Thailand or Indonesia can't decide

Aug 27th, 2008, 05:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 15
Thailand or Indonesia can't decide

I always think people are a little ridiculous when they post questions like this, but now I am finding out that I am one of those ridiculous people too! I mean seriously, why am I asking a bunch of strangers where I should go for vacation instead of doing my own research? It is because I am desperate to make a decision and my husband is just as wishy-washy and I feel like we are running out of time.

We would really appreciate any feedback from the experts on which destination you think would be a better fit for us. We are in our 30's, very active, love to explore new places, and learn about other cultures. We love to hike, bike, go snorkeling, and we are pretty adventurous, but we are not into the whole backpacker/hostel scene. I have never been to Asia, but my husband has been to Japan twice. We have just over two weeks for the trip and we are planning to leave the day after Thanksgiving (Nov 28th mid December). From, it seems like Thailand would be a better choice from a weather perspective. But after I read an article in National Geographic Adventure magazine on Sulawesi and a few trip reports on Bali, I can't seem to bite the bullet and buy our plane tickets for Thailand.

To be fair, we really haven't had a chance to research a Thailand trip yet so we would probably be just as intrigued by Thailand as we are with Indonesia because we love exploring! If we go to Indonesia, I think we would like to split our time between Bali and Sulawesi and if we go to Thailand, we would want to spend a few days in Bangkok (my husband loves cities), some time hiking, and a destination with good snorkeling.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
marsfelder is offline  
Aug 27th, 2008, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,776
Don't think of this as Thailand or Indonesia, think of this as which place first! If you are like the rest of us on this board you'll find that you love Asia and this trip will just be the first of many. Both destinations are wonderful.

If you husband loves cities, he'll absolutely love Bangkok. It's my favorite city in the world. If you have 12 days or more, you could visit three locations in Thailand: Bangkok, somewhere in the north (often Chiang Mai or the Golden Triangle area, but places like Pai or Mae Hong Son are also possibilities for trekking) and a beach.

Pick up a guidebook for each country so you know more about the possibilities.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 27th, 2008, 05:28 PM
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PS There is no wrong answer to this question.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 27th, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Kathie is exactly right. The question is "which one first?" We've had great weather in Thailand in late November and early December. You might as well go there and go to Indonesia and Bali during June, July or August.
Gpanda is offline  
Aug 27th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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If what you've seen about Sulawesi is places like Tana Toraja, you have to go around September or October. I've bee ther and it truly is unforgetable (and not as gruesome as I imagined).

So, I suggest you start with Thailand, then do Indonesia in the summer.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Aug 27th, 2008, 09:12 PM
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I've been to North Sulawesi in December several times. The water's a little cooler than it is in the summer but visibility if still good. For either SCUBA or snorkling I like Kungkungan Bay Resort.

I've only been to Central Sulawesi (Tanah Toraja) in July, though my son was there in November. I can't remember that he commended adversely on the weather. In order to garner more tourist trade the government encourages villages to hold funerals during July/August so your chance of seeing a celebration is better at that time, but in fact funerals take place year round. (Oddly the determining factor on the timing is NOT the date of death, but rather when enough money has been accumulated).

You can accomplish a lot of your goals without leaving Bali -- art and culture, adventure travel, snorkling, hiking, biking. There are accommodations at all price levels, from ridiculously luxe to very basic and a lot in the middle.

Early December is transitional for the rainy season in Bali -- you could get a lot of rain, you could get none. If you're counting on sunny days on the beach, I wouldn't chance it, but cultural events, trekking and sight-seeing, won't be much affected by the weather.

In two weeks you could easily do two destinations -- one city, one countryside. Bali mixes well with Singapore, Hong Kong or Bangkok.
marmot is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 09:15 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,886
I've been to both...Thailand and Indonesia (Bali). I was in Bali, once, in December some years ago and it was very rainy, but I liked the rain there. I arrived mid December.

I've been vacationing in Thailand, almost every year, for the past decade and the weather is great in December. I'm there from mid December to part of January and sometimes also in August. The Dec/Jan weather has been what I'd call flawless. I'm usually in Bangkok for 3 weeks during that time, but also have been west of Bangkok and up north to Chiangmai during the same period of time.

If I were you, I'd do Thailand for your whole stay and then plan a seperate trip to Indonesia at another time and in better weather. You WILL most likely return as Southeast Asia is absolutely wonderful. Once it gets into your blood, it's hard to shake. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3 reena from malaysia...if u guys want any help regarding your tours and transportation(anything)...i can guide u...
juz drop a email to [email protected]...k have a nice day...
Sweethome is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1
Sometimes outside influence helps!
You sound very similar to us (though I think you hike more than we do) and based on that, and that you've never been to Asia, I say go to Thailand. It was our first exposure to Asia and we were hooked - we've now done Japan (twice), China, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali .. and we're headed back to Thailand this Nov.

Look into a couple days in Bangkok (plan to be there over a weekend so you can see the giant Chatuchak (sp) or "JJ" market). Head to the north - we really enjoyed Chiang Mai - and then if you want to lounge a bit, try the south (where we're headed this year).

My husband calls Thailand the "gateway drug" to Asia, and I think he's right. It is exotic enough to get you excited, not difficult to be in, reasonably priced and wow, there are some amazing things to see. I think I appreciated seeing the spot of Hindu Bali more after being in Thailand. That's also a great place to combine with a couple days in Singapore (which you should check out).

But for a first trip... Thailand.
msaimeeclaire is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,281
In terms of richness of experience, my heart goes with Thailand.
Mango7 is offline  

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