanks again for the tips, all appreciated.
    Regards.
    AOTG.


    PeterCoultas
    Participant

    AOTG: don’t know if you are aware but Silk Air do a direct flight between SiemReap & Danang most days late afternoon (short taxi to Hoi An etc) so if you wanted you could maybe add or substitute for HoChiMin.
    Danang to Hanoi would also be straightforward


    icenspice
    Participant

    AOTG

    I don’t often head in that direction, but here are my thoughts.

    For a city break: Manila or Macau
    For a beach resort: Langkawi

    All easily accessible from KUL or SIN.

    Happy planning!


    Tramor01
    Participant

    If you are thinking of Vietnam again I’d suggest the following as an alternative
    If you are looking at Hoi An or Da Nang, there is always Nha Trang as an other sea side option (great beaches and a very good location for scuba diving)
    Rather than taking the usual Junk cruise around Ha Long bay why not take the ferry from Haiphong to Cat Ba island – the rout takes you around the less crowded areas of Ha Hong Bay
    Another option is to go to Sapa up in the Lao Cai district of Vietnam not that far from the Chinese border – some fantastic scenery.
    Let me know if you need anymore info


    AllOverTheGaff
    Participant

    Tramor01 – 06/04/2016 22:48 BST
    Rather than taking the usual Junk cruise around Ha Long bay why not take the ferry from Haiphong to Cat Ba island

    Thanks Tramor

    One of the main reasons for going back to Vietnam is to go on the same cruise I did last year, the Au Co one, over 2.5 days is spectacular, great boat, great crew, nice rooms, good food and terrific staff.

    I’ve only got a weekend in Vietnam now if I do Cambodia, which I am really keen to do, Angkor Wat looks spectacular. I’m still suggestible but I think Singapore -> Cambodia -> Ho Chi Minh -> Ha Long is a good trip and not ‘too’ much time spent on travelling either on planes or between regions.

    I do this same trip every year and will refer back to this thread again, Burma I think is next year.

    Regards.
    AOTG.


    AllOverTheGaff
    Participant

    PeterCoultas – 06/04/2016 21:40 BST
    so if you wanted you could maybe add or substitute for HoChiMin.
    Danang to Hanoi would also be straightforward

    Hi Peter

    Is there a reason I should avoid Ho Chi Minh? There’s been a few suggestions ‘in place’ of Ho Chi Minh and I’m wondering if perhaps I am missing something. I am doing big city stuff in Singapore & KL so don’t necessarily ‘need’ to go to a big city in Vietnam, just seems logical to do it but again I’m suggestible.

    If there’s somewhere as stunning as Ha Long Bay, I’d be keen.

    Regards.
    AOTG.


    AllOverTheGaff
    Participant

    icenspice – 06/04/2016 21:58 BST
    For a city break: Manila or Macau
    For a beach resort: Langkawi

    Thanks icenspice.

    Funnily enough, Langkawi came up via a very good travel person I’ve been using rather a lot lately….(TF on here), and I was very close to doing Macau last time I was in HK.

    I’m quite a fan of that part of the world, done several trips out there, whilst not wanting to keep going back to the same places, I was so impressed with the beauty of Ha Long Bay that anywhere else I go all I’ll do is compare. So, one more Ha Long (yes, I know it is very touristy but that doesn’t make it a bad place!) and then looking at other options for next time.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.
    Rgds
    AOTG.

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