Safety for Americans in Bali?

Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 11:44 AM
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Safety for Americans in Bali?

My husband and I are considering going to Bali in mid- to late-March. Have any Americans gone there recently, and how do they feel about a sense of safety? Also, how will the weather be during that time of year? Thanks, Marilyn
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 12:03 PM
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This has been debated a lot on this board - many of whom are Americans who have recently been to Bali. Bottom line: it is a reasonably safe place to go in spite of the travel warning for Indonesia. Do a search using "Bali" and you will come up with many posts. Also, see my 6 part trip report (section 1 entitled "Americans in Bali: Is it Safe?":
http://www.balitravelforum.com/archive200307/11747.html
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 01:26 PM
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Hi Craig and thank you for the quick reply. I was hoping to hear from someone who'd gone to Bali in the last few months. The State Dept seems to be issuing new warnings again, and I'm wondering if there's a sense of security or insecurity in recent times. Your trip report was excellent. Can you recall approximately how much you paid? Also, I'm wondering if the weather will be too "iffy" in March.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 01:36 PM
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I'm American who has lived in Bali for several years and I can tell you first-hand how conditions are. There are thousands of people from many countries around the world who choose to live in Bali, for work, for retirement, or just to experience the wonderful culture, lifestyle and friendly and caring people of Bali. Americans seem to be one of the largest groups here, next to the Australians, Japanese, French and Dutch. Without getting into politics too much, I'm assuming you are talking about backlash against Americans for voting Bush into office again? Let me assure you Balinese are not very interested in politics, especially the politics of other countries.

If you are talking about past bombings, all I can say is that the Bali Bombing was a few years ago and that kind of attack can happen anywhere, even in New York. The Balinese are Hindu, very peace loving, friendly and spiritual. If you have any other reservations about Bali due to religious concerns you can send me a private mail. This topic is too complicated to discuss on a board like this.

Weatherwise, Bali will be warm, but exactly how warm depends on what parts of the island you will be at. It will still be in the rainy season in March so you may have rain for parts of the day. Bali generally doesn't have the torrential rain and even during the s0-called rainy season it doesn't rain every day. But again, it depends on the current conditions and where you will be.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 02:04 PM
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Yes, Kuluk, this has to do with an anti-Bush sentiment overseas as well as my own religious concerns. I don't want to get into politics either since that seems to be the reason so many wonderful places are now off-limits. It's usually not the local people in ANY countries who have problems with Americans but rather the governmental powers-that-be. I'd love to contact you privately since you are THERE, but I don't know where to send you an e-mail. Do you think we'd be wiser to postpone till April? I would hate to have the trip ruined by constant rain. The problem is that I'm trying to coordinate a trip to Bali with a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, both of which get hotter the later in the year that it gets. Thanks again for all the input!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 04:59 PM
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You can send me e-mail at [email protected]. You have to take out the nospam part, though.

No, the rain will most likely not be torrential. Usually the most is let's say rain most days between 4 - 8 or something like that. Rarely does it ever rain the full day. We don't get the big flood and rains like Java does. Our climate is more influenced by Australia...cooler in July through September and hotter in Nov through say March. It's nowhere near as hot as Thailand is in April. more like August in Hawaii.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 06:57 PM
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beachmama7, I am an American who has lived in Jakarta for nearly 10 years. I travel to Bali frequently, 6-7 times a year. I was just there last month.

In my entire time in Indonesia -- in Islamic, Hindu and Christian areas -- I have never, never felt anti-American sentiment. Indonesians of all cultures are profoundly hospitable. They may be personally against the war in Afganistan or the war in Iraq, but they would never let their politics come before gracious and kind treatment of a visitor.

International terrorism and Islamic extremism are terrible events that have affected countries all over the world. Indonesia, including Bali, has been hit particularly hard. Undeniably there are crazy people out there. Having said that I would assure you that the chance of being affected by terrorism in Bali is very, very low. After the bombing two years ago, all of the beach hotels and restaurants implemented good security control. The village vigilante system is also strong. The inland area, e.g. Ubud, is 100% safe.

The US State Department has had a travel warning for all of Indonesia since 1998. Because they are extremely conservative (and have legal concerns)they cannot lift or even tone down the warning as long as ANY risk remains. There are some 20,000 Americans living in Indonesia and in fact relations between the US and Indonesia are quite good.

March is the tail end of the rainy season. You will most likely get some rain but I have never heard of any one's Bali holiday being adversely affected by weather of any kind.

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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 07:52 AM
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beachmama7 - not sure what you are referring to regarding how much I paid but I'll assume it is hotels as that is your greatest expense after airfare - I don't remember exactly how much I paid but here are balidiscovery.com's current regular season prices for the hotels:
Hotel Tugu, Dedari Suite - $280/nt incl tax, svc.
Maya Ubud, Deluxe Pool Villa - $324/nt incl tax, svc & breakfast
Damai Resort, Deluxe Villa - $171/nt incl tax, svc. & breakfast

The Maya Ubud was substantially cheaper when I stayed there.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 09:47 AM
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Dear Kuluk and Marmot--
I really appreciated hearing your feedback on safety for Americans and on the weather. Although I'm disappointed about it, I think we would be wiser to postpone the trip till late October or early November. It sounds like the weather will be much more stable, both in Bali and in Vietnam, during that time of year. We were kind of pushing it to go in March anyway.
Craig, I'm hoping that we can find less expensive accomodations than those prices you quoted.
I guess I've got my homework cut out for me to search for better deals on hotels. My husband and I prefer less "touristy" accomodations, and I'm sure we can find some moderately priced places by checking the internet and tour books.
This entire thread has simply heightened by desire to go, and I thank you all for the great info!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 09:57 AM
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beachmama7 - Bali has a wide range of moderately priced "non-touristy" accomodations. Do a search on this board or post again - I'm sure you will get some good information.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 10:21 AM
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Marilyn:

There are many types of accomodation in Bali, across the entire range. For example, there are simple rooms with fan and cold water for US4 a nite, (called losmen or homestays). Mid-range would be hotels with pool, AC, hot water, possibly with open air balinese bathroom, for US 30- 100, up to more than a thousand a night for a villa with private pool and butler. Since it sounds like you will be postponing your trip you will have plenty of time to do more research. Many of the best places are locally owned boutique hotels that do not advertise on the internet, so you could always just "show up" and find quite a few wonderful choices. Prices are usually better when you come in person.

Weather-wise, there is really not much difference between March and October. (but who can predict the weather)
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 10:37 AM
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While you are the only person who can decide whether you'll feel safe, as others have said, I can say that I've just returned from Lombok (the next island east of Bali, primarily Muslim) and I didn't encounter any difficulties. (Full report will follow when I'm a bit more awake...)
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 07:40 PM
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We just returned from Bali a few days ago and had a lovely time. We felt quite safe there although obviously no place these days is entirely safe. Did feel more secure in Bali than many other places we have been in the last few years which include places like New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, London, Madrid.....Statistically I am sure that the risks of a Bali vacation disaster are very very small and probably much less risky than many behaviors most people undertake without much thought. Had a lovely vacation in Bali with nary an American in sight via Escapes Unlimited which has many holiday options with different hotels at different prices and locations. It is quite affordable and the costs while in Bali are much lower than most places in the developed world. Did see lots of Japanese, French, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Korean, Chinese, English, and Australian tourists.
Was told by many locals that June would be a good time to visit Bali as the weather is good and it would not be high season yet. Would worry alittle about the possibility of typhoons in October and even in November. Vietnam just got trashed by a typhoon last week as did the Philipines. It is abit late for typhoons in my experience but it is something to consider. Not sure if typhoons tend to hit Bali but they certainly do move through Asia north of Indonesia. We are considering returning to Bali soon although there are still alot of places in the world we have not yet been.
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