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Thread: Need Tips for Far East (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia...)

  1. #1
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    Default Need Tips for Far East (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia...)

    Planning on a Far East trip in April for 13 days. The plan is to land in Singapore and depart from Bangkok. This is a trip with the Mrs. and looking to do some relaxing and not overly touristy. I want to travel via boats and trains. Not a fan of air since I fly twice a week, every week for work. Dreading the 16hr non-stop flight from NY to HK.

    The Trip: Everyone says that Singapore does not have much to do so we only plan on spending 2 days there to visit family and friends. Then head up to Kuala Lampur via train for 1 night max. Want to end up in Phuket for at least 3 nights at a nice beach front resort to just veg. Then go towards either Laos, Vietnam or Cambodia for a couple days. Then finally reverse to Bangkok till the flight.

    Looking for suggestions as to if this route works well. I had originally planned Bali but got so-so feedback from people. Picked Phuket because of beaches but would not mind substituting Langkawi islands. For Hotels I want to stay at Starwood Properties (Westin, Meridien, Sheration, W, etc.) as I have Platinum status and points. That would be a reason why I would not like to stay in random cities without my hotels. How safe are these places as far as sleeping on trains or using boats? Visas?

    Any suggestions would be great


    "Having a war about religion is like having a fight over who's got the best invisible friend" - Yasser Arafat

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    .
    Last edited by kaput; 03-12-2019 at 02:15 AM.

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    I just came back from a similar trip.

    14 days, Singapore, Malay, and Bali.

    Singapore actually has lots to see and do, I stayed at the sands, roof top infinity pool is a must. Santosa island is a mini theme park with the worlds largest aquarium.

    I went up to JB from Singapore regularly just for day trips for shopping and eating by bus. Take the train up to KL from JB to save yourself paying extra in the singaporean dollars. The overnight train with sleeper up to KL was ok, just make sure to keep an eye on your bag.

    Safety of the train itself is another area of concern. A few days after we arrived back in Singapore on the train, that same train derailed on the line between Singapore and KL. Not sure how often that happens, but definately something to think about.

    Bali was a huge tourist trap, 25USD visa on arrival was kinda expected, however they didn't even offer the 10USD visa on arrival for less than 7 day visit. Then on departure of the airport they jew you for another 25USD a person for airport improvement fee before you get on the plane.

    The island itself was ok, we stayed central in UBUD (rice patty fields) so it was quiet. Getting around the island is a hassel due to traffic and your at the mercy of taxi drivers. Getting from one end of the island to the other could take up to 6hrs. I went snorkleing on the east side of the island on blue lagoon, the beach at blue lagoon was spectacular, coral reef just meters from the beach, crystal clear waters tons of fish. Go early before 9:30am avoid rough waves.

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    Originally posted by kaput
    My opinion = too much distance, not enough time. Especially overland.
    This. Your itineraray seems to contradict your 3rd sentence. You are planning way too many different destinations in a short 2 week period, you will basically be hopping from one place to the next without much relaxation.

    Singapore sentosa island is one of my fave places of all time from where I visited, spend 2 days there just chillin on the beach and in the water.

    I have traveled all over the world with tight schedules like you are planning, and really, you don't relax, and often don't even comprehend the trip until after the fact, when you stop and realize how cool something way. Recently my wife and I neen going to Mexico and just relaxing for 7 days, and it's an actual vacation, as you come home relaxed, vs needing another vacation right after when you go on a rush trip. Leaving this weekend for florida, and although the first half is rush (disneyland for 3 days, universal for 2), the rest are pure relaxation.


    Do yourself a favour and pick 2 places you really want to go to (3 MAX for 2 weeks), and go there, your trip will be more enjoyable.

    I did singapore, thailand, taiwan, HK, Japan, Korea, Phillipines, Malaysia in 7 weeks, and I felt rushed as is as you have to account for travel time, transfers ect. I think you need at least 3 days in any one country/city to actually get to see it a little bit, first day you arrive and get femiliar with the surroundings, second day you go out and see the good places everyoen talks about, and third day you go and do whatever else you didn't have time to do the day prior.

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    I contemplated the same thing and I ended up doing a 2 week Thailand/Cambodia trip. I am leaving Mar 25 to Apr 7. No Visa for Thailand if you are staying less than 30 days and you can get your Cambodia Visa online.

    This is what I ended up with:
    Calgary to Vancouver to Shanghai to Bangkok to Krabi. I am so not looking forward to this flight/layover.

    - Gonna chill out on the beach for 3 days/nights and then fly back to Bangkok.
    - Bangkok to Siem Reap to check out Angkor Wat
    - Siem Reap to Phnom Penh to check out the Killing Fields
    - Phnom Penh to Bangkok for a couple days, watch a muay thai fight at Lumpini Stadium, go play with some tiger cubs, ride an elephant, and then back home.

    It's jam packed with transportation, flights, tours etc. 2 weeks is gonna go by in a flash.

    Good luck with what you decide. So far I'm into the trip for about $7500 and that doesn't include lunch/dinner meals.

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    Singapore is awesome! If you can afford it try and stay at the Marina Bay Sands. I found Kuala Lumpur to be pretty lame, one day max. The Le Meridien in Phuket is really nice, with a very quiet private beach.


    I haven't been around to Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam yet... but I think my favorite countries in the region are Myanmar, Thailand, and Taiwan. Singapore and Hong Kong are good for a short break from some of the craziness of the area.

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    like most people have said, you are going to spend a lot of time traveling if you are planning on train/boat. We kind of underestimate the time it takes to travel in some of these countries.

    Bangkok to Vientiane (first city in laos, almost nothing there) is an 8 hr drive. By train tack on another couple hours. Bangkok to Krabi another 10 hours by car, plus a couple more for train).

    Flying once in you are in asia is so cheap, so if you can afford it I suggest that.

    Sounds like singapore is a lock for your plans, but maybe after that flying directly to Krabi (far less touristy than Phuket or Koh Samui). That may be all you have time for or jet over to Cambodia. Just my .02 though.

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    Flying is cheap and waaaay more convenient than driving in asia. would you rather drive for 8 hours, or fly for 2 hours?

    check out airlines like airasia, bangkok airways, tiger airways, etc.

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    Originally posted by kaput
    My opinion = too much distance, not enough time. Especially overland.
    The train from KL to SG is quite long from what I remember. As said above the airasia flight are quite cheap.

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    Default Re: Need Tips for Far East (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia...)

    It's true, there isn't a whole lot to do in Singapore aside from things you'd normally do here... eating, shopping, people watching, enjoying the nightlife.

    The food there is amazing though, and cheap. I could spend a few days there just eating.

    If 13 days includes your 2 travel days, you'll be really pressed for time to visit more than 3 places.

    Agreed with everyone on flights vs train/bus. Highways and trains over there are much slower than what we're used to. Siem Reap to PP is only 300km, but takes 6 hours on a bus on a 2 lane highway with people riding mopeds and bicycles on it.

    Originally posted by eblend
    Singapore sentosa island is one of my fave places of all time from where I visited, spend 2 days there just chillin on the beach and in the water.
    I found Sentosa a bit boring and cheesy. For chillin' on the beach and in the water, he might as well go to a resort in Thailand where it'll be cheaper and have nicer sand.
    Originally posted by max_boost
    Hey baller, any problem money can solve is no problem at all. Don't sweat it.

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    Great advice guys!

    We have decided to use air travel in the interest of time. Did not realize that all internal flights are less than 2 hrs and cost ~ $75. Secondly, now our flights are out of Cambodia so no reverse travel. Lastly, we eliminated Malaysia. These steps have eliminated 3 travel days.

    I wanted to do at least one travel on a train and one on a boat and have managed to find one of each. I know these are more timely but I want to do it for the experience.

    I will be putting up the schedule for the trip tonight and will need tips for things to do. Here are the hotels we are looking at:


    Phuket, Thailand
    Westin Phuket

    Le Meridien Phuket


    Angkor, Cambodia
    Le Meridien Angkor, Cambodia


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    Phuket is a shithole with a crappy beach
    DOES ANYONE NEED A GO-JUICE?

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    nm
    Last edited by e36bmw///; 03-05-2018 at 11:28 AM.

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    Originally posted by Godfuader

    Phuket, Thailand
    Westin Phuket
    Stayed at the Westin just outside "Phuket Town" last August. Incredibly nice. It is quite isolated though, which is a plus in that it's away from the dirty popular Phuket beaches (and it has it's own private small one) but it's also fairly pricey for food and booze and not very close to town (and quite far from the main beaches).

    We only had 1 night there on the way to Phi Phi, and wish we would have done a day trip to Phi Phi and stayed at the Westin instead. Easily the nicest resort on our 4 week trip in Thailand/Cambodia.

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    Originally posted by max_boost
    and you can get your Cambodia Visa online.
    You can do visa on arrival in Cambodia. Can't remember the knock on the e-visa, but think it's pricier than just showing up. Just need ~$20USD cash (I believe) and 2 passport sized photos.

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    Originally posted by J-D
    Singapore is awesome! If you can afford it try and stay at the Marina Bay Sands. I found Kuala Lumpur to be pretty lame, one day max. The Le Meridien in Phuket is really nice, with a very quiet private beach.


    I haven't been around to Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam yet... but I think my favorite countries in the region are Myanmar, Thailand, and Taiwan. Singapore and Hong Kong are good for a short break from some of the craziness of the area.
    I am headed to KL in the summer for three weeks. We will take a few days in Singapore and stay at the Marina Bay Sands....I've heard this hotel is amazing.

    Thailand seems to be a must stop.

    I've never been overseas so it will be quite en experience for me.

    This thread has been helpful for places to check out in the area.

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    Cambodia was awesome. Everyone speaks English. Everything in USD and is cheap. 50-90% off everything compared to home haha

    Visa on arrival took like 5mind. $20usd with a photo, $1 extra if you don't have one.

    We did a 2 day explore ancient Angkor wat tour with "G Adventures" and stayed at hotel Frangipani. There was a pool and the best $18 1 hour massages you will ever get.

    In Phnom Penh we did a 2 day tour with "Intrepid Travel". I believe they are sister companies with G and the hotel we got was Cardamom.

    You can save money and do everything yourself I.e ticket attractions, transport etc. but we wanted the comfort of having everything pre-arranged. The tour guides were very knowledgeable as expected.

    Cambodia exceeded my expectations in every possible way. Absolutely loved it.

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    Thailand was nice but we didn't spend a lot of time or do too much there.

    We landed in krabi and because of the layovers we were beat as total travel time exceeded 30hours. Just relaxed on the beach, and did some exploring. The place we stayed at was railay village.

    In Bangkok it was so busy during rush hour. The traffic scares and scars me haha wish I had more time here but we did squeeze in a one day excursion with Bangkok day tours to the tiger temple. Got to ride an elephant, play with tigers and check out the Kanchaburi cemetery and river Kwai.

    Now I'm back home with no jet lag (very odd) what a whirlwind 2 weeks. With an extra day off I managed to hit up sunshine yesterday. Legs are in pain today haha

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