Help Choosing - Borneo & Bali or Thailand / Cambodia / Burma / Vietnam?(11 Posts)
I'm looking for a holiday in the Far East which is several days in the rainforest / possibly looking at temples and then several days staying on a secluded beach resort in a hut. Needs to be safe for kids!
I wondered about Borneo & Bali, but I also though that perhaps it could be a bit of a waste of time and money if we don't manage to see any of the unique wildlife in Borneo? Perhaps I could save a bit of money and get a fairly similar experience in Thailand / Burma / Cambodia / Vietnam??
I have been to Borneo and on a trip to the rain forest several orangutans walked across the path in front of us - this was in Sarawak. There is an orangutan sanctuary in Sabah (Sepilok) which would guarantee viewing wildlife.
Brunei is also worth considering for rain forest adventures.
I don't think Cambodia and Vietnam are that great for wildlife (although plenty of monkeys). Angkor Wat has amazing temples and you could combine this with a beach holiday in Kep.
Vietnam has ruined hindu temples built by the Champa kings - e.g My son near Hoi An - but not on the same scale as Angkor Wat. Hoi An is a lovely town with beach resorts, but not sure you will get the seclusion you are after.
Thailand - temples at Ayutthaya are amazing and can be visited in a day trip from Bangkok. You could then combine with a beach/island location.
Burma - don't know anything about beach resorts, but Bagan for temples and Yangon is pretty interesting too, especially Shwedagon pagoda. Burma is probably the most challenging country in terms of infrastructure when travelling with kids, although I didn't feel it was unsafe there. Vietnam is easy to get around by train and domestic flights. Car hire (with a driver) is not expensive in Cambodia.
How long are you going away for? We are filling a 2 week holiday just with Borneo
A friend has just come back from Borneo/Mayalsia/Singapore with her three primary school aged kids and the photos look amazing. So much wildlife and some really different experiences. We went to Tioman island in Malaysia years ago staying in a hut right on the beach and it was amazing though I am sure it is very different now. I absolutely love Bali but I wouldn't be going there for the beaches (though I'm a bit spoilt with Australian beaches) and I have always thought that it's better with teens/young adults.
I kind of regret going to Borneo as it was fab to see a wild orangutan but to be honest it wasn't as interesting for the children as seeing them roam wild at Singapore/Perth zoo. So maybe you could incorporate a stopover here in Singapore and go to the zoo?
Bali felt much like the Balearics for Australians, nice but not easy to access local culture. We didn't try very hard at all, children were very happy whizzing down waterslides, eating burgers and having their hair braided tbh.
Big vote for Cambodia and Vietnam.-kids had a whale of a time in both places. Tho' don't ride elephants at Siam Reap if you are concerned about animal welfare apparently.
Or Batu batu in Malaysia has turtles laying on the beach etc..
I did 1 week in Borneo then 4 nights in Bankok and finished with a week in Phuket, one of the most amazing holidays i have ever had. Sepilok was amazing, as were the temples and street markets in Bankok and Phuket was a lovely relaxing end to a busy first half of a holiday.
I been to Vietnam Cambodia and Thailand. My favourite was Vietnam. We travelled it for 4 weeks north to south. Never have we been somewhere where there is so much to see and do. It is very culturally rich and steeped in history. It's such and interesting country. You can trek in the mountains, explore country side but also relax on the lovely beaches. The hotels are amazing and their customer service is amazing better than Cambodia and Thailand in my opinion. Although they are lovely countries too. Your money also goes further in Vietnam. I also loved their food it was the best out of those three. Good look with choosing.
I loved Borneo - not certain why you'd tag Bali onto the same holiday though. If you want to beachy chill out afterwards look at Bunga Raya on gaya island (just off Borneo). Fantastic snorkelling, beach villa with private pool, in a cove so has your requirement for seclusion. We did 3 weeks in KL / Borneo / Singapore and it was an amazing trip.
For pretty much, almost guaranteed wildlife (although they will of course tell you it's not guaranteed), look at www.sukau.com, or Borneo rainforest lodge in lahad datu. We saw the 'Big 5' in 3 days at Sukau. We also did whitewater rafting which was fab.
Cambodia and Vietnam is our plan for next year, so can't (yet) compare the two.
We were looking at Burma for a holiday this year but are now sitting next to a pool in Philippines (price of flights were to good to be true) all worth a visit Thailand is more organised for tourism but prices are creeping up. Done Borneo last year 2 weeks in 3 different places saw loads of wildlife and a week diving in fantastic clear seas.
Hi, sorry if this is off topic slightly but how old were your youngest dc when you all went on these incredible trips? Just wondering how old they are before you/dc start really being able to enjoy what you have gone so far to see/do.
My dd was 2 when we started travelling in Asia. However, we moved to China when she was 2 so she had had a lot of vaccinations (rabies, hep A and B, Japanese Encephalitis etc) which made it easier to go practically anywhere. Anti malarials can be trickier with younger children as malarone eg tastes vile and a child only needs half a tablet - don't let it start to dissolve in your mouth, but can be tricky for younger children to swallow it quite quickly.
I always take a good first aid kit with me - rehydration salts, imodium and my gp in China will give me antibiotics too.
We also have comprehensive medical insurance including evacuations as some countries have limited treatment options - eg from Laos you would need to go to Bangkok for anything serious.
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