Bali, Indonesia

Discussion in 'Travel' started by bleh888, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. bleh888

    bleh888 Active Member

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    Has anyone been to Bali? Please share your experiences and the places that are worth seeing. Please also share the Airline you took. :)
     
  2. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    I LOVE BALI! So much so that I had planned on getting married there. I shopped around for quaint but reasonably priced venues, and found plenty. But then the Asian currency crisis hit, and suddenly my Bali wedding became expensive. Still, I go there every couple of years to just chill.

    I've been there about four times, and every time, my girlfriend-now wife and I stay in Ubud, which is a couple of hours from Bali's Denpasar airport. Kuta is the beach-side town, but it's too overdeveloped for my Lonely Planet taste. Kuta is Boracay years from now, its rustic roots eroded by commercialism.

    If you've got money to burn, Bali is never short of luxurious hotels and villas, like Four Seasons at Jimbaran and the like. There are plenty of other options if you can afford $500/night. ;)

    My wife and I stayed at Ananda Cottages twice. There are better ones, for sure. But it's a no brainer to return to something you're satisfied with.

    Plenty of delectable dining choices. For sure, reserve a night at Bebek Bingil ("Dirty Duck"). I'll ask my wife for more; she remembers the restaurants. I just drive the scooter. ;)

    Speaking of which, Indonesians drive on the "wrong side of the road" ;) You can rent a Jimny, with or without driver; which we've done for longer trips to other towns. But in and around Ubud, we usually just rent a motorbike for several days.

    If you've got KrisFlyer miles, use that! Manila-Singapore-Denpasar. Or you can fly to Sing, then connect via Garuda, Indonesia's flag carrier. I haven't tried those ultra-cheap flights to Sing from Clark, but you can look at those.

    Bring shorts, rain gear (depending on the time of the year), comfy walking shoes. Search this forum too for a thread on packing list. Travel light, as you will probably buy handicrafts, which are usually bulky, heavy, or both. The heaviest "souvenir" I brought back from Bali: a door from 1916 that demanded six people to carry. :eek:

    I'll have more tips later. Am rambling with excitement. ;) Speaking of which, I should start planning my next Bali pilgrimage! Can't get enough of their great food, arts and crafts, temples, kechak, sambal, Hinduism, and that pentatonic sound! Enjoy!
     
  3. qt_arvin

    qt_arvin Licensed Drug Pusher
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    Went there last 2006 and stayed at Nusa Dua Resort and Hotel....has similarities with Mactan Shangrila.

    Took Cathay Pacific Manila-Hongkong-Denpasar (Where Bali is located).

    Bali is the only place in Indonesia where most people are non-muslim, so you'll see a lot of christian churches and hindu temples there.

    There's a lot of shopping districts there, but most of the items there are already available here...so you're left with souvenirs (and they have a lot of this, from cheap to expensive Balinese items).
     
  4. Juicyy

    Juicyy Member

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    been to a Bali a couple of times, i live in Jakarta right now :) took Garuda Airlines. the first time we stayed there we were in Nusa Dua, 2nd time was in Kuta.. there's this street called Legian where you can find almost everything, hotels, shopping places, nightlife, cottages, bungee jumping, it's basically the "IT" street :)

    if you have lots of money to burn, Ritz Carlton Bali is the place to be, if you like something simple, there are SO many villas and cottages with affordable prices to choose from.. have fund and good luck!
     
  5. Kiko

    Kiko Well-Known Member

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    Went to Bali last year one month after our honeymoon :) accompanied my wife to attend a convention there :) In fact, I think our baby is made in Bali hehe :)

    Having to foot the bill first and having it reimburse later, we had to go for the cheaper priced airlines. Since there is no direct flight there you have a choice of another city to either just change planes or might as well spend at least another night so that you hit two cities or countries with one trip. I think the Hong Kong route via Cathay is best if you want airline comfort and convenience although it is a longer route since you'd have to go way up north then way down south. Other options are via singapore (PAL, SQ, Jetstar or tiger from clark then to bali) I wanted to take the via Brunei flight coz i haven't been there yet but since money was a factor, we ended up taking a cebu pacific flight to Jakarta. But as you may well know, CP flies midnight so unless you plan to spend the night in the Jakarta airport (which in my opinion is slightly better than NAIA even though is older but still way behind HK or singapore) this jakarta route via cebupacific may be uncomfortable. But if you are willing to travel ala amazing race, it is a treat. Lucky for us, we have several acquaintances in Jakarta who fetched us from the airport, took care of our hotel stay and gave us a short city tour. The airport is a bit far from the city proper too and you may have to factor in travel and traffic time. But being from Manila, you've we've had worse experiences. I heard PAL has direct flights to Jakarta now so maybe the flight is not in the unholy hours. Jakarta airport has a separate domestic terminal but unlike NAIA there is a free shuttle. There are several flights daily to Bali/Denpasar from Jakarta. Its like Manila to Boracay where there are several airlines with several timeslots. You can just go to the counter and purchase a ticket without reservations. But being first timers there, we opted to book a Jakarta-Bali rountrip with hotel from the AirAsia website. No problems with the first part of the trip and the hotel but our AirAsia return flight from Bali to Jakarta was delayed more than 5 hours making us late for our return CebuPacific. all protests will go to deaf ears of the stupid people in that stupid airline so whatever you do don't take the air asia thing ;) Several airlines like garuda, mandala, batavia, lion air serve the same route.

    That was the only glitch though. Bali is nice. Its a huge island so don't think of it as like boracay. its more of like Bohol where you have to travel via car/yaris/van to reach the sites or points of interests. Kuta beach is a long strip north of the airport which is like boracay, full of small to medium sized hotels and resorts with all the commercial establishments catering to tourists. there is a paved road between the hotels and the beach itself though, which sort of destroys the landscape. If you want boracay hustle and noise, together with the girls, roudy touritsts and touts stay there.

    If you're looking for peace and quiet stay, getaway and romantic nights, pick a hotel in nusa dua beach. It is a few kilometers south east of the airport. It is like a subdivision made up of all the 5 star resorts - westin, inna putri, novotel, melia. We stayed in Westin, - similar but bigger than shangrila cebu. We spent 2 nights two in Grand Mirage Hotel in tanjong benoa - a little north from nusa dua, same beach but mod priced hotels. Getting around the island is a little difficult. I think it is best to hire a cab/van for a whole day and do all you island sightseeing in one or two days. IMHO Boracay's beach is more fine and whiter. Also, the waves can get really high. one second, the water is ankle deep, the next it is over your head, with the sand you're stepping on suddenly disappearing from under your soles. So if you're not good as swimmer like yours truly, you won't enjoy swimming there especially if with kids. But the view of the sunbathers is far better in Bali, if you know what i mean ;)

    Several people who are ganteng and cantik. Watch out for the bentiong and jelek :)

    Things to do/go/visit:
    1. Tanah lot - sea temple
    2.Ubud - a cultural town with nice places to shop for pasalubong
    3.Monkey forest sanctuary
    4. Water sports, para gliding, kite fishing etc in tanjong benoa
    5. turtle island

    The people there, being mostly hindus are very nice and kind.

    Outside the expensive resorts, you'd be glad and amazed that for once you are dividing and not multipying in order to convert to pesos. Everybody there is a millionaire :) Be careful with your zeroes especially when receiving change or in money changing places. Like in the Philippines, money changers scrutinize every square cm of your USD notes.
     
    #5 Kiko, Aug 13, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2008
  6. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    if you're the conservative type who might be offended by public displays of semi-nudity, by all means AVOID kuta beach ;)

    when you buy souvenirs, watch out for the fast switch--ie, you'll be shown a wonderful sample (say of a bone carving), then pay for it, only to be give a poor copy.... bali's a great place (we went up to a crater lake called danao batur--lovely) otherwise.
     
  7. bleh888

    bleh888 Active Member

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    i tried visiting the Garuda Indonesia Airline website. how do i check the rates? :)
     
  8. Bogey

    Bogey Member

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    Went to Bali on my honeymoon some years ago. It was our second stop, Singapore being the first. The only negative thing was our tourist guide advised us not to go out anymore after 8 pm. It was scary considering our first stop was Singapore where our guide told us we can stay out in the streets late since their crime rate was so low.
    Anyway, in my opinion, the beach of Boracay is better than Bali's
     
  9. qt_arvin

    qt_arvin Licensed Drug Pusher
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    I agree...the white sands of Boracay is far better than Bali
     
  10. bleh888

    bleh888 Active Member

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    How do I make a reservation with Garuda? In the website it says that we need to call their hotline number which would be an international call.
     
  11. adelphi

    adelphi Member

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    I lived in Jakarta for 13 years, so Bali was practically my backyard.

    If you can, try and stay at Bale.
     
  12. sundae323

    sundae323 Member

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    went to bali earlier this year with my family :)

    while we were there, we weren't able to spend time at any of the beaches since the wind/ waves were pretty strong as in swimming is banned or discouraged. i saw a lot of surfers braving it out though :)

    luckily, there's alot to do there aside from beach hopping... here's some of the stuff i would recommend::

    - elephant safari -- you can ride on an elephant and go through a trail in the forest.. rates vary depending on how long you're willing to ride and if you package it with lunch. the guides make the elephants do tricks after the ride... they go through water, they sit down, they balance their four legs on this small stoop... all with you riding on the elephant.. kinda fun :) lots of photo ops... we even experienced being lifted by the elephant's trunk...

    - Tanah Lot temple -- best time to go is sunset though there are lots and lots of people there. it's set by the beach so it's very serene against the sunset... there actually lots and lots of diff temples in bali but i liked this one best :)

    - monkey forest -- beware of carrying bottled water... a moneky grabbed one from my aunt, unscrewed the cap and tried to drink all the water! they're not shy at all except when they have their kids.

    - kudeta bar -- if you're looking for a nice place to eat/ drink at night, i'd recommend this place.. good selection of music (mix of house/ ambient), good food. slightly pricey but worth it naman. it's a pretty upscale place din in terms of look/ decor.. they've a proper sit down restaurant but they also have a more laid back section with couches and candles that's near the beach..

    i really liked bali because i loved how their culture permeates throughout everything they do... in stores or restaurants, you'd see little dishes with bits of rice and flowers because it's meant to ward off the evil spirits.. waitresses sometimes have rice bits on their forehead because it's supposed to be a blessing... mga ganon.. very interesting place to visit...

    to help us get around, we got in touch with a driver who used his van to take us around. very nice guy. he acted as our tour guide na rin.. i can share his number with you if you're interested...

    hope you'll enjoy your trip to bali :)

    PS if you're adventurous you can go bungee jumping in bali too...
     
  13. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    thanks, sundae323. great tips. certainly a lot more insightful than merely comparing boracay to kuta's beach--arguably, the least interesting aspect of bali.

    to add to my earlier post, i've gone whitewater rafting near ubud, which was whoa, splash, whoa! quite exhilirating, but thrill varies with degree of water/rain coming from the mountains. look up bali adventure tours.

    in addition to bebek bingil, i recommend the following ubud dining places: cafe wayan, indus (great view, decent food), kupu-kupu barung (view of whitewater rafters, decent food when i last tried it 5 years ago), murni's warung (riverside cafe), ryoshi (if you're sick of balinese food and could use japanese to reset your taste buds). in kuta, try made's warung.

    bahasa is quite easy to pick up, well, because filipino dialects owe much to the indo-malay language. you should be able to easily understand bahasa words like lelaki, pintu, laut, lima, etc., but in a store, never your tell pinoy companion, "mura 'no?" or you'll never be able to haggle down, because "mura" means the same in both languages. they'll pick up your admission in a hurry. ;)

    you will see many familiar faces in bali, probably because many of us came from the same majapahit empire, whose people pervaded asia, including bali and the philippines. bali's a fascinating place, especially once you get out of the tourist trap that kuta is. if you can manage, stay for at least five days, because aside from places to visit, it's a great place to just chill.

    sure, like every major destination, bali has its share of scum and low-lifes--especially in kuta! but my gut tells me that these spoilers are not even from bali--just like those terrorists/bombers who robbed the island of its innocence.

    enjoy! and be sure to give us muggers feedback when you get back.
     
    #13 rbenzon, Aug 14, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  14. bleh888

    bleh888 Active Member

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    What is the best way to get to Bali? I heard that Garuda has crashed several times. So what would be the most affordable way to Bali?
     
  15. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    garuda is kinda like pal. both are several levels behind singapore airlines (SQ) in quality of service. you're better of with SQ. but if you really want to fly garuda, contact a travel agent, since their website probably won't be as comprehensive as SQ or Cathay's. for SQ, go to http://www.singaporeair.com
     
  16. adelphi

    adelphi Member

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    I don't think there's an SQ flight going to Denpasar.
     
  17. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    1) i've gone to denpasar via SQ before;
    2) i checked SQ's website just now, and they still fly to denpasar. :rolleyes:

    it's quite unthinkable for one of the world's biggest and best airlines not to fly to one of the best tourist destinations, especially considering that bali is just a short flight from SQ's hub, singapore.
     
    #17 rbenzon, Aug 21, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  18. adelphi

    adelphi Member

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    I've always gone to Denpasar via Jakarta, so that must be the reason I didn't use SQ.
     
  19. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    unearthed this thread from the archives, partly because it's one of my favorite places in the world. but more importantly, there are now direct flights from manila to denpasar via cebu pacific. in fact, when we first heard of this new route, we booked immediately.

    for my family of three, we paid 29k for airfare, and 12k for a villa (with its own pool) for a 5-day stay. i doubt i can get such a deal in the philippines, let alone be in an enchanting place that's *ubud* ng ganda. ;)
     
  20. dcph172

    dcph172 Member

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    ^^ 12k a night or 12k for the whole stay? if its the latter can you pm me the details please? thanks! =)
     

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