Side trips from Singapore

Old Aug 9th, 2001, 07:12 PM
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Side trips from Singapore

I'm heading off for a 10-day business trip to Singapore in late September. From previous posts, I gather this will be more than plenty of time to experience Singa. My wife will be joining at the end of my work time, and we plan to spend a week in the region.
Any suggestions on side trips? Malay? Thailand? Indonesia? Somewhere else?
Ideally, we're looking for a 3-night side trip from Singa. We're looking to relax -- but we're looking for that elusive Asian experience.
Thanks in advance.
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 07:24 PM
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3 nites wld be ideal to visit bali,phuket or bangkok in order of preference. it depends what you are looking for actually. are you travelling alone, like countryside or city,sights or food, please espand your criteria.see other posts on the above places.
Old Aug 9th, 2001, 09:20 PM
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Wayne: Thanks for the speedy reply.

My wife and I will be making the sude trip. We are 30-somethings, and fit and ready for adventure.

I have read previous posts on these locations and come away with mixed feelings.

For example:

Bali: many posts refer to dirty beaches and overrated local sites. Raises red flag for me. I do not want dirty beaches and hassles. But interior seems very interesting. Political conditions also a bit of concern.

Thai beaches: worried about amount of hassle and time involved in traveling from Singa to Phuket and other beaches.

I was looking into Banyan Tree resort on Bintan. Any experiences on that one.

Bangkok is very appealing. We are former city people (D.C.) but have moved to the 'burbs. So we are always looking for urban adventure. My question: is it worth the trip from Singa for 3 days to spend time in Bangkok? What about KL?

We are open to city or country. We eat everything in sight! And we love nature. So...we are open to any experience that will make us say: wow, that was three amazing days.


Old Aug 23rd, 2001, 11:42 AM
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Well, I can't speak from personal experience, but I too will be going to SG and asked a friend advice. She recommended Bintan Island, and pointed me to this site. I haven't used it yet, but I think looking into Bintan would be worthwhile - a 45 minute ferry ride, and probably less touristy than Phuket, and so much closer than other places. I hope you give it a try.

Old Aug 24th, 2001, 11:59 AM
Sarah Rey
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Flight time from Singapore to Phuket is scheduled as 1hr 40 but that is really 'gate-to-gate', actual flying time about 1 hr 20. 4 flights per day. Very easy to book a package from Singapore flight/transfer/hotel. Koh Samui is 2hrs 40 minutes in a turbo-prop(ATR72), I wouldn't fancy that much. IMHO I did not like Bintan 'or' Batam one bit. Penang is 1hr 10 mins, 4-5 flights per day. Langkawi 1 flight per day, 1hr 25. If you head to Bangkok there are around 15 flights per day, takes just over 2 hrs. You have a wide and extensive choice!
Old Aug 25th, 2001, 11:55 PM
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Have you considered Tioman Island off the each coast of Malaysia?
It's about a three hour hovercraft trip from Sg and the boat pulls outside the best hotel on the island called the Berjaya. This is located on a very nice clean stretch of beach and sounds to me like just what you want.
If you are feeling energetic you could do the walk across to the other side of the island - it takes around two hours from the starting point, and it is possible to get a ferry back.
Old Aug 25th, 2001, 11:57 PM
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I'll try that again:

... off the east coast of Malaysia...

.. the boat pulls in outside ....

Have fun
Old Aug 29th, 2001, 07:18 AM
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I think you would enjoy Bali or Bangkok. From the sound of your email, you're looking to combine a bit of relaxation with some culture, for that I would choose Bali.

Phuket: I do not recommend Phuket.The hotels in Phuket town aren't even "on: the beach, they're across from it. Except if you want to go further north to a "compound" of expensive hotels. The beach/sea isn't great & the sellers are very pushy (the only nice thing is to go out to another island for good snorkelling).

Bali: Don't worry about Bali, it's one of the most stable of the Indonesian Islands. Beautiful island, rent a car with a driver(cheap), good shopping, friendly people. Do not stay in Kuta(noisy,pushy sellers) or Nusa Dua(isolated from all sites), try Sanur &/or Ubud, they're much quieter & beautiful. Sanur has a calm, white sandy beach, good location for the side trips to the rice terraces, volcanoes,temples etc... Ubud is the cultural center inland, hotels range from $5.00 US to $1,000./nt. Many restaurants of many cuisines. I can't imagine anyone not marveling at the site of the villagers, dressed in their colorful sarongs & kebayas, taking their offerings to their temple.

Bangkok: also a good choice. Lots of shopping, & you can have clothes tailored cheaply. There is the golden Palace & temples, the floating market, elephant ride. Watch out for the great but very spicy food (if you aren't used to it). The people are friendly.

If you'd like to learn a few local words before going (please, thank you, hello etc...), check out this site

Whatever your choice, Bon Voyage!
Old Sep 10th, 2001, 07:21 PM
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Briefly on the question of the Banyan Tree at Bintan, we visited a couple of years ago and the resort was very beautiful. Incredibly tasteful, wonderful spa etc. But the beach isn't very good and most importantly it is a contained resort experience. The resorts on Bintan were custom built for visitor from Singapore and they are very isolated from the rest of the island. We did hire a car and driver and went to the south end of the island were you can visit a temple and tour several villages...for a cultural experiences I would forget Bintan and go to Bali. We went on to Bali after Bintan and loved it. We avoided the beaches and went to Ubud which is gorgeous. What is so fascinating about Bali is the tangible material culture and the expression of religious beliefs in the art and decor etc. Anyway that's my opinion though I can't compare with Thailand as I haven't visited...yet!
Old Sep 10th, 2001, 10:08 PM
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go to indonesia! don't worry, the political situation has disapated. the country is calm and the people welcoming. no where will you find such a fascinating culture amid such profound natural beauty.
since your time is short i'd recommend that you either choose ubud on bali or yogyakarta on java. bali has some ok beaches, but the best way to experience true balinese culture is inland. there is so much to do and see you'll wish you had a week or more. alternately, yogya is the center of javanese culture: you can visit the ancient and astounding temples at borobudur and prambanan and really immerse yourself in the arts and culture of indonesia. either place is a wonderful exposure to the real asia. please let me know if you need any other information.
Old Sep 11th, 2001, 08:07 AM
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So many options, so little time...

Phuket: I stayed at the Phuket Yacht Club years ago, lovely place and on the beach.

Kuantan: On the east coast of Malaysia, lovely beach resort.

I'd chose Bangkok over Kuala Lampur.

Bali, wonderful. as others have said.

Yogja (in central Java) is even better than Bali (IMO) in terms of crafts and cultural activites.

All are short flights from Singapore.


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