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Recommend me a holiday
...in Asia

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#1 knickerless

Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

Really want a week or so somewhere I don't have to worry about cooking and cleaning. have been to Singapore, KL and Bali. Like the idea of a beach holiday but also like shopping (not for fakes, not my cup of tea. I like markets but only for handicrafts. Also like access to malls with UK/US stores)

Don't want to too much as we are going to the UK at Christmas but like 4-5 stars at a good price (don't want much do I??!)

I like the beach but not all day. I like to "sight see" not just sit around a pool. Two children aged 7 and 9.

Have looked at Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and can't decide!

Would love to hear some first had experiences because I am getting myself all confused.

#2 pinkelephant

Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

Thailand! I love it there. The markets on the streets have knock off items but the department stores still have proper branded items. Plenty of beaches and things for the kids to do.

Phuket is very busy and full on but lots of fun. Koh Samui is stunning but there are no department stores.  I'd probably suggest you stick with Phuket for a short trip.  Alternatively you could go to Bangkok for a few nights for shopping then head to Pattaya or Koh Samui from there for the rest of the trip.

Happy to help with more Thailand info if you like.

Edited by pinkelephant, 20 January 2013 - 05:50 PM.

#3 smithsholidayroad

Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

With your post I would choose Thailand.

Bangkok for shopping then onward to Chiang Mai in the north for culture, sightseeing, adventure and food!

Only thing is Chiang Mai is nowhere near a beach.

We hope to travel to Cambodia again in April and plan for time in the cities SR and PP and the coast at Sihnoukville.


#4 kandj

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

Sorry to hijack original.gif

Bron, that is so cool you are going back to Cambodia - you will LOVE Sihanoukville!!! We've been twice and would go again in a heart beat!

Are you going to take any anti-malarials while there? Or do they not recommend nowadays? I would love to take Max and Audrey original.gif

Now for the OP's question - I second the Thailand suggestion. Bangkok has great shopping and some great restaurants and with kids your age would be easy! Plus heaps to do. Chiang Mai in the north has lots of handicrafts etc and resorts that will cover the 'beachy feel'. Otherwise I would look at Ko Lanta near Krabi... in my opinion it is simply breath taking original.gif

#5 Busydays

Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

We just got back 2 days ago from a Singapore and Malaysia trip. It wasn't a beach holiday but we did universal studios Singapore and legoland Malaysia which were both awesome for the kids (big and little). One of the best parts of our week in Malaysia was eating in wonderful restaurants, every meal, and not worrying once about the cost original.gif I would love to have travelled up to the Malaysian islands up north but we ran out of time. I think that would be a wonderful beach holiday original.gif
We took the kids to Japan back in July, and that was also a great family trip. So many things for kids to do in Tokyo, and really interesting holiday as well. Japan was also great for shopping!

#6 mrsjane

Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:00 PM

I would go phuket! Love the place, awesome beaches and there is a huge shopping mall there. love the sarongs and beachwear. check out the malls here : http://www.phuket.com/shopping/shopping-centers.htm, not advertising for them , this is a list of shopping centres that you can go too. on top of that, there are plenty of things to do, cooking class, scuba diving, snorkelling, lazing by the pool, go on a trek, etc!

#7 asdf89

Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

While in Thailand last year, we spent a few days over the border in Laos, which was lovely.

Stayed in Luang Prabang which is not near the coast but has the most spectacular waterfall (which also has a bear sactuary near it, for bears that have been rescued from being used for Chinese medicine, so after your swim you can watch the happy bears sleep on their hammocks)

The markets were a real shock after being in Thailand, lots of handcrafts (beautiful quilts and linens which they can make up for you if you're happy to come back again the next night) and no knockoff brands.

Overall it was much less 'touristy' than Thailand (which is still great) so you don't have the touts hassling you in the street etc.

Can't speak for the rest of Laos, but highly recommend Luang Prabang for a cheap holiday - won't have the US/UK brands, but I'm sure you could have a day or two in Vientiane for shopping.

#8 knickerless

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

Thanks everyone!

I am intrigued by Laos, sounds lovely!

#9 lizzzard

Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:47 PM

How about Taiwan? I haven't been but colleagues have told me great things about it - apparently there are some beautiful beaches, and Taipai is a great city for shopping as well.

#10 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:56 AM

I also think Thailand would have the combination of things youre after.

#11 eachschoolholidays

Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:07 PM

In addition to the ones you have listed, we've taken our kids to Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Hoi An, Saigon and Phuket.  I would definitely suggest Hoi An (Vietnam) or Kota Kinabulu (Malaysia).  Hoi An has great shopping and amazing food.  You could stay on the outskirts at the beach or in Danang but to be honest the old town is awesome!  We are going for the 4th time this July!

If you are considering Danang we have also stayed at the Furama and it was lovely with a pre kids club for kids over 2.  Kota Kinabula we stayed at the Magellan Sutera. If you go to KK, a lot of the resorts are a long way out of town which means a 30-45 min trip into town for shopping.  In Penang we have stayed at the Golden Sands which is quite good (but not as great as the others)

#12 The 7 Dwarfs

Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

We've been to the Philippines and it has much of what you have described. I'd recommend spending a day or 2 in Manila and then flying out to one of the Islands though. We went to the Ocean park in Manila which was great fun for the kids. They especially liked the Musical fountain show.


There is a theme park there, unfortunately we didn't have enough time to go, but it looked great.

We went to Mindanao, which had quite a bit of touristy things to do, but there is an island which is a resort island, apparently a lot of famous people holiday there as the beaches are awesome. I can't remember the name as I had the site saved on my old computer.

There is a strong US influence there, so there are many shopping centres stocked with US brands

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