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Old 09-12-2016, 04:54 AM
 
Location: California
130 posts, read 128,855 times
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My husband and I are vacationing in Bali next week for about 2 weeks. We plan to see a few temples, rice paddies, ride elephants and visit the monkey forest. Anyone else been here? I'd appreciate any tips or suggestions. We will be staying in Seminyak. As far as I can tell I don't need a visa and the airport tax is included in the airline tickets. I have (hopefully) the right adapter for my electronics. Anyone familiar with any dangers and advice how to avoid being a victim?
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:53 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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The bicycle day trip from volcano back to town was one of our favorites ( last April).

'Street bargain' for excursions, our hotel desk was useless.

Bring ear plugs (roosters and Discos)

Lots of slow traffic, if you get a tour, leave early in morning
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:57 AM
 
12,292 posts, read 18,413,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnsleepy View Post
My husband and I are vacationing in Bali next week for about 2 weeks. We plan to see a few temples, rice paddies, ride elephants and visit the monkey forest. Anyone else been here? I'd appreciate any tips or suggestions. We will be staying in Seminyak. As far as I can tell I don't need a visa and the airport tax is included in the airline tickets. I have (hopefully) the right adapter for my electronics. Anyone familiar with any dangers and advice how to avoid being a victim?

2 weeks! Wow that's a lot of time in Bali.
My advice is this, and I have repeated this several times in this forum - AVOID KUTA LIKE THE PLAGUE, unless your sole desire is to spend a vacation with tens of thousands of other Aussies getting sunburned on a polluted overcrowded beach during the day and clubbing with all these drunken young aussies that have absolutely no interest in the cultural wonders of Bali at night. Heck I can do that at home (replace American rednecks with Oz rednecks). Seminyak is just a bit too close to Kuta for me. Frankly that part of Bali is my idea of hell on earth.

Now, Bali is a huge island with many wonders if you get off the beaten track. If you need a basecamp chose Ubud. If you need a beach there are tons of amazing secluded beaches the typical pastey-face from Oz will never get near. Just do some research. You can take a day trip by ferry to some of the other islands as well, Gili is pretty cool.

Visa - obtainable at the airport if I remember. No problem. Dangers - not really a danger but an annoyance is the touts, particularly in that area of Bali. Everyone is trying to sell something to the point were it really gets annoying. Other than that you might get a shakedown from the local corrupt police, particularly if you rent a car. Bribes - "backsheesh"- just part of Bali. You WILL get pulled over by police, you WILL be expected to contribute to his retirement fund to avoid, shall we say, further complications with the law. Fortunetly they don't expect much.

Oh "ride elephants"....hmmm. I've seen some of these beautiful creatures mistreated at these Asian parks, they do not deserve to be instruments of tourist amusement. Do as you conscious dictates but that's not for me.

Oh "monkey forest" (near Ubud)...yeah, I remember that. Let's just say this, my picture frame for that was "attacked by monkeys". Your biggest criminal threat is there, do not have anything in your hands - camera, tickets, wallet. They will grab it and be gone with it. Them is mean SOBs.

Last edited by Dd714; 09-12-2016 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:58 PM
 
Location: California
130 posts, read 128,855 times
Reputation: 225
Thank you both for your replies. We are staying a week in Seminyak, I hope it's not as bad as you say! I think we will (hopefully) do lots of relaxing there, most likely will not visit the beach (well msybe once to say we did) and will stay at our villa.
My husband just told me today he doesn't like monkeys and prefers one of the cycling tours to riding elephants. The following week will be in Ubud and I will look into going to Gili.

I read recently there have been men dressing as women on scooters who rob tourists. I hope we don't meet any of them.
I actually don't plan on buying much, just some souvenirs for friends and coworkers I am close to.
*adding earplugs to my list of things to pack, thank you!
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:58 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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ugh, not too many positives. I'm sure we didn't see the best side of the island.

I would have spent more time in the boonies, / find a nice area on the island apart from crowds. Maybe some sea trips via canoe or power boat to another island.

There were some private guest homes I wish I would have booked. Our hotel was not as expected.
We didn't encounter any theft / unsafe conditions (just be wise and street smart). We ventured out into the wee hours. and always up for sunrise at the beach.

The food choice was great and very cheap.

there are several different bike tours. We had a small group (6) and our guide took us out into lots of rice paddies. and back roads where you can see how the locals live (with their 1-3 cows...) and roosters of course!

Rent a scooter and take off on your own. We do that in Thailand, but the city was big, and time short in Bali. Our friends had a blast on their scooters.

No Visa on entry required... there were Kiosks in airport, but not staffed.

Take photos of your docs and leave the originals in the hotel safe.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:48 PM
 
Location: NoVa
2,126 posts, read 2,911,538 times
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Looks like you have good tips already from earlier posters.

I agree with DD regarding the monkeys, I'd pass on the monkey forest. Sounds exotic on travel article but in reality, they're nothing but a bunch of filthy, sneaky, flea infested, desease ridden thiefs. Sorry, my bad experience with monkeys shone through right there!

Also agree with DD about skipping the elephants ride. Aside from the animal cruelty aspect, I just don't see how it can be a delightful ride. I also don't think it's as available in Bali as it is in Thailand anyway, but then again, I didn't look it up at all so I don't know.

Avoid Kuta beach for reasons mentioned above. There's one beach I like in Padang Padang that's beautiful, with a soaring cliff and a big Hindu temple perched precariously on the edge of that cliff. There are tamed monkeys roaming this temple, so if you visit Padang Padang, you can cross 3 things off your list with 1 visit: see the monkeys, visit a hindu temple, and see the beach. Lots of look out points at the temple to take pictures and the view from the top to the beach below is simply breathtaking! You have to climb down a set of narrow stone steps to get to the beach though, so it's a bit of a workout, but it's worth it as the beach is beautiful with white sand beach. Just google Padang Padang Beach for more info. Also be sure you wear something that covers your shoulder and knees when visiting a hindu temple. Or if you forget, they'll loan you a big colorful shawl at the entrance to cover up - so no big deal.

If you decide to go to Gili for a day trip, which is an island across from Bali, don't go on a Friday. Unlike Bali, the majority of people who live in Lombok are muslims, and Friday afternoon pretty much everything stops for the afternoon prayer. I got stranded for a few hours after lunch at a restaurant one Friday because there was no taxi to be found to take me back to my hotel. They're pretty laid back over there so they get to you when they get to you kinda thing.

I think Bali, like every vacation, is as good as you make it. It's probably the most commercialized island in Indonesia, but the island is big enough for it to have plenty of space for those looking for peace and tranquility. Definitely rent a scooter to travel around. If neither of you can ride a bike, rent a car with a driver who will take you around the island. And if you're really lucky, the driver will invite you to one of the island's religious celebrations at his temple. What I like about Bali are the people, the culture, the food, and the diversity of its landscape, from mountain to the shore, and everything else in between. No where else I've been to where the place felt so spiritual. They start and end their day with a prayer every day with a bit of offering, usually fresh flowers from the garden, which they either scatter on the beach, in front of their house or places of business, or put on a small altar by the front entrance. The whole ritual takes probably a minute or two to complete, but if you see flower petals on the road, or on the beach, now you know why. An interesting experience happened to me once when I was in a restaurant for breakfast. I happened to sit below a small alcove that the owner of the restaurant used as an altar. So when the time came for the owner to say her prayer, she asked me politely to stand up for a few minutes so she could tuck her flower offerings into the alcove, then when it's done, she thanked me and I sat back to finish my breakfast
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:51 PM
 
16,720 posts, read 14,702,776 times
Reputation: 41127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Oh "ride elephants"....hmmm. I've seen some of these beautiful creatures mistreated at these Asian parks, they do not deserve to be instruments of tourist amusement. Do as you conscious dictates but that's not for me.

Oh "monkey forest" (near Ubud)...yeah, I remember that. Let's just say this, my picture frame for that was "attacked by monkeys". Your biggest criminal threat is there, do not have anything in your hands - camera, tickets, wallet. They will grab it and be gone with it. Them is mean SOBs.
+1
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:39 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,947 posts, read 2,895,036 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
My advice is this, and I have repeated this several times in this forum - AVOID KUTA LIKE THE PLAGUE, unless your sole desire is to spend a vacation with tens of thousands of other Aussies getting sunburned on a polluted overcrowded beach during the day and clubbing with all these drunken young aussies that have absolutely no interest in the cultural wonders of Bali at night.
And my advice as always, is to ignore someone who tells you not to do something based on their own personal preferences.

Kuta is a beach that happens to have a lot of tourists as well as locals, it can be a bit crowded sometimes but I've seen much worse. There are lots of bars, restaurants, and hotels nearby. There are also lots of places to buy beers and sit under palm trees people watching. The beach itself is okay, waves can be good (albeit sometimes too rough for people who aren't strong swimmers) and there is a beautiful sunset to watch every night.

I can't imagine why anyone cares whether other people are interested in Bali's cultural wonders, to each their own. There is no rule in Kuta saying you are required to get sunburned or go clubbing at night, nor does going to Kuta beach give any indication of your "sole desire" as Dd714 claims.

My wife and I like Kuta/Legian, but then again we like relaxing while people watching. Legian is a bit more our taste but Kuta is fun too. To each their own.
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