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Holidays

Big Anniversary holiday

28 replies

countrygirl99 · 16/03/2021 11:45

We wanted to do something special last year as it was in between our 60ths and our ruby wedding but first DS set his wedding date and Covid so we thought this year. So now we are thinking next year for a biggie holiday. But we can't decide on where.
We aren't into lazing. DH thinks good food is the most important thing and I want to be active. DH loves photographing birds, I love snorkelling, hiking and sightseeing. We aren't keen on big resort type hotels and definitely not AI, we like exploring local restaurants.
Any suggestions?

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Flippyferloppy · 16/03/2021 16:05

The Galapagos islands? Expensive though

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NeedToGetOuttaHere · 16/03/2021 16:13

Cape Town?
Great food, wine and weather.
Lots of sightseeing opportunities and some good drives.
Nature snd hiking opportunities.
My favourite place in the world.

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countrygirl99 · 16/03/2021 16:19

I'd love the Galapagos. Must investigate that one.
We were looking at a 4wd ​self drive from Windhoek to Livingstone but that needs at least 3 weeks. We have 4 elderly parents whose health is deteriorating rapidly so we are a bit nervous of taking that long. Do you think Capetown would combine well with somewhere like Kwazulu Natal?

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BadTimesAtTheElRoyale · 16/03/2021 16:22

I second Cape Town. I have been lucky enough through my old job of travelling extensively and that is the place I would go back to if possible.

Sri Lanka was also stunning, not sure about diving opportunities there though (not a diver).

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NeedToGetOuttaHere · 16/03/2021 16:22

I don’t know, I’ve only been to Cape Town (twice). Next time I’m going to combine it with a safari.

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Chemenger · 16/03/2021 16:29

Costa Rica. Loads of wildlife, lovely people, nice beaches with diving on the Pacific coast. We went on a coast to coast trip a few years ago and it was brilliant.

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countrygirl99 · 16/03/2021 16:46

Costa Rica is definitely on the possible list. We actually have a few places on the possible list that we would love to go to but none are yelling "pick me over the others" unless of course they are £mega like Botswana or Antarctica. Budget wouldn't stretch to those

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Silkies · 16/03/2021 17:15

I've not been yet as it had to be cancelled last summer but we were planning Borneo and going via a Malaysian island on way back for snorkelling with turtles and baby sharks - we were doing the Perhentians Islands but there's a few suitable islands. Lots of wildlife in both and in Borneo you can do hiking and sightseeing. There seem to be lots of local restaurants there though may need a car /uber / taxis to access and obviously depends were you are.

I loved Costa Rica and that was great for wildlife, rainforest, things like ziplining from great heights, watersports, birds including toucans. The local food we didn't think much of and not a destination I would go to for food (one I would avoid for food tbh) but its one I would strongly recommend. Definitely a place for very active holidays.

Though the most interesting place we've been for birds was the Atherton Tablelands where we came across cassowaries and Great Barrier Reef is not too far away for snorkelling. But that's probably too far.

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countrygirl99 · 16/03/2021 19:08

I hadca look at Borneo but got the impression it was either big resort hotels or very basic backpacker accommodation. We usually go for fairly basic but fancied something nicer this time but not huge places. I haven't really investigated thoroughly though. What sort of accommodation are you going for?

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NeedToGetOuttaHere · 16/03/2021 19:13

How about Thailand?

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Changeismyname · 16/03/2021 19:14

Malaysia/HK/Singapore/Borneo. Or Australia, especially Melbourne for food.

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Silkies · 16/03/2021 19:34

I have got 2 children, one who is ASD so we are probably looking for different types of places as I have to get food on site and fairly plain food for ASD child and other one is vegan and some activities either on site or walkable.

We had this one booked for 3 days / 2 nights by the kinabatagan river, The Last Frontier Resort and they do boat trips in the jungle and walks through the jungle and you see wildlife like probiscus monkeys, elephants, orangutans, bearded bigs and some exotic birds etc. This one has a mix of Malaysian and Belgian food www.thelastfrontierresort.com/.

Other one we had booked was by the orangutan sanctuary and sun bear sanctuary in Sepilok, there's also a rainforest discovery centre which is good for walks / photos (near Sandakan aiport). Tried to book the Sepilok Nature Resort which looks amazing but they wanted us to e-mail over card details which I wasn't happy about so went with Jungle Resort which they were lovely at and has a pool but isn't as nice. That one is on the bigger side. I think on booking.com there were other places in Sepilok, we wanted to be in Sepilok to walk to things.

This is the one we had in the Perhentians bubblesdc.com/ which has a turtle conservation project and you can snorkel / swim / hike etc but it is quite isolated and food is on site but there are other places were you can walk to other restuarants on different islands - there's quite a few Malaysian islands, this is off Malaysian mainland not Borneo btw. Some people also fly on in Borneo to other destinations. Not an expert but I've heard Gaya Island and Kota Kinabulu mentioned, other people on here had been to Borneo when I asked before. There was quite a lot of backpacker accomodation when I looked which I wasn't brave enough to try. It's also worth reading the FCO travel advice as there's a few places they don't recommend which can invalidate travel insurance if go there, I think its all islands. There are also some lovely wildlife lodges places like Audley Travel use but can book direct but some are seriously expensive.

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Silkies · 16/03/2021 19:42

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countrygirl99 · 17/03/2021 08:15

I like both those at Sepilok. Thanks - Borneo moving up the rankings 😊

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countrygirl99 · 17/03/2021 09:27

I've been looking at the Perhentian Islands and every accommodation I've looked at says bed sheets not available. That's not something I've come across before.

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Silkies · 17/03/2021 10:04

The one I got in the Perhentians Islands definitely has sheets, I didn't look at any others there so not sure what the lack of sheets is about unless its a new covid thing but seems odd.

There are lots of other islands on the east coast of Malaysia though you'ld need to check getting there. I was originally looking at Tioman - it has this one but pricey:
www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g303993-d579606-Reviews-Japamala_Resort_by_Samadhi-Pulau_Tioman_Rompin_District_Pahang.html
There was another similar one I found there but cheaper but can't find it now.

I was looking for turtle conservation projects as DS loves turtles - we also came across this which is connected to here: www.langtengahturtlewatch.org/

www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/12310498?s=_yfVTf9J&source_impression_id=p3_1615974852_T22Q%2B1cVkZOzABYq which fits the wildlife and exclusive nature but is quite back to nature which in the end I ruled out as we struggle with heat and also there's no hot water there.

I think there's about 10, maybe 20 islands so loads to chose from but some are more of a trek to reach. I think I asked on the Malaysian tripadviser which some locals are from. Lots of people go on in Borneo instead. I was doing this to get turtles for DS as the turtles island in Borneo is on the FCO don't go list and I showed it him before I knew. I think there are places to snorkel there but check not on FCO banned list - this thread discusses places though others on here will probably know more than me:

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-south-east-asia-islands-peninsula/topics/snorkelling-and-orangutans-in-borneo

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Silkies · 17/03/2021 14:18

I think this may have been the other one in Tioman I saw - it is AI but there's only 9 chalets and think its AI as its on an island and isolated.

www.bagusplace.com/

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jellybeanteaparty · 17/03/2021 14:24

Mexico or Belize ? Tulum or Akamul in Mexico reccommended. Less expensive than some destinations ,lots to do, fantastic snorkelling some lovely self-catering accommodation and plenty of options to eat out.

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Kn1ghtSky · 28/03/2021 17:03

I've been to Borneo, it is much less developed for tourists, but you may like that

I prefer Thailand & Bali to travel round & island hop
Plenty of different things to do

However, I've been reading the current travel news. There will be quarantine going in to these countries. Travel round may be discouraged, until the situation with the virus stabalises. Probably quarantine on return too

Travel insurance

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Kn1ghtSky · 28/03/2021 17:15

I've been to Sepilock
There are orangutan & sun bear sanctuaries next to each other
You can also get a trip to see the wild proboscis monkeys & mangrove River trips

You can get escorted boat trips from Semporna to the islands eg Bohey Dulang or stay on one of the islands for snorkeling etc. The scuba diving is amazing ! Loads of huge 🐢 turtles

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BackforGood · 28/03/2021 17:27

Austria
Switzerland
New Zealand
Australia
Thailand
Cambodia
Vietnam

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Kn1ghtSky · 28/03/2021 17:50

Agreed New Zealand is great for birds kiwi, albatros, parrots, penguins etc
Whales, seals
Glow worms
Hobbits
Landscapes, hot geysers

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TownTalkJewels · 28/03/2021 18:05

Windhoek to Livingstone sounds wonderful. I’d be surprised if that would take 3 weeks if you are driving through the Caprivi strip?

A self drive in Namibia alone is wonderful. I’ve done it twice. Scenery is incredible, plenty of accommodation for every budget, and really wild. Have a look at Sossusvlei, deadvlei, Etosha and Swakopmund. The first time I did it it was a week. The second time we went south (to Kolmanskop and fish river canyon), it was quicker but the drive was more boring.

You could also easily combine that with vic falls or Cape Town, with a quick flight.

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RainingZen · 28/03/2021 18:16

I'd save the money on the long haul flights and go to Madeira, stay somewhere really gorgeous. There is wonderful birdwatching, fabulous walking and the food is fantastic.

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Figgygal · 28/03/2021 18:20

Been to Borneo and Sri Lanka
Loved both
Looking at Costa Rica in future
Gambia is great for birds too

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