SE Asia (Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Singapore) Recs

Part travel recommendation and part recommendations. One of our best family friends moved to Kuala Lumpur for work. Are there any places you recommend visiting within a 2/3 hour plane ride? We will have a 11 and 13 year old in tow. Thailand, Indonesia (not Bali), Cambodia?

For the places we know we are definitely going to visit would love any recommendations for KL, Bali and Singapore. We will likely not be doing any high end Michelin level style eating on this trip. In Singapore are we just eating every meal at the Marina Bay Sands? Thats an impressive lineup of restaurants.

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I recommend that you take a look at the other site.

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Super wide open question! How long are you traveling for? What type of trip are you exactly trying to do? Stay at a hotel and do a couple excursions? Are you willing to drive or ride scooters? I would recommend you do one or two countries at most. So much to see and do in each. If you have specific questions about places I will try to do my best to answer them.

In Malaysia have you considered the perenthian islands or penang?

Angkor wat is awesome fly into siem reap don’t ride the bus from Phnom Penh.

Have you considered Vietnam? Food is out of this world and it’s very nice and vibrant, north central and south all have different vibe.

Thailand is awesome too, see above like Vietnam and with more beautiful beaches and islands.

Bali including Gili islands would probably be pretty fun if you had teens. I’m not sure the rest of indo so much but I’ve only really travelled the other parts to surf. The best pork I’ve ever eaten is at Babi guling selingsing slightly north of canguu. Where do you want to go and what are you trying to do in Bali?

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Flying from LAX to Singapore direct using miles. Plan on going directly to KL where our friends have extra rooms for us to get over jet lag.

In SE Asia for a total of 12-13 days. The initial plan was
KL 3-4 days
Bali 4-5 days
Singapore 2 days

We might be able to squeeze in Thailand or Cambodia for 2 days or just extend KL or Bali for longer. I’m not sure how many flights and airports I want to drag my kids to. I think we may opt for more local options like Penang or other areas near Bali. We might stay in Singapore longer and hit up the zoo, gardens, Universal studios. I figure by that point in the trip I might need to get my kids a slice of pizza or some pasta.


The Asia board on HO is very heavily skewed to Penang which will be useful if we decide to go there. A few posts for Singapore and KL which I read through. I’ll try to figure out which hawker markets and stalls to hit up. We will probably only be able to hit up 2 markets.


If you ask Peter on HO about the areas you’re interested in, I’m betting he’ll have many suggestions.


Langkawi or Penang might be good for the couple extra days which are both in Malaysia. Never been to either but heard they are amazing.

As far as bali I would recommend a couple of days in seminyak/canggu region. Seminyak is much more built up and has nice restaurants, bars, and nice beaches and resorts. Canggu is much more hipster but quite touristy now a decent beach and also rice paddies so a little more country. They are about a 20 to 30 min scooter ride depending on traffic. Be aware that traffic is a huge bitch up and down the peninsula so be prepared for trips to take much much longer than expected and plan for traffic.

And then a couple of days in ubud. A mountain village with great hikes, yoga, and scenery and the monkey forest park. Made famous by eat pray love. Lots of hip local restaurants. Their local speciality is ayam betutu.

If you want some restaurant recs I have some for Bali but most of them are “local”.

Also if you have two days to spare Angkor wat in Cambodia is 100% worth it. The temples in the area are insane. I’ve never seen anything else like it and to me it’s a must see. There’s not too much to do in the area so two full days is likely enough. I think the siem reap airport has flights from Singapore but maybe KL too. Worth checking if you can get a direct flight.

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When in KL, consider a day or overnight trip (preferably on the weekend) to Melaka/Malacca, another UNESCO world heritage city and much closer vs Penang. Good Nyonya/Peranakan (i.e Baba Ang) eating among other things. Stay @ Liu Men or Majestic hotel.

Some other related recs

In Singapore, explore the HDB (Housing Dev. Board) hawker centers. Where the non-hipster OG locals dine.


My parents lived in Singapore for a few years and we loved visiting over the holidays a few times. Highly recommend the Singapore Zoo! It was the best zoo we’ve ever been to, in terms of animals seeming happy, plenty of young animals (again, happy residents), large enclosures, etc. Funny enough, good food at the zoo too, with critters hanging out in the trees overhead.

+1 for HDB hawker centers as Sgee mentioned. Had a college classmate from Singapore that I met up with there and we ate EVERYTHING at the joint closest to his family apartment. I have to go back and see where that was…