General Discussion: Official holiday thread


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guffer
guffer avatar

8474 posts since 28/5/04

10 Oct 2008 12:22
the north. never been so dont know the details
kompute
kompute avatar

422 posts since 28/2/07

10 Oct 2008 12:26
Rirawin wrote: Has anyone booked anything with Opodo in the past? Looking to book flight tickets with them as they work out a little bit cheaper than booking direct with KLM. Just need to know they won't go under like XL Laughing out loud

EDIT: Nevermind, booking through KLM anyway as Opodo charge £10 if you pay via creditcard Laughing out loud

EDIT2: Yeah sorted, just wasn't sure if my ticket would be guaranteed by KLM if something happened to Opodo, I'm guessing it would be anyway. Booked with KLM nevertheless as it only worked out £10 cheaper in the end. Off to the US for 4 weeks over Christmas including New Year Cool


I actually think you are better booking through an agent as they will be ATOL covered where as if you book direct you aren't. Sure thats what happened with XL customers. The direct bookings were screwed.
Best
Best avatar

9944 posts since 21/10/05

10 Oct 2008 13:27
what a topper response Cool

im off do some research now, thanks alot really appreciated
Kingmob07
Kingmob07 avatar

9169 posts since 11/5/07

10 Oct 2008 13:31
Best wrote: im going away for christmas this year, i need to go to asia as im meeting people half way who are coming from Australia - the responsibility of researching everything has fallen on my shoulders. I've never been to asia before and i need a bit of help….

Thailand is a strong favourite, but other suggestions are welcome, im looking for beaches, some interesting sights, and nothing too seedy.

Could someone suggest some resorts, areas or hotels to check out

South West, obviously the Islands like Ko Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Ko Phi Phi.

Could go East and do Koh Samet or Koh Chang. Apparently Koh Chang is very nice. There's also the smaller islands on both coasts that you can hear about from locals or tourists. Worth keeping an ear out if there's any left relatively untouched. Avoid Phuket and Pattaya as they're way too seedy by all reports. Although the beaches on Phuket are supposed to be nice.

Definitely go to Kanchanaburi North of Bangkok. Really beautiful little place and you can chill out or see the Bridge over the River Kwai and some of the military touristy things. There's also some falls and a tiger temple if you like seeing drugged up tigers. I liked it just to see if the tigers woke up suddenly and savaged the fat Yanks. Maybe Sukhotai too. I can't remember if that's the temple with the monkeys all over it though.

Then head to Chiang Mai and Pai. Real different feeling from the south and Bangkok. Less seedy feeling, but also quieter so depends what you like. Pai especially, although I loved the place. Beautiful landscape and feels like a community with all the ex pats, locals, and the only thai/Western couples that didn't seem dodgy. You must see Pai imo. Mae Hong Son has got good reports too and you can do a big route around Chiang Mai, Pai and there if you want.

Then there's the other countries like, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam.

Never saw Vietnam as it seemed a bit of a marmite place. Some people I met loved it, others hated it and felt abused, thieved from and generally mistreated.

Laos is great. You get a sense of what Thailand might have been like before the tourism hit. Similar lush green fields and mountains as in the North of Thailand. Absolute bitch of a boat ride if you're travelling from Thailand to Luang Prabang in Laos, but it's a rite of passage. Luang Prabang is beautiful with a great market and lovely views of the river. Also great food and nice French architecture. Then on to Vang Vieng which is a bit of a dump really. A collection of bars, restaurants and accomodation along the river. Shitloads of places showing Friends episodes and movies. I'd recommend going because when I was there transport to the Plain of Jars (another possible thing to see) was so limited. Also the travel is quite interesting as the highway have had reports of shooting from guerillas in the jungles. We stopped off along the way and came across a load of guys with AKs. Also people pack so much shit on including animals and rice etc so quite cool.

Vang Vieng is cool for the tubing; going down the river on an inner tube and pulling yourself into bars along the bank, drinking, smoking etc. It's a really lazy place, and so it can eat up a lot of time. There's some really nice, new accomodation if you get away from the main strip down one of the parallel roads right by the river. Kind of a cube of glass with a really nice interior.

Last stop for me anyway was Vientiane. The capital and shit imo. Really boring looking place.

You could keep going around and then down to the 1000 islands and on into Cambodia if you like, but transport is a bit of a bitch, especially if you're pressed for time.

Cambodia is my favourite place in SE Asia. Another bitch of a ride from Thailand. You'll probably get scammed a little and they'll tell you you'll be travelling all the way by minibus (the nice part of the ride), and then you get to the border, and it's off the bus and onto a shack with wheels. We were quite lucky and had enough space to stretch out a little bit. I've heard horror stories about sitting on baby chairs in the aisles. Then it's a long, long, journey on a road filled with potholes. GREAT.

But when you get to Siem Reap, you've got Angkor Wat and easily one of the highlights of a SE Asia trip. Loads of temple sites which beat the pants off the majority of the stuff you'll see in Thailand and Laos. Siem Reap itself is also really nice, feels very French, very peaceful. Great food. And just a really enticing atmosphere. Hard to describe.

I decided to go to Battambang after that, and took a long boat ride through a national park (a collection of houseboats- really worth seeing) to get there. Very quiet place. Same interesting atmosphere, and good food. Also some nice Frenchy coffee shops and bakeries. You can also play pool in a mud pit. Best thing about the place is the motorbike guided tours you can do to see some temples, a fantastic hilltop temple and the sombre Killing Caves.

You can then see Phnom Penh (the capital) which is cool, and the backpacker accomodation is split around the lake or river. I went to the lake and it's a load of small streets packed with guesthouses, bars and restaurants. Like a more charming Khao San road in Bangkok. Not as peaceful as Siem Reap obviously, but still really nice, with plenty of with things to see like the Killing Fields, the prison (S21) and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, and the fantastic market which looks like a giant wheel. Highly recommended for the usual tat, but of the best quality I saw anywhere in SE Asia.

Finally I travelled to Sihanoukville which you might want to skip as it's debatable whether the beaches there can compete with the ones in Thailand. Still a nice place to visit and a nice community feel to some of the guesthouses. Especially one called Crazy Monkeys (I think). Had a racist dog there. Forget the name (think it was Monkey- how clever), but for some reason it would only bark at Khmer people.

Anyway, that was most of what I saw. Drop me a PM if you need any other info. I have a blog somewhere so I could probably pull out some exact names. Also visited a few places in Malaysia too, but could only recommend the Perhentian Islands (fantastic). Depends when you're visiting though as when the Monsoon hits there, it absolutely destroys the beach making it a no go for tourists.

guffer
guffer avatar

8474 posts since 28/5/04

10 Oct 2008 14:10
im going to argentina tomorrow Sticking out tongue
Noble Locks
Noble Locks avatar

66963 posts since 10/7/03

10 Oct 2008 14:11
enjoy sir. Cool
snaye
snaye avatar

11035 posts since 24/10/02

10 Oct 2008 20:11
Yeah dont forget to eat some De Lomo. Report when you get back please.
THE GUV'NOR
THE GUV'NOR avatar

3279 posts since 4/5/04

12 Oct 2008 19:19
thinking of going to the Maldives next april / may time anyone been around this time of year? know its the start of the rainy season so wondered if anyone had any good / bad experiences?
1.4k for 10 days all inclusive in one of those huts so quite reasonable
MoB
MoB avatar

37251 posts since 31/8/04

12 Oct 2008 19:22
THE GUV'NOR wrote: thinking of going to the Maldives next april / may time anyone been around this time of year? know its the start of the rainy season so wondered if anyone had any good / bad experiences?
1.4k for 10 days all inclusive in one of those huts so quite reasonable

seems alot, i was looking at the maldives the other week and i found plenty of really nice gaffs for 8 days for around £700
Phone this company, they really good with the far east
http://www.markstravel.co.uk/markslive/offerdetails.asp?rid=462
t_dot
t_dot avatar

6087 posts since 1/8/05

12 Oct 2008 19:28
THE GUV'NOR wrote: thinking of going to the Maldives next april / may time anyone been around this time of year? know its the start of the rainy season so wondered if anyone had any good / bad experiences?
1.4k for 10 days all inclusive in one of those huts so quite reasonable
Will be ok if you are going with the other half, only so much scuba diving and lounging around you can do though, a bit boring imo.
Sneak
Sneak avatar

1132 posts since 11/1/04

16 Oct 2008 14:17
guffer wrote: im going to argentina tomorrow Sticking out tongue

Get ya sen to Miranda Steakhouse in Palermo and DaDa Steakhouse near Avenida Cinco De Mayo.
MrPlatinum
MrPlatinum avatar

8939 posts since 24/2/04

16 Oct 2008 14:18
Anyone been/done:

a) Mexico and/or Central America
b) Canada
c) Driving in the US?

Thoughts on the above appreciated…
misled
misled avatar

4452 posts since 3/1/02

16 Oct 2008 23:32
Chiang Mai and Pai in the north of Thailand get the thumbs up from me. people up there were really friendly and it was a great counterpoint to the beaches down south.

MrPlatinum I took a short driving holiday on the west coast of America. Was amazing-started in san francisco which is a great city. drove down the pacific highway to LA. The drive has some of the most amazing scenery and you can stop off in places like Big Sur and Carmel. thought LA was a bit of a shithole so we headed to Vegas after a couple of days. Don't think anything needs to be said about that place-just live it up! we then drove over the Hoover Dam to the Grand Canyon which really has to be seen. breathtaking. unfortunately we started to run out of time so had to drive quickly through Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. Yosemite would be worth a few days camping etc. awesome countryside. most Americans we met were really nice people.
moog
moog avatar

577 posts since 18/3/07

17 Oct 2008 00:22
Just booked flights to Berlin for the start of January for a few days with the missus.

Any suggestions on what to see/where to go (my budget is pretty tiny so the cheaper the better)

ta
misled
misled avatar

4452 posts since 3/1/02

17 Oct 2008 00:37
moog wrote: Just booked flights to Berlin for the start of January for a few days with the missus.

Any suggestions on what to see/where to go (my budget is pretty tiny so the cheaper the better)

ta

there are a lot of memorials to see all within walking distance around the centre. can be done in an afternoon. they are very nicely done (if that's the right way to put it) and thought-provoking. can't remember all the names as I was suffering from a huge hangover due to bars being open till virtually the last person leaves but there is the Holocaust memorial, parts of the wall inc. Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg gate and the Reichstag. I think any tourist website should give you the details. it's an amazing city
guffer
guffer avatar

8474 posts since 28/5/04

17 Oct 2008 02:44
Sneak wrote:
guffer wrote: im going to argentina tomorrow Sticking out tongue

Get ya sen to Miranda Steakhouse in Palermo and DaDa Steakhouse near Avenida Cinco De Mayo.

had steak every day since sunday Laughing out loud went to somewhere in palermo, cant remember the name.

leaving BA tomorrow though…

on another note…

can anyone recommend somewhere for 4-5 days around new year? proabably within europe or not too far anyway.
andymakesglasses
andymakesglasses avatar

20641 posts since 26/1/06

17 Oct 2008 10:09
Edinburgh? Laughing out loud

don't go to Russia, it shuts at new year for a week

can anyone recommend the must-see sights in:

Nice (and the French Riviera generally)

Monaco

San Remo

Marseille

Lyon

Bern
moog
moog avatar

577 posts since 18/3/07

17 Oct 2008 21:55
Has anyone ever booked a hotel through easyjet, the easyjet price is £60 but if you book direct from the hotel it is £120. Seems a bit too good to be true.
kenty
kenty avatar

1828 posts since 6/5/05

17 Oct 2008 22:24
Tbh Easyjet are a very well known company, I think you're safe enough with them.
Best
Best avatar

9944 posts since 21/10/05

23 Oct 2008 12:20
anyone got a link for the hotel with the topper rooftop in thailand?

i've tried searching but i've come up blank