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2 months in SE Asia - here's how it looks so far

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Nov 28th, 2010, 10:56 AM
  #1
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2 months in SE Asia - here's how it looks so far

Thanks to all the great trip reports here, we've pretty well nailed down our 2 month (Jan/Feb) trip to SEA. I know, I know we're covering a lot of ground, but we may not pass this way again .. and had miles to use etc

Itin looks like this:

12/31 to 1/4 Singapore at Intercontinental Hotel (thanks, Bob). Many will say a long time for Sing, but husband worked there years ago and wants to spend a bit of time revisiting it (and this is my first Asia trip).

1/4 - 1/7 Bali beach - at Puri Santrian in Sanur
1/7- 1/11 Bali Ubud - at Alam Shanti
(included in above time is one day with the famous Putu)
1/11 - 1/15 - Java - at Ijen resort (we'll take ferry from Bali) and then Java Banana near Bromo (naturally this piece is dependent on volcano conditions etc but those NY times articles posted here just looked too appealing for us nature lovers to forego)
1/15 - 1/18 - Yogyakarata (depending . .) reservation at Phoenix Hotel
1/18 - Fly Yogy to Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia Hotel TBD
1/19 - Fly KL to Kota Kinabalu on Air Asia Hotel TBD
1/20 - Leave KK on MASwings for Lahad Datu
1/20-1/24 - Borneo Rainforest Ldoge
1/24- Lahad Datu to KK
1/25 - KK to KL to Phnom Penh
1/25 - 1/28 PP at Pavillion Hotel
1/28 - 2/1 - Siem Reap at Seven Candles Guest House
(included here a couple days touring with famour Ponheary)
2/1- fly Lao Air to Vientiane
2/1 - 2/4 Vientiane at Souphaphone Guest House
2/4 - Fly Lao Air to Luang Prabang
2/4-2/8 LP at Lotus Villas
2/8 - fly to Hanoi (probably at Hanoi Imperial Hotel
2/11 - Livitrans train to Sapa
2/11 - 2/14 Sapa
More hanoi
2/16 - halong bay on Dragon Pearl junk one night
Back to Hanoi
2/18 - fly to Hue
2/18-2/20 Hue at Villa Hue
2/20 driver to Hoi An - over pass etc.
2/20 -2/24 Hoi An at HaAn Hotel
2/24 - flight to Hanoi
2/24 - 2/27 more Hanoi
2/27 - fly to Hong Kong
2/27 - 3/3 Hong Kong
3/3 - fly HK to US

We've arranged most everything so far ourselves, but have received a proposed itin from Tonkin Travel for the Viet Nam piece. Will probably accept most of their proposals,
except may dump a couple city tours that we would probably rather do on our own - plus we like the idea of contacting the hanoi and danang kids. As an esl teacher, that kind of experience is right up my alley. . . .

We'll be in Hoi- An (I mistakenly said Hanoi in another post) on my birthday, so will need great restaurant for dinner. I've just been rereading great trips reports from Bob
and djunbug now that departure time is drawing near. Sounds like maybe Secret Garden or Morning Glory.

We're really looking forward to this trip. Any/all further suggestions welcome!
But, really, thanks Fodors people for all your help!
glover is offline  
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Nov 29th, 2010, 07:09 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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secret garden is the place for the birthday dinner for sure...make a res.

yaly for clothing...

the rest looks very busy but fantastic...

alam shanti and puri shanti perfect!!
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Dec 1st, 2010, 01:17 AM
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Wondering if you might fly Yogy to Jakarta to KK on Air Asia. Or maybe you are finding better connections through KL. Never mind,I checked and see that there are many more choices through KL.

You will love Alam Shanti. Though I prefer to change other locations every 3 days, you are wise to spend the extra time in Ubud.We were there 5 nights and it is so relaxing and memorable! Will be including that in my trip report as well as some of our favorite activities. We had Putu booked but changed our itinerary so when he couldn't accomodate us, he suggested his associate.

Our hotel in Singapore was close to Clark Quay and we enjoyed the area very much. There are interesting restaurants and pubs. I was emailing a gal in Singapore while on the trip and she suggested a restaurant, lounge there where her husband raves about the single malt scotch. I can look up the name if you are interested, but we chose other restaurants as I was with my daughter.
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Dec 1st, 2010, 08:04 AM
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Hey, thanks for the feedback Rivet. (Looking forward to your continuing trip report). Sure I'd love to have the name of the Singapore restaurant if you can find it.
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Dec 1st, 2010, 07:21 PM
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This looks like a nice trip. I used to live in S’pore as well, and don’t think 5 days is too much. You can’t cover all the good food places alone in that time, not to mention the ethnic neighborhoods and the museums (the best in Asia IMO; be sure to see their exhibits on Malay culture). I am not a shopper myself, but do love that British India, see http://britishindia.asia (they also are in KL). Also the gift shop in the Peranakan Museum has lovely Malay jewelry, which is hard to find elsewhere.

As a general comment, I think parts of this is a somewhat rushed itin for someone with the luxury of 2 months in Asia. You are one of the few people who can spend more time in destinations. I would take advantage of it. My travel mantra for a long time now has been less is more. I would much rather get to know a few places well over having only a superficial glance at many places. But that is just my travel style, perhaps yours is different.

Some other thoughts would be:

I think you may have a fair bit of rain in Sabah in January. I assume you are OK with this. (This will be the case in Bali as well, but it matters far less there, IMO.) For nature lovers, I am kind of surprised that the Mulu Caves near Miri are not on your itin. If you can’t get to Yogya and Bromo, then these may be a good alterantive to consider.

I assume you are getting good info on conditions on the ground in and near Yogyakarta, as I understand the range of the lava/ash coverage from Merapi is quite extensive. I understand that there is currently no access permitted to Mt Bromo, so again I hope you have good info from local sources before trekking out there.

You will be in Laos during Tet/Lunar New Year. It is not celebrated by Laotians, but is celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese, who have a considerable presence there. Hopefully you can see some of the celebrations. I would perhaps lean toward changing your itin to be in a country where it is celebrated more widely, as this can be very interesting, IMO. Decorations, food, fairs, fireworks. But it may not be really feasible with the route of your itin, or require backtracking. Just something to consider.

Also Thaipusum, a Hindu holiday celebrated only in Singapore and certain parts of Malaysia like the Batu Caves outside KL, will be celebrated on January 20 2011. It is a very interesting celebration to watch, with firewalkers, tongue-pieced devotees, the whole works. If there is way to spend that day in KL before going to Sabah, you may find that a good addition to your itin.

I think you are shortchanging yourself in Hue. You only have 1 full day there, the other days are partially spent in travel to and from. I think this is possiby the most interesting town in Vientam in terms of history and sights. I would take a day off of Hoi An or possiby Hanoi. All are interesting, but IMO Hue is more so. Also you should be able to do some walks/hikes in the nearby mountain areas; I have not enquire into this, but am sure it is possible. You can bike around the villages in both and you should include this on your itin, IMO.

It appears you have only two full days in Siem Reap. AGain, I wonder if this is really sufficient time.

For Hong Kong in late Feb, it will either be foggy and cool or sunny and cool. Just a matter of luck. But excellent hiking weather (lack of views in some cases notwithstanding), so be sure to get out onto the trails.
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Dec 1st, 2010, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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http://www.highlanderasia.com

Highlander Bar & Restaurant
Locationlk 3B, The Foundry #01-11 Clark Quay,
River Valley Road
Singapore, Singapore

Quite famous, according to Carol.
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Dec 2nd, 2010, 01:29 AM
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In KL we enjoyed the Sheraton Imperial. We also took a nice jungle hike outside the city on our own and had a driver that combined taking us there and then the Batu Caves.
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Dec 2nd, 2010, 10:46 AM
  #8
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Thanks all for these additional suggestions/comments.

We've actually added another day or so in Hue. Husband wants to go to the DMZ area because he was near there . . . back in the day. Have any of you done that.

Cicerone - thanks for the Mulu caves area suggestion. We are watching/reading about the Yogy/Bromo situation . . . so we'll see . .. an alternative may be good to have!
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