There are many nice trips on our program in the upcoming months. We head to Asia, for us another pretty unspoiled area. My husband and I are mostly Africa fans, but the kids just a little less. That is why we are taking the following vacations to Asia. Of course, we have already devoured a lot of reading, but the best tips are from people who have already visited the destination. And where should you be? Right, with fellow travel bloggers.
Autumn holidays: Bali en Singapore
In the autumn holidays we will go to Bali and Singapore. A busy trip. We depart from Amsterdam, with a stopover at London Heathrow to Singapore. As we will be have already been completely broken, we fly to Bali immediately so we don’t waste another day on traveling. The first day in Bali we enjoy the beach and the swimming pool to recuperate from the long journey. We booked, on advice from acquaintances, rooms in The Mulia. If I can believe the comments, it's no punishment to stay there. Condé Nast chose it as the #1 Beach Resort of the World and #3 on top 100 Hotels and Resorts of the world.
Do you want to know what we did in Bali? Check out my blogpost about the Island of 1000 temples.
After five days in Bali we fly back to Singapore. We stay for two nights in the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Friends of ours moved to Singapore in 2016 so we have the best guides to show us all the hidden gems.
Tips from bloggers
Of course, the best tips come from travelers who visited the destination. I asked fellow bloggers about their favorite addresses and activities. It is noticeable that many of these tips are about restaurants and bars to visit. Singapore and Bali are popular destinations for foodies.
Alex, the English travelblogger of Gingey Bites was in Singapore recently. She wants to share the following tips:
Head to Maxwell Court Food Centre in China town for an authentic hawker centre eating experience. It was here that we tried the best Hainanese Chicken Rice in the city. Avoid the queues at the famous stall (Tian Tian) and go to the very similar looking place two doors along called Ah Tai. There was no queue when we were there and It’s the former head chef of the award winning place. The food was brilliant. Just as good and cheaper too!
Make sure you have a cocktail at the top of the Marina Sands Bay towers on your last day. The views over the city are incredible and its worth every penny. We toasted the end of 7 months travelling there on the night before we flew home to the UK. It was special and a bit emotional. (as this is the hotel where we stay, we wil do this for sure)
According to Maria from Both Paths, there is something that can't be missed.
The highlight of Singapore and the one thing no traveler should miss is the Singapore Flyer. Emphasis on the HIGHlight, the ferris wheel takes you 165 meters up the air and it is only 2,5 meters shorter than the highest in the world. The wheel gives you the ultimate view of the Singapore skyline. You come face to face with magnificent skyscrapers. If you want to make the most out of your experience you should take the ride at night and experience the Singapore skyline light up by millions of tiny flickering lights. The ride takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and is enjoyed in capsules with a 360 degree view. The ride is the ultimate Singapore experience.
I am sure our kids will love this one.
You want to know what we did in Singapore? Read this perfect 48 hours itinerary
Allison from Flights to fancy lives in Sydney and was already 7 times in Bali. Here are some of her tips:
- There are so many wonderful things to do in Bali that this tiny speck of land lures me back time and time again. In fact, I have just returned from my 7th trip to The Island Of The Gods. One of my favourite places to stay is Seminyak, where luxury villas co-exist with homestays with price tags to suit all budgets.
- Foodies will delight in the many fabulous restaurants nearby. Try Kultur for authentic Indonesian cuisine or Nostima Grill for a change of pace. The souvlaki platters are amazing!
- Shoppers are spoilt for choice with fabulous boutiques and those looking to relax simply must indulge in a budget massage. I do. Daily!
- Hiring a scooter from $5 a day makes it easy to get around if you can cope with the chaotic traffic and if not, taxis are cheap and plentiful. Look for the Bluebird logo and ask them to turn on the meter.
- Sunset drinks are a must. Try one of the nearby beach clubs or for a special treat jump a cab and head to Jimbaran’s Rock Bar; a Bali icon. Bali truly has something for everyone!
Penny from Globe Trove is in love with Ubud. Here is her story:
Throngs of tourists flock to Bali, Indonesia every year. Most of them come in search of the Bali’s famous beaches, dive sites and parties. Ubud however is a little different from the conventional Bali that is advertised. Nestled in the heart of the island, Ubud is a small little village that is gaining in popularity. At first I thought that the village would be deserted and we would be the only tourists around. That however was a false notion because there were plenty of people exploring the village.
Ubud is particularly popular for its terraced rice field and its proximity to a live volcano named Batur. Most people take day trips to catch a glimpse of Mount Batur and then head out to the hot springs for a day of relaxation. The monkey forest is another popular attraction. We had some time on our hands so we found ourselves roaming around the village on foot. That is how we discovered that the people from Ubud are famous in Indonesia for their skillswith wood. They are also great singers and dancers. So if you are in the vicinity don’t forget to take in a Kecak dance show!
Springbreak (February): Bangkok
During springbreak, we are traveling to Bangkok. Once again we fly from Amsterdam with British Airways.
As we are don't like to stay in the city center, we chose a hotel near the river. The small boutique hotel Chakrabongse villa's looks like a perfect place for us. It is situated in the heart of the old town, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. From here you have a superb view of the Temple of Dawn and the Grand Palace.
The villa was built as a retreat from palace life by Prince Chakrabongse in 1908. Today, in the hands of his granddaughter Narisa, the villa and gardens have found new life as an inimitable boutique hotel that reflects both her family’s noble history and her deep appreciation of Thai art, cuisine and culture. When it was good enough for the prince, it will be good enough for us.
Megan from Wandertoes is, just like me, a working mam with a husband traveling a lot for work. Therefor she tries to travel with the entiry family as much as she can. Here are her tips:
This was one of my favorite stops in Bangkok. The first thing we did was go into the temple with the Reclining Buddha, and I was honestly stopped in my tracks for a moment at the immensity of the Buddha statue at 15 meters high and 46 meters long. The interior of the temple containing the Reclining Buddha is also richly decorated and covered in intricate scenes that are beautifully detailed. Be sure, also, not to rush past as you leave the Reclining Buddha side of the temple. The bottom of the feet are covered with 108 mother of pearl panels that are worth pausing to study and appreciate.
The Wat Pho complex itself is one of the oldest temple complexes in Thailand, with the grounds and over 90 chedis painstakingly restored. When King Rama I began the restoration, he also began collecting images of Buddha in this central location. Now, there are over 1000 images of Buddha inside the temple complex, and you can walk through aisle after hallway lined with the statues. Along with all of that, you are simple free to wander the grounds, taking in the architecture, colors, and textures - a feast for the eyes and camera!
Madhurima from Orange Wayfarer is crazy about Bangkok. Here are her tips:
Bangkok, the vibrant city by the river Chao Phraya, also referred to as Kunthrep by the Thais, is a celebration of oriental mystics and modern elevated world. There are sky scrapers on both the side of the river that define the city’s skyline. There remains an intricate canal system, an ode to the days of yore when the city was a product of waterborne economy, earning Bangkok the famed name as “Venice of east”. I have managed to live for about a week in the city and was astounded by its cosmopolitan nature.
The city sleeps rarely. The Thai wholesale market starts as early as 4 in the morning and wraps up by 8 am. It is a big source of inventory for the ecommerce clothing industry in the Indian subcontinent.
By then the river gets bustling with ferries and boats, taking explorers for a joyride to the palaces on the banks. The Grand palace, the statue of reclining Buddha and many more wonders speak volume of Siamese rich heritage.
For those seeking a more rustic experience, I recommend going out for a floating market to a nearby village. Floating markets are essentially Thai experience allowing you a sumptuous meal with the freshest of ingredients and a chance to mingle with the locals.
Post that you can return to the city to experience the weekend markets or the profound shopping malls if shopping at a cheaper price is what allures you.
Bangkok’s famous nightlife is centred on Khaosan road. It is a backpackers ‘district with access to frothy beer in abundance. (you won't find us here)
I personally loved The China Town dinner plates. The resident Chinese says a dragon stands still in the bend of the concrete road. The food is great and cheaper than any other place of Thailand. Do try their glass noodles with shrimps.
Party, shopping, great food and local experience are main motifs of the Bangkok culture. You can opt for the zoo at the outskirts, Safari World. However please refrain from making the dolphins dance for you.
Al those amazing stories make us count the days even more. Do you have any further tips on one of these destinations? Share them below.
Do you want to know where we stayed in Bangkok? Check out this post about the luxury boutique hotel we discovered.
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