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paperstreet Nov 14th, 2004 08:45 PM

Detroit to Bali- Airfare?
Hello to everyone. This is my first of probably many posts to come on here.

My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon for May of 2005. We are pretty sure we're going to stay at Hotel Tugu in Bali from May 9-May 19 2005. (We're going to get a pool villa.) We figure Bali has the temples, the elephant rescue camp, some nice beaches- a good mix of Thailand and the Caribbean with some adventure thrown in.

The problem I'm having though is airfare. I can't find any airfare from Detroit to Bali for less than $1500 PER PERSON.

$3000 for airfare? You're kidding!!!!

Anyone have any tips? JamesA? Anyone else from Detroit gone to Bali?

Thanks so much for your help.

(And if anyone has any comments about Bali for a honeymoon or Hotel Tugu- throw 'em out there.)

rhkkmk Nov 14th, 2004 09:06 PM

two things come to mind...have you looked at the all asia pass from cathy pacific?? malayia air has had a pass in the past also which you might check out...
also check out singapore air, nowthwest of course from detroit, united...i got a $350 flight from bangkok on thai air through a thai travel agent ([email protected]) if you could get there cheply...
how about a tour from an airline company that you extend for the days you want?
also check with bali discovery tours to see if they can help...

if you need a driver check with putu often mentioned on this board...

airfares to asia are expensive but the hotels are very reasonable...would you consider a lesser hotel, like one of the chains??

have you talked to a travel agent??

that drains me of thoughts tonight...

paperstreet Nov 14th, 2004 09:28 PM

Thanks for the info there. I'll check out that stuff.

If anyone has more suggestions, keep throwing them at me.

Many thanks!

rkkwan Nov 14th, 2004 09:36 PM

Definitely find a travel agent that specializes in Asian travel. You can definitely go to Bali for less than $1,500 per person.

For example, you can basically fly DTW-HKG for <$800 year-round, except during Christmas holiday. And HKG-DPS full-fare economy is only about US$500, and most people pay discount fare for about US$300 or less. So, there's no reason why you need to spend more than about $1,200 to DPS.

That's just an example of how to do it. A good agent should be able to get you something even cheaper. Do not buy directly from the airline. Must use a consolidator or an agent that has access to consolidator fares.

paperstreet Nov 14th, 2004 09:54 PM

Hey, thanks again.

This opens another question:

Anyone know any good Bali travel agents?

Craig Nov 15th, 2004 02:36 AM

We spent 3 nights at the Hotel Tugu in July 2003. It is one of the best hotels we have ever stayed at and well worth the money. We also stayed in a pool villa. You could spend your entire honeymoon there and be perfectly happy. However, as you continue your research on Bali, you will find that it may be worth looking at a second location in the Ubud area. Also, the beach at the Tugu is ok but not what you would find in the Caribbean - just manage your expectations and you will be fine.

If you fly to Bali, you will go through either Singapore, Hong Kong or Bangkok. It is a relatively inexpensive 4 hour flight from any of these cities. The advice given above makes sense.

Bali Discovery tours has good rates on hotels - You can also arrange things like whitewater rafting and the elephant tour on their site. Personally, I would skip the elephant tour as the elephants are not native to Bali. However, if you have never riden on an elephant, it is a fun thing to do.

You will need a driver while on Bali to visit temples, do shopping etc. Putu Arnawa is one of the best. You can use him for a half day or a full day. On the days when you use him, it will run you about $25 - $40. Contact him at [email protected].

For an idea of how you might spend your time on Bali, check out my six part trip report at

paperstreet Nov 15th, 2004 01:02 PM

Thanks for more info. I've read your trip report and it seems you had a great time.

I am curious about the beaches. I keep hearing they're great beaches, etc... But are they really? Is the sand nice and soft and the water a pretty color at all?

Also, how far is Ubud from Hotel Tugu? As far as driving. We were hoping if we got an early start (8AM), we could drive there, explore and come back late. We might just get a hotel there, but I was just really curious about how close/far it is from Hotel Tugu.

And if anyone has any good Bali Travel Agents, let me know. I need one badly.


marmot Nov 21st, 2004 09:25 PM

paperstreet, I'm an American living in Indonesia and frequently fly from here to the US. Since Bali is exactly half way around the world from Michigan you can get there going either direction, either through the west coast and through Europe to Hong Kong or Singapore. We actually have relatives in Michigan and have flown Jakarta-Hong Kong-Los Angeles-Detroit and Jakarta-Singapore-Paris-Detroit. You could substitute Denpasar (Bali) for Jakarta. Either way it's a long, long flight. My guess is that if you keep looking into different combinations you will end up with fares in the $900-1000 range.

I really wouldn't recommend that you use an Indonesian travel agent. Concentrate on getting to Singapore or Hong Kong, and the rest will be easy.

There's been no end of writing about Bali's beaches. They're more like California, Florida or Australia than like Thailand. There are several big sandy beaches -- Nusa Dua, Sanur and Kuta/Seminyak being the most popular. The Tugu is located at the tip of Kuta. It's less developed in that area which can be desirable. The surf is on the rough side, but still swimmable. It's just not the crystal clear turquoise water that you get in the Caribean or Thailand.

Personally, I like the Legian for a beach resort because it has a good mix of beach, restaurants and beautiful surrounding.

You can travel from the beach to the Ubud area in a day trip. It's about an hour away. However, since you have ten days, you should consider staying in the Ubud for a few nights. This is the mystical, magical part of Bali and you need to slow down to enjoy it. This is the area where you find the arts and crafts, temple cermonies and a wide range of outdoorsy activities like trekking and rafting. At the beach, you have water based activities. There are plenty of restaurants and shops every where you go.

In the Ubud area I like the Alila hotel, but there are many, many choices.

Craig Nov 22nd, 2004 02:24 AM

Somehow I missed your last post, paperstreet. The site has been a little quirkey lately. My guess on the distance to Ubud from Hotel Tugu is about 1-1/2 hours. We did not go directly there as we did shopping and siteseeing along the way. If you go to Ubud those stops are worthwhile as part of your trip. The sand on the beach at Tugu is kind of dark and not as fine as some places. The water is rough so not clear blue. We used Bali Discovery Tours - they were excellent.

PassportControl Nov 22nd, 2004 10:07 AM

Dear Paperstreet,
I have a great agent in NYC that can not only get you the best fares to Bali, but also has a contract with negotiated rates at Tugu Bali. He saved me about 30% off the hotel's published rates during my visit last May. If you need his details, feel free to contact me at [email protected]. Cheers, Nancy

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