1st trip to Asia

Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 12:03 PM
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1st trip to Asia

Will be spending 3 to 4 weeks in Southeast Asia with my husband next summer.

What country/countries would you suggest for our first time?

My interests:
beautiful landscapes
nature
food
culture
Not really keen of:
shopping
partying
mrnmrqsc is offline  
Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 12:38 PM
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My suggestions for a first trip would be Thailand and Bali with a stop for a couple of days in Hong Kong and/or Singapore.

These are the easiest places for an introduction to Asia with good tourist facilities and all of the things you mention on your list of interests. Thailand & Bali are inexpensive while the 2 cities are not. But a few days in these interesting multicultural cities is always my choice coming and going from the region.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, bali

I would pick 2 places
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Old Oct 3rd, 2013, 06:57 PM
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I think in 3 to 4 weeks you could choose several destinations. You should focus on places versus countries and think about whether you want a wide sampling of the total area, or an in depth look at at a few.

My top three destinations would include Bali, Bangkok and Siem Reap (Angkor). If you want more city I'd include Singapore, which also makes a good travel hub.

If you want to add more stops there are plenty of other choices both on and off the beaten track. Are you interested in adventure travel, beaches, wellness experiences, cooking schools, water sports -- there are lots of subcategories.
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 12:21 AM
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Hi mrnmrqsc,
I agree that Singapore, Thailand are popular destinations for the first trip to Asia, but you said you are more interested in beautiful landscape, nature, food, culture and not keen of shopping. I guess you would love pristine, rich culture and less-developed countries in Asia such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand. For culture destinations, you could travel to Siem Reap Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar), or Chiang Mai Thailand, lots of things to discover.
For nature, landscape and beach, should consider Vietnam. Beaches in Vietnam are as beautiful as Thailands but less touristy.
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 06:47 AM
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For a first-timer, Thailand and Bali are excellent as both have great tourist infrastructure. While you could visit both in 3-4 weeks, I'd suggest you choose an area and cluster your destinations in that area. That will mean less time in transit.

So if you choose Bali, you could also spend time on Java and maybe add in Lombok or a boat trip to Komodo. Indonesia has endless options. I'd also add a few days in Singapore. Get a Guidebook for Indonesia to give yourselves an idea of the range of options. Lonely Planet has a good one.

If you opt for Thailand, there is plenty to do and see in Thailand. Bangkok is my favorite city in the world, and you'll certainly want to spend time there. Plus, the north has much to offer. You might enjoy a stay in a lovely rural area - we loved the Anantara at the Golden Triangle. Then there are the famous Thai beaches in the south. From Thailand, it is just a short hop to Siem Reap, Cambodia for the incredible temples of Angkor. Laos is also close by. You could do a Thailand/Cambodia/Laos combination. Again, you'll want to look at some guidebooks to help you see all of the options and decide which interest you most.

SE Asia is our favorite part of the world, and we travel there almost every year. You might find our photos helpful: www.marlandc.com
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 07:24 AM
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Traveling a loop from Thailand to Laos to Cambodia makes for a lovely mix of cities, rural areas, religious sites, etc. I did a Bangkok-Bangkok loop covering northern Thailand, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap and ending with kayaking and beaches in Thailand over 4 weeks a few years back - was a wonderful mix of sights and experiences.
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