Please sign in to post.

Trip Suggestion for Thailand and Singapore

My family of 4 (hubby and I and our two college-age kids) have traveling to many different countries in Europe through the years - and we now are considering Thailand and/or Singapore for our summer vacation in 2020. We have constraints because of our kids' college breaks. As such, we are looking for a 10-14 day small group or self-guided tour in early August (2020).

We've always used Rick's guidebooks and even one of his group tours in the past, so at a lost to what tour companies would offer the most similar experience to RS. Looking for guidebook recommendations as well.

Welcome any and all suggestions.

Thank you.
Atlanta, GA

Posted by
15477 posts

If you've traveled independently, you don't need a group tour. Singapore is very expensive and there's not a whole lot to fill more than a couple days. I love Thailand. There are three distinct areas, the mountainous north (cooler, less humidity), Bangkok, and the south (beautiful beaches, tropical fish and corals). Distances are great and land transportation is slow and often uncomfortable (I'm told). Flights are cheap - the best way to get from one area to the next.

Bangkok is a major city with tons to see and do. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are the major centers in the north. I had a private guide with a car for 3 days in Chiang Rai who was terrific. On the third day, the tour ended in Chiang Mai, where there are lots of day tours - adventure, elephants, hikes . . . .

Posted by
2674 posts

All good advice from Chani.
My only comment, having lived in Singapore for 3 years, is to be aware of the weather in both places in August in order to know what you'll be getting yourself into. August is probably the rainiest month of the year in both Singapore and Thailand, with daily highs in the 90's and humidity off the scale - not the most comfortable time of year to be traveling in that part of Asia. Imagine the heat and humidity of August in Atlanta on steroids, with monsoon rains thrown in for good measure.
A more temperate alternative, and a much shorter trip from Atlanta, would be to Australia or New Zealand. In Sydney, for example, August is one of the more pleasant months of the year - sunny, daily highs in the 60's and not much rain. Just a thought.

Posted by
15477 posts

I've only been to the area in January/February. Going over Christmas/New Year's would definitely give you the best weather. Spring break would also be better than summer.

I used Lonely Planet and DK Eyewitness guides and also got a lot of help and info on the forums.

Posted by
796 posts

Thailand was my first Asian country to tour in my own. If you have traveled in Europe, you can do Thailand. I spent my time in Bangkok and north of Bangkok. I traveled mostly by bus and had a wonderful time. My trip was a long time ago, so I won’t advise you on guidebooks.

Besides being hot and humid, you may encounter some flooding during the monsoon. My trip was at the end of the monsoon and I had some minor issues with flooding.

If you want an Asian destination on the summer, consider Hokkaido (northern island in Japan). The scenery is gorgeous!

Posted by
7193 posts

Been to both Thailand and Singapore.

Singapore is more expensive than Thailand, but not more than most of Europe. We stayed in a 4.5 star a bit away from the city center for a reasonable cost (a bit over $200 per night). Taxis are cheap in Singapore and there is a lot to see and do. The Botanical Gardens are some of the best anywhere.

Bangkok is more third world than Singapore and the air pollution is one of the worst in the World. It is very charming and interesting to visit, with its canals, temples and such. Traffic is terrible and can slow you down in getting from place to place.

Posted by
8293 posts

We only spent 3 or 4 days in Singapore. Having just inherited a bit of money, we stayed at a posh, expensive hotel, but we discovered that in Singapore’s Chinatown there were a lot of really nice looking hotels for much, much less than what we were paying. Have a little look.

Posted by
5103 posts

My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Singapore and Vietnam. Singapore was pleasant enough but I can't imagine spending 10 to 14 days there.

I've been to Thailand (Bangkok and Krabi) in August and as a previous poster mentioned, it is very hot and humid. Despite being the rainy season we didn't experience much rain but when we did, there was a lot of it. The humdity though is almost unbearable, particularly in Bangkok. If you're on the beach or around a pool then it's much more pleasant. I've experienced August in the Southern US and it isn't a patch on Southern Thailand in August, it's on a different level!

I'll be back to Phuket this year but over Christmas when the climate is much more pleasant.

Have you considered Vietnam? The climate should be more pleasant in the north of the country, it's less touristy and subsequently less spoiled and there are some fantastic beach resorts all along the coast down to the south. We were there in March, started in Ho Chi Minh (Hanoi was too cold in March) and finished in a fantastic beach resort in Nha Trang.

Posted by
1 posts

I am traveling in a group tour with Indus travel October 8th this year to Thailand My concern is mosquitos since they love me and I am allergic. Tour company says immunizations aren’t necessary. Comments on that?

Posted by
84 posts

I travel independently and did my 1st SEA trip this year to Thailand for 30 days in January .
super easy to get around , very cheap , food was amazing and you can pick whatever accodemations that you prefer .
in august it will be super hot and humid so be prepared .
download the grab app to get around Bangkok and to get an idea of cab costs so you can negotiate with tuk tuks and cabs + always tell the cab to turn the meter on
bus and trains are easy to book
I did Bangkok , ro et , suhkothai , pai , chaing mai and chang rai all on my own

for vaccinations I would recommend getting them done there as it only cost me 50 cdn for a vaccination that would have cost me 400 back home
thai travel clinic

Posted by
1446 posts

Bangkok in August will be unbreathable - think much worse than Georgia. I personally would avoid most of SEA in August, esp. on a tight itinerary. I spent from Jan to April last year traveling through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam - already in March, the heat and humidity started to be oppressive and affected my daily planning.

Check out Intrepid - they have that RS vibe, but are more diverse in their age range. Your college-age kids would be happy with their active itineraries. Apart from SEA, they have solid offerings elsewhere as well. I was in a small Intrepid group for part of my time, when I went to Peru (good price & logistics for going to Machu Picchu.) Peru was one of my favourite trips.

When researching New Zealand, I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable travel there has become, with lots of accommodation options for 4. August is winter, so low season. A combination of the North Island and Sydney might be a consideration.

Posted by
54 posts

While I loved Thailand and Singapore, I would not go in August due to the humidity. However, Indonesia in August is very pleasant and is one of the drier and sunniest months. It is also one of the busiest times there.

I use the Lonely Planet guides, but for South East Asia travel I do most of my research on

They have a really active forum on that site as well.