Travel Thread


#2644

Salt Grill is our favourite. It’s ran by Luke Mangan and is on the 56th floor of the ION Orchard so has spectacular views over the whole of Singapore. The food is first class and whilst pricey (everything in Singapore is) it is something special.
For the kids Sentosa island is awesome, the Zoo is amazing and one of the best there is. Plenty of other stuff to interest them like the Gardens by the bay and the tree top walk


#2645

My main concern is we’ll get to somewhere like Petra and they’ll say 15 minutes of free time and then we’re off to the prearranged souvenir store jaunt. I need someone to tell me it’s not like that.


#2646

Ask Noonan. He does tours all the time.


#2647

Depending on the company it may or may not be like. I hate having a regimented holiday, if I’m a little tired or want a sleep in or eat brekky later I will. I hate being herded to brekky and then on a bus by a set time each day. I also like wandering around sights at my own pace. The bonus is a tour group will get priority access and skip many line ups but they may only get a small window of visitation before getting back on the bus


#2648

Can’t comment on that sorry.

Can you do a collection of shorter modules through local operators instead of a full tour? That’s what we would typically do - e.g. our recent 5 day safari in Kruger NP was pre-organised within an independent 3 week trip. Takes a bit more organising, but gives you some freedom between modules.

Either way, you should find a way to go. You know you will regret it if you don’t.
(I can’t stand it that my wife has been to Egypt & Israel and I have not).


#2649

I vividly remember spending four or five fascinating hours at the Hue palace complex in Vietnam and watching in horror as the tour groups arrived and departed within an hour. But I’m getting older…


#2650

I’ll be honest, I read the itinerary to my better half who’s gone a bit cold on travel since our China issues expecting her to be ambivalent but she said she loved the idea for the first time in two years and was willing to live with the idea of regimentation if it meant someone else did the organising. The days of us turning up in a town, parking the bags at the train station and heading off to negotiate last minute accommodation are long gone I’m afraid. At least in the Middle East. They were good days though.


#2651

I was thinking more along the lines of, say, a small group guided tour of Jordan with free time in Amman, fly to Cairo, spend a couple of days, join a small group guided tour of Egypt etc… So instead of 25 days with the same group, you have 3 or 4 shorter pre-booked tours joined together with free time in an interesting city with pre-booked accommodation as a base.

Just a thought.

Of course the 25 day tour would be much simpler, but there is the small risk of a bad group.


#2652

Amman, not Damascus! That would be the death of things if you floated a side trip to Syria…


#2653

We just did 4 days in Singapore and at a Hotel in Clarke Quay which has lots of restaurants and bars. Though I reckon with kids a Hotel on Sentosa or near the Marina Bay would be better.

Lots of good restaurants, and most are Melbourne prices, alcohol is expensive, especially after being Vietnam.

We did breakfast with the Orangutans at the Zoo, food is good and the animals were fantastic. It is a great Zoo by any standards and needs a whole day to do it properly. The Bird Park is also great, as are the Botanical Gardens and the Orchid Gardens.

The Garden by the Bay and Towers are fantastic, and kids will love them, especially the indoor waterfall and the very high walking paths.

We also got Big Bus Tour 2 day ticket and it makes it easy to get around all the attraction, though taxis are cheap enough and underground railway is very very good.

Singapore is a wonderful place to visit, but it leaves the wallet empty.


#2654

I read somewhere that taxis were hard to get - did you have any issues? I’ll look into the bus pass & I believe we are close to a MRT station but not sure if thats the best idea with young kids. Did you go to any of the food halls, I’ve been told they have some awesome street foods & the prices are reasonable. With the kids I probably won’t drink much…then again! After Vietnam its very hard to go back to western prices. I’ve already had wallet shock trying to find family accommodation. Some of the room sizes barely count as a broom closets.


#2655

I can’t testify at all to the merits of this particular operator (though I absolutely worry when 20 people is described as a “small group”; that’s big bus territory with a consequent lack of flexibility and the challenges of cat herding) but I do note that tours including Israel are really expensive, so this price seems reasonable to me (e.g. see https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/egypt/egypt-jordan-israel-palestinian-territories-116025 as a comparison, but note that particular tour is a maximum of 12 people and you’d be nuts not to get at least 10% off the listed price there).

One slight hiccup is that parts of your proposed tour have different best times to visit: Egypt is nominally best December-February (the dead of winter) but it may be very cold at night in Wadi Rum etc at that time (best months there are perhaps April/May/October).

In principle I support the idea of stringing smaller tours and your own stops together, rather than booking a monolith such as this. If you work out the must-do part of a trip it’s worth then looking at something like https://www.flightconnections.com to see if there is somewhere else nearby that’s a good addition. The cost of flights between some places is dirt cheap and it’s not always obvious!

In this case you fly home via Athens but don’t stop there, which is very silly if you haven’t visited it before and the below is true…

Whether or not it’s this particular tour or not, GO.


#2656

We never had a problem with Taxis, but it is low season and was school holidays so it was quiet on roads. Make sure you have Singapore money when you arrive as Taxis from Airport only take cash. Around Town all take credit cards.

There is a Big Bus Phone app which gives you bus stops and you can buy e-tickets, though you can also buy on the bus. There are five or six different routes, each takes about 60 minutes and you can swap over at any time.

Yep we did a couple of food which had great variety and was cheaper.

Hotels are over-priced and rooms are on the small side. We stayed at Park Hotel Clarke Quay and I would not recommend it. Have a look at Luxury Escape, they often have great deals on Singapore Hotels.


#2657

The trains and buses are great and there are various apps that provide real-time updates.

Yes, in some areas the food is legit cheap and tasty – its prices are rather disconnected to that of accomodation…


#2658

We did AirBnB in Singapore with a 3 year old in tow and it was fine. Basic 2BR apartment, but clean, quiet and functional. And within 5 minute walk of both a supermarket and MRT station. Seem to remember taxis being easy enough to get - just get yourself to the nearest “big” hotel.


#2659

Taxis are not hard to get and are one of the few things that are reasonably priced in Singapore. Travellers can get confused because you can’t hail a taxi in Singapore, the driver and the passenger risk getting a fine. They have dedicated taxi ranks all around the city where you must go to catch one. All the large hotels and touristy areas have taxi ranks. Their MRT is awesome aswell if you get a hotel near by. Plenty of hawker areas for cheap food if you don’t want to eat at restaurants, the smells and sounds in Chinatown make a great evening at a very cheap price for quality food.
The rooms at the MBS are overpriced and not great but it does give you free access to the rooftop infinity pool which has quite possibly the greatest view of a city I’ve seen


#2660

What he said.

The MRT is really efficient and easy to use, but can get super crowded so might not be your best option in peak times with kids in tow.

Sentosa is a great spot to keep the kiddies entertained. Basically an island resort /amusement Park. Also check out the Art & Science Museum. They had a Marvel exhibit plus a couple of other exhibits aimed at the young uns when wifey and I were there in July. Maybe check out Haw Par Villa. Its free and has some funky stuff but some of the content may scare the littlies. The website should give you an idea if its suitable or not.

You should be able to find some fancy restaurants either in the Marina Bay complex or around Clarke Quay. We stuck to the hawker markets which are great value but we did have dinner one night at Bread St Kitchen (owned by Gordon Ramsay). Food was great, but I wouldn’t regard it as “high end”.


#2661

About to enter the “Cone of Silence” AKA Dubbo I’ll wave on the way through @Humble_NSW_Fan


#2662

We’re also heading to Singapore next year with our little ones (4yo and 11mo when we go). Has anyone ever used a hire company for baby cots etc? The place we’ve got doesn’t have one and we’d prefer not having to lug one over


#2663

Travel safely.