Where have you vacationed since living in Singapore?

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standingroomonly
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Where have you vacationed since living in Singapore?

Post by standingroomonly » Wed, 02 May 2012 5:18 am

What relatively nearby (let's say under 5 hour flight time) places have you vacationed since living in Singapore? With kids or without kids

Bali and Thailand seem to be a reasonable flying distance... What islands/places have you found to be interesting or beautiful?

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Post by QRM » Wed, 02 May 2012 8:50 am

We always liked Phuket no time difference and the place is relatively civilised and decked out for tourist, as in every thing is fairly efficient. Many people like Bali, I didn't for some reason I really felt the huge gap between the haves and have nots a bit uncomfortable, we stayed in a stunning villa and yet 100m down the road squatting around the roadside are impoverished dust caked families.

Bintan and Batam again easy weekend destinations, Malaysia while a bit harder work than Thailand has plenty of lovely places to see. West coast less developed but clear blue waters, East coast has all the infrastructure (from the old Mining days) but brown water but still worth a visit.

Closer to home a chum stayed in some chalets in Pualu Ubin they had a great time, and we just came back from a staycation in the Villas in Capella Hotel Sentosa and loved it, so much so we are considering cancelling the Phuket trip and just stay there next time. Convenient veg out is our goal these days.

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aster
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Post by aster » Wed, 02 May 2012 10:41 am

I had the opposite experience, went to Bali and absolutely loved it and have been back many times since. Also went to Phuket but was disappointed and rate it so far below Bali it's no longer on the radar even.

Thinking of hopping over to Darwin - has anyone been? :)

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 02 May 2012 11:36 am

This gap is also in Phuket so perhaps you were lucky there and less lucky in Bali as for your choice of accommodation in that respect. We've been to Phuket only twice and saw people living in garbage both times. No experience with kids in Bali but we've been there also twice and also love it.
Another kids friendly destination: Redang with direct flight from SG and probably Tioman for the same. Langawi is also very easily accessible and has duty free liquor stores (probably this part less for the kids). Bintan, the obvious choice too. All the places are safe, accessible in 2-4h, with high standard accommodation available.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 02 May 2012 1:02 pm

I worked in Darwin many years ago ('92~94) for around 6 months. Laid back place with a Casino (where you don't have to pay $100 to get in). Hot. Not to much to see without driving a fair bit to see it. Ayers Rock, Crocodile cruises, It's flat. And Hot during the winter months and hotter during the summer. Oh, and the seasons are reversed for us Northern hemisphere types. Rather boring to be honest. But nice people. Swimming is verboten many months of the year due to the box jellyfish. Not a lot to see. At least if you go to Cairns you can always do diving trips to the Great Coral Reef.
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Post by nakatago » Wed, 02 May 2012 1:37 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I worked in Darwin many years ago ('92~94) for around 6 months. Laid back place with a Casino (where you don't have to pay $100 to get in). Hot. Not to much to see without driving a fair bit to see it. Ayers Rock, Crocodile cruises, It's flat. And Hot during the winter months and hotter during the summer. Oh, and the seasons are reversed for us Northern hemisphere types. Rather boring to be honest. But nice people. Swimming is verboten many months of the year due to the box jellyfish. Not a lot to see. At least if you go to Cairns you can always do diving trips to the Great Coral Reef.
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Post by JR8 » Wed, 02 May 2012 2:02 pm

QRM wrote: Malaysia while a bit harder work than Thailand has plenty of lovely places to see. West coast less developed but clear blue waters, East coast has all the infrastructure (from the old Mining days) but brown water but still worth a visit.

Pssst... think you have that the wrong way around QRM. The west coast of MY has the brown water, the east coast the lovely blue...

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 02 May 2012 2:21 pm

Phuket. First time I'd been back since the 80's so I was bound to be pretty startled at the development.
Penang. For some reason I've been about 5 times. Once is probably enough. Water brown + jellyfish. Food good though.
Pangkor Island. Water brown, it rained solidly every day for our 4 days. So didn't leave the best of impressions!
Malaysian mainland. Some interesting things to do and see, like the tea plantations and KL, Malucca etc.
Malaysian east coast, Tioman. Been 7-8 times for the diving. Very chilled out and relaxed for somewhere so close to KL and SG. They filmed South Pacific there, the beaches and water are that dazzling...
Siem Reap. Angkor wat and associated ruins/relics are absolutely staggering to behold. The Cambodian people are disarmingly lovely. Great food. A must do.
Saigon overland to Hanoi. Third time back for me and quite nostalgic for various reasons. I prefer the vibe in Saigon to Hanoi, but the former is getting to feel commercialised and less laid-back than it used to.
Laos. Went a long time ago, '95, when this was just opening up, and a very curious country indeed. Some fantastic sites to see.
Bali. Once away from the hellish Kuta strip had a great time. Fascinating culture, charming people, good food.
Sydney - Perth via Byron Bay and Ayers Rock. All in all a great adventure. Preferred the west coast to the east (less up themselves :)).
Kuching, eastern Malaysia. Fascinating and historic little city surrounded by jungle. Would certainly go again.
Batam. Three times now I think. Not planning any more :)
Jakarta. Good grief, I have never seen urban sprawl like this before, the city seems endless. You cannot walk anywhere and it is choked and dirty. Worth avoiding!


[Those are the nearby places I've been from my two stints in-country.]

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Post by BillyB » Wed, 02 May 2012 4:03 pm

Places to see:

Malaysia West - Kuala Lumpur, Penang
Malaysia East - Kuching
Aus - Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide
Thailand - Bangkok, Phi Phi
China - Beijing, Shanghai and of course Hong Kong
Japan - Tokyo, Osaka
South Korea - Seoul
Taiwan - Tapei

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Post by the lynx » Wed, 02 May 2012 5:20 pm

BillyB wrote:Places to see:

Malaysia West - Kuala Lumpur, Penang
Malaysia East - Kuching
Aus - Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide
Thailand - Bangkok, Phi Phi
China - Beijing, Shanghai and of course Hong Kong
Japan - Tokyo, Osaka
South Korea - Seoul
Taiwan - Tapei
To add to BB's list:

Malaysia West - KL, Penang, Langkawi, Malacca, Redang, Perhentian Island
Malaysia East - Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Sipadan, Mataking
Thailand - Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Trang, Chiang Mai
China - Beijing, Shanghai, HK, Macau, Taiwan
Indonesia - Bali, Lombok
Vietnam - Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay
Cambodia - Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville
Laos - Luang Prabang, Savannahkhet, Vientiane
Myanmar - Yangon
India - Jaipur, Agra
Sri Lanka

That's all I can think of right now.

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Post by QRM » Wed, 02 May 2012 5:41 pm

JR8 wrote:
QRM wrote: Malaysia while a bit harder work than Thailand has plenty of lovely places to see. West coast less developed but clear blue waters, East coast has all the infrastructure (from the old Mining days) but brown water but still worth a visit.

Pssst... think you have that the wrong way around QRM. The west coast of MY has the brown water, the east coast the lovely blue...
You are right I was using a Malaysian map purchased in Australia

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 02 May 2012 6:12 pm

QRM wrote: You are right I was using a Malaysian map purchased in Australia

Bwahahaha :)


Talking about Australia and maps. I was down Portobello Road market some years back looking for an antique map of Australia (I collect antique maps amongst other things). I was quite surprised to find how rare they were, and how even by the 1820's the coastline had not been accurately delineated. On a lot of early maps the coastlines of PNG and Aus just end in extrapolations, or blank spaces. It is quite surprising given the accuracy of the mapping of the coasts of Africa and the Americas even as early at the late 1500's.


edit: typo
Last edited by JR8 on Wed, 02 May 2012 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Zeenit » Wed, 02 May 2012 9:21 pm

Malaysia West - Kuala Lumpur, Penang. Langkawi,
Malaysia East - Kuching , Kota kinabalu, Tioman, Kuala Terengganu
Aus - Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide , Perth
Thailand - Bangkok, Koh Samui, Krabi
China - Beijing, Shanghai and of course Hong Kong
Japan - Tokyo, Kyoto
South Korea - Seoul
Indonesia - Bali, Lombok , Manado, Nikoi
Vietnam - Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay , Hanoi

And I have another long list still to do.
Zeenit

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Post by QRM » Thu, 03 May 2012 8:37 am

JR8 wrote:
QRM wrote: You are right I was using a Malaysian map purchased in Australia

Bwahahaha :)


Talking about Australia and maps. I was down Portobello Road market some years back looking for an antique map of Australia (I collect antique maps amongst other things). I was quite surprised to find how rare they were, and how even by the 1820's the coastline had not been accurately delineated. On a lot of early maps the coastlines of PNG and Aus just end in extrapolations, or blank spaces. It is quite surprising given the accuracy of the mapping of the coasts of Africa and the Americas even as early at the late 1500's.


edit: typo
I assume in those days Australia really was the dark continent took a real effort to reach the place, but Africa from Europe could almost be walked too, (OK a long walk and a bit of a swim). I could be talking out of my butt, because of the reefs around the island it would take a really brave or foolhardy soul to have a crack at sailing around the place, no GPS, Charts or even an engine to whack into full reverse if things look a bit iffy. I assume the Oz coat was relatively unpopulated compared to the African coast?

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 03 May 2012 2:51 pm

QRM wrote: I assume in those days Australia really was the dark continent took a real effort to reach the place, but Africa from Europe could almost be walked too, (OK a long walk and a bit of a swim). I could be talking out of my butt, because of the reefs around the island it would take a really brave or foolhardy soul to have a crack at sailing around the place, no GPS, Charts or even an engine to whack into full reverse if things look a bit iffy. I assume the Oz coat was relatively unpopulated compared to the African coast?
Quite. Also the centres of map-making were Amsterdam and London, and so a great deal of it came down to which areas of the world were significant as trade routes.

It is fascinating to see how cartography developed over the centuries as it speaks volumes about the regions' relative significance. Also as the cartographers shamelessly pirated each other for any new information you'll also see mistakes being copied over decades (or more) getting picked up and re-used. Representing Baja California as an island is probably the classic one for dating maps of North America. Another, though less well known, is the recording of a small island in the Atlantic a couple of hundred miles west of Ireland called 'Brazil'. That perpetuated right up until being incorporated into Admiralty charts around c1800!

Here is an early example of the Aus/PNG 'known unknowns' I was referring to, this one from c1650 (from Tasman's sightings). That's pretty hard-boiled in it's sketchiness, but even by 1800 the S. Aus coast was often left blank or drawn as a rough arc, and Western Papua was shown but the East just tapered off into nothingness...


Anyway, I'll stop now, apologies for dragging this OT!

Edit to add: more on historical map errors
Last edited by JR8 on Thu, 03 May 2012 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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