We have to decide where to go for Christmas. We are currently booked on two different trips and need to choose one of the two.
Should we go to:
(a) Bangkok for 10 days and Beijing for 3?
(b) Bali for 10 days and Taipei for 3?
It boils down like this:
Bali was our first choice for Christmas. Then it looked like it was going to be prohibitively expensive to go, and we started looking elsewhere. We have been recently quoted a decent price for Bali - after taxes, we're looking at just over $1000 each. There are no direct flights, however, so we would have to stopover in Taipei for at least one night, so we decided to make it 3 days and visit there as well.
Bangkok was the one place we had kind of decided we were NOT going, for various reasons. But our travel agent slipped it in somehow, and the price is right: $500-$600 each, after taxes. Again, direct flights were all sold out, so we would have to go via Beijing - this could be a straight transfer (ie., no overnight), but we figure it would be interesting to visit (though it's worth mentioning the Chinese visa is about another $100 each).
Bali pros: We love Bali. We want to go mainly to Ubud, the arts and crafts centre. Bali is just magical; like nowhere else on earth. We also want to scuba-dive. Did I mention we love Bali?
Bali cons: It is a little pricey.
Bangkok pros: Two words: Thai massages. Two more: Good food. Bangkok itself is a cheap city and we could probably get out of the city and to an island somewhere for a couple of days for not too much more money in order to do some scuba diving.
Bangkok cons: The main problem is that the outgoing flight is Dec 22, a Friday, and we are both currently scheduled to work. Our schools will not like us trying to take that day off (but it can probably be arranged). We are on a waiting list for a Dec 24 flight, but who knows if that will go through. Also, it's not Bali.
We have been to both before. We both like Bali better, but Bangkok is nothing to sneeze at.
We haven't been to either Beijing or Taipei (well, I transferred once at the airport in Taipei, but that doesn't count). Strangely, it sounds like we need a visa for Beijing but NOT Taipei (though last time I checked, Taiwan was still technically part of China).
What to do, what to do?