Bali - Our Experience - Nov. 2000

Dec 18th, 2000, 02:01 AM
Naghmeh Liotta Abbasi
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Bali - Our Experience - Nov. 2000

Bali is not the ideal exotic holiday any longer. When travelling there be warned that private sales men and women are every where. They sit and wait around all hotels and in the touristic areas to sell you anything from a massage to Watches to Kites. most of them are very poor quality and the prices are given to you in proportion to the exchange rate for US dollar. Be aware of private exchange booths who try to cheat you when exchanging money. They will drop a few notes on the floor in the hope that you can't see them or hear the note dropping. When shopping for local goods, you should bargain (and you should bargain for every thing, even in the shops) start offering 10% of the asking price and at most go to 20%, but don't move up any more. There are always other shops that will sell you exactly the same article for the price you want. When you buy 'fakes', shop around a little. You can find the same article in a different shop for 20% - 30% less. Let me also say that Bali is a beautiful island with very nice
people but is spoilt by the mass tourism and you must try to see the beauty of its land and culture if you can. Stay away from the touristic places and you'll have a interesting and relaxing time. As for me and my husband, once was enough.
Jan 23rd, 2001, 03:59 PM
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you had to GO to bali to find this out? the information you provided is well known and available in any decent guide book. had you researched your trip more thoroughly before you went you could have easily avoided the tourist traps.
this also leads you to formulate the wrong impression of this island, tell the whole planet through the net and thus put off many people who may well have gone on to have the holiday of a lifetime.
there is plenty of quiet corners of bali that are unspoilt if you take the time to find them, without resorting to approx 18000+ other islands that make up indonesia.
maybe your dress or behaivour marked you out as 'easy pickings' in the busier areas, who knows.
in future please reserve your 'first impressions' for yourselves so other people may seek out more accurate information.
Jan 24th, 2001, 04:01 PM
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Spent 4 days at the Four Seasons Resort/Jimbaran Bay in the middle of March 2000. Beautiful resort but too close to airport. Planes landing and taking off all hours. Were not told by travel agent of the very holy holiday they were celebrating that weekend in which EVERYONE is confined to their hotels or homes. Hindus must stay away from water and thus we could not even lie around on the beach! We were sightseeing the afternoon that the holiday began and all roads were jammed with celebrants which was a wonderful thing to be a part of but we could not get to any other part of the island to see a thing. The humidity is opressive so be prepared to be soaking wet at all times! The people are lovely.
Jan 24th, 2001, 04:25 PM
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To anyone who is considering a trip to Bali, please don't be put off by this post. My husband and I honeymooned there in July, 2000 and found the island beautiful and the people the most genuinely friendly, nice and welcoming of any we encountered on our trip through Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Bali and Japan). Yes, Kuta is crowded, hot and dirty. Enjoy it for what it is, a bustling and inexpensive tourist center, and then go on to enjoy the rest of this amazing island. Perhaps my standards are not those of the original poster, but I fell in love with Bali and consider it the ideal tropical paradise. Tell the hawkers "No Thanks" and continue on your way; comparison shop for the best deals just as you would anywhere (but feel free to bargain). Better yet, don't spend all of your time shopping (although we found the prices so low that we couldn't help it sometimes). Enjoy the mountains and DO go rafting on the Ayung River. The guides are knowledgable and friendly and the scenery looks straight out of National Geographic. Most of all, go to Bali with an open mind and the desire to have a good time. If you want to, you will.
Jan 31st, 2001, 02:30 PM
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I agree with Sarahcm. I was there most recently in April 2000, and Bali is a magnificent place. Kuta is crappy, as is Denpasar, in terms of being busy, etc....but there are so many gorgeous natural vistas and cultural sites in Bali, and all it takes is a good readthrough of some guidebooks before you go and an adventuresome spirit to find them. Hiking around Crater Lake and Kintamini, driving around...asking the people who live there what they wouldn't is a gorgeous place for those willing to seek it out.
Jan 31st, 2001, 10:54 PM
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Just got back from Bali. The scenery is amazing. It's worth the trip alone. However, if you don't stay in a really nice resort, the mid-level accomodations are pretty low quality. Also, the locals are very agressive. You're constantly offered drugs, sex, whatever. You're also overcharged and ripped off in lots of other ways. The Kuta area is pretty disgusting overall. I would not recommend spending more than 2 or 3 hours there at the most. Spend the rest of your time getting away from the crowds, take in the countryside. Get a driver to drive you through the interior or along the coast. Shopping is pretty low quality. You have to stay away from Kuta if you want something that doesn't look straight out of Pier 1 Imports. Antiquities are nice and very affordable, downright bargains actually. I can provide the address of a very nice Timorese/Balinese antique shop I found. A last note, you will get the extra-agressive treatment if you're Asian like me: They think you're Japanese and you tons of money to blow. Be warned. Never talk to anyone standing on the street. They're all going to try to sell you something.
Feb 1st, 2001, 06:43 AM
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I was also in November 2000 on the beautiful island of Bali. To say it clear, bali is definetely no secret, lonely place. Lots of tourists everywhere but Bali has truly exceptional worldclass hotels and they make your holiday worth every Dollar!! Unforgettable is the Four Seasons Hotel at Sayan, spectacular architecture, impeccable service and suites/villas so beautiful that the hotel management told me that they have to rise the price because of the huge demand. Also the Amandari or Amankila, both ar 6 star properties regarding service, design and comfort. So if you want to go to Bali, only if you wiil/can afford those places (>500 USD). If not, dont go to bali, you should then go to phuket or the phillipines wher the beaches are mor beautiful.
Feb 1st, 2001, 11:18 AM
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Interesting obsevations from all but Mark is right and wrong. 4 Seasons Sayan private villas are nice but over priced as well as the Riz C. in Jimbaran. You have to love those plunge pools Huh? Ubud is laid back and the cooler than other beach areas. The over priced Amandari in Ubud had the worst damn menu I have ever see for the price. After staying at all these really nice places I ended up for a week at the Artini#2 cottages in Ubud for US25.00 a night compared to US$1500.00 at the Amandari. The hawkers all sell fake drugs and will leave you alone if you say so. I will go back again and again but not to Kuta or the Aman.Check out Goa Gajah and Tampaskring stay off the Austrailan path and you will like it.....Trust me
Feb 2nd, 2001, 11:51 AM
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I have to say i am a bit worried. I am planning a trip to bali for my upcoming Honeymoon and before reading these accounts have heard nothing but great things about Bali. I am from NYC so perhaps have a better feel for tourism and pushy people. Please someone tell me that these descriptions are all a bit on the harsh side. As expensive as Bali can be i do want to make this a special trip. We are also very into traveling outside of the main path. any suggestions on shopping, love antigues, food, scenery?
Feb 5th, 2001, 04:37 AM
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Some of you should not chastise Naghmeh for feeling the way she feel. It is HER experience and what she said about Bali is true to some extent. Maybe due to time constraints she did not leave Kuta and spend little time in the less havoc places such as Ubud, Tirtagangga

Bali is great - good food, nice people but tourism is well developed there. You will encounter locals in-your-face hawking souvenirs but hey.. take it in stride and smile. These people are trying to eke a living -- just take it easy and have fun!

To all who are planning trips to Bali - do your research. Search the net, read books and participate in for feedbacks, ideas, etc etc. A good place to start.

Those who do not want to spend US$500 per night to stay in, Bali is blessed with many many resorts, villas to suit all budgets.

Feb 5th, 2001, 06:03 AM
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The whole reason for message boards is so that travellers can comment on their experiences, good or bad, first impressions or not. Most rational thinkers can sift through the information and take what they want from it.
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