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Back on Asia board - possible trip to Bali

Back on Asia board - possible trip to Bali

Nov 4th, 2013, 01:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 456
Back on Asia board - possible trip to Bali

Haven't been on the Asia board much lately. Have hung out on Europe boards last few years. It was great familiarity (and then sadness) that i found when I returned, especially since i met many of you at the GTG in Los Angeles several years ago. Familiarity because so nice to see all the familiar names and all the great advice -- and especially that Kathie is still dispensing advice patiently and responding to the same questions over and over. But sadness when i saw the memorial to gpanda. It really is a community when I realize this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Bob, for all your banter and then your loving memorial posting.
Deep breath..... and now ask my question: Will Bali tick our boxes for upcoming trip in June 2014? I used to say we were active, well traveled middle aged couple, but along the way we did become seniors, albeit still active.
Last year's trip to Sicily was too much moving around and we were sick the entire time, so this year looking for something with low hassle factor, while still lots of beauty, cultural sites, great food, good place to visit in June, and some "veg" time to add to the sightseeing time.
Turkey is high on our list, but would require flights from Istanbul to Capadoccia and then to Antalya for beach/veg time. A lot of flying in two weeks.
Thailand would be another option, but also would require flights from Bangkok to Chaing Mai and then to the beaches and back to Bangkok. (And I've been there, although husband has not.)
Bali sounds like it has a mix of beauty, interesting sights, some "soft adventures" (cooking classes, volcano visits, biking/walking) and that June may be a good month to visit. We would want to limit our stay to two (or 3?) places (as most people recommend on this board) including Ubud.
I have read some great (and helpful) trip reports already so I have some idea of the options.
Since we would have two weeks, what are suggested itineraries and places to stay in the "comfort class" $100 to $150 range. Is there someplace a bit off the beaten track with low hassle factor to get there? Other ideas? input/advice?
Thanks so much. And nice to be back on the Asia board.
alison is offline  
Nov 4th, 2013, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,502
We love Alam Santi in Ubud. It is close enough to town you can walk, but they have a shuttle to take you in, and have some one call, they will come and get you. I took the rice paddy walk one am , even in the rain it was beautiful. Easy walking, but very serene.

Are you looking for small Balinese type places, or a big name hotel for the beach?
kmkrnn is offline  
Nov 4th, 2013, 02:43 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 456
thx for the Ubud recommendation. I had seen you recommend that in other postings and already looked it up. we are completely open at this point. mostly trying to pin down if Bali is the right destination for this vacation. And then where other than Ubud we would like to visit. I think for the beach portion we would like nice pool and beach and proximity to good restaurants and some cultural sites -- but again, we are open to suggestions.
alison is offline  
Nov 4th, 2013, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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June is a good month for Bali -- fine weather and somewhat before the July/August tourist crush. I think one of the best aspects of Bali is once you're there, you're there; you don't have to fly again to experience a range of environments and activities. You can certainly do everything you list plus specialized activities like scuba, yoga, rafting, wellness.

In two weeks you could spend some time inland around Ubud and sometime at one of the southern beaches. You could add on a few days in a less developed area depending on your interests. I would note, however, that Bali's beaches are well used and lively, not pristine.

Having said that, you may want to combine your visit to Bali with a few days in Central Java -- Borobudur monument and the town of Yogyakarta. This would entail flying from Bali to Yogya.

For beaches I would look at either Sanur or Seminyak. Sanur is an eastcoast (sunrise) beach with a protective reef which makes for calm water and a seaside promenade for walking and biking. There are a good number of resorts, shops and restaurants, but it's fairly quiet after dark.

Seminyak is a westcoast (sunset) beach with surfer-friendly bigwaves and miles of walkable beach. Places to stay are plentiful as are restaurants, clubs, spas, shops. This is the place for dedicated foodies!

In South Bali, even in the most touristed areas, you'll still come across temple ceremonies, processions, cremations and all the religious spectacle that Bali is known for. The major sea temples -- Tanah Lot and Ulu Watu are somewhat closer to the westcoast beaches, but it's not a deciding factor.

At the north end of Seminyak beach, Petitenget temple (one of the ancient sea temples) is the site of frequent beach ceremonies.

Except for photography opportunities, I'm not a fan of these big temples or for that matter most of the so-called siteseeing sites in Bali. To me, the attraction of Bali tends to be more nuanced and everyday. The beauty and culture is all around you and the best experiences are just getting out to the rice paddies, mountains, river valleys, beaches, village temples, markets -- well, you get the point.

In Ubud you might want to spend some time in the town itself -- or the adjacent communities -- and some time in the surrounding countryside. My preference is toward the countryside because you get total immersion in natural beauty and culture. You can choose a village within half an hour of Ubud or go further afield, like Munduk.

Some places that I'd recommend:
The Colony in Seminyak
Alam Sari outside of Ubud
Desa Seni north of Seminyak
marmot is online now  
Nov 4th, 2013, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,502
We love Bali and will return there next sept... June is fantastic there too.

Alam shanti is our fav in Ubud--- $185 in our fav Ganga room! less for other rooms. Sanur is a nice place for a few days..

Bali= perfect mix of culture! beach! art! etching, plus fantastic cheap food..

Read my trip reports
kmkrnn is offline  
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