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Asian Destination for Big Family reunion with kids-HELP!

Asian Destination for Big Family reunion with kids-HELP!

Sep 5th, 2004, 10:16 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Asian Destination for Big Family reunion with kids-HELP!

My parents are taking all their kids (that's us) and their grandkids on an Asian trip over the Christmas holidays (Dec 27 to jan 3, 2005). We will be 11 adults, and 7 kids with ages 2,3,6,7,9,9,13. I am assigned to choose location and do bookings for everyone. We are from Asia (the Philippines) and we did Singapore last year which was perfect since it had everything for everyone. The challenge is to find a similar logistical experience, at a different location! We were thinking of the Gold Coast but realized that it was ultra-peak season and rates would have been too expensive since we are many. If anyone is up to the challenge to help out, I'll list our wish list:

1. Activities for kids important (the younger ones will just love being in the hotel, so it's for the older ones)
2. 4-star hotel, max $150/night (we get 8 rooms, or 4 2-bedroom apartments as there are 4 families)
3. Beach destination not so important as we have nice ones in the Philippines.
4. Shopping opportunities since the women bond by shopping together.
5. One flight from Manila (altho we can combine a trip if worth it--eg. BKK/ChiangMai)
6. Medium activity level (no major trekking) as parents are elderly.

I think I've challenged you enough. I appreciate all the posts in this forum. Thanks a lot!
vicki2201 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 03:26 AM
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I think anywhere you go that week will be premium prices, esp Thailand, so you may have to do some searching for deals. I think Australia is a great idea (and you should probably post a message on the Australia board as well.) As beaches are not important to you, why don't you try a city like Sydney? There is lots to do for people of all ages, the shopping is good, and if you want a beach for the day, Bondi Beach is very close. The harbour is so large and such a part of the city that you may feel you have enough access to water anyway. You may find city hotels offering bargains as it is the resort hotels which tend to fill up. There are also service apartments which may be better for a family. From Sydney you can also take day trips up the coast and/or into the hills.

Melbourne is another great city, and you could take day trips to the outlying countryside. I think Darwin is OK at that time, although you would have more rain there than in Sydney or Melbourne.

The Margaret River area in Western Australia is beautiful and has lots to do and see as well.

I assume you have already confirmed that Gold Coast hotels are out of your price range; it is "winter" there and you may find some bargains even during Christmas week.
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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There are the obvious regional choices but as far as 'high season' I think you are going to get caught in that 'wherever you go', also remember that a huge number of people book hotels from say 23rd/24th December thru until say 2nd/3rd January. Anway, I agree with Cicerone that Australia would be great. My own personal destination suggestion would be Brisbane area. Shopping is excellent and it is I admist one of my personal favorite cities anywhere!! Also you can use the train along the coast and get to see the Seaworld(?name) and several other Disney-like parks and adventure places, so it suits shopping and also great things for the kids.
For accommodation Australia really caters for families, you find serviced apartments everywhere from cities to small places, most of these are just like hotels but the apartments can be very large and ideal for families or groups, if Australia interests you then try the Australia board. If you arre from Manila BKK/Chiang Mai/KL/HK might not be that exciting for you, places such as Phuket would satisfy the kids but then again you have your own beaches. Australia sounds to me a great idea and I think you will be pleasantly surprised about costs, also when doing trips you will often find group and family tickets, buses and trains are easy and cheap, shopping again is good and I think all-round appeal with something for everyone.
Good luck.

How is Boracay? Always wanted to visit!!
JamesA is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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Although very built up and commercial for familes with a lot of kids you might also look at Surfers Paradise just south of Brisbane, those who want to shop can take the express bus into brisbane for the day or take the coastal train whilst the rest can head off to those family and kids attractions which are all in that area between Brisbane and Surfers. In Surfers you will find more family apartments per block than almost anywhere, the majority of accommodation seems to be serviced apartments / apartotels etc type places.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 11:42 AM
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Thanks Cicerone and JamesA--as per your advise, I have posted on the Australian board. By the looks of it, Australia may be more booked than other Asian cities since it is also the height of their holiday season. We are still doing good time for other Asian destinations incase Australia is out. Would KL (Petaling Jaya) be an option? Even if we're from Asia, it may be interesting because the family being together is the priority. It may be easier logistically. But if we've done Singapore, will it pale in comparison?
vicki2201 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 11:54 AM
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We spent a week in KL a few years back and enjoyed our stay- more culture here than in Sing. Good shopping- more value for the dollar than Sing. Interesting architecture, food is great- its close to Sing as well.
BillT is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 08:01 PM
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I think northern ASIA may be interesting since it is a bit diffrent from south eaast asia. kyoto/tokyo/Saoul/baijing.. the prob is the weather at the time but and therr may be some SNOW. but the kids may enjoy that....

It may be cold but places like tokyo/Saoul have an extensive underground city. so you may not find yourself fighting thw weather that much... the other prob is cost EXPENSIVE. maybe Beijing is cheeper then the japaneees destination.
orgy7 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 03:25 AM
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Thanks to Bill and Orgy--Tokyo and the North may be too cold--and Tokyo too expensive for the week we will be there. It was a consideration..

Bill, you are saying KL will not pale in comparison to Singapore in terms of things for the kids to do? My cousin is recommending a serviced apartment in Petaling Jaya. If Australia is too costly (for this time of the year--there will definitely be no bargains!), I may have to recommend KL. Does anyone know more about KL and activities to do for that week? and a nice place we can stay?

thanks loads!
vicki2201 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 04:14 AM
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With such a big crowd and many kids and a lot of age ranges you really have a big challange trying to please everyone.
KL was a bargain for US tourists as the US dollar goes far. With all those kids I would think that a nice ocean resort might be the ticket. Try to pick one that has a lively town attached with shopping, lots of restaurants and some night life. I would think a resort on the ocean would provide plenty for all the kids. KL is great for adults and teens but for the little ones I don't think it offers much.
BillT is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 04:58 AM
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I would recommend KL. Lodging is relatively cheap incomparison to Singapore (bcos of the currency strength). Since there is such a big group of you, I would suggest you to stay at a service apartment which would cost probably around RM300 a night for a 3 room. Do a check on the internet, I'm sure it will gives you some good places to stay. Personally I stayed in 1 before and it was great. It was at Bintang Walk where all the shoppings centres are.

Genting Highlands is about an hour (if i'm not wrong) from KL and you could probably do 3 nights in Kl and another 2 in Genting Highlands. Depending on your depth of your pockets, Genting have a wide range of hotels for your selection. I can't remember the hotel name, but the newest built hotel in Genting is ridiculously small! Genting Highlands should be a great place for all ages, especially if you wanna get away from the heat.Checkout their website, you should get all the information which you need.

The only bad point about KL is probably the transport. Moving around could be a problem with such a big group though taxis is cheap. But do remember to confirm the price before you board or ask whether are they following the taxi meter. Another alternative is probably charter a mini-van.

Hope that helps.
fOsh is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 03:46 PM
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As an expat living in Singapore with five children (ages 12 months to 14 years) we go to KL quite frequently for a fun and easy family holiday. I would recommend staying at the Mandarin Oriental KLCC as it is connected to both the KLCC shopping center and a beautiful park for the little ones. The hotel may be slightly more expensive than the apartments you were thinking of renting (it should still be within your budget though) but the hotel is worth it for the location also it is worth calling to ask about better rates than those advertised on their website - they also have serviced apartments if that's a better solution for your family (and a small spa for the ladies/tired shoppers!). KLCC has arguably the best shopping and restaurants in one location and even has a small museum on the top floor of the mall. KL has several family activites such as the water park (I can't remember the name of it but you should be able to find it on the internet or ask at your hotel), with a wave pool, that is attached to a mall with ice skating, bowling, and other family activities, and Central Market that is shopping with more of a cultural and, oddly enough, teen focus. KL is also a great jumping off point for other destinations that can be reached by car/van (a good option for large families). The Genting and Cameron (SP?) Highlands are a bit cooler climates but the hiking can be challenging for older people if you are interested in that sort of holiday. Another option might be Port Dickson. It is about 45 minutes south of KL, I would highly recommend staying at The Avillion, and is a relaxing beach/water sort of holiday that could be added to your stay in KL (of course coming from the Philippines it isn't comparable to your beaches so you might be disappointed with the water and beach). Going north again, if you are interested in a beautiful beach holiday to go with your urban KL holiday, I would highly recommend going to Pangkor Laut and staying at Pangkor Laut Resort. It is a private island with a beautiful beach but the only thing on the island is the resort, so it may not appeal to the diverse interests/ages of your group and it may not be within your chosen budget for this particular holiday (they do have family rooms though that might be more economical) but the drive to the ferry is beautiful with landscape that was featured in the movie "The King and I" and an interesting sight called "Kelly's Castle" that you may visit and explore on the way to the ferry. I would disagree about KL's appeal to little ones. My children have a terrific time in KL just playing in the hotel pool and KLCC park. KLCC also has a large movie theater that appeals to the adults and older children. Overall, I think you would have a great time as a family in KL agreeing that transportation is a challenge if you are staying in a hotel outside central KL. On the Australian note when we went to Australia we rented a house rather than staying in an apartment or a hotel and that might be a great option for you if you are still thinking of Australia as a destination. Also, we have a great time as a family in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. I think you could have a terrific (and inexpensive)time in just Bangkok and I can let you know what we do there too if you are thinking about heading to Thailand instead of KL. Have a terrific time!!
dlh is offline  
Sep 11th, 2004, 11:36 AM
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Hi dlh--thanks for the run down on a KL holiday. Looks like it's narrowing down to KL or Bangkok )altho half the famiy has done Bangkok already...

As for KL, I was there with some friens in 1998 and we went to Genting Highlands--the casino. I found it so crowded and kinda tacky--not exactly my cup of tea. I'm not sure if it's still the same.

I'vev checked out the Ascott Chain on KL--would that be a good place to stay?

Can you give me ideas on where to stay and what to do in Bangkok too? Thanks lots--appreciate it!

vicki2201 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2004, 02:24 PM
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The luxury hotel prices in KL are hard to beat. I just booked a deluxe exec suite for US$126 a night at the Ritz Carlton! You might also consider a beach in Malaysia. I've been to Kuantan in late December several times and never had more than a bit of rain (I know it can get stormy). There is a very nice Hyatt right on teh beach at Kuantan that has lovely accommodations.

Bangkok is one of my favorite cities, but with all the kids, you may be happier in KL or Kuantan (or similar),
Kathie is offline  
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