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Bali or Caribbean?? is it worth the 22 hour flight?

Bali or Caribbean?? is it worth the 22 hour flight?

Old Nov 18th, 1999, 06:31 AM
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Bali or Caribbean?? is it worth the 22 hour flight?

We are thinking about going to Bali at the end of February 2000 for a honeymoon--we are from the NYC area. I like warm weather, and great beaches. Will the weather be nice? Is it safe? Does anyone know anything about the NUa Dusa beach hotel? Is the snorkelling good? Must one get vaccinations? Please advise
Old Nov 19th, 1999, 11:20 AM
Lin C.
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Hi! I'm from NYC, too, and I've been to Bali and couple of Carribean islands. It really depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. Bali was quite exotic (the religion, people bathing in the streams, etc...), but at the same time, there are a lot of foreigners there as well, especially Australians (at least when I was there a couple of years ago). In the town center, there's McDonald's and HardRock, so there's a real clash of culture. I loved Bali, but I have to say I liked the beaches in the Carribean more. Obviously, it depends on where you go in the Caribbean, but I like the pure white sand and the clear blue seas. Bali's waters are known for surfing. The diving in Bali was amazing, but you don't get to see a lot of really colorful fish like you do in the Carribean. Overall, I think if you are looking for somewhere relaxing, with nice beaches and shallow reefs, you should go to the Carribean, but if you want something more adventurous, go to Bali. Personally, I think it's a long way to go just for beaches, but if you will be traveling to other countries nearby, it might be worth it. Congratulations and have a great honeymoon!
Old Nov 22nd, 1999, 11:47 AM
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Are there particular islands in the Caribbean which you are considering? Among the Caribbean islands you might want to consider is Dominica as it is off-the-beaten-path and is supposed to have spectacular natural beauty.

Go to http://www.delphis.dm for more info.
Old Nov 22nd, 1999, 11:53 AM
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I should tell you that I know nothing about Bali. I just wanted to see if you had considered Dominica because it is much closer.

You did say, 'Great Beaches', though, and I understand that the beaches in Dominica are black volcanic sand, which many people don't like as much. There may be some brown sand beaches but I don't think they have the white sand which other Caribbean islands are known for.

You may want to post this to the Caribbean forum as well. See my post of travel url's there.
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 10:05 AM
Wendy and Jeff
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Hi Rachel!We just saw your post on Fodors.com and had to comment. We just returned this past Monday from our
honeymoon in Bali (we live in NYC as well). What an fantastic island!!!! We cannot wait to go back.

You must go. The people are wonderful, the hotels gorgeous and comfortable, the shopping inexpensive, and the weather always nice. Even during "rainy
season" it is beautiful, raining maybe one hour a dayat most. We simply had the time of our lives. Our suggestion
would be to fly on Singapore Airlines. They are consistently rated the best in the world and let us tell you - they are. We flew in Business Class, and
the service and comfort put all other airlines to shame. The service was superb! They have video screens at every seat, and serve free champagne, even in coach! Tell them you are on your honeymoon, they will treat you great. They gave us a honeymoon cake
as a present! They fly from JFK and Newark to Singapore, then you have to change for the flight to Bali. The Newark flights are usually less crowded.

We stayed for 5 days at the Ritz Carlton in Jimbaran Bay, and then 5 days at the Four Seasons in Sayan
(near Ubud). You can visit the hotel web sites, and they are informative, but don't do them justice. The
properties are simply amazing, some of the most beautiful we have experienced - especially the Four Seasons in Sayan. They are not really that expensive either, when you consider what you get. We had a suite on the concierge level at the Ritz (the
best room in the place) and paid $250 per night - that included breakfast and a light lunch at the concierge club. We took a private 1 bedroom villa at the Four Seasons, overlooking the river. The spa package includes breakfast each day and one massage for each of you. That was $395 per night. The rates might actually be cheaper due to the fluctuation of the Indonesian Rupiah.

In Ubud, we hired a driver that took us around for two days, anywhere we wanted (in an air conditioned Toyota SUV). It cost us $40 per day (cheap, when you
consider what we did) - he even drove us to the airport when we left. We would be happy to give you his name.

We could tell you so much more, but it would take up all day. We can only say that your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime experience, and you should go
someplace special. Not that the carribbean is bad, but it is so close, you can go almost anytime.

Let us know if you want more information. But let us tell you - you have to go to Bali. It was wonderful.

Wendy and Jeff
Old Dec 3rd, 1999, 03:50 PM
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I saw your posting Rachel, and had to reply.
22 hour flight - brought a smile to my face. Bali is a great place to visit. As an Aussie (I wont get offended by the remarks re all the Australians in Bali) who has just returned from Europe via Bali (2 month holiday) I understand the LONG HOURS of flying - but they are worth it. We flew business class with Garuda and they were superb. Cost was only Aus $1700!(Europe & Bali) I have been to Bali 3 times and it has changed tremendously in the last twelve years from my first to last visit. Thankfully for the better. I must say though, I was a little disappointed with all the western influences - re McDonalds, Pizza Hut etc which takes away from the culture - but atleast you know you aren't eating contaminated food, as stomach upsets are common, even with good hygiene. Just prepare well in advance. We only drank bottled water, and most hotels have signs not to drink tap water. We took tablets for diahorrea and vomitting(excuse spelling) which unfortunately disappeared while we were in Amsterdam. So we bought some at the Bali Chemist in Kuta Square. No need to visit a doctor if you know the complaint - everything is available at the chemist.(or drugstore as you would call it). If you do go to Bali, go to Kuta Square where the Bemo and taxi drivers are and ask for Kamahl- he was a very honest and nice driver who took us to many sites at excellent prices. One thing you must take note of - go only to Money Changes which are legitimate - or you will be ripped off. NEVER leave the money changers' without counting your money LASTLY. Do not give it back to the money changer for him to stack together before handing it back to you. This is when they take part of your money - or else they wont let you sign the travellers cheques until last - so while you are occupied, they then take your money. I was ripped off two days in a row, but fortunately after 4 hrs with the police, I got it back. We then watched like glue, and upon realizing we had worked out their system, some got angry and would not complete our exchange and told us to go somewhere else. So it's honestly better to go to an authorised money exchange place, you'll be much happier.- This is the only downside. Luckily your currency rate is very good and you'll have a ball - we always return home with MONEY not spent. Have a great time, and I'm sure once you have been, you'll want to go back.
email for any other questions
Old Dec 6th, 1999, 06:46 AM
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Dear Rachel

We stayed at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel a year ago. It is nothing special - just your standard 5 star hotel. Full of Germans and Italians, very few Australians.

I didn't care much for Bali as a whole, possibly because we had some bad experoences with one or two people. If we were to go back (unlikely) we would stay in Ubud, in either the Four Seasons or the Aman hotel.

The beaches in Bali, especially in Nusa Dua, are not good. They certainly cannot compare to the Carribbean. Nusa Dua is a 5 star hotel ghetto with a seaweed infested beach.

The snorkelling is okay if you take the Bali Hai day trip, which is organised ny Australians. They also have an excellent dive school - the only one that we could find on the island. The others that we experienced had shoddy equipment and questionable standards (they did not ask for qualification or to sign anything about illness etc.).

If you are determined to go to Bali the Aman and 4 Season hotels are probably your best bet. If you want an Asian beach experience, you may want to consider Thailand or Malaysia. But if its just the beach you are after - stick to the carribbean.

We only had to travel from London, and we still didn't think that it was worth the journey.

Apparently Lombok is nice, much quieter, but you will need to take precautions for Malaria in Lombok (not absolutely necessary in Bali).

On the plus side, it is very cheap. There are things to do such as whit-water rafting and day trips to Lombok etc. And the Spa at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel is excellent (and cheap).

I'm not sure about the weather in February - I'm almost certain that its their rainy season though.

Sorry to be so negative !
Old Dec 9th, 1999, 10:08 AM
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We were in Bali a year ago and loved it. I have been to various islands in the Caribbean and would choose Bali- even with the long flight. Bali is really a special place. The people and very warm and peaceful. The service attitide is completely differnt than in the Caribbean. We stayed at the Oberoi and loved it. The Indian Ocen is nice and warm. We did not like Kuta Beach at all.
Old Dec 18th, 1999, 07:24 AM
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If you are interested in spirtuality, colorful ceremonies, art, dance and a complex, beautiful culture, go to Bali. (I'm obviously not talking Kuta here) Certainly you can go to the beach there, but no one is going to say Bali has the best beaches. IMHO that is not the primary reason for going to Bali. If all you plan to do is go to the beach, go to the Caribbean, as Bali will be wasted on you and there are better beaches in the Caribbean. Let me add I'm a big fan of Bali and a big fan of some islands in the Caribbean, but you are really talking apples and oranges here. Suggest you pick up a couple guide books and do some research, as you should be able to quickly see the huge differences. By the way, Nusa Dua is a nice beach, but you won't see much of Bali or its culture there. You might as well be at a nice resort in the Caribbean. Feb. is not the best time of year to go to Bali for weather either. That never stops me, but I'm not disappointed if it rains one day and I'm hanging out at a village warung. Once again, check you guidebook.
Old Dec 19th, 1999, 06:01 PM
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Hi Rachel,

My wife and I spent a year and a half working in Indonesia (Jakarta) and visited Bali a few times while there. I can't think of more romantic place to spend a honeymoon than Bali. As other posts to you have mentioned, don't expect a Caribbean holiday with clear waters and perfect sand beaches, but Bali really is a magical place. I would suggest splurging a little and staying somewhere else than Nusa Dua. The Four Seasons Resort on Jimbaran Bay is paradise on earth--each private villa has its own plunge pool overlooking the bay. And, the Amandari Resort in Ubud is breathtaking with its views over the rice paddies. My vote: Go to Bali. It's your honeymoon and should be something special. Since you are from the New York area (I'm from Philly) you can always go to the Caribbean and lie on the beach. I'd love to hear of your choice.
Old Feb 13th, 2000, 06:06 AM
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Is it worth the long flight? No! We spent two days there several weeks ago, and I was really glad that we were only passing through to other destinations. There are many places much closer, that I think would offer more. Have you considered Tahiti. It was beautiful! Glad you like warm weather, because the heat in Bali was unbearable!
Old Feb 13th, 2000, 08:16 AM
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Go to Bali! I was there at the end of February 3 years ago. You will be running into the end, I believe, of the rainy season, but it is worth the beauty and exotic charm to travel all that way. I don't think you need any vaccinations, just be careful of what you eat and drink. Watch pickpockets, the snorkeling is great, and I believe the Nua Dusa hotel is a nice one. Good luck in your decision and have fun!!!
Old Feb 18th, 2000, 05:30 PM
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Hi Rachel:
We have just returned from a cruise that included two wonderful days in Bali (not enough time by far to see a place we considered fantastic). This time of year it is very hot, 100+ with the humidity about the same.
Bali isn't for everyone, it seems to be one of those destinations that some love and some hate.
It is a very interesting country with deep religious beliefs. But full of history, and there is something interesting around every corner. Along with being breathtakingly beautiful.
We plan on returning soon for an extended stay there, only this time on land. There was too much to see and do in such a short time.
We found it to be one of the most fascinating places that we have ever visited. Good Luck! Sue

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