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Help! Absolutely clueless.

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Mar 19th, 2013, 01:16 PM
  #1
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Help! Absolutely clueless.

Hi All

I would very much appreciate some advice about SE Asia. We have never been further East from the UK than Eygpt but have spent many trips in the US and Caribbean. We will be flying to Perth on Boxing Day 2013 and spending a week with friends who live in the city. We have a spare week after that.

Our initial thoughts are to spend the second week somewhere in SE Asia rather than say Queensland. Flying back from Queensland would be hard work for our 7 year old who will have to be back in the UK for school in January.

Our home airport is Manchester UK and flying through Singapore makes much sense.

Can anyone suggest a destination within say 2 hours flying of Singapore. We like beaches, sailing, hiking, wildlife. We don't like overdevelopment but bearing in mind we will have our 7 year old son with us, we don't want to be too far from civilisation. We also prefer rental houses to hotels.

What is Bali like? Is it too commercialised ?
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Mar 19th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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bali is fabulous but i am unclear about that time of the year.. the area around ubud is a nice base.. i do not find it commercialized except around kuta and nusa dua..

i would also suggest some of the thai beaches... you could fly directly to phuket from singapore. i would then drive 1 hr north from there to the jw marriott hotel in khao lak.. the 7 y.o. would love it there..

hotels will however be very expensive at that time.. reserve now!!
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Mar 19th, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Bali is an easy connection from Singapore or directly from Perth.

Bali has two aspects: the international resorts of the southern beaches and the culture/nature of the interior, especially around Ubud. The southern beaches are no more or less commercialized than most other Asian beach resorts, though Kuta is a bit out of control.

What's different about Bali is that with a week you could spend a few days at the beach and a few days inland in the Ubud area. Plenty of beaches, plenty of trekking, wildlife is mostly birds and reptiles. Sailing can be arranged but it's not so common.

The beaches in Bali and lively and well populated, not the deserted pristine variety. Sanur, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua are good swimming beaches. Seminyak is a big wave surfing beach with terrific sunsets. It's swim-able but sometimes has an aggressive surf.

You can rent villas all over Bali, but the greatest concentration is in Seminyak. They will be near but not right on the beach. Many beach resorts also offer villa accommodations.

The weather in Bali in early January will be wet though you may get run of sun. It's hard to predict. Rates will still be high in the week following new year's, but that's true all over Asia.
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Mar 20th, 2013, 01:16 AM
  #4
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, I just have the impression that Bali is Asia's answer to the Costa Del Sol in Spain which is definitely what we do not want. I have looked at house rentals and many in Indonesia seem to be located on Bali and do seem good value. I cannot think of too many house rentals in the US which provide housekeeping staff for $1500 a week.

Can anyone suggest other islands which have natural beauty but are developed enough for us to feel as though are not "back packing" and has an air service between Singapore.
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Mar 20th, 2013, 01:51 AM
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Langkawi would seem to fit your criteria. Although best known for for its luxury hotels it is not as touristy as Bali, has some fantastic beaches and some idyllic islands (99 of them allegedly!) easily reached by bost apart from the main island. There are a number of places to go on cruises through the mangroves etc which would provide some exposure to the wildlife, plenty of hiking in the interior of the island http://www.lashworldtour.com/2012/04...wi-island.html

House rentals are available on the island but many of the hotels have villas for rent although they will be expensive at that time of year! We stayed at The Datai years ago which was fantastic although I imagine it is very expensive these days. A nice alternative to a house might be Bon Ton which is a number of traditional Malay houses run as a hotel. Haven't been there for years but it was very good and quite reasonable.

Other advantages of Langakawi are that it is a short flight from Singapore and the weather will be much better than say Bali at that time of year.
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Mar 20th, 2013, 03:02 AM
  #6
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Crellston

brilliant!

It looks like a perfect balance for us. This saved me days of research, Indonesia has goodness knows how many islands and I have heard of about 4 of them. The sky walk and cable car system looks great and the island is a perfect size for a week of exploring. The tight island system is good for safe and interesting boating, the beaches also look very good.

I couldn't have asked for more, will start to look for rentals and boats.
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Mar 20th, 2013, 03:07 AM
  #7
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Good grief, it has taken 5 minutes to discover that Sunsail have a sailing base there which usually means well equipped boats and a safe sailing area. I think we will charter a boat for a week.

Many thanks
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Mar 20th, 2013, 03:36 AM
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You are very welcome Dickie have a great time and be sure to report back!
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Mar 20th, 2013, 06:57 AM
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Sounds like a great trip, please let us know how it goes!
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Mar 20th, 2013, 04:04 PM
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No, Bali isn't at all like Costa del Sol.
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Mar 20th, 2013, 04:21 PM
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you can combine time on langkawi with a few days at georgetown on penang.. both are fabulous..
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Mar 20th, 2013, 11:43 PM
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I am a little concerned about Langkawi.

There are pretty bad reports on TA about the way te best local reefs are treated and the condition they are in. It would appear that the large resort hotels ship hundreds of people at a time to snorkel and the situation becomes chaos. We would find this very off putting.

Has anyone any experience?
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Mar 21st, 2013, 12:14 AM
  #13
 
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It is a while since we dived in Langakawi and things may have changed but I don't recall there being " hundres of people" anywhere. We had one island entirely to ourselves for a whole day. That said, many countries Lin SEA do not have a great track record of looking after their marine environment. We dived in PhI Phi a few years ago and many of the reefs were totally devastated.

Even if some resorts do transport droves of tourists to snorkelling sites, there are many other islands in the group close by so you will find plenty of other quiet places if you have your own boat. Sunsail will be able to help with suggestions I am sure.

Rhkkmk's is good if you want a change of pace, I too love Penang but it is a total contrast to Langakawi I.e it is all about food, culture and architecture. It is very developed and the beaches are not good.
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