Travel

Take the leap and jump into the unknown: travel information for South East Asia.

Thailand

Major Destinations

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Temples at Ayutthaya, Thailand, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bangkok: The majority of tourists arrive in Bangkok. The city boasts some of the country’s most visited historical venues such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho Temple and Wat Arun Temple. Numerous galleries, museums and shopping centres line the streets. Bangkok is also known for its vibrant nightlife. Chiang Mai: Thailand’s second-largest city, located in the north. A main attraction is the Doi Suthep Temple – one of the most famous temples in northern Thailand. Elephant trekking is a popular activity as well. Phuket: The biggest island in the country, located in the Andaman Sea of southern Thailand. One of the most popular tourist areas on Phuket is Patong Beach on the central western coast. To the north of Patong are Kamala Beach, Surin Beach and Bang Tao Beach. These areas are generally much less developed than Patong. Additional attractions include the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Conservation Development and Extension Centre, the Two Heroines Monument and Thalang National Museum. Ko Samui: Thailand’s third-largest island is located in the Gulf of Thailand and has a resort-like feel. Chaweng Beach is the island’s largest beach and has a number of good hotels that are ideal for the budget traveller. Be Aware: At the time of our publication, the political situation in Thailand remains critical. Violent demonstrations around the country have resulted in numerous deaths and casualties. For up-to-date information on travel to Thailand, visit www.voyage.gc.ca.

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Population (2009) 65,998,436 Capital City Bangkok Languages Thai (official), English Climate Hot, tropical and humid with a 30° Celsius daily average. The rainy season runs from May to October. Time Difference 15 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time. 14 hours ahead during Daylight Savings Time. Currency Thai Baht (BHT) Exchange Rate $1 CAD = 32.2 BHT (approx.) Religion 94.7% Buddhist, 4.6% Muslim, 0.5% make up Christians, Hindus and Sikhs, 0.2% other religions. Useful Phrases Hello, good morning, good afternoon, good night, goodbye – sa-wat-de Thank you – khàp khun Excuse me – khãw thôht Banking ATMs are located throughout Thailand, in both major cities and small towns. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Traveller’s cheques can also be cashed at major banks.

Malaysia

Major Destinations

Kuala Lumpur: Capital city of Malaysia; population 1.8 million (approx.), Country’s hub for politics, business and modern living. Notable landmarks: Aquaria KLCC, Batu Caves, Merdeka Square, Heart of Colonial District, National Science Center, Petronas Twin Towers, Zoo Negara. Malacca (Melaka): Marked by colonial history of Malaysia. Served as a crucial port during the European colonization of Southeast Asia. Much of the ancient architecture is still intact. Notable landmarks: Famosa Portuguese fort – circa 1511, Christ Church – oldest Protestant church, Jonker Street, Portuguese Square, St. Paul’s Church – home of St. Francis Xavier, St. Peter’s Church – oldest Catholic church in Malaysia, Stadthuys – Dutch administrative buildings and museum, Tranquerah Mosque. Sandakan: Sabah’s second largest city. Number one destination for eco-tourism. Notable landmarks: Agnes Keith House – museum, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre – forest reserve, Turtle Island National Park. Georgetown: State capital of Penang. Many cultural landmarks and resort destinations. Many surviving buildings from Malaysia’s colonial period under British rule. Notable landmarks: Batu Ferringhi resort town, Kek Lok Si Temple, Teluk Bahang Beach. Population (2009) 240,271,522 Capital City Jakarta Languages Bahasa Indonesia (official language; modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, Javanese and 250 regional dialects Climate Hot and humid year-round, rain throughout the year Time Difference Jakarta is 15 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time. Bali is 16 hours ahead of Vancouver Currency Rupiah (RP) Exchange Rate $1 CAD = 9,072.66 RP (approx.) Religion 85% to 90% Muslim, 6% Protestant Christian, 3% Roman Catholic, 2% Hindu, 1% Buddhist Useful Phrases What does it cost/How much is it? – berapa harganya I want to go to – mau ke Banking Most major credit cards are accepted at large businesses; only cash is accepted in rural areas. Traveler’s cheques should be exchanged in large foreign banks for the best rate. For best value, have traveler’s cheques in USD. Sign traveler’s cheques in front of a teller or shopkeeper.

Indonesia

Major Destinations

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Kuala Lumpur: Capital city of Malaysia; population 1.8 million (approx.), Country’s hub for politics, business and modern living. Notable landmarks: Aquaria KLCC, Batu Caves, Merdeka Square, Heart of Colonial District, National Science Center, Petronas Twin Towers, Zoo Negara. Malacca (Melaka): Marked by colonial history of Malaysia. Served as a crucial port during the European colonization of Southeast Asia. Much of the ancient architecture is still intact. Notable landmarks: Famosa Portuguese fort – circa 1511, Christ Church – oldest Protestant church, Jonker Street, Portuguese Square, St. Paul’s Church – home of St. Francis Xavier, St. Peter’s Church – oldest Catholic church in Malaysia, Stadthuys – Dutch administrative buildings and museum, Tranquerah Mosque. Sandakan: Sabah’s second largest city. Number one destination for eco-tourism. Notable landmarks: Agnes Keith House – museum, Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre – forest reserve, Turtle Island National Park. Georgetown: State capital of Penang. Many cultural landmarks and resort destinations. Many surviving buildings from Malaysia’s colonial period under British rule. Notable landmarks: Batu Ferringhi resort town, Kek Lok Si Temple, Teluk Bahang Beach. Population (2009): 28,310,000 Capital City: Kuala Lumpur Languages: Bahasa Malaysia, a.k.a. Melayu (official), Chinese, English, Punjabi Climate: Hot and humid year-round, rain throughout the year Time Difference: 16 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time Currency: Malaysian Riggit (RM) Exchange Rate: $1 CAD = 3.21 RM (approx.) Religion: 53% Muslim, 17% Buddhist, 12% Chinese traditional religions, i.e. Confucianism and Taoism, 7% Hindu and Sikh, 6% Christian, 5% other religions, e.g. Baha’i Useful Phrases: Good morning – selamat pagi Thank you – terima kasi Banking:Scotiabank, BMO Financial Group (in partnership with United Overseas Bank), RBC Dexia Investor Services (Royal Bank of Canada). Major credit cards are accepted throughout the country.

Singapore

Major Destinations

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World’s largest fountain — Fountain of Wealth, Suntec City, Singapore

The Orchard Road District, which is dominated by multi-story shopping centres and hotels, is considered the centre of tourism in Singapore. Sentosa is a relatively large island off Singapore located to its south. Along with a beachfront resort, the island’s tourist attractions include its historical museum, Fort Siloso, the Underwater World aquarium and the Tiger Sky Tower. Singapore also features two casinos, one on Marina Bay and one on Sentosa. Recently the government has been promoting the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve as a quiet getaway. Pulau Ubin, an island off Singapore, is slowly becoming a popular tourist spot. Nature and wildlife there is left undisturbed.

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Population (2009): 4,987,600 Capital City: Singapore is a city-state – an independent state consisting of a city and the immediate region surrounding it. The official name of the nation is the Republic of Singapore; the capital is Singapore. Languages: Malay (the national language), Chinese (Mandarin), Tamil and English. The primary language of business and administration is English. Climate:Hot and humid with an average daytime temperature of 26.6° Celsius. Time Difference: 16 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time, 15 hours ahead during Pacific Daylight Savings Time. Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD) Exchange Rate: $1 CAD = $1.39 SGD (approx.) Useful Phrases: Hello – apa kabar Goodbye – se la mat jalan Thank you – terima kasih

How To Get There

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