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Looking for an interesting place to visit after a work week in Bangladesh

Looking for an interesting place to visit after a work week in Bangladesh

Old Jul 2nd, 2011, 10:48 AM
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Looking for an interesting place to visit after a work week in Bangladesh

In late October, I'll be in Bangladesh for a week of work. I'd like to meet my husband afterward somewhere in the vicinity or somewhere between Bangladesh and L.A. We have seen a lot of Asia, but much of that was nearly 40 years ago. We haven't been to China, but neither of us have a desire to go. We like seeing flora and fauna; snorkeling, kayaking, swiimming (but not just lying on a beach), and hiking (if it's not hot and humid); history and culture; good musuems, aquaria, and zoos; and tasty food; husband likes to play golf. We'd love to return to the S. Pacific (or a place like it) if that at could be added without too much additional airfare

I'd considered a "nostalgia" tour to Malaysia, where we lived the summer of 1974 and I've visited about 2 dozen times since (for work) but not in the last 10 years, and thought Langkawi would be a nice new place to visit. However, I was discouraged by the postings I've seen here about Langkawi.

Looking forward to your suggestions.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 07:38 PM
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I neglected to mention that my husband doesn't like places that are visibly extremely poor or where people are constantly "in your face>'
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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 08:09 PM
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I would think a location is SE Asia might suit you. Of course, finding all of those activities in one place is pretty difficult.

The easiest place to visit might be Singapore. It's prosperous and modern, has fabulous food, good museums, a wold-renowned zoo (esp. the Night Safari). It's hot year round as it is virtually on the equator.

A couple of other major cities to explore: Bangkok and Hong Kong. Both are fascinating cities with lots to do and see.

If you want to return to Malaysia, let me suggest Malaysian Borneo, either Sabah or Sarawak. If you want a place in western Malaysia, the Georgetown area of Penang is a great destination.

If you husband doesn't like places that are visibly extremely poor, Bangladesh will be difficult for him.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 08:28 PM
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Thanks, Kathie. We've actually been to all of the places that you mention. I'm trying to find some place "new," where we haven't been before. (In 1974 we lived in Peninsular Malaysia for 3 months and on that same trip went to Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. In 1986 we went back to Peninsular Malaysia and also went to Sabah and Sarawak. In 1989 we visited India and Nepal.)

One place we haven't been in Malaysia is Taman Negara -- the national park. However, we would be going there during the rainy season, and I would guess that the weather would be oppresssive.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 09:17 PM
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I think your biggest challenge is going to be the weather in much of SE Asia in late October, esp. given that you want a beach holiday. Take a look at weather websites to make sure you are OK with the potential for rain. As you may recall from your time in Malaysia, there are 2 monsoon patterns moving in the area in late October: the southwest monsoon is receding, and the northeast monsoon is advancing. This can complicate beach vacations. Personally, I think that golf and beach are going to be hard to do together in October, as there is not a whole lot of golf with beach to begin with, outside of very developed places like Phuket and Langkawi, which will be rainy. Outside of the PRC (see below) virtually any place you want to hike will be quite warm and quite humid.

Langkawi will tend to be rainy, as will Phuket. You might be OK on the east coast of Malaysia as the bad rains are more in November, but bear in mind that you could have rain . Try something like the Kuala Terengganu area which should give you access to golf and then the eastern portion of Taman Negara national park for flora and fauna. See something like the marvelous Tanjong Jara hotel see http://www.tanjongjararesort.com)

I think the Krabi/Phuket might address your interests better than Langkawi, as there is better kayaking and water sports, IMO, and a bit of hiking (esp in Krabi, Phuket would not offer much). But do bear in mind that it may be quite rainy then, see some websites. You could of course have a week of clear dry weather, but historically rain would be more typical. Borneo will also be rather rainy, although otherwise it would seem to fit most of your interests (limited museums however).

The Hua Hin area of Thailand, about 3 hours south of Bangkok, might be your best bet, as it may be the driest (no museums, but perhaps you can do a mix of Bangkok and then beach in Hua Hin).

If you are OK with no beach or hiking, than Bangkok may work. Certainly has some good museums, good food, and you should be able to get some sort of golf access by taking a trip outside of town. Nice weather in October. Singapore would work very well for most of what you want, great zoo and aquarium, fantastic food and museums (both the best in Asia, IMO), golf access will be a bit limited but possible. No real hiking to speak of, although some jungle walks on places like Pualau Ubin would be possible. Both Bangkok and Singapore have non-stop flights from Dhaka, and then non-stops to LAX.

Bali may also work and weather is good in October. The issue may be getting there from Bangladesh, as you will have to transit through someplace like Singapore or Bangkok. Might be a lot of travel for a week. There are basically no museums in Bali, but the cultural life of the island is really a museum in itself (esp painting, sculpture and music). Would fit most of your other interests as well.

While you say you have no interest in the PRC, Beijing could be a great place for a week, as long as you give up the beach/watersports portion. Weather is great, a ton of museums/cultural sights, great food. You can do something like the 10-k hike on the Great Wall between Jinshanling and Simitai for fantastic countryside views and exercise. I believe there are some whitewater rafting possibilities not too far, but I have not done this myself so don’t have particulars. You should be able to get access to golf. Not a lot of visibly poor people these days. Non-stop flights from Dhaka, and I believe there are non-stops from Beijing to LAX. Some of the countryside areas of the PRC may also appeal for more hiking/golf/history, like Lijiang or Guilin. Hainan Island, the “Hawaii” of China, might be a thought, there would be golf, beach (temps will be a bit cool) and some hiking. You need a visa for the PRC, but as you are going through that exercise for Bangladesh, this should not be too much extra work.

Taiwan may also work for much of what you want, beach temps may be a bit cool, and I am not aware of snorkeling, but hiking in the Alpine mountain areas could be quite good. Really interesting food, IMO. The museum in Taipei is a treasure trove. May be a trek to get there from Dhaka.

I also think Hong Kong would work very well, esp as late October is just lovely weather: dry, sunny, low humidity and pleasant temps. We have superb hikes/walks (all of which can be done on your own using public transport), great food, some museums (Singapore is better but we have a few good ones). You can kayak in a few places (see http://www.kayak-and-hike.com). We have some very lovely beaches (more for sitting than swimming, esp in October) and the Ho Hai marine park for snorkeling (I won’t say fantastic, but an interesting minor add-on to a trip here). On a weekday morning, by showing his passport, your husband can play at the very posh Hong Kong Golf Club right on Hong Kong Island (see http://www.hkgolfclub.org/ click on “Golf” then “Deep Water Bay” then “Visitor’s Fees”). There are other golf possibilities a bit further away (see www.kscgolf.com), although if he can get onto the Deep Water Bay course at the Hong Kong Golf Club, that would be the best, IMO. Non-stop flights from Dhaka, and non-stops to LAX. You do not need a visa for Hong Kong, only for the PRC mainland.

Bangladesh by the way is really interesting, IMO. It won’t have the golf you want (and probably has too many “visibly poor” people for your husband’s comfort), but on your own you may enjoy spending some time travelling around.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2011, 09:30 PM
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Thanks very much, Cicerone. My husband will not be going with me to Bangladesh. I would meet him somewhere afterward. I had listed the things we enjoy, but we certainly don't need to do all of them. E.g., we enjoy snorkeling and kayaking, and he enjoys golf, but we aren't necessarily seeking a beach or golf vacation and would only do those things if it happened to work out.

We've never been to S. Korea. Is there enough there of interest for a week or two?
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Old Jul 4th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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What about Taiwan? Taipei has one of the best museums in the world, but get out of the city and there is beautiful countryside and hiking.

Interesting places with no beach: Angkor Wat, Cambodia - the temples here are truly one of the wonders of the world.

Luang Prabang, Laos - a charming small town with lots of temples, monks and monasteries. This was always the cultural center of Laos.
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Old Jul 4th, 2011, 08:22 AM
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PRC is sounding more interesting now. However, husband is now talking about wanting to go to Japan. We were there in 1974, but have not been back since. Suggestions welcome.
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