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5 - 10 days in Asia, August - where to go? Bali or Tibet?

5 - 10 days in Asia, August - where to go? Bali or Tibet?

May 21st, 2011, 05:39 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 279
5 - 10 days in Asia, August - where to go? Bali or Tibet?

We are looking for a week or part of a week vacation in the late summer/early September. It seems much of the region (and places we want to go) is in rainy season with the exception of Bali, Tibet, parts of the phillipines. We want a place within a few hours (7?) from Hong Kong. So I have this somewhat narrowed down to those places - any thoughts? Bali seems built up and touristy but time and time again we keep on hearing how wonderful it is. With a week's time would you recommend staying a few nights in Ubud, some in Jimbaran? What about Lombok? I like the beach, but for a day or two. We are looking for a more active trip and in Bali we could visit volcanoes etc.

I am attracted to Tibet since we wouldn't want to go there in the winter (cold weather). However the flights are not as easy as Bali, so it's somewhere we would probably want to stay a week. I have thought about pairing it with say 2 nights in Chengdu. We want to go to Juizhaigou and Yunnan but will save that for Autumn. How long should one spend in Tibet without treking? I would like to take day hikes and maybe one night sleeping in a tent, but that's it.

Any other recommendations from HKG around this time of year??? Thoughts on Phillipine islands? Mongolia?
tansmets is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 07:02 AM
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If you choose to go to Tibet, consider the altitude and that it may take you a while to acclimate. There is an excellent trip report here on Tibet by rkkwan.

Bali is easy, and while well-loved by many (and therefore, built up) it still has its own unique charms. You could combine some days near Ubud with a few days at the beach in Lombok. My favorite place to stay on Lombok is Qunci villas.
Kathie is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 07:24 PM
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that is high season at bali....go and have a blast
rhkkmk is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 09:21 PM
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Would you go to Lombok or Bali or both (3 nights each?) How much is there to really do in Lombok? Is it similar to Bali but on a less built up/touristy scale? I need to start researching....
tansmets is offline  
May 21st, 2011, 09:50 PM
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I haven't been to Tibet so can't compare.

Bali has a sophisticated tourist infrastructure, but I don't know that I'd call it "built up" except for the southern beaches. Even there, the resorts are low rise mostly with luxuriant gardens so you get a feeling of space and nature.

Among Bali's beaches, I prefer Seminyak. Each has a slightly different environment so your choice depends what you like to do at the beach.

Lombok has some pretty beaches and nice resorts. I'd say the main attraction is the beach but you can also climb mountains and do some trekking. It's less culturally rich than Bali.

You can climb mountains and experience nature in Bali too. Aside from the town of Ubud (really a small town, not a city) Central and Northern Bali are sparsely developed and offer lots of culture and nature oriented activities.

Be aware that the Islamic holidays follow Ramadhan will begin around August 28 this year and that there will be a lot of people on the move in Indonesia. Bali isn't directly affected (though August is already the busiest tourist season) but Lombok will definitely feel the affect of the holidays.
marmot is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 02:29 AM
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My fav light years better than being nauseous and short of

breath from the altitude in Tibet.

Ubud area has best vibe good deals

Otel.com Asiarooms.com Agoda.com

If budget betterbidding.com

good resort deals bidding Priceline.

Happy Hunting,
qwovadis is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 06:49 AM
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there is not that much to do in lombok...it is totally different from bali imo.... i would stay totally in bali for those limited number of days...hire a driver for perhaps two days to explore the lesser travelled parts of the island..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 13th, 2011, 06:44 AM
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really depends on what you want to do, but would prefer Lombok over Bali. True it is a small island, but has lots more to offer than just beaches, diving and snorkeling (though you should visit Gili islands as it's got a really nice underwater scenary). If you like to be more active, I would recommend trekking Mount Rinjani. Really nice trip of 3 to 5 days. There are also different and less demanding treks through the national park. Or just hire a scooter and drive to the small towns and villages. Guaranteed tourist free!

If you prefer more clubbing/nightlife combined with culture, beaches and a lot of tourists, choose Bali ;-)

I wouldn't go to Tibet if you have such limited time. especially flying in from lower altitudes it requires some time to aclimatise. We spend three weeks in Tibet and still found it to be too short. There's really a lot to see and travelling takes time, even you plan on getting around by car. If you do choose to go to Tibet, I would suggest limiting your stay to Lhasa and surrounding area. There is enough to keep you occupied if you like visiting Buddhist monasteries.
Set is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 04:00 PM
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Wow! These are very different options.
Bali has an interesting culture but I found the beaches so-so. After posting a trip report on another website and commenting about the garbage in the water and how dirty it flet (at a 5-star hotel), an expert commented to me that Bali is not a beach destination. I would agree with that.
People are really nice and it is relaxing as long as you avoid places where the young Australians go to party. Actually, I found the beaches in Australia nicer.
The issue with Tibet is that you need to get a special visa (on top of the China visa) and need to join a tour group.
JPDeM is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2011, 08:15 PM
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I personally think the reason to come to Bali is for the unique Balinese Hindu culture, which permeates the everyday life of the Balinese and incidentally is colorful and interesting to tourists. If you want to go to Bali for beaches then you might be disappointed. However, Tibet probably doesn't have good beaches either so that is probably not a deal breaker..? Also, Bali is not the only island in Indonesia, there are other places that have fascinating history and culture, mountains and lakes and so forth. You could look at doing a few days in Bali and a few days in central Java for instance. Jogja is only a 45 minute flight from Bali so you could spend 6 days in Ubud and 2 days in Jogya for example, with time in between for your transits. Of course, it would be much preferable to have a longer vacation time. I don't know anyone who came to Ubud who didn't wish they had a longer time to spend exploring the culture and sights.

Hope you have a good trip no matter what you decide!
kuluk is offline  
Jul 5th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. As China has restricted Tibet travel, that option is off the table. We are thinking of waiting until September to go to Bali as the hotels seem more available and less expensive. Was thinking about the Four Seasons in Ubud, maybe a night or two in Nusa Dua at the Laguna (on starwood points, otherwise this would not be a first choice) and maybe time in Lombok instead.
We have hesitated here because we still can't see what's so 'great' about Bali. We just returned from a few days in the Batangas in the Phillipines at a gorgeous spa/detox resort, and given the proximity and cheap flights available to go to the Phillipines, Thailand etc I have trouble justifying the rates and additional travel time to Bali. Ubud looks great but not sure it's worth the effort if we are not *that* interested in beach areas of Bali. I used to be a beach person but I am less so now and try to avoid the sun and prefer activities and relaxation!
tansmets is offline  
Jul 5th, 2011, 05:24 PM
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What is great about Bali is its unique culture.
Kathie is offline  

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