Tell me about your best trips to this part of the world. Want to make 2 trips in March/April. We live in Seoul so this part of the world is easily and cheaply accessible to us. Traveling with adventurous 10&13 year olds. March will be a 4 day weekend for just me and kids. Want 1 stop at a beachy/water sport location. In early April, we have a 9 days for spring break. We want more culture, sightseeing, etc for that trip. We could fly between locations, thinking of Singapore plus 1 other location, possibly Kuala Lumpur. But open to all ideas.
I haven't been to any of those places but I will say all my friends who have traveled in Asia love Singapore,the Philippines, and Thailand. A friend of mine did Thailand,and Angkor Wat together with young kids and said it was great- just very hot.
March and April are really hot times in many places of Southeast Asia - probably the hottest two months of the year for Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. So, just be prepared for the heat!
Here are my thoughts -
KL - Not much to do here for more than a day or two. If this is your first time to Southeast Asia, I would not recommend this place. There are so so so many better places to travel. Not that it’s a horrible place - I just wouldn’t be looking at it for a vacation. If you are interested in Malaysia, I recommend Langkawi (beach/island), Georgetown/Penang (beaches and parks for hiking), or Borneo (jungle, beach, go see the orangutans and the rain forest). But not KL - like, you only need a day in that city.
Singapore - Fun for a short trip. Not adventurous at all, but there are some things I am sure your kids would love. Marina Bay Sands rooftop pool, gardens by the bay, Zoo, Universal, Sentosa Island has beach-y/resort stuff, hawker courts for great food, shopping galore, first world amenities/infrastructure. I would not do a 9 day trip here - you’ll get bored.
Philippines - I’m just so-so on the Philippines. It depends on where you go, but like Indonesia, security/terrorism concerns are absolutely valid here. In the Philippines, most places in the cities and more dangerous regions like Davao will have stringent security (dogs, mirrors to look under your car, metal detectors, high presence of guns). There are beautiful beaches like Cebu, Palawan, Borocay, but - you do have the security concerns when you are transiting the cities to get where you want to go. So, I prefer other places that you don’t have to worry about that hassle.
Bali - this would be a great 9 day trip. You can go to th beaches for part of it, and then head to Ubud (mountains) for part of the trip. Lots of culture opportunities - you can also head to nearby, smaller islands like Lombok, which are fantastic and more off the beaten path. I love Bali - it’s like the Hawaii of Southeast Asia, but of course with out the first world infrastructure.
Thailand - I am biased, but you should just come here. 🤣😁. Amazing beaches - Phuket/Keanu/Phi Phi Islands, Koh Samui, Rayong, Koh Lak, Koh Tao, Koh Samet, endless opportunities. There are also mountains in the north (Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai) where you can experience so many cool things like zip lining, elephants (please don’t ride them, it’s a form of abuse - there are reputable elephant parks where they don’t do rides and you can still interact with the elephants in a fun and humane way), hiking in the mountains, tons of great culture and food. BUT - do not go to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai in March. That’s the smokey season and the air quality is not good. By April, it’s fine. Oh, and did I mention 2 hour massages for $15??? AND THE FOOD OMFG.
beesquared will back me up if you need any more convincing about Thailand’s amazingness.
As for other places, I love Siem Reap (but only for 2-3 days max....Angkor Wat is cool, but after a while all the temples start looking the same). Vietnam is amazing - DaNang and Hoi An have beaches, food, amazing architecture, and beautiful scenery. Luang Prabang in Laos is neat - very French meets Southeast Asia. Bagan in Myanmar is more off the beaten path and similar to Angkor Wat. Inle Lak in Myanmar is also amaaaazing - but very off the beaten path. Might be a nice adventure for you and your kids though.
If you narrow down to which country - lemme know or PM me. I can give tips on food, hotels, transport, guides in all of above places.
So much in store for you! Excited for your Southeast Asia trip 4speedy !
Sorry I’m late! I’ve been MIA around these parts.. ironically I’m in Seoul right now (for the first time, what a magnificent city - I want to move here!!)
My recommendation if you do Singapore is to do a 3-4 days in the city and and then a few days on Bintan island (Indonesia). You take a 45 min ferry right from SG, and the beach is really really gorgeous. I love club Med. It would be a really great mix of city and beach fun.
I also LOVE Langkawi Malaysia. Andaman hotel is amazing. You could also pair that with a Singapore trip as it’s a very short / cheap flight. And flying in and out of Changi Airport is a breeze so you definitely can use Sg as a “lilypad” for other locations, most of our guests who visit do this. Penang is another great choice but I haven’t been yet- but it’s a pretty solid fave. In general Malaysia is kind of my fave SEA place (unpopular opinion!)- it doesn’t get as many tourists as Thailand for example and the people are chill, food is consistent.
I like Bali but find the beach lacks in comparison to other places in Southeast Asia. The culture and people are wonderful, though, as is the shopping (very different stuff from north Asia).
Agree with Taitai ‘s comment on KL. It’s Only a good trip if you from somewhere else in SEA and want to eat and stay in a nice hotel for cheap. Otherwise I’d pass.
We’re going to Vietnam in April for the first time (da nang / Hoi an) so I can let you know how that goes. Taitai you have any hotel recommendations for da nang? We haven’t booked yet...
roguelily I totally missed your tag! So sorry! How was Danang/Hoi An? I don’t have any great hotel recommendations, besides this one boutique hotel in Hoi An that a friend told me about....and it’s too late now anyways.