Month long SE Asia trip


Oct 6th, 2016, 10:35 AM
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Month long SE Asia trip

Hi all,

My sister and I are planning a trip to Southeast Asia. We’re thinking of going in February because that’s when my birthday is. I live in Seattle and she lives in Chicago so we’re meeting in Hawaii. Yay! We have a tentative 4 and a half week schedule. I’d love feedback, suggestions, any help you can give with planning this trip. It’s our first trip to Asia. Last year we spent a month in Australia so we’re stopping by for a quick trip to see friends; less touristy.

If at all possible I’d love to go to Bali, maybe shorten or replace Singapore/Kuala Lumpur, but I hear that’s Bali’s rainy season. I’m agreeable to changing the itinerary if there’s a must see city/beach or if you think one of the places I listed is overrated or am spending too much time in. Thanks for your help!

2.2 – 2.5 Honolulu
2.6 – 2.9 Sydney
2.10 – 2.11 Perth
2.12 – 2.14 Singapore
2.15 – 2.19 Kuala Lumpur
2.20 – 2.23 Phuket
2.24 – 2.27 Bangkok
2.28 – 3.3 Cebu
3.4 – 3.6 Honolulu
bemardus is offline  
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Oct 6th, 2016, 11:13 AM
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You are going to be spending a lot of time in the air! Usually, doing a stopover in Hawaii makes the trip much more expensive. And "stopping by" Australia takes up a lot of time. It is really out of your way.

Pause and consider what are the things you most want to see/do/experience on this trip? You are all over the map! And have you figured in travel time? You lose a full day on the way to Asia, and to Australia you lose two days. And each time you change locations it will take between half a day and a full day - time lost from your vacation. Take a look at your itinerary and write on a calendar where you will be spending each night, as that will make it clearer just how much time you have (or don't have) in a place. By including Hawaii and Australia in your itinerary, you have very little time in SE Asia. It appears that you will have not more than a couple of days in each place. And it appears you will just have an overnight in Perth. If it isn't worth more time, I'd cut it. Remember that it takes three nights in a place just to get two full days.

Personally, I find Kuala Lumpur the least interesting of the SE Asian capitals. I'd cut it for sure. If you want to go to Bali (and I wouldn't let the rain stop you), then you'll have to cut another location as well. You would want at least a full week on Bali - split between a beach location and inland, near Ubud.

I would encourage you to re-think this whole trip. You could easily spend a month in SE Asia - no need to add in Hawaii and Australia. You are spending the most time on Cebu - is that your highest priority?
Kathie is offline  
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Oct 6th, 2016, 05:53 PM
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What Kathie said!
kja is offline  
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Oct 6th, 2016, 06:10 PM
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I third the motion, unless the OP has a private jet.
CaliforniaLady is offline  
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Oct 6th, 2016, 09:55 PM
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I would do either Australia + Bali or do SE Asia. You'd have a lot more time between flights, and the money you save on flights would allow you to go again next year!

I'm also not a fan of KL, but it is a nice train ride from KL to Singapore. You have Cebu on your list, but didn't mention why you want to go to the Philippines. Unless you have a specific reason, I'd save it for another trip.

You could also save a lot of money by skipping Hawaii. You'll find some beautiful beaches in Bali or Asia, and hotels are so cheap, you could splurge. I live in Hawaii, and many times fly from HNL to Los Angeles or San Francisco, then back to Asia because flights from the west coast to Asia are often a lot cheaper than flights from Hawaii to Asia. Oddly too, they are nearly as fast due to the air routes.

Why don't you meet at Narita Airport and work your way down Asia by regional flights, or meet in an American city that has direct flights to Australia.
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Oct 20th, 2016, 06:17 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I appreciate your help. So I've revised the trip.

Here’s my current travel itinerary. I’m still flexible on the dates, however, my sister and I need American arrival and departure cities. It's too long of a trip for my 22yo sister to fly from/to Chicago by herself. We’d like to visit beaches and cities but would rather cut our city trips short since we’re spending almost a week in Sydney. Should I take out Kuala Lumpur? I figured taking the train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for two nights should be fine.

2.1 – 2.4 (4 nights/3 days) Honolulu
2.5 – 2.10 (6N/5D) Sydney
2.11 – 2.13 (3N/2D) Singapore
2.14 – 2.15 (2N/1.5D) Kuala Lumpur
2.16 – 2.20 (5N/4D) Phuket
2.21 – 2.23 (3N/2D) Bangkok
2.24 – 3.3 (7N/6D) Cebu
3.4 – 3.7 (3N/2D) Los Angeles
bemardus is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2016, 07:39 PM
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I would definitely cut Kuala Lumpur. And the train from Singapore to KL is IMO a waste of your valuable time. If you cut that you'll have a day or two you could add elsewhere. Fly directly from Singapore to Phuket.

I don't understand your comment "It's too long of a trip for my 22yo sister to fly from/to Chicago by herself" Does your sister have a medical condition or disability that would make it difficult for her to fly alone? If not, I'd say that a 22 yo will have an easier time with the long flight than those of us who are older.
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Oct 21st, 2016, 01:55 PM
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Sorry. I forgot to mention that my sister has a fear of flying (but ironically loves traveling). She takes Ambien to sleep on a flight and Xanax to calm her nerves. Meeting in an American city and flying together eases her anxiety. She's the complete opposite of me. I've traveled solo on long trips; love flying. That's in part why we have an ambitious trip; if she doesn't travel with me than she'd probably never travel. Both she and I love traveling and given our age are okay with fast-paced schedules.
bemardus is offline  
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Oct 21st, 2016, 03:29 PM
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Ok, I understand now. Fast-paced is fine, but don't waste your time on destinations that have little to offer or on unnecessarily time-consuming transport.
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Oct 29th, 2016, 05:05 PM
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Glad you included Cebu. It's a nice place but 7 days might be too much. Don't you want to see other islands as well? A personal favorite is El Nido in Palawan. I've tried island hopping in Asia and this one must be the best. They even offer overnight camping in an uninhabited island. It's also a lot cheaper than Cebu.

If you like busy itineraries, adding the chocolate hills of Bohol or the nightlife in white-sand beach Boracay will also make your trip more colorful. Cebu is a good starting point though. It has flights to Puerto Princesa and Caticlan (Boracay) and ferries to Bohol.

Either way, I hope you'll have an amazing experience in the Philippines.
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