I am looking to take my 14 year old daughter and my wife to the far east (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand) over the new year of 2014 (flying out on the 26th or 27th of December 2014), I am looking for advice on where to go, where my daughter would learn about the culture and history of these places, but mixed in with relaxing times by the beach and shopping. I have a budget of about £5000. We are looking to go for about 10 to 14 days but not all inclusive. Hopefully this is enough information.
thanks for your help
Okay, first of all 10 – 14 days is a short holiday, not a trip that can encompass the ‘far east’. So basically pick ONE country and one, maybe two places to stay within it. You don’t have enough time to be hopping between three countries, not if you want to see any of them anyway.
Have a look here for some inspiration on which one to choose.
Now, does that budget include all three flights? Or are you expecting three flights plus accommodation/food/trips/etc to be within that?
This is a controversial answer I know, but if you’re looking to pack in plenty of learning and sightseeing and you want to visit a variety of countries, organised group tours are a great way to do this. I explored parts of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in the space of 15 days on a group tour with Intrepid, and they organise all transport and accommodation (not flights mind) and most activities, so it’s a really relaxing way to see loads of stuff.
I think we paid around £800 each for the two week tour and that included some meals too. People will often criticise organised tours for being a ‘rip off’ or not ‘real travel’, but for people who don’t have lots of time to get away, and don’t want the stress of organising the entire trip independently it’s a pretty efficient way to see exciting new places There are lots of organised tour groups, international and local. I have had positive experiences with G Adventures and Intrepid.
You can find destination guides here on the Rough Guide website too:
Alternatively, the train from Singapore to Bangkok is a thoroughly entertaining and fast way of seeing plenty in all three countries. You can stop off in various places along the way – look up and book trains on the Malaysian train operators website here: www.ktmb.com.my/
Hope this helps in some way
All the best,
Michael Huxley But even Intrepid doesn't have tours that will accommodate all of those places in just 10 - 14days, and their closest ones are a swift rushng through of organised activities in each place before people are hustled off the the next place. Not my idea of fun, and it is certainly not a great way for the OPs daughter to "learn about the culture and history of these places, but mixed in with relaxing times by the beach and shopping." And certainly not for the whacking great commissions they charge.
I'm all for advocating different types of travel, but there also has to be some realism injected into the discussions sometimes.