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Thailand and where else in December? Sweden, Australia, Asian cruise?

Thailand and where else in December? Sweden, Australia, Asian cruise?

Old Jul 25th, 2014, 03:27 PM
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Thailand and where else in December? Sweden, Australia, Asian cruise?

We want to visit an exchange student we had in Bangkok, but with the price and length of flights it seems we should do more. Not having any luck finding an Asian cruise during that time though that would be good...we could take our Thai student along to interpret. Or has body had luck with an open jaw flight headed that way, as we have relatives in Sweden, and friends in Italy. We can fly just about anywhere out of the East Coast of USA..Chicago, NYC, Miami, Atlanta...
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 03:52 PM
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IMO, an ocean cruise is not the best way to see SE Asia. There are some very interesting river cruises, such as on the Mekong out of HCMC to Siem Reap, Cambodia or several different ones in Myanmar. Take a look at www.pandaw.com for one river cruise line in SE Asia.

I don't understand your comment on taking the Thai student along to translate... most of the people you have contact with in Thailand as a traveler will speak English, and in other SE Asian countries, Thai won't help you much as each of the SE Asian countries have their own languages.

What time of year are you traveling? You might consider a trip to Bali, Hong Kong is a good stop over, as is Singapore. With no idea of your interests, I don't know if you'd like to visit the temples at Angkor, truly one of the wonders of the world.

Open jaw flights are good for seeing different parts of Asia, maybe into Bangkok and out of Bali or Singapore, for instance. But your comments about European countries are a bit bewildering. You could buy an around the world ticket with stops in Asia and in Europe, but just going to Thailand doesn't get you close to Sweden or Italy.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 04:04 PM
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tons of places to go easily from Bangkok---Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia,singapore, plus Thailand itself has tons of places to explore...

I am doing an open jaw in sept/oct---into bali, out of Bangkok using swiss/Singapore, swiss. booked with united miles
I have done Korean into Bangkok, out of new delhi, same for finn air.

you will find your cheapest prices out of jfk, imo...

I find stops are more difficult and costly to find..

emerites, Qatar and ethiad offer very attract flt options all on new planes. I just flew directly from boston to Dubai for instance.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 04:06 PM
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Chicago has lots of options too
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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If you are planning on taking the Thai exchange student abroad, from Thailand that is, you should be aware that the student will have to apply for a visa to most of the places you've listed. Some countries, Europe (Schengen visa) for example will require the traveller to have their plane tickets and hotel reservations plus proof of funds for the trip just to apply.

A fun place or country for your student to visit will be Japan or South Korea. Both offer visa exemption or visa on arrival for Thais so need to apply before hand. You could also fly back from Japan to the US after the trip while your student can fly back to Thailand.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 07:57 PM
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Thanks, I just threw Sweden/Europe out there trying to think about a break in the 25 hour flight. Our Thai student is part Chinese, and she's traveled to Japan and South Korea, but mostly we want to share some vacation with her, and not impose on her family too much. December is the plan, because she has a break in studies then.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 08:05 PM
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Other possibilities for Thai citizens without having to apply for a visa are Russia, Turkey, South Africa. Russia and Turkey are almost half way distant between the US and Thailand and I think your exchange student will be thrilled with Turkey as Russia might be a bit too cold!
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 08:55 PM
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Speaking standard Thai, north or Issan dialect is useful in smaller towns or local food markets if you want to explore the country.

But if you are doing mainstream touristy stuff barely need it.

Thailand has enough attractions to last you months. Most tourists barely scratch the surface.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 09:17 PM
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Sweden will be freezing in Dec. Italy also cold. Aust is expensive and December is peak season there.

If you want another country add on another Asian country near Thailand.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 09:53 PM
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I think the problem is that you have too many choices. Pick two or three options and see how they price out.

As mentioned in addition to costa you should consider what you like to and the weather in various places. It will be cold in Europe and rainy in parts of Asia.

It's fairly common to stop in Europe to or from Asia from the East Coast. For example, look at Singapore Airlines that flies from New York to Frankfurt to Singapore. From Frankfurt you can connect to other European cities and from Singapore to Southeast Asia.

I'm not that keen on cruises either, but I would suggest you look at Princess Cruises for itineraries in Southeast Asia and Australia.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 10:12 PM
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Having spent 23 years in the Royal Navy I wasn't keen on the thought of cruising either.

Then I bit the bullet, and I was so wrong. Great way to travel, but choose small ships. More intimate, and they can get into places that those office blocks on water can't get anywhere near.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 04:58 AM
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Princess Cruises are terrible. Join a small boat cruise if you do a cruise. The cruises with a few thousand people on them are basically a mega buffet on the water.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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LL...I don't always agree with your comments, but on the cruises I do. The small ships are the way to go...we have done wonderful trips in Asia, especially, where we use the ship to get from the US to some point in Asia and then travel over land. It is a great way to hit the ground running so to speak. Long distances by ship are sooo much more civilized than in a cigar tube!

Prachuap...have been cruising with Princess since the early 80's, but mostly on their smaller ships. All cruises are not "a mega buffet on the water." Also have done Seabourn and Regent, both known for their small ships. We like all three lines.

Princess has two ships carrying ~600 passengers that regularly visit Asia and are ever bit as nice, relaxed and low key as the two luxury lines, but are not all inclusive which, in our opinion is a better deal since we only pay for the services we enjoy.

This spring we will be spending time traveling in Bali, Thailand and Myanmar sandwiched between two cruises, one from the US to Australia and one, on the Ocean Princess, heading west out of Singapore. Beats the heck out of the long haul flights...retirement is great!
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 09:47 AM
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We have been of 4 Princess cruises and I beg to differ. They were all excellent. We have another upcoming in Sept. on the Diamond Princess which is getting very good reviews. In the latest issue of T+L mag Princess was ranked very well per a readers poll.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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sunnypm,

A cruise would be a great way to travel to different places and send time with your student, but you are right, not many lines well known in the US are sailing in Asia at that time...usually more in the fall and spring. Have you looked at doing a river cruise...maybe in Myanmar, we will be doing one there next spring.

I agree with wanting to get the most bang for your long travel distances. We feel the same way. When we go to Asia, we either combine cruise legs to get us there and/or home with shorter flights to move around in Asia or we do a combination of flights with stops going and coming through Europe or over the Pacific (Honolulu and Hong Kong).

When we went to India last year, we stopped in Germany on the way over and in Finland and Amsterdam, where we did a river cruise, on the way home. I used a combination of FF tickets for crossing the pond and getting to India. Then special fares back to Europe and to move around.

You could fly over spending time in Sweden and fly home spending time in Italy. Combine that with a river cruise with your Thai student to one of the areas mentioned above for some fun relatively stress free travel/visiting time with your student while in Asia.

We have used round the world tickets also...use to be a great way $$ wise to do what you are thinking. Still may be a good deal $$ wise in coach, but not so much in BC any more, but for what you want it is worth a look also. IMO, Fly west to east for the least jet lag. You can combine land and air travel segments, just have to always move in one direction...west or east. To get to Sweden from Italy, you might need to be a little creative with a land segment...like fly into and out of AMS or FRA with stop over. Then do a loop around Europe by car or train. I have always wanted to drive that bridge! Started to do it last year, but ran out of time.

Of course, some of these ideas assume you have plenty of time.

Happy Planning.
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Old Jul 27th, 2014, 03:47 AM
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One thing that should be considered before booking a cruise is is the time of year, and the potential for v.bad weather.

Last November we sailed from a sunny Palma (Majorca), and our first call should have been Trapani (Sicily), but the weather blew up and we couldn't go in. We got diverted to Palermo with the same result, and carried on to Messina.

A few days later after a pleasant time in the Adriatic, we were back into the Mediterranean and due in Cagliari (Sardinia). The morning we were were due to berth, Sardinia got hit by a hurricane, and we had to ride it out at sea in a Force 12 for 24 hours. I think 17 people were killed in the Cagliari area.

What makes me laugh though, is the number of passengers who complain about missing places due to the weather. They blame the Captain or the cruise company, and a lot of the hard working staff onboard really get their ears bent. I'd make the 'moaning Minnies' walk the plank!

I expected the Mediterranean to be like a duck-pond, but I've got a lot more respect for it now.
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Old Jul 27th, 2014, 07:36 AM
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Prachuap [my dear friend (wink)]. Now and again it's nice to have a couple of weeks where practically everything is put on a plate for you.

Select the right cruise and you'll have plenty of shore-time in several completely different destinations. Book cruise excursions and it'll cost you dear. But do some homework, organise your own DIY sight-seeing and you're well rewarded.
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Old Jul 27th, 2014, 07:50 AM
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"Speaking standard Thai, north or Issan dialect is useful in smaller towns or local food markets if you want to explore the country."

Ha. And the winner of most ironic comment of the year goes to...

Guessing that means you don't do a lot of exploring then.
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Old Jul 27th, 2014, 09:32 AM
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Prachuap : they were right about you.
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Old Jul 27th, 2014, 05:47 PM
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How is that ironic? I speak the language and you cant.

Rather hilarious how you keep stepping in it.
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