Heading East For A Cultural Feast: Singapore, Siem Reap & Khao Lak!
I love trying the itineraries we have featured on our website, getting to experience the same holidays our clients do. I also have a love for the Far East, something about the fusion of ancient temples, futuristic skylines and street food smells. That’s why I picked the holiday for my last trip to the Far East, and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever made.
The flight was long, although thankfully we’d booked into a great hotel, where a refreshing shower perked us right back up. Booming, buzzing, strikingly diverse and humbly traditional all at once, Singapore is a place where the glare of dragon idols is just as piercing as the dizzying sky bars, but our first move was to explore immediate surrounds. We were in China Town, home to the Buddha Tooth Relic and Sri Mariamman Temples.
“Even travel experts don’t know everything, so it was a surprise to find that downtown Singapore was a no-go zone for cars on Sunday mornings. It gave the city an eerily deserted feel, which was amazing to see, and to experience the area slowly coming to life as morning joggers and market vendors emerged.”
We explored every inch of China Town. Pagoda and Smith Street had clearly been dressed up for tourists, but it was great to compare this against smaller, tightly packed streets and sample Hainanese chicken rice (knowing full well we’d be finding a restaurant for dinner). From the vast indoor markets and pagoda backdrops to the more westernised bars of Club Street, we meandered around taking in the sights and sounds. Being in walking distance from Clark Quay’s nightlife, we knew we could easily squeeze in Gardens By The Bay’s still water magic and Supertrees. A rain shower here was oddly refreshing- our second shower, if you will, before putting on our tourist hats and heading to the world-renowned Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling.
Singapore’s skyline is defined by the high rises of the newly built Marina Bay district, home to roof terraces with panoramic city views and malls- although Orchard Road’s designer mecca is where any fashionista wants to be. We spent the rest of our Singapore stay straddling The Southern Ridges’ treetop canopy bridges for some lush greenery before sampling the delights of Little India.
Reaping The Benefits Of Cambodia’s Siem Reap
My first thought after our Singapore-Siem Reap flight: “It’s so much better than the pictures”. Basking in the golden glow of the Cambodian sun, the gateway to the Angkor Wat hits you with a bang. Over 100 temples dating back to the 9th century don’t mince their words here when it comes to their “Eighth Wonder of the World” status. Larger-than-life Buddha heads and orange-clad monks bring a stillness to the vast lawns, but bustling tuk-tuks and children riding bicycles are never far away.
“Doing the biking the temples tour was an amazing experience. Cycling through jungle tracks, feeling a million miles from anywhere, we approached the temples from a different direction to the other tourists. It was as humbling and inspiring as it was beautiful”.
The freshwater Tonlé Sap Lake the next day was a perfect contrast. Floating villages on stilts here are a way of life, and both my partner and I were struck by how friendly the fishermen locals were. The kids even have mini paddle boats to get from A to B, and they were way more skilled than either of us would have been, but luckily we had a driver.
Back in Siem Reap we decided to give the touristy Street Food Tours a miss and wing it, losing ourselves under overflowing catfish baskets, skewered bananas and translucent rice vermicelli being prepared in front of our eyes. We agreed that the 4-night stay was just perfect for fitting everything in and relaxing in our hotel.
The 7-Night Beach Stay That Couldn’t Have Been A More Perfect End
We’d definitely noticed the region’s heat throughout Singapore and Siem Reap (air-conditioned hotels really are a godsend), so after all that sightseeing, we were looking forward to 7 nights of Thai beaches. Flying out to Phuket, we could already see the emerald and turquoise-clear waters from the plane. Crystalline seas doesn’t even begin to describe what awaited us in the blissfully unspoiled resort of Khao Lak. Feet in the water, we walked the white-sand stretches for miles. We also took a day to bike out on the peninsula, stopping here and there for splashing waterfalls and an insight into village life.
Lapping shores by day, vibrant pulse by night. Khao Lak Road and the less tourist-geared area behind Bang Niang market gave us the best of both worlds, with live bar music and flowing drinks into the early hours. It doesn’t get rowdy, though, a much more relaxed pace than some of the well-known resorts on Phuket. Either way, we loved every single minute of it. I’d say that Phuket’s range of international flights are a bonus, but honestly, it’s the experience I’m remembering.
If you’d like your own version of this unimaginably beautiful yet relaxing multi centre holiday, do get in touch and we can get to work crafting it for you.
Why choose eShores?
One to One Service
Our experienced personal travel consultants will ensure you find the most suitable holiday, whilst taking care of every last detail. Everything from start to finish will be effortless.
100% Tailor Made
We can use any hotel, in any destination, so we will craft an itinerary to suit your exact needs. Also, as we can provide any itinerary, the only holiday we'll offer, is the one that's right for you.
Our ATOL bonding provides you with the financial protection you need and as a member of the Travel Trust Association, you'll have 100% financial protection. Covering you for any eventuality.
As a tour operator & travel agent, we'll search the market to ensure that we find you the best price. Also as an online business, we can ensure our prices are as competitive as possible.
We have just returned from a multi centre Vietnam trip. What can I say, absolutely fantastic holiday from start to finish. Dave helped us all the way. We had a plan in our head and Dave took time to plan our perfect trip. Communication was great, letting us know promptly of any changes. We would definitely book again and highly recommend to others.Posted 1 day ago
We have recently returned from a multi centre holiday in Thailand. Everything went smoothly as planned, the hotels were all lovely. We would definitely recommend eShores and would book through them in the future. Thanks to Laura who organised the trip for us.Posted 1 month ago
Been using eshore for several years,always come up with requirements we need.Always happy to rearrange. Staff are very knowledgeable and we always use Leanne as our point of contact. Experts for multi centre holidays.Posted 1 month ago
I booked two holidays in 4 months with Dave at eshores. First one a 16 day trip around Vietnam north to south which included numerous flights and taxis. My second holiday was in October traveling around Vietnam again and Cambodia. Every hotel in both countries was spot on, every transfer went smooth with no problems. I'll Definitely use eshores again and thanks to Dave who arranged everything, a fantastic experience 👍👍Posted 1 month ago
Recently booked a four centre holiday to Asia. The process was straightforward and seamless. Rob, the agent who dealt with our requirements was extremely helpful and not pushy. He was very easy to talk with and seemed genuinely interested in our plans. He managed to put together exactly what we wanted and at a great price.Posted 1 month ago
Andy at eshores has been great, he worked hard to meet all our needs and went the extra mile for us! We're looking forward to a great Honeymoon!Posted 1 month ago
As always Michelle mainly but with some help from Leanne have once again booked an hopefully (as not yet travelled) amazing customised trip to America next September with our family this time.Posted 1 month ago
First time I have used eshores and it won't be the last. Emma was so helpful in booking my 3 centre holiday to Portugal. Really pleased with accommodation selected and the overall cost. Emma was very quick to respond with different options and I'm looking forward to our holiday next year. I highly recommend this companyPosted 1 month ago
We have just booked a trip to the Far East having previously used this company twice, Vietnam/Cambodia and a Road Trip in the USA. Both trips were problem free with all aspects going to plan. Easy to talk to and never pushing for a decision. A lovely company , thank you Dave for your time and assistance.Posted 1 month ago
We booked what appeared to be a busy holiday to South Africa and Mauritius. This consisted of five different fights and hotels with the various transfers included. Rachael organised the holiday for us and every aspect of the trip went well. Took a lot of the stress out and allowed us to have a fantastic holiday. Friendly,Professional service with professional staff. Will use them again.Posted 1 month ago