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Old 09-05-2012, 05:43 AM
 
476 posts, read 1,015,284 times
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We are traveling this December, for 1-2 weeks. Does anyone have suggestions for a family of four adults?

There's always one person designated to plan the trip and I'm that guy. Dunno where to start when folks say, "anywhere is fine".

A few details to aid in productive suggestions:

- Eastern Hemisphere preferable (Africa, Middle East, Asia), consider Australia/NZ
- Temperate or warm destinations preferable
- Outdoorsy people (hiking, biking, diving)
- Enjoy Architecture, live music, fresh local cuisine (especially seafood)
- Dislike all inclusive resorts and cruises
- Always keen for cultural or walking tours, less enthused about museums

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:03 AM
 
5,095 posts, read 8,071,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyweight View Post
We are traveling this December, for 1-2 weeks. Does anyone have suggestions for a family of four adults?

There's always one person designated to plan the trip and I'm that guy. Dunno where to start when folks say, "anywhere is fine".

A few details to aid in productive suggestions:

- Eastern Hemisphere preferable (Africa, Middle East, Asia), consider Australia/NZ
- Temperate or warm destinations preferable
- Outdoorsy people (hiking, biking, diving)
- Enjoy Architecture, live music, fresh local cuisine (especially seafood)
- Dislike all inclusive resorts and cruises
- Always keen for cultural or walking tours, less enthused about museums

Thanks in advance!!
I'd suggest Thailand, since virtually all the qualifications you've listed can be found there and can be enjoyed within a two-week period. There are things that could be done in one week, but frankly, it would amount to rushing around more than enjoying. Part of it is because there's such a wide variety of things to see and do. In my opinion, even two weeks can be pretty short. If you're from the US or Canada, you can stay in the country for up to 30 days without needing to apply for a Tourist visa from a Thai consulate office in your country. All you need is a valid passport and an airline ticket showing your outbound/departure date. On arrival to Thailand, Immigration will will provide you with a 30-day stay in the country. There are a few countries that are not afforded that privilege.

In relation to your list.......

- Thailand is located in the Eastern Hemisphere - Southeast Asia to be more precise.

- It has a warm tropical climate. It can get very warm, but December is in what is considered the "Cool Season" and is great for those from Northern latitudes wanting to escape from chilly winters and enjoy the warmth.

- Personally, I wouldn't recommend biking, but there's plenty of hiking that can be done, even in the cities. In the Northern part of the country. Hiking tours can be arranged in the northern foothills, as well as nature hikes in coastal areas such as Krabi. Diving is popular around Phuket as wel as other locations along the southern pennisula. Nice beaches there. You'll need more than a day at these locations.

- Thailand is loaded with dazzling architecture in its numerous temples and hstorical parks. A couple of popular locations for see some of the ancient ruins are at Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. Ayutthaya can be done in a day (out of Bangkok) by hiring a local taxi or hopping a tour bus to take you around to some of the notable spots. There's a lot there so you won't see it all. Sukhothai is farther north, but the setting of the ruins is spectacular and serene. It can take a good part of a day to get there by bus. To fit within a 2-week period, I'd suggest Ayutthaya because it's closer.

As for live music, there's plenty of that all over the country, ranging from traditional to contemporary.

Seafood, such as fish, crab and good-sized shrimp can be found all over the country. There a loads of yummy rice-based foods to be enjoyed, as well as noodle dishes. Some dishes can be very hot and spicy (flame-inducing), and many dishes are a fantastic mix of flavors. Fresh fruit is widely available from street vendors. Pineapple and watermelon are sweet and juicy. Orange juice is usually sweet as well. Thais have a love affair with food. You can't turn the corner without running into a place or vendor providing all kinds of food.

- There are resorts and cruises available for those who prefer such surroundings. Just saying. In terms of cruises, so to speak, there are river dinner cruises out of Bangkok that travel up the Chao Phraya river toward Ayutthaya and back. I'm not sure how far they actually go though. There's usually a cool refreshing breeze along the river, as well as views of everyday life along the river.

- There are a good number of "walking tours" around Bangkok. A good guidebook like Lonely Planet - Thailand can give some pretty good suggestions and routes to take. Or, if you're in Bangkok, you can just wander around from your hotel to explore the area on your own, which can be interesting to do. There are all kinds of interesting nooks and crannies to discover.


Bonus points not included in your list:
Expense-wise, Thailand is still a bargain destination. Food is very low cost, local transportation is also abundant and very reasonable. Accommodations are widely available and range from luxury (spendy) to business class (reasonable) to budget class (best bang for the baht). ATMs are all over the country -you'll need to remember your password as numbers, not letters. The currency in Thailand is the baht. Right now the exchange rate is about 32 baht to the US dollar. You'll need Thai currency and there are plenty of banks and banking currency exchange booths in larger cities and popular tourist areas where you can exchange traveler cheques or foreign money.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:05 PM
 
32,089 posts, read 32,994,562 times
Reputation: 14956
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyweight View Post
We are traveling this December, for 1-2 weeks. Does anyone have suggestions for a family of four adults?

There's always one person designated to plan the trip and I'm that guy. Dunno where to start when folks say, "anywhere is fine".

A few details to aid in productive suggestions:

- Eastern Hemisphere preferable (Africa, Middle East, Asia), consider Australia/NZ
- Temperate or warm destinations preferable
- Outdoorsy people (hiking, biking, diving)
- Enjoy Architecture, live music, fresh local cuisine (especially seafood)
- Dislike all inclusive resorts and cruises
- Always keen for cultural or walking tours, less enthused about museums

Thanks in advance!!
Israel might be a good choice. It has a warm winter and is a great country for outdoor activities in particular hiking. There is also diving in Southern Israel from Eilat in the Red Sea which has beautiful coral reefs.
One can get good seafood at the old port city of Jaffa. Israel has lots of fresh food/cuisine and one can get an Israeli salad as part of every meal including breakfast all over the country.
Lots of culture and historical sites all around Israel.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:48 PM
 
318 posts, read 643,291 times
Reputation: 322
Vietnam, which is growing in popularity and is developing a tourism infrastructure but is still off the beaten path. Has a reputation for being rather safe.

Agree with Thailand; have not been to Israel but I heard it is great.

I don't really think 1 week, or maybe even 2 weeks, is enough for New Zealand or Australia. Maybe one or the other, but when they are so close together and it costs so much to get there, I would think it is better to do both at once.

Maybe a safari in Africa?
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