Honeymoon help please!

Old Feb 4th, 2017, 04:33 PM
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Honeymoon help please!

Hello,
We're trying to plan our honeymoon in early August 2017 and debating between places. We're 33, live on the east coast of USA, have 10-14 days to spend and very active. We don't want to spend all our time lounging on a beach, we'd love some cultural things and active sightseeing like cycling and hiking. I'm a big foodie, fiancee isn't so adventurous. We thought about Bali or Thailand, but in reading it seems like August may not be the best time to go to these places due to weather. I've done some searching in the forums especially, but I'm having a hard time finding specifics on this time period. We have never been to the area, so we don't know much about it, but are trying to learn. Bali seems really nice, but I've heard outside the resorts it can be dirty and not so awesome. I honestly don't know a lot about Indonesia outside of google searches and wikipedia. Thailand seems ideal in terms of variety of things to do, but in August the Phuket side of things isn't a good option due to weather. Something I read mentioned going to the other side, but I don't know what that means in terms of beach/things to do. At this point, the world is our oyster, and we're also considering the Maldives (seem gorgeous but a little too limited in terms of things to do for 14 days), Tahiti/Bora Bora, Australia, Fiji. We're open to breaking up the trip either in a single country/area or in a few days layover and exploring as much as we can. Any input, information or resources you can give would be fantastic! I hate to sound ignorant, but once we decide where I'll be fully immersed in learning all I can! This is just step one. Thank you so very much!
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 05:37 PM
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I'll try to answer your questions about Bali. In the first place, the weather is very good in August. Mostly clear, sunny and breezy. The downside to August is that it's high tourist season, especially among Australians and Europeans, and rates are at their highest and everything's crowded.

Bali could fulfill most of your wishlist: Beach + "cultural things and active sightseeing like cycling and hiking", lots of good food, plenty to do, both culture and nature oriented, a vibrant local culture and a vibrant expat culture of 20 and 30 somethings, like you.

Another positive is that once you've arrived in Bali you don't have to take another flight to experience beach, nature and culture. You could split your time between one of the southern beaches which abound in restaurants (many VERY good), shops, dance clubs, spas. And inland in the Ubud area, where you would have access to nature and culture.

In addition to biking and hiking, you could try surfing, rafting, mountaineering, snorkeling, yoga, village walks, market tours, cooking classes, arts classes. On the cultural side Bali offers a wide array of arts and crafts, performing arts and religious pageantry.

Overarching all is the deeply felt Balinese way of life which pervades everything that happens on this small island -- thousands of temples, large and humble, ubiquitous ceremonies, processions, offerings, superstitions and a general cosmic outlook.

Bali's beaches are well traveled, not the pristine white sand, turquoise water variety that you see in the Caribbean and other parts of Asia, but wide and active ocean beaches. In August you will get big wave surfing conditions. The trash that washes up on the beaches during the rainy season won't be an issue in August.

Indonesia is a developing country and, yes, poor people and poor countries have their "dirty and not so awesome" moments. If you'd rather not interact with a culture and environment that is different on many levels from your own, then Bali may not be for you.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 06:22 PM
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When I first read your questions, I thought "Bali." If the idea that "it can be dirty and not so awesome in places" puts you off, you shouldn't go anywhere in Asia, Africa, many places in Europe or even the US. But if you are willing to open your eyes, Bali would be a perfect place for a honeymoon. If it is important to you not to see poverty, then Hawaii may be your only option.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 07:58 PM
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Thanks marmot and Kathie, my friend that told me about the trash/dirtyness did a bicycle tour of Bali and he was really put off by the conditions outside of the resorts. That being said I've been to places like Nicaragua, Belize and the Dominican, where the country is overall very poor and conditions outside the resorts aren't great, so it's not a new concept to me. I guess a better way of putting it is should we be concerned about poverty/safety when exploring on our own outside of resorts. My friend was very put off by the amount of trash/dirtiness he saw, and he's a pretty experienced traveler. That's what I'm trying to clear up.
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 08:09 PM
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Well, if safety is your concern, I read a recent survey that looked at what locals say about safety. SE Asia turns out to be the safest part of the world for travelers. Central America turns out to be one of the less safe parts of the world.

I'm not sure exactly what your friend was responding to, but having travelled all over Asia, I wouldn't say that Bali is especially dirty. You friend apparently hasn't been to India!
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Old Feb 4th, 2017, 09:59 PM
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Bali is very safe. Tourism is the main industry and the infrastructure is well developed. Local people are hospitable and friendly.

I wouldn't consider Bali especially dirty or poverty stricken -- especially relative to other countries in the developing world -- but like many places in Asia, care for the natural environment could be better. Basically, Bali is a small island with 4 million inhabitants and millions of visitors. If your friend expected a pristine wilderness and untouched culture, then he was in the wrong place.

The positives of Bali are, as I've already mentioned, that you can have a lot of different experiences in a compact geographic area. You can get away from everything in the rain forest, on a volcanic mountain or on big-wave beach. Then you can have sunset on the beach, dinner at a world-class restaurant, and sleep at an elegant resort, all, thanks to the strong dollar, at a reasonable cost. If you approach Bali with an open mind (and heart) it's hard to imagine that you wouldn't be touched by the warmth and intensity of Balinese culture.
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Old Feb 7th, 2017, 09:15 AM
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Thank you Kathie and Marmot! I really do appreciate your replies. I hope I didn't offend with the dirty comment, I was just trying to figure out what was real. No, I don't think he's been to india thanks again! Gonna talk to fiancee and make some decisions here soon!
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Old Feb 7th, 2017, 05:34 PM
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I wasn't offended, just puzzled. A honeymoon is important so you are right to ask questions and to weigh pluses and minuses.

Bali is unique in Asia in that it offers a balance of modern sophistication (resorts, restaurants, clubs, spas), traditional culture (arts, ceremonies, temples) and nature/adventure driven activities (ocean, mountains, rain forest). All in one place and at a relatively affordable price.

With 10 to 14 days, you'll want to limit the time you spend transiting from place to place. Perhaps two destinations within Thailand could fit, e.g. an east coast beach plus Bangkok or a beach plus north Thailand.
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