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Want Vacation Ideas
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Catalina



Joined: 11 May 2003
Location: Bella Italia

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 3:11 am    Post subject: Here's a tricky question for your travel bugs Reply with quote

I have 10 days at the end of July.

Want to go on vaction but not the following countries:
Thailand (spent 6 weeks there in 2001)
India (been there for two months, didn't see enough but insane to step in for 10 days - needs time, not money)
Myanmar (1 month in 2002)
Sri Lanka (again, been there)
Nepal (see India comment)
Pakistan (see Sri Lanka comment)

Most places will be hot - is Europe going to bankrupt me for 10 days? I can do cheap but not scary cheap. Maybe Vietnam but 10 days seems too short.

Who's been where in the 'hood recently. Yeah, yeah, I can check the LP but the best ideas start from word of mouth - I'll get an LP for logistics.

BTW - Howard Roark - consider a Thailand/Sri Lanka vacation. Not too expensive, a great flight on Thai airways from Bangkok to Colombo. PM me if you want some logistics. You'd get your money's worth and a great change of scene.

Cheers,

Catalina
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Canadian Teacher



Joined: 22 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Rudy, Boracay blows. Way too commercial and crawling with package tour Koreans. The reef put front is DEAD! Decent rooms are getting pricey there now and access is not great.

Puerto Galera, more specifically Big Lalaguna is by far my favourite place in Aisa. Quiet, cheap, good eats and very relaxed. Also world class scuba.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just throwing in my 2 cents:

I loved Bangkok, although a 2 hour bus-ride from the North Bus Terminal to the Kho San Rd. area wasn't exactly a treat. It's still a great city to explore and chill out in. The only redeeming thing about Kho San Rd. area is the cheap accomodation and its close proximity to things.

I liked Koh Samui a lot more than Phucket, which felt more like California than Thailand to me.

Malaysia is cool. KL was a pretty nice city and there are loads of uncrowded beaches on the East Coast. Summer is also the dry season in Eastern Malaysia, while it is monsoon season for most of Thailand.

Vietnam is much poorer than Thailand and Malaysia. Traveling is VERY slow too; I can't imagine what Laos and Cambodia are like. I liked Vietnam, but stuck to the backpackers scene. I found it harder to venture off on my own than in Malaysia and Thailand. I don't miss Vietnam like I miss the other two.

Singapore is fun to check out for a couple days as well. If you had a month, I'd say start in Singapore and go on up to Bangkok. You could definitly do that w/in your budget. 2 weeks you should probably just stick to one country.

and yes, the thorn tree will hook you up with some good info. If you decide to go to Vietnam or start in Bangkok, DO NOT buy a guide book here. You can get a used (or photo-copied in the case of Vietnam) for much cheaper.
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if I only had 2 weeks I'd take your advice canadian teacher and go to Puerto Galera but since we have a month Thailand offers more choices and easier transport.

Question: is doing a side trip to Rangoon from BKK worth it? Really don't have the money to fly over to Angkor
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rudyflyer wrote:
if I only had 2 weeks I'd take your advice canadian teacher and go to Puerto Galera but since we have a month Thailand offers more choices and easier transport.

Question: is doing a side trip to Rangoon from BKK worth it? Really don't have the money to fly over to Angkor



You mean its cheaper to fly to Rangoon from BKK than it is to Angkor? Intresting. I don't recall it being that expensive to go to Siem Riep but never looked into flying to Burma either.
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just did a fare search on bangkok airways and thais websites. To fly to Angkor its 23,400 baht or $550 r/t total for 2 people vs $389 to Rangoon. I'm not a fan of Bangkok Airways airfares to Surat is $43/person on Thai and on Bangkok Airways its $90 to go to Samui since they own the airport.

Yeah travel agents in BKK may have cheaper fares on Thai, I've never seen Bangkok Airfares discounted through travel agents

interesting
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, if I recall correctly, you could get a package deal (airfare + tourist visa) in Bangkok to Angkor Wat for less than the price you were quoted online. I think it was closer to 400 bucks. It was reasonable enough that I was considering doing it. If it was over 500 bucks, I don't think I would have given it a second thought. It has been a year since I was in Bangkok, so perhaps my memory is a bit warped. Travel in Asia has dropped so much in recent months because of SARS, that i'm sure you could find some kind of deal out there.
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richinkorea



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Location: Gawd Darn Hot and Sunny Arizona !

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's only one day overland from BKK to Siam Reap. Pretty cheap, train to the border and then shared taxi to town. The road is paved almost all the way now I understand. It's really not too bad and you will get a glimpse of rural life as well.
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Beatnik009



Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Location: Daejeon, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a teacher here in Korea who is leading a non-profit tour of South Africa this August. The flight is apparently much cheaper than you'd imagine - just over W1 million, and the tour is W250,000 per week, all essential expenses covered - 3 meals a day, nice accommodation and transportation. If you're interested email me and I will pass on your details to him. davidbeattie2001@yahoo.com

There are one-week and two-week tours available, between August 3 and 18. It is early spring at that time in South Africa so the climate is ideal.
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Catalina



Joined: 11 May 2003
Location: Bella Italia

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 5:52 pm    Post subject: Side trip to Yangon/Rangoon Reply with quote

yeah - a side trip to Yangon could be worth it.

I spent one month in the country in 2001 and I loved it. It's more expensive than Thailand but less expensive than Korea.

Some issues you might want to consider:

Visa
Check out the visa situation - in 2001 it took ten days to get a visa. I had to have an interview with an attache at the embassy and confirm to him that I would not involve myself in the politics of the country Shocked

Tourist Dollars
Some goverment legislated scam at the airport. Each foreigner who arrives must exchange 200 USD into these tourist dollars which you can use at hotels but not in markets. My boyfriend and I gifted the female officer with three revlon lipsticks and some mascara (purchased for this purpose) to let us exchange 200 USD as a couple but it still stung - handing those dollars over. So, see what the status of this is these days.

Yangon is very beautiful but it's a poor country. You can see some amazing temples (Swezegon in Yangon is one of the most beautiful in Asia), Yangon has an amazing museum that you can spend a day in. The Strand hotel (bulit by the same architect as Raffles in Singapore) had a happy hour between 5-8 that made for an excellent evening.

In a few days you can only see the city and maybe one sidetrip. Travel through Myanmar if slow.

Hope this helps. PM me if you want more details.

Catalina
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