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 Post subject: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
Ok, so I wonder if anyone on here can suggest a holiday destination for a family with the following diverse requirements:

Yes - warm sea to swim in (June-September, nearer the early end probably); decent hiking and natural beauty; some interesting cultural places/cities to visit (not 'tourist' things, but things worth it in their own right); self-directed preferred (don't really want a guide and we like to drive ourselves about ideally); Asia, Africa or South America probably preferred.

No Purpose-built 'resort'; hoards of other tourists; nightlife; Europe (family is Europed out and this will be a special holiday); not bothered about safari though would cope for a day or two.

We are used to Scandinavia and the kind of hiking we like is fairly serious stuff, but some family members have expressed a wish for warm sea and we would all be very bored very quickly if the only thing to do was lie on a beach and read.

I am thinking Borneo/South Africa(or Namibia or similar) /Mexico so any advice from those who have been to these would be appreciated, as would other ideas. Top of all our lists is Japan but it isn't advisable with summer weather.

Thanks all (in anticipation). x


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
Posts: 4019
Location: Reading
We went to Mexico for our honeymoon. The Yucatan area. Lots of ancient ruins to see in various places, and plenty of sea to snorkel in (second longest coral reef in the world).
We stay in cancun for the second week and we defintely preferred the first week of touring the area instead, though we did it as a tour with others and a guide.
I'd have to look up stuff to see where we actually went as it was 17 years ago. You might find it a bit warm for hiking though, depending on when you went.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:01 pm
Posts: 437
I can recommend both Borneo and Thailand (though my experience comes from about 13 years ago). It was really easy to rent a car and just get away from the tourist areas (though even in Bangkok we were able to avoid touristy areas just by taking the local buses and mixing with the locals, thus avoiding the tuktuks and taxis). I think there were plenty of places to hike (not our thing, but we did do some wonderful forest walks); the beaches were lovely (though the South China Sea has brutal waves); wats are everywhere, so you don't need to go to the big ones with all the tourists; everyone was friendly and happy to listen to our terrible attempts at the language :-) We had wanted to go to Mexico instead of Malaysia, but found that it was more difficult to be without a guide and to just roam, though that may be different now.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6255
Friends recently came back from Sri Lanka and it looks wonderful, not sure about the hiking, but they definitely avoided the "tourist" by hiring a house and saw some fantastic sights. Worth a look.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:21 pm 
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Majorca, whilst fairly close, has some beautiful hiking country and warm sea! South Africa/Namibia are both lovely but I would not hike anywhere in Africa without guides...


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4604
Sri Lanka would fit a lot of your requirements & easy to get around under your own steam although the roads are quite dangerous.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:43 pm 
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Definitely wouldn't recommend driving in Sri Lanka.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:06 pm
Posts: 434
Amber I know of a great independent travel agent. Pm me if you'd like his details. If you gave home that list I'm sure he'd come up with something.


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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 3445
Location: london
Amber wrote:
I am thinking Borneo/South Africa(or Namibia or similar) /Mexico so any advice from those who have been to these would be appreciated, as would other ideas. Top of all our lists is Japan but it isn't advisable with summer weather.

Namibia is fantastic but sea definitely NOT warm and hiking in some places tricky because of lions etc. Vietnam? Cambodia? Definitely Madagascar but please don't or I will die with envy. Enjoy!

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Last edited by mad? on Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Holiday puzzle
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4604
Friends have recently been on an independent holiday to Vietnam and they are big hikers, although they did have a 7 year old with them. I can ask them about their trip if you would like me to.


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