November in Bali Questions

Old Jul 4th, 2009, 07:27 AM
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November in Bali Questions

We are thinking of going to Bali in November and have some questions.

Weather: I know it is rainy season in November and weather is very hard to predict. However is the typical pattern at that time big storms where it rains non stop for several days straight or more the brief tropical showers every afternoon?

Beaches: We have been to Bali once before and the beaches were a major disappointment
in Candi Dasa area where we stayed, very trashy. We really enjoy warm tropical ocean water not just looking at it from the pool. Also good snorkeling nearby would be a plus. We were thinking of of Nusa Dua or going to Lombok for beach retreat time. Photos of beaches at Lombok resorts look very nice with crystal clear water and long stretches of sand. Just good photography or great beaches? Would November rainy season make beach choice irrelevant? Any feed back on beach choices appreciated.
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Old Jul 4th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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I've been to Bali and Lombok in November several times. In my experience, the rain comes in intense downpours, rather than lasting all day. When were were on Lombok a few years ago, we had dramatic thundershowers most afternoons. Both before and after the rain, it was lovely and sunny.

One doesn't go to Bali for the beaches, which are merely ok. When I stay at a beach in Bali, I opt for Sanur. But the beaches on Bali are not as nice as Lombok in my experience.

You couldn't pay me to stay at Nusa Dua. It's a sterile tourist enclave.

If it were me (and it isn't) I'd opt for time on Bali somewhere near Ubud, and spend my beach time on Lombok at Qunci Villas. Take a look at our Lombok photos: www.marlandc.com

Oh, and as far as snorkeling is concerned, the water won't be as clear as usual due to the weather, but there is still good snorkeling near Lombok. You can take a day trip to the Gilis easily and inexpensively.
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Old Jul 4th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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one comment about qunci villas... we absolutely loved it there, but the beach in front was not very nice....it was great for walking, but the sand was a mix of sand and dirt which makes for not such a nice pristine beach....i think the beaches at sanur are far superior to anything i have seen in thailand and bali, including lombok..

i'll look at kathie's pics and see if it was different in 2008 when we were there...
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Old Jul 4th, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Bob, that's odd... the beach in front of Qunci Villas was lovely when we were there... soft sand, great for walking and wading. And I consider the beach at Sanur merely ok, the sand is rather coarse and not that great for walking.
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Old Jul 4th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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You won't get non-stop all day rain, but you may get a series of overcast days with intermittent showers. Sunny days and big storms in the late afternoon continuing overnight is typical but by no means predictable. Some Novembers get no rain at all. If weather is a key factor in your happiness, don't plan a Bali beach holiday during the rainy season.

Bali doesn't have the powdery white sand, limpid turquoise waters that you might find in Thailand or the Caribbean, or even the Philippines. All of the beaches have a volcanic element, some like Sanur, Jimabaran and Nusa Dua tempered by the addition of coral sand from the reefs.

Candidasa is one of the worst areas for beach life as the beach has pretty much eroded. The northern east coast is better off shore -- for ocean and reef activities -- than it is on the beach itself.

Some of the best snorkling is in northwest Bali around Menjangan Island. There are several nice resorts in Pemuteran. The area is undergoing a renaissance and theres a lot of development, but the beaches are all black sand.

I rate Seminyak highly for long walks -- miles and miles -- on a sandy beach. This is big, pounding surfer surf, however, no crystal clear water here and during the rainy season when the storms blow in it seems that all of Java's trash is deposited on Bali's beaches. The resorts try to stay on top of it with constant pick ups and rakings but it's a serious issue in Bali that they really haven't come to grips with.

I think Sanur and Jimbaran are the best swimming beaches in Bali, though Jimbaran also has erosion problems. Nusa Dua is good when the tide is in and very shallow and rocky when the tide is out. I'm less adverse to the Nusa Dua environment than Kathie is. Yes, it's a resort development, but that's what it was conceived as. My major issue with Nusa Dua and Jimabaran is that there's no there there -- no central area for shopping and restaurants as you'd find in Sanur or Seminyak.

So, there's no perfect beach in Bali. Lombok comes closer, but Lombok, for me, doesn't have the draw that Bali has. Personally, when I'm sitting at a resort in Seminyak watching a magnificent sunset with a glass of something good, I can tune out the bad stuff, but others may be more critical.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Thanks for the info. This trip to Bali if it happens will come sandwiched between days in Hong Kong thus why we are going in November. We would split time in Bali/Lombok between Ubud and a beach somewhere. I know there are island and beach resorts being developed on Chinese islands but know nothing about them. Any information about them? Also any other beach destinations easy from HK and Nov. is good time weather wise?

We loved the Bali culture and experience last trip and felt we barely scratched the surface.

Also the Quincy Villas look great, especially for the price. What is nearby and how developed is that area? Would they provide a fairly secluded get away experience?
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Do not go to Nusa Dua. It is sterile beyond imagination. There is nothing Balinese about it whatsoever. As noted above, the beaches in Bali are good, but not great. ND is only beach with absolutely nothing else.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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There is not a lot near Qunci Villas. There are a few other small hotels along that stretch of road. Senggigi is maybe a 15 minute drive away (and I recommend avoiding it). Lombok in general is not very developed. It's quite a contrast from Bali.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 06:02 PM
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As I think you may already know, Bali is not really about the beaches. I personally would not go there strictly for a beach vacation. It has a lot to offer it terms of culture and beauty, but IMO, stunning beaches is not one of them. That being said, I am surprised you did not like Candi Dasa, as it is one of the more unusual places with black sand. If there was actually trash ON the beach, then perhaps that is a different matter. For an interesting relaxing vacation, I think Bali is great. And you can certainly include a few days at a beachside location; but if you want really beautiful beaches, I would go elsewhere. I am not sure that Lombok is markedly different in terms of beaches, but I have not been there enough to really judge all the beaches there.

Near to Hong Kong you might also try Hainan Island, which is the “Hawaii” of China --a bit of a stretch perhaps -- but still quite a lovely island with very pretty beaches. Temps will be a bit cooler than Bali, but still very warm and pleasant, sunny and dry. There is a quite nice Marriott and a very nice Hyatt. There is a new Ritz-Carlton which I have not seen. There are others too. You can explore the island, which has some inland highland portions which some native areas. I think anything further north in the PRC will be too cool in November.

I would also suggest the Philippines, which will be in good weather in November. You might look at places like Palawan (try the El Nido resorts at http://www.elnidoresorts.com/) or if you can afford it the marvelous Amanpulo, see http://www.amanresorts.com/. Either would be great for a vacation focusing on the beach, IMO.

You might try the beach resort areas of Vietnam, but have to watch weather in November as there can be some very rainy areas at that time. See weatherbase.com for information.

If your trip is toward the middle and end of November, the beaches of Phuket may be OK at that time, they are just out of the rainy season then, so if you really want to do snorelking may not be ideal (which is an issue for Bali as well, as even if you don't get rain you may get overcast days which will affect the coral colour and the quality of the snorkeling. Not to mention making it a bit choppier and currents a bit stronger.)

Finally, I would suggest maybe a longer stay in Hong Kong in lieu of a beach holiday as the November weather is so, so wonderful in Hong Kong and there are many lovely beaches here and opportunities to take boat trips. We also have some big reservoirs. I would say our really most beautiful beach requires a bit of a walk to get to (Tai Long Wan in the Sai Kung area); but there are many other beautiful beaches reachable by bus, including about half a dozen right on Hong Kong Island (Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay, Stanley, Shek O and the lovely Big Wave Bay). You can take ferries to outlying islands like Lamma or Lantau and get to some very nice beaches as well (and good beachside restaurants too).
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 08:05 AM
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Cicerone, are you the one quoted in Fodor's Hong Kong guide?
Do you know of a private guide that could do a food centric day tour of HK? We are also trying to decide on HK hotels, IC, 4 Seasons, Penn, or MO. We would do 4 days at beginning then 2-3 days at end with Bali sandwiched in between. This is a luxury trip rewarding ourselves for lots of hard work this past year.

We did love everything about Candi Dasa area except the beach which was covered in lots of trash that had washed up. We truly loved the Bali experience and would just like to break it up with time in Ubud and somewhere else. We need a get away with actually very little to do long walks on beach, massages, good food and romance mixed in. The new Tugu on Lomboc has us intrigued. Trip Adviser reports are very good with good beach and good snorkeling trips to Gili. Any feed back on that area anyone?
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 08:08 AM
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I see you already replied to my food guide thread. Thanks.
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