Looking for some suggestions and input from fellow TFers... especially the middle-aged male group!
I'm a Canadian girl who's been living in Asia for 3 years now. My dad finally has booked a flight out to visit, and I'm trying to put together an itinerary for his 8 day visit. I live in Singapore and really want him to experience more of Asia than just here.
The thing is that I don't really know what he would find interesting and, as he's never traveled out of North America before, I don't think he really does either. All I can be certain of is that he's not a beach guy!
Here's my rough draft:
2 days S'pore, 2 days KL, 3 days Kuching, 1 day S'pore
It fits nicely and the flights are cheap, I'm just starting to worry that he won't be seeing anything "exotic" enough. KL is just another big city, really, and he may not care about Borneo's primates as much as I do.
I'm starting to think I should take him to Cambodia or Thailand. Time is quite limited, but in Cambo we could do the customary Angkor Wat trip, or if we fly to BKK we could check out Ayuthaya, Kanchanaburi (he says he's heard of the River Kwai), etc.
I'm also aware that no matter where I take him he's going to find everything exotic ("What's that hose next to the toilet for?", but I really want to get the most out of this short visit cuz I doubt it'll happen again!!
We took a trip from Kuching to stay a couple of nights at a longhouse deep in the jungle. It was fantastic. Do you think he may like that ? Too adventurous or uncomfortable ? What about staying on the raft house near Kanchanaburi - right on the River Kwai. He gets to see elephants, local people, the river, Hellfire Pass etc etc. Plus maybe a night or 2 in Bangkok - that should make his eyes pop.
I think a jungle lodge in Sarawak might be too much roughing it for him... Another thing is that I've already been to all of the places I'm considering taking him, so it doesn't really matter to me. I'm leaning toward BKK at this point. I know the region pretty well and speak decent Thai. I think he'll be impressed :)
Personally i think a couple of days in each of those places is rushing things - why not fly into one place and use it as a base?
Jump on Tiger Airways to Hanoi, walk around the Old Quarter and lake, head to Halong Bay for the night and take it easy... Head to Sapa too for a night...
I went to KL with my dad a few years ago and we saw everything the place had to offer, walked all over the city, drank lots and ate lots ... we loved it, but afterwards my dad told me that there was too much walking and not enough sitting and watching the world go by - he (and i) loves that!
Hope this helps...
Does answering this post mean I'm middle aged?!
Eight days isn't long once you factor in travelling around etc, so I'd say your initial suggestion is too rushed.
What about something like flying into Angkor and flying out of Bangkok? Or visa/versa? The overland bit would be a bit of a drag, but the trai ride into Bangkok is a good one and would let him experience rural Thailand.
Then he'd see one of the world's most amazing archaeological sites and one of Asia's greatest thriving metropolis. Perhaps an overnighter out to kanchanaburi at a pinch.
#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,706
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As a middle aged (LOL) male myself I have to agree with chrispyrolls. Give him some sit down time, shade, a beer and let him watch what's happening on the street. He will be asking you questions all afternoon.
#8 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386
Perhaps if he has an amazing time his mindset will change and he will visit/travel more often.
I think the Ankor Wat idea is the way to go. Siem Reap has an international airport. The town itself has all the amenities a traveler like your father might need.
You could also stop in Battambang (time permitting) to get a taste of the local culture.
Ahhhh! I want to take him everywhere... it's too bad time is so limited.
Logan -- I also found Vietnam fascinating and beautiful, but it's just such a frustrating place for independent travel. From getting a train ticket to anywhere "off the beaten path" to trying to pay for a meal in a local restaurant, I generally found people were either 1) entirely unhelpful or 2) trying to rip me off. Let's save the scamming side of Asia for a future visit, especially when he's only here for a short time.
Cambodia or Thailand make a much, much better first impression.
Bizarrely I felt like I was constantly being scammed in Thailand (albeit I was only in Bangkok), but didn't really notice it at all in Vietnam!
I reckon Cambodia is def the way to go - Ankgor Wat and the surrounding areas is a pretty special way to introduce your dad to SE Asia I reckon and the people are lovely!