Asia July 2015 for 2 weeks

Old Oct 13th, 2014, 10:13 AM
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Asia July 2015 for 2 weeks

Hi! First time post... Anyway, I am currently in the stages of planning a long awaited trip to Asia next July, however I don't know where to start. This would be my first ever trip to Asia, so advice would be greatly appreciated. I would like to experience places that have great food and culture. I would like the trip to be City, Beach and Cultural, no more than 2 cities however. Which country listed below will have the best weather in July? Which has the best beaches? The Best Food? Which has the most culture? Or maybe even do both. Anyway the budget is £4000 for 3 people, this would be including flights and hotel. So could you please help me build an itinerary for this 2 week trip? These are the countries I am interested in visiting :

Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia

I'd definitely like to visit either Singapore or Hong Kong on the trip, or both.

Thanks
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 10:40 AM
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Note that Singapore and Hong Kong are both budget-busting destinations. So if you must, choose one and spend just a few days.

You have just two weeks, so you will have to be very selective. Asia rewards slow travel. If you move to fast you'll miss it all.

With your limited time, I'd suggest spending it all - or almost all - in one country. I'd choose either Thailand or Indonesia.

Each of these places has their own unique culture - no such thing as one place having more culture than another.

Indonesia has good weather in July, particularly Bali, but do consider Java as well. Central Java is one of my favorite areas: take a look at photos http://www.marlandc.com/java-2012.html With two weeks you could visit both Bali and Java, and perhaps have a couple day stopover in Singapore.

Thailand has probably the most beautiful beaches as well as wonderful food. Spend some time in Bangkok and learn about the culture. Bangkok is my favorite city - so much to see and do. With two weeks, you could spend time in Bangkok, at a beach and in the north of the country.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 02:01 PM
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I would pick Thailand. Bangkok, beach (east side of the lower peninsula in July), north country. There will be occasional downpours in Bangkok but nothing that would ruin your vacation. You could also easily spend the whole 2 weeks in Bali (which we have done) but Thailand is your best first introduction to Asia. Either will offer great culture, great food but Bali has the edge (slightly) on culture, just because it is so different. You'll probably find better beaches in Thailand. The key, as Kathie said, is not to try to do too much - especially flying from place to place.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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Thankyou Kathie and Craig for your answers. We have managed to decide that we either want to explore Singapore and Thailand or Singapore and Bali. I have asked my fellow travel partners, and they aren't so keen for a visit to Bangkok, but seem interested in Singapore, Ko Samui or Bali. I am open to visit either, but which would you personally recommend for weather in July? The only thing that is putting me off Ko Samui is the expensive flights from Singapore, i found flights for £250 return! Is there a cheaper way of doing this route?

I am more drawn towards Thailand for the beaches, but am more drawn towards Bali for the Hindu Culture and the cheaper flight. Which destination would be better for me?
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 02:30 PM
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Ko Samui is an international beach resort area, no not much exposure to Thai culture there. There are nice beaches on Bali - not as spectacular as Thailand's beaches, but certainly acceptable. And Bali's culture is so accessible. So I'd recommend Bali with a few days in Singapore.

Koh Samui is a less expensive flight from Bangkok than from Singapore, but if you aren't going to spend most of your time in Thailand, there is no sense going into that option.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 04:27 PM
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Keep it simple.

You want to visit Singapore, so why not start and finish there for a couple of nights in either direction. Stay on Orchard Road.

In between, a two-centre holiday in Bali. Sanur for the beach, 100% relaxationan, good food and low key vibe. And Ubud for the culture and glorious scenery.

Do all the flying with Singapore Airlines. Very little internal travel involved.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 05:08 PM
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Have a look at AirAsiaGo for flight/hotel packages for Singapore/Bali.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 06:09 PM
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Singapore and Bali would work best for 2 weeks. We visited Bali in July for 2 weeks and had no rain the entire time. You can fine decent beaches in Bali but inland is where the action is. Hire a driver to see it all - we and many others have used Putu, [email protected]...
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:34 PM
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Hi, thanks for all these replies. I am thinking of doing longer than 2 weeks now, maybe 16 nights. My plan is to stay in Singapore for 3 nights, Ubud for 3 nights, Beach for 7 nights and Singapore for 3 nights. For the beach, could you please advise me which is the best beach in the South of Bali? I really wanted to visit Jimbaran, but have found a great deal for Nusa Dia, so am very inclined to there.. is the beach nice at Nusa Dua? Is it far for me to travel to beaches like Balangan and Jimbaran from Nusa Dua?
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 03:17 AM
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Each of south Bali's beach areas has pluses and minuses. What is the best for you really depends on what you like to do at the beach: swim, surf, sunbathe, shop, go to restaurants, golf? The tides and swells are variable all over Bali so it's difficult to generalize; some days are calm, some are rough.

Nusa Dua is a long sandy beach fronted by many resorts. Between Nusa Dua itself and the adjoining Benoa area there are some 40 to 50 separate resorts. The beach is protected by a reef making it good for swimming, though it can be quite shallow at low tide. There's not much else in the way of local community, but each resort has several restaurants so there are lots of choices.

Balangan and Jimbaran are each about 30-40 minutes from Nusa Dua.

The area in the far southern tip of Bali south of Nusa Dua in the east and Jimbaran in the west is the Bukit, the cliff area over looking the sea. There are quite a few pretty coves (like Balagnan, Dreamland, Ulu Watu) that are primarily surfer beaches, but some can be good swimming beaches as well. You should note, though, that they're not easily accessible. You have to climb down -- and eventually up -- the many, many steps to get from the cliff to the beach.

You get this arrangement in parts of Jimbaran as well: resorts on the cliff, lots of steps to the beach.

Sanur, is also on the east coast and also has sandy beaches and and calm water. Sanur has a well established local community with many shops and restaurants.

Seminyak and Petitenget on the northend of the southwest coast offer wide sandy beaches and mostly big wave surfing and swimming. This area has a lot of restaurants, shops and spas. This is my personal favorite among the south Bali beaches. I like the powerful ocean, lively beach and sunsets. There are a lot of other things to do when you need to get out of the sun.

I'd also consider spending some of your beach days in Lombok.

If you're coming from London you should look at flights on Garuda, Emirates, Etihad. Singapore Airlines is terrific but may put a strain on your your budget.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 06:42 AM
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Isn't getting to Lombok going to eat time up though, either with an extra flight each way, or eating up time by getting to Padangbai and the a boat across and back? Wouldn't staying in Sanur make more sense, and perhaps taking a fast boat across to Nusa Lembongan fora night?

With only a couple of weeks available, the simpler the itinerary, the better the chances of completely enjoying the experience.

I'd avoid Etihad, as there are better options. Either are fine in the air, but Abu Dhabi airport can be a nightmare.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 06:53 AM
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"Either are fine in the air..." should read "Etihad..."
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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I'm going to save Lombok for another visit, but have decided that I will visit Nusa Dua this time and Jimbaran and Lombok this time I have found flights leaving from Manchester with Etihad to Singapore and back for £535pp, so I am persuaded to fly with them. The layover is no longer than 3 hours anyway, but are Etihad good in the air? I have flown British Airways before, so how do they compare? Also, Turkish Airlines are £566pp, so which would you reccomend? After that the flights are £800 plus, I am not willing to pay that much..
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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Be aware that if you are looking for local culture, Nusa Dua is the last place you will find it. It was a purpose-built international beach resort area. Yes, you will find a nice beach and hotels at good prices, but you won't find Bali. Jmibaran would be fine, I like Sanur. And of course, You'll want to stay in Ubud for a while, the cultural center of Bali.

I'd suggest you spend time in Singapore either at the beginning or the end of your trip rather than dividing you time.

Etihad gets good reviews.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 11:59 AM
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Right my plan is to have 3 nights in Singapore, followed by 3 nights in Ubud, then 7 nights at the beach and then 3 more nights in Singapore. Since I am visiting Ubud for the cultural aspect of the holiday, I don't mind if the beach destination has very little culture. That being said, Sanur seems to be a good destination, but i want to visit the best beach that I can. So from the perspective which has the nicest sand and water, which is the better beach?
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Both are nice beaches. I prefer Sanur, but some people like the beach at Nusa Dua. When I was at Nusa Dua, the water was very shallow a long way out which I don't prefer.

Six nights in Singapore is a lot - and will cost you a lot. I'd prefer 4 nights at one end or the other.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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After looking at all the things I wish to do in Singapore, I think that 5 or 6 nights is just about right. I plan to vist Marina Bay, Universal Studios Singapore, Gardens By The Bay, Singapore Zoo, Singapore Flyer, Chinatown and Orchard Road. I think I will reduce the nights to 5 nights, 3 on the way out and 2 on the way back As for Bali, I will check the prices for Sanur.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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Since the prices are so high in Sanur, I will stick to the original plans and go to Nusa Dua. Anyway about the flights, should i fly Etihad Airways or Turkish Airlines? Etihad are £35 cheaper, and they both have the same flying time. Which one would you recommend?
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 04:49 PM
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Have you looked at the Airline Quality website? It also has reviews of airports, so look at Abu Dhabi and Ataturk.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 05:08 PM
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"Best beach" is difficult to define. If you're looking for clear calm blue water and pristine white sand, go to Thailand. Or it could just be that the best beaches in Bali are in Lombok!

My top choice for sand and view is Petitenget beach, but the waves and currents can be aggressive at times.

Nusa Dua has nice sand and relatively calm water for swimming. Geger Beach on the south end is one of the nicest areas. In my opinion Benoa is the worst.

I can't stress enough how variable the beach and ocean conditions are in Bali. There are two tides a day and at certain times of the month you can get very low and very high tides, so much so that the beach can add or subtract 50+M. In July you'll get some big (surfer friendly) swells on the westcoast.

I'd give Nusa Dua an edge over Sanur and Jimbaran just on the basis of sand and sea. Sanur, however, is the most interesting community of the three and Nusa Dua is the most tourist-y.

If you choose Nusa Dua I'd increase your time in Ubud. A stay at a Nusa Dua resort can be a wonderful pampered and insular escape, but 4 to 5 days is enough, and it's not a good base from which to visit the rest of Bali.

Hotel/resort rates are as variable as the tides! Each beach area has a range of accommodations from luxury to simple, so not quite accurate to say that prices are high in one place and low in another. You can find something in your price range (whatever that might be) in all of the areas, though proximity to the beach may vary.
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