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goodness Feb 9th, 2010 06:48 AM

Asia -Budget - Family: Summer Itinerary Needed
I know this is a new topic, I need an Itinerary: I have been trying to plan a 2 1/2 week Asia trip for my family 3 teens for this July/August `10 we need a b u d g e t- not backpacker, we need a Pool for the hot days and a little bit of respite from the heat) I was thinking Thailand but now question it. My family really doesn't like large cities ie: Bangkok and kol Samui seems like a great distance (Los Angeles) to go for a beach resort. Yet I still crave Asia, I am wondering if we should go to Vietnam and or Cambodia? I want my family to have a different experience without huge hassles and inconvenience. We also have to keep the cost down. Is this possible? I would love any help as I have become obsessed and need to plan for this time.

Smeagol Feb 9th, 2010 06:58 AM

Your idea of Budget $$ might help?

Gpanda Feb 9th, 2010 08:22 AM

Thailand will definietly work for any budget. With 2 1/2 weeks you can visit Bangkok (briefly), Chiang mai and a beach, maybe Hua Hin. In BKK, there is enough to spend 2 days at the beginning and 2 at the end. You can fly to Chiang mai cheaply on Air Asia. Up there you can do some trekking, elephant stuff and other stuff good for teen agers. you can get to Hua Hin cheaply by van and enjoy some beach time.

A prospective per night budget would help with recommendations.

goodness Feb 9th, 2010 09:00 AM

A budget? for two weeks + our max is 6,000 US, excluding AIR. That would be around $500 a day. We need two rooms (3 teens,) meals (3 teens) and some comfort all around. Not a huge amount but enough to give us a little break from the heat. For some reason I am much more interested in Ankor than the Chang Mai? I really appreciate the replies.

Gpanda Feb 9th, 2010 12:36 PM

Prices for hotels in Thailand are way cheaper than in the US or Europe. With your budget you can stay in very nice four star hotels. In Bangkok, take a look at the Royal Orchid Sheraton or Marriott Resort and Spa. Both are on the river and between $120-150 per night per room. They are very nice hotels with very good pools. Meals are also much cheaper in Thailand, excluding alcohol. You will be able to eat for $200 per day or less. Especially if breaKfast is included in your room rate. The breakfast buffets are very good and a huge amount of food.

marmot Feb 9th, 2010 01:49 PM

You might consider Bali. It's a culturally rich environment in a profoundly beautiful setting -- plus a beach. Plenty of teen-appropriate activity. July/August is high season but I Indonesia is still a good value and $6000 is doable (but you'll have to negotiate).

Consider, for example, one week at the beach and one week inland in the Ubud area. Take a look at the Sofitel or the Padma at the Beach and Alam Sari or Ketut's Place in Ubud.

You should also consider renting a villa, especially at the beach. You will get 3-4 bedrooms, pool and a full resort-style staff. Not on the beach, but close.

There are hundreds of choices but this is a good place to start looking.

goodness Feb 9th, 2010 03:06 PM

HI thanks for everything. Can you tell me why Bali over Thailand , Cambodia or Vietnam? If 6,000 gives us so much I am happy for less Lux and spend less. We are taking this trip because the kids are leaving or left the nest and we want a big trip before they leave not because we have extra cash sitting around.

Kathie Feb 9th, 2010 03:42 PM

Bali is a very easy alternative. If you go to Thailand, Cambodia or VN for two weeks, you'll have to fly between destinations with the short amount of time you have.

I love Thailand, think the temples at Angkor are one of the wonders of the wold, and feel that VN has a lot to offer, but for your purposes, I agree with Marmot that Bali would be just perfect. Do some reading on Bali.

If you do Thailand and Cambodia it will be a wonderful trip, but more expensive. The flights to/from Siem Reap are in the $300 pp range, plus you'll have temples passes and visas for everyonr, adding to the expense. I don't want to discourage you from Angkor, but it will be more difficult to do that trip on your budget - still possible, though.

goodness Feb 9th, 2010 03:57 PM

ok, I will read up on Bali..thank you

marmot Feb 9th, 2010 04:05 PM

Each Asian country has a lot to offer. I was just in Angkor and found it to be an extraordinary experience. And I agree that Bangkok is one of the earth's great cities. Thai beaches are some of the best on the planet. I'm less enthusiastic about Vietnam... but maybe that's because I've never been out of HCMC/Saigon. China and Hong Kong are a whole other direction.

I live in Asia and I've visited Bali dozens of times and am never disappointed. I think what's special about Bali is the variety of activities that are available in a relatively small island. Once you're there, you're there. You can have beach, culture, arts and handicrafts, pageantry, spiritualism, adventure travel, water sports, spa pampering, shopping, lots of good food.

Cicerone Feb 9th, 2010 08:39 PM

I agree that Bali would be a very good choice. It’s a magical place. I agree that to properly “see” Vietnam you will need to move around quite a bit, which may not be ideal and would also add to the cost. (And HCM is to be avoided, although Hanoi has a good bit of charm. The small cities like Hue and Hoi An are quite interesting and offer easy access to the countryside.) You can see Bali by staying in one place (or at most two) and doing day trips, or just seeing what is up in the local area, which is quite a lot in most cases. You could if you wanted, circle the entire island in a few hours by car.

While I love Bangkok, a large city like that is not for everyone, and you have to do what you want on your holiday. I could not agree more (and have often said myself) that SE Asia is a looong way to go to sit on a beach. If you still want to consider Thailand, what is it that attracted you? How can you fit that into your plans? For instance, have you thought about basing yourself in the Chiang Mai area for a week or so and then going to the beach in Thailand? Or skipping the beach entirely and doing something like Chiang Mai, and then Luang Prabong (Laos) and/or Ankor Wat? This would also be moving around, not sure what your thoughts were on that.

If you decide on Bali, with two weeks you could move destinations between beach and inland rice paddie areas in the hills. I also heartily second the suggestion for renting a house, you will get more room, in most cases your own pool, and can spend together as a family there. You might try (You may also find villas for rent in Thailand on this site.) I have not rented from them in Bali, but have had very good luck with them in other locations. see some villas at I have rented there twice and highly recommend it, although it is not beach front, but walkable to the beach by the Oberoi in moments. Also, although I don’t know it, I am in love with Villa Jepun which comes with its own <i>boat and skipper</i>!! You could also rent a house with a pool inland in the hill area of Ubud and enjoy some really beautiful rice paddies views, but no beach access of course. But you can walk or bicycle to all the cultural events and great art galleries, etc.

My other suggestion is if budget allows is to split time and go someplace first for a few days like either Ankor Wat or to the neighboring Island of Java to someplace like Jogjakarta. This would give you the chance to see some world-class monuments (Google Borbadour), and then you can relax in Bali (which also offers lots to see and do and a fantastic culture). Or a short stopover in Singapore or Hong Kong would be easy to do, as there are many non-stops from LA to both, and then you can connect to Bali from there. (But these are cities again, although I can give you a very long list of non-city places, including some quite decent beaches for day trips, in Hong Kong.)

rhkkmk Feb 9th, 2010 08:56 PM

bali is really reasonable for food especially and also for rooms...jul/aug is prime time there... lots of options there... sanur might work very well for you-- a nice town..

but thailand would give you the most alternatives and the kids would like it best...serviced apartments would work well.. a two bedroom unit...all have pools..

centre point is one group, marriott is another, ascott is another.. in nov i am staying at the marriott sukhumvit park on soi 24 in bkk for 2975 B or less than $100 per day and also in a two bedroom for 6900B...$210....these are very nice places, i toured this one last nov...

hua hin might be a good beach place for you... off season rates at the hyatt are not bad...

hotel sites:

these are all pre-pay sites so do not book until you are sure... they also include tax/service (17%) and often breakfast

Gpanda Feb 10th, 2010 02:16 AM

Both Thailand and Bali will provide a wonderful vacation. You might buy a guide book for each and see which one strikes your fancy. The first step is to choose which one and then work out the details.

goodness Feb 10th, 2010 07:11 AM

thank you so much! I really appreciate the advice. It all loks so good and wish I had more time to see it all.

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