I just found out that traveling to Thailand is banned by my government (actually it has been banned since the 80's but I thought it was allowed now. I was wrong). My mind was really set up on visiting Ko Phi PhiWhat is the alternative? I want to visit a magical island with beautiful scenary, culture, nice people and some nightlife as well. I will be traveling alone. Indonesia? Malaysia? Can I find something similar to Thailand in these places? Your responses are greatly appreciated!
#1 alhamaqi has been a member since 7/4/2009. Posts: 7
Bali has most of what you say you're looking for. Maybe the Perhentians or the Gilis if you want a smaller island.
Where are you from? Offhand I can't think of any country that bans its nationals from visiting Thailand!
I'm also a big fan of Indo. Bali, Lombok and Sumatra are 3 of many regions which are great to visit. In my humble opinion, Indo is less commercial, way cheaper and have friendlier people than Thailand. Ease of moving around may not be quite as good but is not bad.
I also am a fan of the Philippines. Judged on past visits all those advangtages of Indo apply to the Philippines - however I have not visited recently so prices may have increased.
Thanks all for replying. I really appreciate your responses. It looks like I should go to Indonesia but I only have 8 days. What is the best itinerary? I have looked up some information on Bali and Lombok and here are my observations but I would appreciate your input.
Kuta-Bali: way too crowded, commercialized, crazy partying, bad beach and not so nice scenary.
Ubud: Seems interesting but I was looking for something on the beach.
Lembongan: Looks okay.
Dreamland: the beach looks too noisy and wavy. I was thinking of clear and calm waters (can't seem to get Ko Phi Phi's nature off my mind).
Gili Islands: they look nice but seem too slow and have no culture (geared towards tourists and tourists only).
Kuta-Lombok: Looks okay.
Can you help me make up my mind? Thanks in advance.
#5 alhamaqi has been a member since 7/4/2009. Posts: 7
If you've only got eight days -- I'd stick with just Bali.
Factor is a few beach days staying somewhere like Seminyak, with day trips out to the better beaches -- don't bother with Dreamland - it's a disaster area nowadays, but Balangan (next beach west) is excellent.
If you like snorkelling, consider striking north to Amed where you can snorkel on a wreck, so sailing to watch dawn over Lombok and, should you feel like it, climb a volcano. Another option is to head to west Bali - Balian is great (if you surf).
Give Ubud a couple of nights -- it is very touristy, but popular for a reason.
Gee, where's that week go!
(Have shifted this thread to Indonesia, as thatis where the conversation seems to be headed)
#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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What about Gili islands? Should I bother go there for 3 nights or is it too slow?
I tried to see pictures and youtube videos of Bali, but I have yet to see something that is even remotely compared to Thailand in terms of crystal clear calm waters and scenery. And is there a place where I can catch this scenery and the nightlife as well? Not crazy nightlife but at least some nightlife since I will be alone and would like to meet up with other fellow travelers. I know for a fact that I want to see Ubud but I'm just not sure as to which beach I should stay at. Oh something else, should I do advance booking or can I just walk into any of the bungalows and find good deals? Thanks in advance.
#7 alhamaqi has been a member since 7/4/2009. Posts: 7
I know I've googled it too but can't find anything :) Typing in Thailand and banned only leads to stories about pork!!...
My guess though is that it's somewhere in the Middle East - just judging by the name. I'm going to google somsai's suggestion now..