Honeymoon: Bangkok, Bali, Siem Reap

Jun 11th, 2012, 10:43 AM
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Honeymoon: Bangkok, Bali, Siem Reap


I'm starting to plan a honeymoon for mid-October. We want to get to Bali (particularly the Ubud region has been recommended) and Siem Reap. Since flying to Bangkok is easiest, and between the two cities, we decided to explore it as well.

We have 3 weeks or 20-21 days, from Oct. 14 to Nov. 3 or Nov. 4, and a budget of roughly $8,000. I'm not overly familiar with SE Asia pricing, so I don't know if this is too low or not. We are prepared to dedicate 3-4 days to traveling between the three cities, but do not want to have to move again once we get to each city.

We are looking for relaxation for the majority of the time, but are very eager to see Angkor Wat and some other temples while we are there. We'd like a nice mix of relaxation and culture/history. We are also okay with resorts.

Does anyone have suggestions on an itinerary, hotels to stay at, etc.? Where will we need a guide and where will we not? Is it hard getting from the airports to the main cities? We are just beginning our planning, so any suggestions would be great. We are coming from Washington, D.C. in the states.

Finally, if budget doesn't allow us to get to Bali, we'd also be open to doing a more Thailand focused trip, and cutting out Bali, but not Siem Reap. Would Phuket, Siem Reap, and Bangkok be a good alternate? We'd like to limit our time to 3, at most 4 cities -- the more cities we cover, the higher the price will be, and the less time we will have to enjoy each city.

Thank you!
mungbean is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 03:49 PM
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first of all, my info is 2nd hand via DD who is just on a trip in the Far east, and in fact just left Siem Reap.

i know that she and her friend stayed there for a week, which they said was not too long, in very good accommodation with en suit bathroom which cost about £6 per night including breakfast. so your budget should certainly stretch to Cambodia.

secondly they loved Bali, and when i get home, I'll post the name of the place they stayed. however so far, their favourite place was fiji and you might find it cheaper as it is less popular then Bali, but still great to visit, apparently. they stayed at a resort that they thought was wonderful, and not expensive - again I will post the name when I get home at the end of the week.
annhig is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 04:06 PM
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all very doable..

overall bali is the cheapest and near the top as a prime place..

start with your flights: from DC may i suggest Korean, ANA, United, Eva, Finn air---some you might have to hop to nyc or newark to pick up.. i love korean..

you might want to consider a split flt, flying into singapore (nearer to bali) and home from bkk.

look at alam shanti near to ubud---gangga room is the best or yumma room..

in bkk there are so many good choices: many of us love the riverside hotels: penninsula (look for deals in oct), anantara, hilton, shangra-la, royal orchid sheraton... a splurge on the penn would be unforgetable..

elsewhere in bkk: centre point properties, marriott mayfair, four seasons, sheraton grande, ascott properties, renaissance and many more..

tong is a guide in bkk that many of us love---google: tour with tong...

food is unbelievable in bkk---all cuisines

look at bangkok air for flts to siem reap (angkor)

get a good guidebook: fodors, frommers, etc to help you

we of course want to help you too
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 04:29 PM
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I think your plan is very do-able on your budget, and your budget will allow you to stay at some wonderful places. On a honeymoon you likely aren't looking for the kinds of inexpensive accommodations ann's daughter stayed in.

Given the weather considerations, I'd start with Bali. (Fly into Singapore, if you can, or KL). Choose two places to stay, one near Ubud, one at a beach.

Then fly to Siem Reap perhaps via KL and the very inexpensive AIr Asia tickets, then to Bangkok.

You are wise to choose just three places. It will be perfect for your honeymoon.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Three destinations in 3 weeks is doable. [You might even squeeze in a couple of days in Central Java to see Borobudur and Prambanan.]

Does the $8000 include airfare? Either way, it's workable, but a different group of hotels/resorts. At any and all price points, Bali is very honeymoon friendly.

It's fairly easy to get to Bali from other parts of South East Asia. If you devote a whole week to Bali you could divide your time between the beach for ocean and relaxation and inland in the Ubud area for culture and nature. (Phuket really is beach focused, which is fine but you don't get the culture aspect that you get in Bali.)

Spending a day or two with a guide is good in Bali. They are plentiful and you can make arrangements when you arrive. Your resort will pick you up at the airport. You should negotiate "transits" as part of your rate.

Bali an easy place to navigate and with great natural beauty and a wide range of activities plus a sophisticated choice of resorts, restaurants, shops and spas. The variety of experience is, to me, the best part about Bali. Hiking, climbing, rafting, bird watching, volcanoes, caves, surfing, snorkeling, temple ceremonies, processions, art and handicrafts, performing arts, shopping, clubbing, spa-ing, wellness, yoga, eating, cooking. My favorites: walking through the rice paddies at dawn or on the beach at sunset.

I'd devote five days for Siem Reap. You'll be able to see more temples than you could possibly imagine. It's a bit overwhelming at first, so save time for return visits. Getting around by tuktuk is easy and fun. I didn't feel a guide was necessary (Dawn Rooney's book is indispensable!) but it's up to you. For hotels I really like Residence D'Angkor. It's in the town of SR and about a 20 minute tuktuk ride to the main Angkor temple complex.

From DC, you can either go east or west. I prefer Singapore Airlines from JFK through Frankfurt. That would get you to Singapore not Bangkok, but Singapore is a great SEAsia hub too.
marmot is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 08:28 PM
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i thought our singapore flt thru frankfurt was the worst flt to asia we have ever taken..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 11th, 2012, 09:00 PM
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What was the problem with the SQ flight? Among our various family members and friends, we've flown that route dozens of times and can't remember any particularly bad experiences. (The SQ non-stop from Newark is by far my favorite, but now that I'm retired I can't afford it.)
marmot is offline  
Jun 12th, 2012, 02:50 PM
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On a honeymoon you likely aren't looking for the kinds of inexpensive accommodations ann's daughter stayed in. >>

good point Kathie - though DD is her mother's daughter so if she says a place is OK, it won't involve any roughing it, I can assure you.
annhig is offline  
Jun 12th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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complete chaos at the frankfurt gates..

food barely edible

staff unusually brusk

plus we were expecting the best..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 03:47 AM
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Korean Airlines has one-stop options between Washington Dulles and both Bangkok and Bali.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 07:50 AM
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In Siem Reap, check out the Sofitel. It has great grounds, lovely rooms, & a fabulous pool. A week there is a good idea because the heat/humidity make it difficult to tour all day. I would get guides there to really appreciate what you are seeing.
LadyMarion is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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I really liked the Sofitel in Siem Reap, but I recommend avoiding any buffet-type food, like free hor d'oerves that might be offered one evening when there is a music/dance performance and avoid gulping a mouthful of water in the shower. One of those things might produce an undesirable digestive outcome. I would stay there again.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 03:01 PM
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i did not stay at sofitel but ate there and it was very nice and close to the entrance to the park.
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 03:42 PM
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Personally I think 3 full days which may mean 4 days/4 nights is more than sufficient in Siem Reap. We stayed at Raffles but the Sofital is very nice. In Thailand you should consider 5 full days in BK, 2 days/3 nights in Chiangi Mai but Phuket is very commercial for a beach vacation. Maybe you want to consider Krabi for beach and pretty good snorkeling for 4 days/5 nights of real relaxation. Then if you want a very diffferent cultural experience you could fly non-stop to Yogjakarta in Central Java for 3 days. There 2 amazing 8th and 10th Century Temples, some scenery that rivals bali but 20 years behind Bali on commercialization which is great, Mt. Merapi that is an active volcano, actully eruopted 3 years ago, and some little villages still in the 1920's of Java. Simply Facinating. We used a guide on to trips to Java who made the trip even more exciting. He has an Air Conditioned van but his stand-out qualities are his knowledge. He is the UNESCO Advisor for Boboburur Temple one of the oldest (8th Century) and most impressive in all of Java. He can in 2 days of 10 hours of touring accomplish what would take 4 if you used taxis and buses. Though his rate is 20% above other guides between his knowledge and flency in English he is well woth the his rate of $80 for a 10 hour+ hour day. He was able to get us hotel rarates below the Internet or directly through the hotel by 15% on average. We visited Central Java twice and used hime, Wiedy, and before we go on a liveaboard to the Raja Ampat Islands this Dec. we will spend some time with him again. While there we heard of guides for $15-$20.day less but their communication skills were limited plus with his knowledge of the famous temples I rather have the "real deal".
If you want to use him contact him at: [email protected] and mention Stan referred you.
You will not be sorry.
Good luck and happy travels.
In BK Tong or Ratt are both excellent guide/drivers for ~$100 for 10 hours. We like RATT more than Tong but others feel strongly just the opposite.
StanKase is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 04:21 PM
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How much time to spend at Angkor depends on your level of interest. We spent a week and would have enjoyed even more time. It takes three full days just to see the so-called major temples. Some of our favorites were lovely "minor" temples that we had all to ourselves. Buy Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples to help you decide how much time you need there.

I know lots of people love the Sofitel, but it's just too big for my taste. If you are looking for small boutique properties, consider places like La Residence, Hotel de la Paix, and the Victoria - just a few among many worthy of your consideration.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 10:57 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't spend much time in Bangkok. It's chaotic and hardly relaxing. There are more interesting cities to spend your time in in Asia (in my opinion). I'm sorry, I know a lot of people love Bangkok, but I find Thailand over all touristy and somewhat disappointing. I know some Americans who have honeymooned in Thailand and been a bit surprised about how commericialized Phuket is. I would second the recommendation to Krabi, and maybe Chiang Rai.

There are no direct flights to SIN except for the all business class flight from EWR. However, via Delta, you can go to Narita and then from there Delta flies to BKK, SIN, HKG. Yes, Delta isn't the best airline there is and I assume you're flying coach, but they now have a few rows of Economy Comfort seating that make the trip a bit easier.
tansmets is offline  
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