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Help with Itinerary - Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore?

Help with Itinerary - Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore?

Old Sep 17th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Help with Itinerary - Thailand/Malaysia/Singapore?

I've been looking into booking a trip to some different places in Asia. My boyfriend and I just moved to New Zealand and figured we had a better chance of hitting up some of these places from this side of the world. That being said, I've been looking at trips to Thailand, Malaysia, or Singapore and only today realized how accessible each is to the other.

Would it be suggested to split these destinations up into seperate trips or, being there already is it suggested to do all in the same trip? Also, if we were to do this, how much time do you think we would need? Would we be better to have it all planned out prior to leaving, or sort of make it up as we go if we just know major cities we would like to see?

Lastly, I have also heard really great things about Bali too. In my mind this is a seperate trip, thoughts on this? Any advice would be so great as I've never been!
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Old Sep 17th, 2010, 08:53 PM
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Start by figuring out what you want to do/see/experience. That will help you choose your destinations. That will also help you figure out how much time to spend in each place. Have you read any of the trip reports here? That can be a good start, then get yourself guidebooks for each country you want to visit. Singapore is a city-state, so you don't need as much time there as you'll need to visit several places in Thailand or Malaysia.

Whether to reserve everything ahead or as you go depends on what time of year you are going and what kinds of places you like to stay.

You certainly have enough for several trips - Bali and Java would be a good trip; SIngapore and some Malaysian destinations would be a good trip, Thailand may be a separate trip. But also consider a side trip to see Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Luang Prabang in Laos.

Travel in SE Asia is best done at a slow pace. I figure the absolute minimum amount of time in any one location should be three full days, which means four nights. So count up the locations you want to visit and multiply by 4 - that gives you the minimum number of days for a trip. For instance, If you want to visit three locations in Thailand, the minimum would be 12 days.

You will have to give us a lot more information in order for us to give you some specific recommendations.
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 05:24 AM
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Thanks Kathie,

This is really helpful actually. We have about 12 days coming up to play with, which would mean only one of the places. Otherwise, we were thinking of a trip later next year for maybe 3 weeks in which to do things.

Would it be substantially more affordable to do Malaysia/Singapore, Laos, Thailand all in one trip and avoid the long flight costs? Is it fairly easy to get around from one to the other? I saw that there seems to be a train that can be taken from Malaysia to Thailand (including Singapore).

I do know a number of people who have been visiting Laos recently. What would be the suggested major cities to see here?

As for more information on what we like, honestly we are quite open to what we see/do, looking for the best suggestions. We enjoy culture - buildings, food, markets, love animal-life and nature. I've heard that to visit an Elephant Farm is pretty amazing. If there are any ruins to see, this is a major interest, but intense walking or hiking we need to avoid a bit. Of course, beaches are always enjoyed. In Thailand I have heard that some good places are Bangkok, Ko Sumai, and Chiang Mai.

Thanks!!
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 08:00 AM
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it is very easy to get around....air asia based in malaysia is very cheap and goes to many of the places you want to go to...

bali would be a fantastic start maybe for your upcoming trip...it could be combined with singapore actually as you may need to go there anyways on your flight from NZ.... 3 days in sin. is a good amount...
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 11:31 AM
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With limited time, you are much better off flying, as the train will eat up a lot of your time. And overland travel is quite slow in most places.

You ask, "Would it be substantially more affordable to do Malaysia/Singapore, Laos, Thailand all in one trip and avoid the long flight costs?" Well, if you had enough time it would. But I don't know that it is realistic. First of all you need to decide what the must-see places are for you.

For instance, you could choose a small sample of Laos, and make just one stop: Luang Prabang. And you could choose just one stop in Cambodia: Siem Reap (for Angkor Wat). In Thailand, you would want time in Bangkok (my favorite city in the world) and a location in Northern Thailand Chiang Mai or smaller places like Pai or Mae Hong Son or the Golden Triangle. Many people want to spend some time at a Thai beach. In Malaysia, I love Penang (the historic Georgetown area, not the beaches which are not good), Melaka (Malacca) is an interesting short stop, KL I find to be the least interesting large city in SE Asia but you might want a short stop there, but Malaysian Borneo is incredible. Malaysian Borneo could well be a separate trip in and of itself.

Take a look at our photos of these places at www.marlandc.com This may give you more of a sense of what places are must-sees for you.
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 11:56 AM
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It is fairly easy to travel within Bali, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Think of what you want to do, simply because Bali, Phuket, Langkawai are all beach places so I would suggest just choosing one. Also, check out the festivals they have at each place, like the water pouring festival in Thailand or Mid Autumn Festival http://bit.ly/9Od0rF in Singapore. Make Singapore your last stop because the shopping is great and the airport is good.
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Old Sep 19th, 2010, 07:26 PM
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You can check out the F1 race as well. http://bit.ly/95yMTI
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Old Oct 3rd, 2010, 06:27 PM
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Thanks everyone and thanks Kathie for the photos - fantastic. I do think we are going to save a quite large trip for later next year now (Malaysia/Thailand/Laos). We will take 3-4 weeks to do so.

In the meantime, we are now actually looking an Indonesia for Christmas. Particularly Bali, but as per an earlier note it looks like Bali + Java would be good. What about Jakarta? Part of this will be relaxation, but seeing as we have around 12 days we are happy to split the time with some culture/sight-seeing, etc too. For the beach part is it recommended to book ourself into a resort or just create an itinerary as we go? I realize that this stream has shifted, but advice on this is also greatly appreciated.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2010, 06:29 PM
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Sorry, realized that that last one may be a bit confusing. Realize that Jakarta is capital city of Java, but don't know if this is the best (or other locales) while in Java.

Cheers!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2010, 06:34 PM
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I'd skip Jakarta and just do Bali/Java.

At Christmas time, you'll want to book in advance. Indeed, many places will be filled by now. If you have enough time (at least a week), opt for two places to stay, one at a beach (anything other than Nusa Dua or Kuta) and one inland near Ubud. Ubud is the cultural center of Bali.

And I'd say 4-5 days in Central Java.
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Old Jan 10th, 2011, 01:48 AM
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Thanks again, it's been awhile, but we're back to planning. For Christmas we just ended up in Fiji as we couldn't get enough time off.

Anyways, it looks like end of June/July is when we will organize the other trip. I think I have got it down to Angkor wat, Luang Prabang, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore. We now have 4-5 weeks to play with we think, money and number of city dependent. I also looked at Vietnam (Ho Chin Minh or Hanoi), but I think we are just getting way too much on our list.

I currently have a few of issues, one being narrowing down the (final) appropriate cities and the other how to best plan the route. I originally had it planned,but adding in Cambodia and omitting it Vietnam will impact it.

Cambodia: Angkor Wat (Siem Reap)
Phnom Penh (if essential for flights)
Laos: Luang Prabang
Thailand: Chiang Mai
Bangkok
Phuket or Ko Sumai (seems that Ko Sumai is difficult/pricer to get to? Would love advice)
Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
Penang
Singapore

Can anybody suggest the best route from one to the next? We are looking alot at Jet Star for affordability right now.

Also, where it makes sense are interested in bus/train, but realize will take many small flights. 1. It appears as though there is a bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - it seems cheap and only 5 hours. 2. Is there a best next destination from Siem Reap - thus far I found a flight to Singapore. Is there a bus or train to one of my other destinations instead? 3.Is there a train from Penang to Kuala Lumpur? I already found a flight from Singapore to Pengang. 4. What is the best way from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang?

I think that's all I have at the moment (alot I know). I thought either working North to South, or South to North is best, but flight options may limit that.

Help!! Appreciate it so much.
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Old Jan 10th, 2011, 02:36 AM
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Just one thing to note, the rainy season in Bali is I believe Dec to february. So if going at Christmas expect some heavy rain. However this may not be an issue for you AND it may only last a few hours but for me It would put me off but that's just me!!!
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Old Jan 10th, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Ok, I started with the assumption that if you are flying JetStar, you must be coming from Australia and Singapore would be your gateway to SE Asia.

Getting to/from Siem Reap if often the most expensive part of most such itineraries, but given where you want to go, you have two inexpensive options: JetStar from Singapore to Siem Reap or Air Asia from KL to Siem Reap. You'll want to study the routes of both of these budget airlines so you can build an itinerary around some of those routes. One other flight option to consider is Bangkok Air. It offers an airpass that covers some of your destinations. You have to fly three legs on bangkok Air to qualify. Bangkok Air serves Siem Reap (from Bangkok) and the Bangkok - Chiang Mai route. It used to cover Lao Air flights as well - I think they discontinued that. There used to be a Lao Air flight between Siem Reap and Luang Prabang and between Luang Prabang and Chiang Mai.

Now, to some of your questions:
1. Yes, there is a bus from Siem Reap to PP
2. From Siem Reap you could go to PP (via bus) or KL (via Air Asia) or Singapore (via JetStar) It probably makes more sense, though to go to Luang Prabang if you can find a flight.
3. No train between KL and Penang but there are inexpensive Luxury buses.
4. Check on whether there is still a flight between Chiang Mai and LP. There are boats... the slow boat is slow - can take two days, the speedboat is dangerous. There is a one day boat, and there is a luxury cruise boat as well.

Happy planning!
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Old Jan 10th, 2011, 03:38 PM
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Thanks Kathie, good assuming, we are actually coming from New Zealand.

• As it turns out, there is a flight from Auckland to Phonm Penh, so maybe that’s a good place to start and then we can bus it to Siem Reap. Is Phonm Penh worth spending much time in?
• I have spent a fair bit of time on some of the other airlines, I guess my next thing is to see if I can get a flight into Luang Prabang – that seems to be one thorn in my side currently, I had one out of Hanoi, but no longer have that on the travel list...so, will do more research as that would be most ideal, if not I guess I fly down to Singapore and work my way up
• I have looked at a multiple destination flight with Bangkok Air – is that the Airpass?, as you you said it doesn’t cover all destinations – I may have to play more with that for pricing once I nail down the final itinerary. Does it save any money?
• I’ll definitely look into the boat options, but 2 days doesn’t sound ideal...haha...probably just need to find a flight through another provider

Last things to get opinions on:
1. Does anyone have advice – whether personal or simply b/c of money/convenience between Phuket or Ko Sumai? .
2. Approximately how long are the buses between KL and Penang if you happen to know, I haven’t found them yet while searching – that’s great though, as that’s been one other frustration.

Thanks so much!
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Old Jan 11th, 2011, 11:04 PM
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Malaysia have those multicultural that you can’t find in any others country. The best time to visit Malaysia is the beginning of December to the end of January. The second peak season falls in the months of June, July, and August. I recommend these places for you..
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