Help to choose a country for the first trip

Prasham

Armchair Traveller :(
Why not Thailand, it's a mix of everything. Like from beaches to Temple and exotic foods to markets. That too at nominal costs.
As I mentioned in one of the above posts, I am going with family, Wife & 2 daughters and given the reputation of Thailand, I am little apprehensive about visiting it. What's the point of visiting some place if you constantly worry about your family's safety :(
 

skysat2005

Super User
As I mentioned in one of the above posts, I am going with family, Wife & 2 daughters and given the reputation of Thailand, I am little apprehensive about visiting it. What's the point of visiting some place if you constantly worry about your family's safety :(
Safety is not a concern at all in Thailand, however the reputation of the country is certainly a concern for other reasons. But it has so many good places that you can still prefer to ignore the reputation.
Else, You can opt for Singapore clubbed with Bali. Singapore ticks off majority of points you need for family vacations and Bali offers you the best of beaches for relaxation with some really ancient temples. The flights to Bali are through Singapore, so no detouring anywhere...
 
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Prasham

Armchair Traveller :(
Any idea if Dune Bashing / Dessert Safari is always clubbed with cultural program and dinner? Can't one just do Dune Bashing / Dessert Safari and return?
 

foadbear

Pirates Skulls and Bones
I've already short listed 4 countries. I want to know more about them. Let me rephrase it... Please guide me on the must visit attractions of China (Including HK if possible), Indonesia (Including Bali/Borneo if possible), Singapore & Dubai.
For a budget of 2.5 lakhs for a family of 4, Bali can be a very good option. I like this place because of the simplicity of getting there, i.e. visa exemption for Indians. Just book your flight, pack your bags, and you are on your way to Bali. No transit visa required too if your flight is connecting flight from Kualalumpur (which will be in case you go to Bali). If you are into exploring place by yourself on a scooty, you can get a local driving license made too in Bali Police Station ( cost me 3k bucks, of course I had to bribe the officials there), but then cost of hiring a taxi is around 3k for a day while cost of renting a scooty is just 300 Rs.

About safety, I was there on the New Year's eve, i.e. 31st Dec, and had made up my mind to come back early to my hotel. I had this notion that New Year Eve will be like hooligans will get drunk and it will be quite crowded like I had it in Goa a year back. To my surprise, people were strolling with their babies in prams on the beaches, most of the people were drinking but no one seemed drunk. I came back to my hotel at 3 a.m. walking for around 2 kms because there were so many police patrols that I felt safe and decided to take a walk with the local.People in Bali were quite simple, and as a shocker, the ladies there watched Hindi serials on Star Plus and all.

What's better than having surfing lessons at beaches in Bali with your family, nice for the kids a whole new experience. The beaches are less crowded if you venture out on the outer side of Bali, less crowded means, maybe you will find just one or two other families there. If you are in water sports, they have it there too.

I will be going to Thailand this November, and the more I read on the internet about Thailand, the more I get worried. Its just a bike trip there that connects the Golden Triangle of three countries that is the sole reason to get there for me. I am not sure if I can get a local license made there and I dont want to take the risk of driving without a DL there so I am getting visa beforehand to apply for IDP (International Driver Permit).

If I were to choose the first destination for an out of country trip, I would definitely go to Bali, primarily because no visa is required.
 

Prasham

Armchair Traveller :(
@foadbear thanks for the long post. I really appreciate your feedback.

I am going to Goa this Diwali and we shall explore many of the water sports activities there. Visiting another beach destination may not interest the family which is my concern for Bali. Rest I have a friend in Jakarta who can help me out with planning and booking. One of the main reason for keeping Indonesia in the list is Borneo Forest and Pygmy Elephants that can be found there. Another reason is layover in KL. I am thinking of getting KL Visa to checkout the city during layover. Would love to have some guidance on it.
 

foadbear

Pirates Skulls and Bones
@foadbear thanks for the long post. I really appreciate your feedback.

I am going to Goa this Diwali and we shall explore many of the water sports activities there. Visiting another beach destination may not interest the family which is my concern for Bali. Rest I have a friend in Jakarta who can help me out with planning and booking. One of the main reason for keeping Indonesia in the list is Borneo Forest and Pygmy Elephants that can be found there. Another reason is layover in KL. I am thinking of getting KL Visa to checkout the city during layover. Would love to have some guidance on it.

That seems loads of fun.
Regarding KL visa, you can ask on tripadvisor too.

Godspeed.
 

Prasham

Armchair Traveller :(
I've done some googling and have made a draft itinerary for Dubai.

Day 1: Motiongate

Day 2: Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Atlantis Hotel, Dubai Mall, Emirates Mall (Ski Dubai) & Aquarium

Day 3: Dolphinarium (or whatever its called), Dune Bashing

Day 4: Ferrari World

May shift things according to flight schedule. Please give your valued feedback on it.
 

Big Daddy

Super User
I think you should begin with doing a search for visa requirements first. I believe that Dubai requires you to prove that you have sufficient funds before they grant you a visa. Some countries will require you to make hotel reservations and return tickets (as a proof of returning) before they grant you a visa. Doing this is an added risk that may not be desirable. Also, keep in mind that time differences can reduce the number of days you have. This will matter if you travel farther. I think the Maldives is probably the best. I know you have rejected it but when you add visa constraints, convenience and travel times; it may not be a bad option.
 

Prasham

Armchair Traveller :(
I think you should begin with doing a search for visa requirements first. I believe that Dubai requires you to prove that you have sufficient funds before they grant you a visa. Some countries will require you to make hotel reservations and return tickets (as a proof of returning) before they grant you a visa. Doing this is an added risk that may not be desirable. Also, keep in mind that time differences can reduce the number of days you have. This will matter if you travel farther. I think the Maldives is probably the best. I know you have rejected it but when you add visa constraints, convenience and travel times; it may not be a bad option.
Thanks for the suggestion. If I remember correctly, for Indians Dubai Visa are easy. They just need Passport copy, Photo & Return ticket copy. So funds are not an issue. Also if they want to know about the funds, by God's grace, it wouldn't have hampered my Visa.

Since I'll be spending 4-5 days in Goa this Diwali, I want to avoid another beach vacation.
 
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