Skip Navigation

Which country should I stop-over in before heading to Oz?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Which country should I stop-over in before heading to Oz?

Page

Last Post

1. Posted by TravelOzGirl (Budding Member 31 posts) 5y

I'm heading to Australia around the beginning of November and was thinking of breaking up the looooong plane journey by stopping over somewhere for a couple of days. I was thinking of Singapore but am open to anything. Suggestions??

2. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 5y

For a couple of days, then probably either Hong Kong or Singapore. I prefer HK over Singapore, but either would work!

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 5y

I'd recommend Bangkok; found it a very nice place to explore for a few days, much more mellow than Honk Kong, which to me felt really overcrowded.

4. Posted by TravelOzGirl (Budding Member 31 posts) 5y

Thank you both for your suggestions. I hadn't considered either Bangkok or Hong Kong.

Sander, I was looking for a place where I could unwind, that wasn't too much of a built-up city and where it would be easy to meet fellow travellers. Would you say Bangkok fits that description? I basically don't want to be anywhere that's like London, aka crazy busy!

Rob, i've had a little read of your profile and can see that you're now living in Melbourne, which is where i'm planning to start my trip and possibly spend quite a bit of my time in Oz. What do you recommend to do whilst i'm there? Also, I was contemplating going to Sydney for xmas/nye but am keen to get away from the typical backpacker crowd and don't want to be just another drunken tourist on bondi beach! Again, any recommendations??

5. Posted by sez127 (Budding Member 48 posts) 5y

Hiya

I'm heading to oz for a few months around october time, but I'm spending a little time in Singapore first, from there I plan to explore Malaysia before heading to oz :) I'd heard that Singapore is quite a good city to ease you into Asian lifestyle if you've never been there before and you're not sure what to expect!

I'm considering spending xmas and nye in Sydney too, but like you I don't really want to be surrounded by drunk youngsters whose only mission is to get hammered and lay on a crowded beach lol! (At risk of sounding extremely boring lol)

Sarah x

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 5y

Quoting TravelOzGirl

Sander, I was looking for a place where I could unwind, that wasn't too much of a built-up city and where it would be easy to meet fellow travellers. Would you say Bangkok fits that description? I basically don't want to be anywhere that's like London, aka crazy busy!

Bangkok does have a lot of crazy busy areas, but there's various oases of quiet in between; I fondly remember wandering around Wat Suthat for an afternoon, and then sitting on the big tiles of its courtyard around sunset, watching the temple be lit up while a service was starting inside, with the sound of singing wafting out. (In general, any Wat makes for a great visit and some peace and quiet.) Also, Lumphini Park, and every trip along the river felt like a welcome escape (though that might be mostly due to the breeze). :) There's a ton of tourists and backpackers at Khao San Road, but I preferred staying at a hostel along Sukhumvit, still plenty of other travellers to meet up with, but not as much partying, and easier to get around Bangkok from.
Bangkok does have the risk of leaving you seriously culture shocked, I think, but if you can adjust to its rhythms, it should indeed be a good place to unwind; it was for me, and I really wasn't expecting that when I arrived.

Rob, i've had a little read of your profile and can see that you're now living in Melbourne, which is where i'm planning to start my trip and possibly spend quite a bit of my time in Oz. What do you recommend to do whilst i'm there?

I lived in Melbourne for most of seven months of my time in Australia as well; it's not really a city with a lot of touristy highlights to see, but what it is is a very vibrant bustling city, with sheer endless restaurants, cafes and bars, a great live music scene and wonderful neighbourhoods to amble through and explore (everything north of the central business district is great, especially Carlton, Fitzroy and Brunswick, but also the leafy quiet streets of North Melbourne, leading toward Royal Park where the lorrikeets go crazy at sunset). Melbourne also makes for a great base to explore the rest of Victoria: The Great Ocean Road, The Grampians, Wilson's Promontory, Lakes Entrance, Phillip Island; they're all just a few hours away, and can be done very well in 2-3 day trips.

7. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 5y

Quoting TravelOzGirl

Sander, I was looking for a place where I could unwind, that wasn't too much of a built-up city and where it would be easy to meet fellow travellers. Would you say Bangkok fits that description? I basically don't want to be anywhere that's like London, aka crazy busy!

If you don't want to be somewhere crazy busy for those few days, then Hong Kong probably won't be the place! However, reachable by ferry from HK is another Chinese "Special Administrative Region" called Macau, where the pace is generally a lot slower. It used to be a Portuguese colony until it was handed back over to China around 10-12 years ago. It's an interesting place, much smaller than Hong Kong - however the downside for you would be meeting fellow travellers which may not happen there.

Quoting TravelOzGirl

Rob, i've had a little read of your profile and can see that you're now living in Melbourne, which is where i'm planning to start my trip and possibly spend quite a bit of my time in Oz. What do you recommend to do whilst i'm there? Also, I was contemplating going to Sydney for xmas/nye but am keen to get away from the typical backpacker crowd and don't want to be just another drunken tourist on bondi beach! Again, any recommendations??

Yep, I'm living in Melbourne - originally from the UK (just west of London) but have been living in Australia for the last 4 years.

As Sander mentioned, most of the tourist attractions are just outside Melbourne (often within 2 or so hours reach). Sander has mentioned the main ones, but there's also vineyards dotted around if you fancy a drop! (a lot have cellar doors open to the public) There are some tours that take in a few of them, and perhaps the Yarra Valley Dairy as well if you like cheese. There's a fair amount of wine produced from both the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. Another interesting place is Sovereign Hill in Ballarat (to the west of Melbourne), which is a mock up of 1860s Ballarat during the gold rush.

The inner parts of Melbourne are good for exploring, as Sander also mentioned. The laneways with cafes and bars, the huge Queen Victoria Market, taking a ride on the tram system (including the free city circle tram (number 35) which through commentary highlights what's close to each stop).

The official Melbourne tourism site is here which might help further, or the very similar looking Victoria tourism site.

8. Posted by TravelOzGirl (Budding Member 31 posts) 5y

Thank you both so much for your help, so informative!

I have decided to stop-over in Bangkok for a couple of days so will be booking that soon.

My plans r.e Oz have changed slightly. I was planning to go in October and head straight to Melbourne. However my Uncle (who lives in Melbourne) says it will still be a bit cold at that time of year - he suggested starting in Cairns and working my way down the coast and ending up in either Sydney or Melbourne by xmas/new year. I know it's a bit late in the season to be heading up north, but do you reckon it will be ok?

9. Posted by Steve79 (Respected Member 330 posts) 5y

I've just got back from 18 months travelling, and Bangkok was my very first stop, and I loved it. As Sander says, it is a bit crazy and chaotic in place, but also has some quiet places. As is common with South-East Asian countries, it is very cheap (certainly in comparison to Oz which is very expensive!).

Enjoy Oz and if you get the chance to head to New Zealand do so - it is amazing! xx

10. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 5y

Quoting TravelOzGirl

I have decided to stop-over in Bangkok for a couple of days so will be booking that soon.

Hope you enjoy your stopover, I've not been there myself so haven't a clue what it's like!

Quoting TravelOzGirl

My plans r.e Oz have changed slightly. I was planning to go in October and head straight to Melbourne. However my Uncle (who lives in Melbourne) says it will still be a bit cold at that time of year - he suggested starting in Cairns and working my way down the coast and ending up in either Sydney or Melbourne by xmas/new year. I know it's a bit late in the season to be heading up north, but do you reckon it will be ok?

October should be ok for Cairns - the time I was there it was mid-October. It was fairly humid, but nowhere near as bad as it gets.

If you intend being in Sydney for Christmas/new year make sure you sort out accommodation as early as possible (i.e. now if you can).