5 or 6 days around Christmas time. Where to go from Sydney?
January 24, 2013 3:02 AM   Subscribe

My wife and I will get the chance to go away for 5 or 6 days without kids for the first time in a decade at the end of this year. It also happens to be my partners 40th birthday. Where should we go, from Sydney?

I think it would be good to go abroad, because we like travelling to check out different cultures etc. but if you have a stunning Australian destination, share.
We've been to Europe and the USA and both are too far for a short trip. We've been to New Zealand, Thailand, Fiji and Singapore/Malaysia on our last few holidays abroad. And the last trip we had before we had kids was a week in Tassie. All were ace.
Our usual Christmas holidays are beach or bush camping or a holiday house, but I want to go up-market for this trip. We would rather something cultural/historic/foodie etc and tend to avoid beach destinations (well, this time - we go there for the kids). And relaxing beats adventure/hiking etc.
Budget is? $3000 perhaps. We can redeem frequent flyer points too, if that helps.
Thank-you mefi travel agent! (and to real travel agents, I understand I might require your services, but at this stage I'm looking for destination ideas I might not have considered).
posted by bystander to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hong Kong?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:05 AM on January 24, 2013

Best answer: What kind of holidays do you enjoy? Your list seems quite naturey up there. I have been in Hong Kong and Vietnam at that time of year - Hong Kong especially was very pleasant, weather-wise. It's also great for five days.

That time will give you plenty of time to explore the island and Mong Kok with a trip to the New Territories, plus a day trip or more to Macau (which has more to offer than casinos; easily a couple of days worth [we spent three. The modern art gallery there is especially excellent]).

Hong Kong would certainly satisfy cultural and foodie desires, and there is - counter intuitively - hiking and whatnot to be had in the New Territories. If you want upmarket, the Langham Mong Kok is definitely the nicest hotel I've ever been in; we had a very nice room, though. The views were amazing.
posted by smoke at 3:08 AM on January 24, 2013

With that amount of time and money, it's either Australia or SE Asia. I would suggest Bali - yes of course every man and their dog has been there, but that just makes it cheap to get to, and there are plenty of quieter and more upmarket places around on the island.
posted by wilful at 3:18 AM on January 24, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, We probably like cities more than wilderness, but probably small towns best of all.
Our recent holidays have largely been driven by places we can take young kids. Before we had kids we tended to go for big city holidays in Europe or the USA. Hong Kong is on the list, good suggestion.
posted by bystander at 3:40 AM on January 24, 2013

If a return to Tassie isn't out of the question, there's been plenty of good stuff that's cropped up there in the last ten years. MONA in the Moorilla Estate especially will tick your boxes for culture, food, and upmarketness (and how).

Or how about a bit of a wander around Victoria? You could spend a couple of days doing something lovely in Melbourne, maybe a day at a mineral spa at Daylesford, something like that. There's plenty of very nice food and accommodation cropping up in some of the hotspots.
posted by raena at 7:58 AM on January 24, 2013

Have you been to the Canberra museums (culture) or Ayers Rock (Oz's most stunning gem)?
posted by brujita at 8:48 AM on January 24, 2013

Best answer: Hong Kong or Singapore as you say you like big cities. Both a very beautiful and very different to what you'll be used to in Australia and some great shopping and a huge range of food choices. I also like Malaysia and while I haven't been I've heard Vietnam is great and reasonably priced and the food there is supposed to be a knock out.
posted by wwax at 9:59 AM on January 24, 2013

Sri Lanka!
If you don't mind the ten hour flight.
posted by Kerasia at 1:14 PM on January 24, 2013

Best answer: Hawaii could be an option. I have a friend who often holidays there, and I was surprised to discover how low the airfares are. I believe she pays about $750 return on JetStar.

Otherwise, seconding Hong Kong. There's a lot to do there and it's very easy to get around.
posted by Georgina at 6:13 PM on January 24, 2013

Best answer: Vietnam - although you'd want to just stay in the south at that time of year;
Sri Lanka;
Singapore for the food;
Hong Kong - you'd be surprised how easy it is to get off the beaten track and be in a small community with great food and an interesting culture.

Places in Australia, NZ and Bali would be too crazy at that time of year.
posted by Flashduck at 5:24 PM on February 12, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks team. Hong Kong it is (although accommodation is proving tricky)!
And Vietnam a close second, but it is where we want to take the kids to, and for a few weeks.
I've filed all the other good suggestions for next year.
posted by bystander at 3:36 AM on April 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

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