Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page > SE Asia Honeymoon- 20 days-city life, beach/luxury, history/culture
Notices

SE Asia Honeymoon- 20 days-city life, beach/luxury, history/culture

Reply

May 9th, 2011, 09:42 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 7
SE Asia Honeymoon- 20 days-city life, beach/luxury, history/culture

Hi there- my husband and I are taking our first trip to SE Asia in July for our honeymoon. We originally started by just planning to go to Bali, but were able to get more time off work.

We are flying into Bangkok on July 4 and leave on July 24. We originally thought we'd do Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Seminyak, Ubud, another resort in Bali, then back to Bangkok. We do not want to go to Singapore.

We want a mix of city, luxury/beach, and history/culture and have no problem doing tons of research on sites, just enjoying the different countries. I've been thinking about adding SR in Cambodia, but I would love any advice.

Here is our original itinerary:

Bangkok- 3 days
Kuala Lumpur- 2 days
Langkawi- 3 days
Seminyak- 3 days
Sabanam- 4 days
Ubud- 4 days
Bangkok- 1 day

Here is what I was considering after some additional reading:

Bangkok- 3 days
Angkor Wat- 3 days
Kuala Lumpur- 2 days
Bali (split between 2-3 places)- 9 days
Bangkok- 1 day

I'd love any advice regarding the travel, what to avoid, and any information on the rainfall during this time. Thank you!
araya is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2011, 03:29 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
www.Agoda.com/Komaneka-Resort/Bali

Bali sort of overdeveloped these days

best resort here.

Goldenbanana.info Angkor

betterbidding.com Amari Watergate from $50 bidding pricceline

works well for me... might add some Cang Mai for elephants

hill trekking etc pretty amazing sawadee.com

weather2travel.com Climate Guides odds are great

you will get a fair amount of rain.

Congrats!
qwovadis is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2011, 07:31 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,815
i like the revised trip plan....but i would skip K/L---there really is very little there... you can fly directly from bkk to bali on air asia and thai air.

i would add one day to angkor wat...

in bali i think i would stay only in 2 places... i also would consider extending bkk by a day or two...

do you need hotel help? choosing the right ones can make all the difference in your trip... what hotel budget do you have?
rhkkmk is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2011, 07:50 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,780
I like your second plan better - much more interesting.

Remember that it takes 4 nights somewhere to give you three full days. Given that, I'd suggest
4 nights Bangkok
4 nights at Angkor
9-10 nights Bali - 2 places
1-2 nights Bangkok

I'd also recommend that you skip KL. I find ti the least intersting of the SE Asian capitals.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2011, 10:06 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 24,175
I bow to Kathie and rhkkmk's knowledge of Kuala Lumpur (all we saw was the airport!), but I like the second itinerary, too. We were in Siem Reap recently for 3-1/2 days and 4 nights, and for us, it was perfect. We spent the first half-day (onn arrival) just wandering around town, days 2 and 3 at the temples, and day 4 sitting at the pool (we had planned to do more temples, but wanted an R&R day; in fact, for that reason, you might consider making Siem Reap a 4 day 5 night part of your trip. It all depends on how much temple viewing you want to do. Two full days exhausted us - 7 sites. Kathie, on the other hand, has done 26 temples in a week!)
sf7307 is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2011, 11:04 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,780
LOL, yes, I never met a wat I didn't like.

But figure out what you need. Get a copy of Dawn Rooney's book Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples. It takes three full days just to see the main temples. But for some that is too much, for others, that's not nearly enough.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2011, 04:03 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,688
Agree plan #2 is good, adrop KL and add the time to one of the others, two stops in Bali is enough.

I'm curious though: What is Sabanam?
marmot is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2011, 05:35 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 282
May I add my vote for plan B or especially Kathie's plan C as well? IMHO KL is expensive and a mere shadow of the delights in Bangkok, Siem Reap and Bali.

I am wondering about Sabanam as well?? Do you mean Tabanan?
kuluk is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2011, 08:53 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 7
Thanks for all of the responses. This is very helpful.

I did mean Tabanan. I think our second itinerary/Kathie's itinerary looks like the direction we will go in.

If we were to spend 4-5 days in Bangkok, how would we spend our days?

We didn't hear any thoughts about Langkawi. We originally planned to go there for the pure beach aspect of it- are there any other recommendations for very nice beaches. For Thailand, I'm concerned about the weather.
araya is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2011, 12:47 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,546
Langakawi has some great beaches and a few other attractions but is primarily a beach destination with some of the best beach hotels in Malaysia, if not the whole of Asia. However, July is the rainy season on the Andaman coast so the weather is unlikely to be as good as in Bali at that time of year (although there will be some great deals to be had at that time of year). On Balance, Bali does probably offer the best option in terms of weather nice hotels etc.

A quick word in defence of KL. I am not really sure why some on this board have such a low opinion of the place. I have been there several times and, whilst there is not as much to se as BKK, there is more than enough to keep one occupied for 2-3 days. IMO the quality of the restaurants and food is at least the equal of BKK and the variety of cuisine, encompassing as it does, Malay, Indian, Chinese and Nonya, is greater than anywhere else I can think of in Asia. It is still comparatively inexpensive compared with some other Asian cities.

Not wishing to complicate matters, have you considered Malaysian Borneo for something a bit different?

Enjoy your honeymoon wherever you decide.
crellston is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2011, 06:34 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 7
Crellston- thanks for providing an additional perspective.

We are open to a variety of options, are not too limited by a budget, and mainly want to make our 3 week trip really memorable and enjoyable.

We wanted to limit to about 5 stops because of travel back and forth and the costs of flights. What is the best way to get to Borneo?
araya is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2011, 06:46 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,780
If you opt for Malaysian Borneo, you would fly to either Kota Kinabalu for Sabah or Kuching for Sarawak. You could fly out of KL or Singapore. Sabah has the opportunity to see orangutans in the wild (as well as lots of other wildlife) and has beautiful beaches and world-class snorkeling. Sarawak has intact longhouse communities and different wildlife viewing than Sabah. In both places you can visit orangutans "rehab" centers, though it's obviously not the same as seeing them in the wild.

If you are interested, for Sabah, I'd highly recommend the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. We were there a number of years ago and had a wonderful time. They have substantially upgraded the lodge since our visit. For beach, there are two Shangri-La hotels along the coast near Kota Kinabalu.

We have a photo site where you can view photos from many of our trips: www.marlandc.com
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2011, 06:59 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,815
it's not that we dislike K/L, it is just that in comparison to all the other locations it is near to the bottom of the list. i too have been there a couple of times--honestly the highlight was a visit to the petronas towers
rhkkmk is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2011, 04:18 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 7
I love international cities, eating inexpensive food, and people watching- and of course experiencing a melting pot of cultures, which is why KL was of interest to me.

Can anyone suggest a few other itineraries with easy direct flights on Air Asia? I'm noticing not every city connects with each other...
araya is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2011, 04:38 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,688
You might consider adding Central Java: Yogyakarta and Borobudur. Yogya is more of an unpolished Asian city than an flashy international city (i.e, more winding lanes, less high rise). You get an urban atmosphere within the Javanese context which is combination of mysticism, animism and Islam. Plus the arts and architecture aspect of the ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples, performing arts -- dance, puppetry -- and arts and crafts of the region. Artistically and spiritually, the area is very fertile.
marmot is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2011, 05:05 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,780
Air Asia, as a budget airline has only point to point flights. Their main hub is KL, but they have secondary hubs in Bangkok and Jakarta. Many times, you have to fly through KL to make a connection, even though it is out of the way. (and they will not transfer your luggage even between AIr Asia flights, so you have to pick up your luggage and re-check it at the ticket counter. If one of the flights is international, add in the time to go through passport control.) Sometimes, that may not be worth your while and it may make more sense to take a more expensive flight that doesn't eat up your valuable time.

I think you have a fine itinerary. You can certainly change it, but I would only do so if you have a firm idea of what you want. SE Asia has so many fabulous places to visit, the task is always one of editing out places that look good. I fear we will just confuse you if we add other options. (As much as I loved Borneo, logistically, it is more complicated.)

In spite of the possibility that I will make a difficult decision more difficult, here are a couple of ideas on other places to go:

Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia - Famous for its hawker food and fascinating mix of cultures, we loved our time there. Stay at the famous E&O Hotel. This is much more interesting than KL, IMO.

Central Java, Indonesia - Marmot has give you a good description of some of its attractions.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2011, 08:26 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 24,175
<<>>

Add to that, when you re-check your luggage, you have to pay a second luggage charge.
sf7307 is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 12th, 2011, 06:35 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,780
Good point, sf.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 12th, 2011, 08:07 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
You are getting almost too many opinions to be able to make up your mind! That of course is the “problem” with SE Asia: there is so much variety. Given your interests, my thoughts would be as follows:

1. Please look at weather websites and guidebooks, esp as you want a beach vacation. For beaches, while Phuket on Thailand’s west coast is rainy (which includes Langkawi is as well), the marvelous east coast islands and beaches of Thailand and Malaysia are in perfect weather. Koh Samui and that area, or the Redang area of Malaysia would work well.

2. Thailand is holding elections on July 3. These are the first elections after the rather serious riots of April 2010, and a series of other political disturbances over the previous 2 years or so. It is unclear what the mood of the country will be at that time. While I do not think it would at any time be an unsafe place to be (for a foreigner), it may at times be an inconvenient place to be on holiday. As you may recall, in the 2008 disturbances, various airports (including Bangkok and Phuket) were shut down by protesters. It is possible that you may encounter similar issues trying to move around (to say nothing of enjoying) Bangkok and other parts of Thailand in July. You may want to keep a flexible schedule.

3. My general rule of thumb is that with 20 days “on the ground” I would not try to go to more than 5 places. Less is more is my travel mantra. That seems to be what you are considering and seems to be workable. But look at flight times between places, and add in transport time to and from airports, security, etc and you may see that it will take you the better part of a day to get from Point A to Point B. That may rule out some places on the itin. (There are minor time changes of about an hour between some places, like Bangkok and Bali, which will add to travel time as well).

4. I personally don’t think Borneo would fit your interests, which from the above list you provided do not include wildlife/nature/. Borneo is more about wildlife, climbing Mt Kinabalu and river trips to see “headhunters”. If those are not your interests, I would not say to include Borneo. If they are your interests, than Borneo can be a good choice. The other national parks of Malaysia on the mainland (like Tama Negara) could also be places to consider, or places on Java in Indonesia.

5. You state above that “I love international cities, eating inexpensive food, and people watching- and of course experiencing a melting pot of cultures. This seems to me to be an exact description of Singapore, and it puzzles me as to why you would not consider it. It certainly offers far more in terms of sights than KL, and far larger and more varied ethnic areas (KL’s Little India is a block long, Singapore’s encompasses a wide area and tens of thousands of people. The Chinese in Malaysia, while a huge force in business, tend to keep a low profile, many take Malay names, and you don’t really notice a Chinese presences as a tourist, other than Chinese restaurants. Singapore, by contrast, while overwhelming Chinese, actually has a Chinatown.) Singapore has, IMO, the best museums in SE Asia (and possibly all of Asia), and wonderful cheap food, not to mention some world-class restaurants. It’s a central air hub, and it is very easy to get to Bali or Bangkok on non-stops. You could also rent a car and drive up the picturesque east coast of Malaysia, stopping as you want at villages or going out to offshore islands with marvelous beaches.

6. Hate to throw more places into your mix, but it seems to me that Hong Kong would also fit your interests very well. Our museums are not as good as Singapore’s, but there is a lot more to make up for it. If you think Hong Kong is all shopping malls and high-rises you have been reading the wrong guidebooks (perhaps that explains your skipping Singapore too). There are small villages, hundreds of temples, great food, some very charming traditional neighborhoods, and lovely, lovely scenery, both man-made and natural. (If you like walks and hikes, this is a great place to do both, you have not included outdoor activities as an interest.) And some of the best luxury hotels you will find anywhere in the world. If you can arrange your schedule to arrive on July 1, there are fireworks in the harbour at 9 pm (in celebration of the anniversary of the handover), which are spectacular.
Cicerone is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 13th, 2011, 03:48 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
I have been to all the destinations mentions except Malaysian Borneo. In fact most at least twice. I would agree if 20 full days NOT including travel days is your max. then 5-6 destinations is tops. KL, IMO is interesting but the best attraction was the Cameron Highlands and they are a 3 hour trip by guide/driver out of KL. So that eats up one day.I really believe you can see the highlights of KL city in a 10-11 hour day so therefore it may not be worth a stop. Though HK was for us a terrific destination 15+ years ago it now just represents a big city and the highlights can be seen in 2 days so I would elimate HK for that reason. I personally think as marmot suggested you might want to spend 2 full days in Central Java and 6-7 in Bali. You can fly to Yogyakarta in Central Java from Bali in 1 hour non-stop and in 2 days can see some of the most treasured Hindu temples, small villages that are cottage industies of a few families using equipment from the 1920's making tofu, flour out of palm trees, etc. I used a great guide last year and am using him again this year who can make 9 10 hour tourng days be well worth your time. If interested: [email protected]
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency there which is lovely for under $200/night on the Club Floor. In Bali you might just want to base yourselves in Ubud rather than also at the beach unless you are going there to sit in the sun. If not, you can tour all of Bali in five 8-10 hour day trips and select a lovely hotel with a plung pool for the other days and have dinner out at the many good restaurants in and aound Ubud. We are using a guide I have researed named Putu who also goes by the name balifriend on the net for 3 touring days this Sept. I read in TripAdvisor that he is excellent. He just like the guide in Central Java are a bit more expensive than the average (an added $15-$20/day) but a quality guide can make a trip in my opinion. Good Luck.
StanKase is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:39 PM.