Debriefing on Bali Trip Report

Jun 13th, 2010, 11:39 AM
  #1  
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Debriefing on Bali Trip Report

Tonight, Beth and I are venturing into Darkest Needham for the sole purpose of finding out what really went on during RhkKmk and KmnKmk's trip to Bali. Hopefully, we will hear the good, the bad and the ugly. You know he cleans things up in his reports. Your faithful servant will report back with the dirt. Plus, I already had my shots for needham and it's safe.
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Jun 13th, 2010, 12:26 PM
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Admit it. You're going to pick up the souvenirs they bought for you.
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Jun 13th, 2010, 12:50 PM
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Curious to hear if the "Adventures in Bali: the Untold Stories" includes time in a Balinese jail for a traffic violation.....
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Jun 13th, 2010, 05:38 PM
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So the scoop is that East bali and North Bali did not really have a whole lot to offer. They were pretty, but the food and shops were uninteresting. Neither B nor K is a diver, so the whole scuba thing is a no go. They did praise the Intercontinental in Singapore.

Bob was subdued at dinner. I did get to explain what "pulling a Kimball" was to Bob's daughter. She took his side in the whole sad story. A prisoner of genetics.
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Jun 13th, 2010, 05:44 PM
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but his panderness did not report that my 5 year old grandaughter did not fall for any of his tricks: odd noises, muscle tricks, finger pupets, etc..... she is far too bright for the likes of him....

btw, he looks great and seems moderately normal which for him is 110%... we were pleased to see that....
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Jun 14th, 2010, 08:03 AM
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His granddaughter, Madison, is a delight. She says we have a velvet cat (a Devon Rex, check out pix on Devon Rex.com). She did what every sane child would have done and spent as much time away from "papa" as possible. That evening, she prefered to hide dominoes under chairs to talking to Papa. Unfortunately, that was not an option offered to me.

My actual sense of the Bali impressions was that it's a beautiful place that can occupy 2-3 weeks, but there's not enough there, there to provide interest for much longer than that. Again, they are not divers.
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Jun 14th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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Wish I'd been a fly on the wall... lol
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Jun 14th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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It was Needahm, i.e., lots of flies and other insects on the wall. In fact, we had to hear about the resident mice.
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Jun 14th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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I like the name His Panderness. It evokes an image of a robed & bewigged panda bowing furiously and in abject fealty to Hizzoner on the bench.
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Jun 14th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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No bowing or scraping for our Panda. I will however start to wear the Balinese headwear that Putu gave to me. It will be a rare fashion statement and sure to bug opponents.
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Jun 14th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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You should get more respect if you wear it to court. Out of PCness, they probably have to allow you to wear it.
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Jun 14th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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Red - very funny. Andy - so did you get some good souvenirs?
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Jun 14th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Andy, Bob - I've really been trying to discern what the great allure is to Bali. I know many Fodorites love it there, but please clue me in...is it the beautiful hotels and pools, the rice fields, what exactly draws people there? Should we put it high on the "to do" list? We are not divers, but live in Florida, have a pool in the back yard and beaches nearby so that's not a big draw to us. We are still trying to figure out if we should put it high on the to do list.
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Jun 14th, 2010, 06:32 PM
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dgunbug, If you don’t mind I’ll add my two rupiah. Bali appeals on a lot of different levels and that's why you get different types of answers. Some people like Bali because of the beach life and water sports – swimming, surfing, rafting, sailing, snorkling; some like the shopping – arts & crafts, chic resortwear, home accessorites; some like the upscale villas – with service staff and pools; some like the nightlife – trendy restaurants and clubs; some like adventure travel – trekking, climbing, SCUBA; some like the cultural experiences – masked dance, temple processions, gamelan music; some like the spiritual aspects – yoga, healing, meditation, spas.

I’ve made some 50 visits to Bali over the course of 20+ years and have tasted a bit of all of the above. I think the variety of experience, all in a small geographic area, is the the major draw.

All of this is within the context of profound natural beauty and a range of accommodation choices that fit a range budgets, all replete with genuinely warm and friendly hospitality.

In spite of the onslaught of modern tourism, Balinese cultural and religious traditions are pervasive throughout the island. I just spent a few days at a posh resort in Seminyak. While I was there the resort’s temple was having its annual rededication ceremony. This went on over several days of gamelan, dancing and religious ceremonies. As I sat in the shade watching the tremendous surf, I was treated to several processions of gorgeously appareled Balinese performing deeply felt traditional rituals. This is the kind of event that makes Bali special.
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Jun 14th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Marmot - Thank you for your wonderful and enlightening response.
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Jun 15th, 2010, 02:34 AM
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Bali is special. It is a "must see". The cultural aspects take it well beyond a beach vacation. The people are as friendly as they are here in Cambridge. Some people (Marmot) return again and again. Some go only once, but I have never heard or read about anyone that did not really enjoy their time in Bali.
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Jun 15th, 2010, 02:58 AM
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yes it is a spot that must be experienced--a high on the list kind of place---better to see now rather than waiting....but i have to say after our 3rd trip we are really done with it for a while...marmot put it very well above....it can be all things to all people...

we like it for its natural beauty---the rice fields, flowers, ocean scapes are really lovely... we like it for it affordableness... we like the good range of food at very very reasonable prices.... the shopping is generally reasonable and unique.... the people are welcoming in the same way the thai folks are.... there is a fantastic touristic infastructure.... there is an old fashioned sense of a unique culture, with religious overtones, but not in your face..... the people are truly genuine.... the beaches are decent, but not fantastic....

IT IS A MUST DO
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Jun 15th, 2010, 04:04 AM
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Thank you Andy & Bob for your further enlightenment! We'll put it high on the "to do" list.
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Jun 15th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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I think the main reasons that travelers are disappointed in Bali are
1. They expect to find pristine white sand with limpid blue water
2. They're backpackers looking for $10 a night accommodations on the beach or in the mountains
3. They expect time to stand still and resent the intrusion of modernity into Balinese culture
4. They refuse to accept that Bali is part of Indonesia

Once it's understood that this is not paradise but a resort community trying to function economically in a poor and ill run country you can relax and enjoy what Bali does have to offer.

I'm not in the least critical of Fodor's posters who have presented what they liked and didn't like, what worked and didn't work. Even though I've spent a lot of time in Bali I constantly pick up excellent information from this site. I especially love that repeat visitors are so passionate about "their" resorts, beaches and restaurants. To me this is the hallmark of a satisfied customer and a testimony to the variety available experiences.

My objective would be to help potential travelers temper their expectations. Bali's a lot of fun but it's not the garden of Eden.
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Jun 15th, 2010, 10:09 PM
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Off topic: Lakers 89, Boston 67. He hee!
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