Maldives, Malaysia and Singapore?

Aug 14th, 2004, 05:28 AM
  #1  
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Maldives, Malaysia and Singapore?

Hi--we are still struggling to complete our itineary for our 2 week trip to the Maldives and Singapore the end of December-beginning of January. Would greatly appreciate some help. Want to avoid rainy weather as much as possible. We are using frequent flier miles on Singapore airlines to the Maldives so get a free stopover in Singapore.

Tentative plans are as follows:

December 26--arrive at 6:55 a.m. in Singapore (will check bags all the way through), take shower at airport and change, go into Singapore for breakfast and see Botanical gardens, visit tailor for measurements (taking material), lunch, return to airport for nap and hang by the pool, leave 8:35 p.m. for Maldives, arrive in Male at 10 p.m. and spend night in Male (Male airport hotel is way too expensive).

December 27--shuttle to Ellaidhoo on Ari Atoll in a.m. for 6 nights

January 2--Leave Male at 11:10 p.m., arrive Singapore 6:50 a.m., Have 5 nights to fill in here. Are considering three options in Malaysia, but, having trouble nailing down the details. So are willing to consider other options a short flight away from Singapore. We enjoy nature, birding, snorkeling, butterflies, orchids etc.
1) arrive in Singapore at 6:50 a.m., train or air to Kuala Lumpur, 2 hrs land to Kuala Selangor to bird and see fireflies, overnight at De Palma Inn in Kuala Selangor, bird in a.m. in Kuala Selangor, pm birding at Malawati Hill and on way to Fraser's Hill, Overnight Shahzan Inn (3 nights), bird Gap and drive to KL (3 hrs) with Kalao Voyages

2) Arrive in Singapore at 6:50 a.m., train or air to Kuala Lumpur, land to Fraser's Hill (2 nights), Kuala Gula (2 nights), 5th night in Kaula Lumpur/Malacca? Tour with Neal Nirmal.

3) arrive in Singapore at 6:50 a.m., take bus to Malacca (1 night), land to Fraser's Hill (1-2 nights), Palangkor Laut or Langkawi (2-3 nights), fly back to Singapore. Independent travel.

January 7 and 8--two nights splurge at the Ritz Carlton in Singapore (got a great deal)

Comments? Any one with experience with Neal Nirmal/Green Village or Kalao Voyages? Any other suggestions of what to do with our 5 unscheduled nights?
lacontessa is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 03:24 AM
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A few comments and observations:

1. December 26 is generally a public holiday in Singapore (Boxing Day). Make sure the tailor will be open. It is also a Sunday, and while most shops are open on Sundays in Singapore, not all are. I assume you have a tailor already picked out so you won?t spend any time looking. Are you expecting same day service? This may be a bit problematic with something like a suit or dress. For shirts is probably OK, but for suits or a dress you generally need at least one fitting, otherwise you are not really getting it tailored to you, IMO. If you do want same day service, then go to the tailor first before heading for breakfast, as you don't have a whole lot of time in Singapore that day anyway. Not sure you will actually find prices that low, Singapore is not really cheap in terms of labor anymore. I assume you have done some comparison shopping.

2. I think I would avoid the Botanic Gardens on Sunday December 26. The Gardens are generally mobbed with Filipina maids on their day off on Sundays, plus it is a public holiday so it will be even more crowded. The gardens are nice, but not spectacular, IMO; however the orchid enclosure is very nice if you are interested in orchids. Personally, I would go for brunch at the Shangri-La instead, they have some lovely grounds (not huge but nicely planted), and you can walk around the neighbourhood which is nice and green and has some of the most expensive private homes in Singapore (esp Nassim Road where there are some old colonial "black and white" homes and lots of embassies). They usually have a brunch outdoors by the pool, or you could have dim sum at the Shang Palace. You might want to make a booking, as it is Sunday and the day after Christmas. (22 Orange Grove Road , (65) 6737 3644) You could also sit around the pool there (but be a bit circumspect as you are not a guest; tell them you have checked out, and want to run a tab for drinks, that would probably get the staff to stop questioning you.) The Botanic Gardens are not far from there if you want to take a look on your way to the Orchard Road area.

2. If this were my trip, I would spend more time in the Maldives and less running around in Malaysia. December is the rainy season in Singapore and Malaysia, although the west coast of Malaysia is better than the east at that time. I would spend 8 nights in the Maldives (as it is a long trip over for you), and the rest in Singapore. If you like nature, you can go to places like Pualu Ubun. Pualu Ubun is an island in the narrow waterway between Singapore and Malaysia, and most of it is a national park. You can rent bikes and explore the little bit of wild jungle and wildlife left in Singapore. There are some good seafood restaurant here as well. The website for national parks in Singapore is http://www.nparks.gov.sg, this site is full of ideas for visits to other parks as well. The Jurong Bird Park is interesting. It has a huge aviary and also wildlife shows. Take a look at http://www.birdpark.com/servlet/index.

3. If you do want to go to Malaysia, your first itinerary looks the best IMO. I would fly to KL, because the train will take about 7 hours, plus you have to get yourself and baggage from the airport into Singapore to get the train. You will be tired enough from the overnight flight, so getting to the train and sitting on the day most of the day would be exhausting IMO, and you then have a 2 hour drive in front of you once you get to KL.

4. I would skip Langkawi and Pankor Laut as I think you would be quite disappointed after the amazing beaches of the Maldives. You will have more than enough snorkelling in the Maldives, I would not try to do that in Malaysia, esp on the west coast where it is not that good. (East coast is very good, but not in December, too rainy and water clarity is poor as a result.)


Cicerone is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 03:33 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for your reply. The Ritz Carlton conceirge has already made the reservation for the tailor (Mr. Jack, Far East Plaza, 14 Scott Road, Level 3 Unit 143, 65-6736 0273) for us at 11;30 a.m. on the 26th of December. Since we will be returning to Singapore before we go home (again, are flying on frequent flier miles through Singapore on Singapore Airlines), will have time for the clothes to be made. I love the clothes I had made in Bangkok a couple of years ago so this time am taking material. We thought about staying longer in Maldives, but, available frequent flier seats would have meant just one night in Singapore and we thought after a week in Maldives, we would have had enough of snorkeling etc. We do like to also bird.
lacontessa is offline  
Aug 16th, 2004, 06:44 PM
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two questions for you....i remember your earlier posting on finding a reasonable place in the maldives...were you able to do that with this place you have selected...

i think that you may have missed the point about having the clothing made...when are you going to have your fittings???...depending on what is to be made you should have several fittings...on a recent bkk trip i had a sports jacket made and i went for about 3+ fittings...tweeking the product is what makes it the more perfect...i do not see that much could be done for a fitting on your first day in singapore...then you leave again....you need more time in and out of sing...i think??
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 17th, 2004, 05:05 AM
  #5  
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Yes, Ellaidhoo was our reasonably priced choice in the Maldives through Crown Tours ($185 per night full board for the 2 of us). We are going at the absolutely most expensive time of year--you can save a lot by going a little earlier or later than the Christmas-New Year time. We wanted good off-shore snorkeling. The following other options we also considered: North Male (Helengali), South Male (Embudu Village, Olhuveli Beach and Spa Resort, Vadoo), Ari Atoll (Lily Beach, Fesdu, Bathala, Vakarufalhi, Vilamendhoo), South Maahosmadulu Atoll (Reethi Beach). Olhuveli sounded very nice--but the prices are not out yet and we wanted to make sure that we had reservations well in advance. You need to check always to see whether there is a change in management--this is an issue for several places.

We will have a chance to visit the tailor more than once--the 26th of December for measurements, and will return for 2 nights in Singapore (January 7 and 8). So--at least 2 visits and time for 3.
lacontessa is offline  

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