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Sinapore/Bali trip

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My husband and I will be traveling to Singapore directly after Thanksgiving (4 days business) and then Bali for a week (vacation). Several questions. How safe is traveling to this region for Americans? I will have time on my own in Singapore, what's safe and fun during afternoon, and we want a place to stay on Bali - luxury, but cultural and relaxed. We had reservations at the Ritz only because of the points, but we don't think that's necessarily the experience we want. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    Singapore may well be the safest city in the world. It's clean, modern, efficient. It's also very hot year around.

    I always stay some place close to an MRT (subway station) as that's the mode of transport I prefer.

    My favorite things in Singapore (in addition to eating - fabulous food!):

    The Museum of Asian Civilization (two locations)

    The Botanical Gardens, especially the Orchid Garden.

    Browsing around Raffles Hotel. Fascinating (and very expensive) shops, a charming little museum, and one of my favorite restaurants, Doc Cheng's.

    Ther is, of course, shooping, as well as some intersting animal venues - the night safari at the zoo, the Jurong Bird park.

    The SIngapore tourist Board has the best literature of any tourist board I've ever seen. It's all free, pick up a book to help you decide what to do.

    On Bali, you'll want to decide between a beach location (I prefer the Sanur area) or an inland location near or in Ubud. There are many places to choose from.

    As far as safety is concerned, I'm sure you know that no one can guarantee your safety at home or abroad. The US governement has long has travel warnings for Indonesia. I've been there several times while warnings were in effect. Obviously, I feel safe traveling there. You find the locals are warm and welcoming in Bali.

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    Singapore is safe and accessible. You'll have no problems navigating on your own.

    For a week in Bali you could divide your time between the beach and the inland area.

    The Ritz is a lovely resort, but it's quite isolated (a world of its own) and doesn't have much of a beach. It's located on a cliff overlooking the sea which makes for great ocean views, but it's a drive plus 200 steps to the beach!

    For a beach location I'd go for the Legian. It's stylish and well designed with great service, good food and a lovely pool. It's on a long sandy beach which is wonderful for walking and sunset watching. The surf is a bit rough for swimming however unless you like big waves. The Seminyak area is full of restaurants, shops and spas.

    I also like the Four Seasons villas, though the Jimbaran beach is a bit rocky. I'd avoid Kuta and Nusa Dua. Sanur is a quiet village and a gentle beach. It was one of the first areas of Bali to be developed and hence the resorts are a bit older and in my opinion a bit worn about the edges, but it offers a restful environment.

    In the inland Ubud area the luxury spots are the Amandari, the Four Seasons, and Begawan Giri. Kayumanis is a new property with lovely villas. I also like the Alila, especially the suites, although it's gotten mixed reviews on this board.

    The Amankila on Bali's east coast is one of the most luxurious. Again, it's a cliff location and somewhat isolated, but it's very beautiful and serene.

    The town of Ubud is full of shops and restaurants and the surrounding area is the center for art, culture and handicrafts plus some profoundly beautiful scenery. You can see some very good dancing and most likely be able to attend a local festival.

    As far as safety in Bali/Indonesia . . . I could write a book and still not come to a conclusion. Terrorism has struck there as it has in many other parts of the world. The chance of being harmed or even inconvenienced by terrorism is very, very slight; however, you need to determine your own comfort level. It's no fun to be worried on holiday.

    I can tell you that security in Bali at resorts and restaurants is fairly good and that you'll find zillions of tourists from all over the world.

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    in singapore our favorite stop was at the orchid gardens in the botanical gardens...

    there is risk in all travel including your weekly trip to the grocery store in your town... forget it...bali especially is fantastic...

    a wonderful hotel to look at is the newish conrad hotel just north of the tourist enclave of nusa dua, which does not interest me really...

    hyatt has two hotels....we stayed at the slightly older one which is located in a nice small town with shops and good restaurants....it is the bali hyatt....it is older but perfectly acceptable...great beach...wonderful pools, huge tree shaded mature grounds....decent restaurtants...

    your stay will be greatly enhanced if you hire a driver for part of your stay...they average around $40 per day...like other fodorites i used PUTU...he made bali come alive for us...do a search and you will find contact info for him on fodors...3+ days with him will allow you to see most of the important sites in bali

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