Indecisive & need advice from those better traveled
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Dec 1, 2012 8:01 AM Last Post By: amobr82
Nov 13, 2012 8:30 AM
Indecisive & need advice from those better traveledHi all! I am new here, I could use some advice.
I want to plan a mother/son trip for high school graduation before he goes away to college. The month would more than likely need to be June or July. I was hoping to get outside the western hemisphere, we live in St. Louis MO USA. I also wanted it to be a cultural experience for him. I wanted to go to Thailand, but I think these months are the rainy season so I didn't want to take that chance. I would also like it to be somewhat affordable, we don't have to stay in a 5 star (no camping for me though) and I love B&B's or smaller hotels.
Advice, suggestions? Help me narrow the country down?
Nov 13, 2012 11:30 AM
1While I understand that traveling with one's mother at 18 probably isn't high on his priority list, I would like a memory to share before he goes off into the world as an adult. He will certainly have chances to go on party trips in his future, that just isn't the point of this trip. I appreciate your feedback and hope to provide further details.
When watching travel channel, etc we both gravitate to Asia. He loves to travel as I do, and has mentioned Thailand, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong. I think he wants to eat his way through these places!
I am wondering if Indonesia would be a good possibility as well, after doing a bit of research.
Nov 13, 2012 12:23 PM
2First of all, it would be good if you could tell us about your interests and what you like to spend time on (sunbathing, culture, snorkelling, trekking etc.) as this will help us come up with places that you would enjoy.
In response to you query on Thailand though, I just spent a month in Thailand in the rainy season and it was no trouble you just need to plan it right. Stay away from the Andaman coast and all the islands in the Andaman sea as they will be too windy and rainy, instead go to the islands inside the Bay of Thailand such as Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, and Koh Samui. They hardly get any of the rain and are sheltered from most the wind as well (in 12 days we had 1 hour of rain, and a bit of wind which was only a problem for snorkelling, and even then we 'fixed' it by going to the other side of the island). If you are into snorkelling and don't mind the quite life then Tanote Bay, Koh Tao is one of the best places to go, it has brilliant snorkelling, is sheltered from the wind and any currents and there's snorkelling literally straight from the beach so perfect for all levels of snorkellers/swimmers.
In regards to Bangkok then it will rain but it wont be raining all day so you can always pop in for a coffee in a coffee shop and watch it pass over.. alternatively just get a raincoat and deal with it, you are hardly in Bangkok to get a tan anyway and bearing in mind that half the stuff in Bangkok is inside anyway it isn't really much of a problem..
Nov 13, 2012 12:37 PM
3Very good points. Our interests would include snorkeling, adventure/hiking, a bit of sunbathing and anything historical.
Thank you for sharing your experience! Makes me much less weary to travel there during the wet season. I just wouldn't want to go somewhere so far, only to be let down by a downpour the whole time. I will look into the islands you suggested!
Nov 13, 2012 12:46 PM
Nov 13, 2012 12:58 PM
5Funny you should ask, because I was actually looking at Montenegro earlier today. Please, write your epic.
Nov 14, 2012 1:43 AM
Nov 14, 2012 1:48 AM
Nov 14, 2012 6:26 AM
8Thanks lucapal! I will continue to research Indonesia, do you have any suggestions as to which location?
Nov 14, 2012 2:03 PM
Nov 14, 2012 4:32 PM
You really shouldn't be worrying about Thailand in the wet season as long as you plan it properly. Indonesia however I would be a bit more weary about, it is a lovely place, I stayed for 3 1/2 months in Bali and loved every second of it, but they do get more rain during the wet season and it can be harder to escape. Also if you do go to Bali, the snorkelling isn't that great not compared to Thailand and Malaysia and other parts of Indonesia anyway I was disappointed as you do need to scuba dive if you want to see some cool stuff, whereas in Malaysia (places like Borneo and Tioman Island) you have great snorkelling just off the beach and the same goes for Thailand.
Anything historical you say, Bali has some great little gems, nice temples and Ubud which is the art town and also has good trekking for example you can hike up the mountain of agung to see the sunrise which is definently worth it. Thailand has some great history too with the royal palace and lots of temples and museums in Bangkok, there is also the death railway and hellfire pass in Kanchanaburi which you can do in a daytrip from Bangkok (although bring your raincoat as it is significantly wetter there), and you have also got the old capital called Ayathaya which again is easily done in a daytrip and it's some great ruins very pretty and worth the trip. YOu can also easily stay over in both Kanchanaburi and Ayathaya - I have done both and it was worth it. In case you need to leave the country for a visa run (I think US citizens like most EU citizens get 30 days if the arrive by plane and 15 days if the come overland) then you can go and the see Angkor Wat temples, most amazing thing i have ever seen, and even my bf who hates culture had to admit that it was well worth the trip. You can either fly from bangkok or get a bus to the border and another bus on the other side of the cambodian border, it takes pretty much a day to get there by bus and 1 hr by plane but ofcourse your budget will decide the option (at least it did for me).
Nov 15, 2012 1:38 PM
11My husband and I took my 18-year-old nephew on a graduation trip this past summer. We gave him a list of cheap countries and let him pick. We bunched them up like Vietnam/Laos or Spain/Portugal, or Turkey/Greece etc. so he couldn't pick Vietnam and Portugal. As it ended up he picked Amsterdam and Spain (Barcelona & Madrid) and we landed in London so we spent time there also. It was super cheap to fly between these places and we flew back out of Madrid at no extra cost.
At the last minute my 21-year-old niece decided to come along so they went on a couple of pub/tapas crawls and met other young people and had a blast.
We stayed at several vacation apartments we found on VRBO.com that made it more affordable than most hotels considering the fact we needed 3 rooms. Also, we booked AAVacations packages and got 2 nights in London for the same price as just the airfare alone.
However, Europe will be more expensive than Asia and western Europe more expensive than most of eastern Europe.
Nov 15, 2012 6:40 PM
12Illuminate1, Bali could be a good choice.
No problems with the language either as Bali is traditionally a favourite destination for Australians as it's our next door neighbour. The Balinese are laid back, friendly people and there's plenty to see and do local culture, beaches,temples, art, hiking...also plenty of touristy places that you can dip in and out of if you wish.
For something really different that neither of you will forget, why not try Jordan? Culturally quite different but their reputation as 'the friendly Arabs' is definitely well deserved. Snorkel and swim in the Gulf of Aqaba, spend time at one of most amazing historical sites in the world, Petra..in fact the whole country is full of crusader castles and history, pretend you're Lawrence of Arabia and camp with the Bedhouins at Wadi Rum, float in the Dead Sea, eat lots of sticky Jordanian pastries and cakes from cake shops that are everywhere...
Just another one to add to the already extensive list of great destinations already mentioned by others.
Have fun choosing!
Nov 18, 2012 10:48 AM
13Personally I would recommend Bali and Lombok... being a 21 year old male I would not want to be in the gulf islands of Thailand as they can be very student oriented and would probably make him wish he were there alone (no offence at all meant). Bali and Lombok are in Eastern Indonesia, are beautiful places which could be explored well in one month, offer great opportunities to experience culture and partake in activities such as trekking gunung rinjani, surfing, or scuba diving / snorkelling. :)
Nov 20, 2012 1:33 PM
14Thank you so much everyone! You have given me much to consider and think about. I will research Jordan (didn't consider but now curious) and Eastern Indonesia.
Edited by: illuminate1
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