Planning our time in Southeast Asia

Old Jan 7th, 2020, 07:47 PM
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Planning our time in Southeast Asia

Please help me to plan some details of our first trip to Southeast Asia!

We are a couple in our 60ís taking a cruise to SouthEast Asia at the beginning of March. Since our cruise stays overnight in several ports we will take advantage of it and are planning our own overland tours and activities. Our itinerary is Singapore, Ko Samui, Bangkok, Siam Reap (2 days), Saigon, Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hong Kong. I do have tons of questions, apologize for the long list.

1. Singapore, we are staying there for two and a half days pre-cruise. We are planning the usual tourist route for Day 1. Then we will be taking a tour of ethnic neighborhoods. Should we go to Sentosa Island? We are not planning to do Night Safari. What are the recommendations for the hawker stalls? We are also looking to have one dinner at a luxury restaurant with authentic food.

2. Bangkok, 2 days. We are planning to tour Bangkok privately for both days, going to the Palace and a number of Wats. Planning a food tour in the evening. Any recommendations for the street food? I read there is a stall with Michelin start. Does it have a name/number/address? We are booked to stay at hotel Atheene (used points). Is it convenient?

3. We are flying to Angkor Wat for 2 days and taking a private tour there.

4. Saigon, 2 days. We are planning to go to Mekong Delta one day and the tour Saigon for half a day the next day. Is it a good plan? Where to stay? Looking for luxury hotel with the old world charm (but not outdated). Also, looking for street food recommendations.

5. Hanoi Ė where to stay and where to eat?

6. Hong Kong Ė same questions as above. Should we stay on HK or Kowloon side? Places to eat, though we will have only one night there.

7. Ko Samui - what is the best beach there? Should we do any sightseeing or just relax on the beach considering the above itinerary


I know itís a lot of questions. Thanks in advance.
kiramoli is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2020, 06:00 PM
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HCMC - District 1 area
Hanoi - Old Quarter area
For the accommodation, you should do some research on Booking to find one that suits you.
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Old Jan 21st, 2020, 09:38 PM
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Your tour is nothing than a crazy race ! Angkor demands a minimum of 3 days, one-day tour Mekong Delta does not make much sense - TWO days - and going all the way North without AT LEAST fabulous Halong Bay (2 days/1 nt on board) makes even less sense. SO, either forget the South or the North of Vietnam (the north is infinitely better)
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Old Jan 28th, 2020, 09:46 PM
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I disagree that Angor "demands" anything. It all depends on exactly what interests you and furthermore, how MUCH something interests you. There is certainly more to VietNam than Halong Bay, too.
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Old Jan 28th, 2020, 11:58 PM
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#1 - years since I have been so canít really comment.
#2 - Plaza Athenee is convenient enough. A nice hotel with a great Japanese restaurant. We had Sunday brunch there one which was excellent. The authorities seem to have moved on a lot of the street vendors in recent years but this is as good a site as any for finding out about street food https://migrationology.com/top-16-ba...d-sanctuaries/ . One of my fav. places, not street food, but is not far from Athenee is Polo Fried chicken - which, unsurprisingly serves amazing fried chicken accompanied by a dozen different varieties of Som Tum ( papaya salad)
#3 agree with Dukey - Angkor doesnít "demand " anything. We took my in laws there, spent one day touring the temples, saw loads and they loved it.
#4 - 2 days in Saigon is not a lot and a day trip to the delta wonít show the best of what it has to offer. I would consider spending both days in the city. For old school hotels, I would look at places like the Majestic, Rex and Continental. Street food and, better still, small "local" restaurants is everywhere. My wife created a food map of our favourite places in the city. Send me a pm if you would like a link. On eof my favourite places for delicious Pho is in District 3 - Pho Le.
#5 I would stay in the old quarter, close to Hoan Kiem lake. Again some great places to eat everywhere. I would seek out the restaurants that specialise in single dishes. Unless you have at least 5 nights there, I wouldnít waste time going to and from Ha long from Hanoi. Though if your ship docks in Haiphong that would be a lot easier.
#6 - years since I have visited. With just one night, I would consider eating in your hotel most of which have pretty amazing eating options.
#7 - I think you may need a rest!


Last edited by crellston; Jan 29th, 2020 at 12:04 AM.
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Old Jan 29th, 2020, 02:56 AM
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Well, it is true that, in one forum, somebody wrote that Angkor was "a heap of old stones not worth more than a day" ! Every taste is in Nature, and the absence of it abound, so, some people will stay one day only (and see "loads" of it), and then will spend 7 days doing nothing on a beach !!!
Am I supposde to list all the fantastic things to see in Vietnam in addition to Halong. Why don't YOU do it ????
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Old Feb 2nd, 2020, 12:53 AM
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Your trip really looks like a race against the clock! I can only contribute to making recommendations about Singapore since I have visited the country recently.
  1. Make sure to spend some time in Chinatown - Sri Mariamman, Buddha Tooth Relic and Thian Hock Keng temples are really close between each other. It's so worth spending a morning on all three, you will be surely amazed.
  2. Skip the luxury restaurants and delve into Singapore's amazing street food - I greatly recommend Maxwell Food Centre
  3. Visit Gardens by the Bay - it's a utopia unline any other you have seen
There plenty more things to do see, taste and experience in Singapore but you will be needing some more time!
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