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SE Asia 2009 itinerary suggestions

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Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:00 PM
  #1
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SE Asia 2009 itinerary suggestions

Hi Everyone

Last year, you all helped me plan our trip to SE Asia. We had a really big blast and it would have not been possible without the invaluable advice I received on this forum.

This year, we wanted to visit Israel/Jordan, but as it turns out, we'll be going to India in December. However, I wanted to mix it up a bit and also visit another country while we're in Asia.

I was thinking of the following:

December 19: Depart SFO
December 20 to January 6: India
January 7: Bombay to Singapore
January 8: Singapore
January 9: Singapore
January 10: Singapore
** Please let me know if the Bali part looks okay?
January 11: Go to Bali
January 12: Bali
January 13: Bali
January 14: Bali
January 15: Go to Lombok
January 16: Lombok
January 17: Lombok
January 18: Lombok
January 19: Back to Singapore
January 20: Back to SFO

My questions:

I do realize I should have planned this much earlier and that the flight out of the US is going to cost me a bit more

1) Are Bali and Lombok both worth it? Or should I just pick one?

2) Is January a good time of the year to go to Bali?

3) If not Bali what other place do you recommend? We prefer places that have some cultural significance and history. The reason I picked Bali of some other beach resort was simply because it has a unique culture, but at the same time resorts where we can relax. We're not big into shopping. Maybe something for the house if it looks good. But I don't have the capacity to spend more than 2 hours shopping.

I really wanted to visit Bhutan, but January is really cold and I don't think that might be the best time to go. Hence resorted to SE Asia where the weather is generally better.

4) Are there flights from Singapore to Bali directly? Are they cheap?

5) Are three days in Singapore enough? Too much? Too less?

Look forward to your replies/comments/suggestions.

Thanks,
Rahul
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Sep 3rd, 2008, 11:42 PM
  #2
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Oh, and I forgot to mention. So if Bali is not the best place to go would Malaysia be a better alternative?

Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malacca? However, they're both so different (KL, Penang and Malacca vs. Bali). I can't make up my mind. If I could, I'd go to both and just end the confusion in my head. Alas, I can't.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 02:41 AM
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I think you have too much time in Singapore. Bali is much more interesting. I would cut a day from S-pore.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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January is the rainy season in Bali. Whether or not this would detract from your experience depends how you feel about tropical rain. Since you say you're not a beach person it shouldn't bother you, but you will definitely get some heavy downpours.

Otherwise mid-January is a good time to visit as it's post high season. Bali has tons of unique culture and arts and crafts. Head for the Ubud area.

There are frequent flights from Singapore.

I'm not so fond of Lombok except as a beach resort. You may consider spending a few days in Central Java in the Yogyakarta area. Yoyga itself is an interesting city and there are several archeological sites in the area, including the 8th century Buddhist monument Borobudur. You can fly from Denpasar to Yogyakara or from Singapore to Yogya or Solo City. (Solo's official name is Surakarta.)

I like Singapore but I think Bali/Java would be a more interesting combination.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 06:54 AM
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i would shave one day from singapore and perhaps one day from lombok....

i would add them on to bali

take a look at alam shanti for a place to stay in ubud....ask for gangga room....its more expensive a bit but worth twice as much....

rainy season does not mean rain all day every day....

sanur is another nice place to stay in bali....

tiger air might work for you flight to bali from singapore??
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Sep 4th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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rahulm, do I remember correctly that you have a small child? That would infleunce how much moving around you want to do.

With just a week, I think I'd opt to spend it all in Bali. I say that even though I loved Lombok and I loved central Java. I think all of my trips to Bali have been during the rainy season, and it hasn't bothered me at all.

Ther are non-stop flights from Singapore to Bali. I've used Singapore Air in the past, but I believe there is now a budget airline that does this flight.

I always enjoy Singapore. It's become a rather expensive destination with the fall of the US dollar. But I have no difficulty filling at least three days with interesting things to see and do.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Sep 4th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone.

Kathie, no we do not have a small child. But my wife claims I might as well be one mentally.

I did look at the cost from Singapore Air to Bali and it was ~900 USD. I'd prob get a round trip ticket to the US cheaper for that, that time of the year

The other one was Garuda Air. I could not find Bali/Densapar on Tiger Airways. Are there any other cheap(er) carriers? I know Air Asia goes there, but only from KL and Jakarta.

The other thing is, I'm still unsure if I should do a 2-3 day side-trip to somewhere (Yogyakarta is a place I've wanted to go to for a long time, so maybe that instead of Lombok). But as Kathie mentioned, it might be worth spending the entire time in Bali and leave other places for another time. I had the same problem last year - so much exciting stuff to see... no time.

Thanks
Rahul
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Sep 4th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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Sorry, rahulm, I had you confused with someone else.

As far as airfare is concerned, I'm wondering if you would pay less for an around the world ticket. You may be able to get a better price and include the ticket to Bali.

I just checked ita software and could not find flights other than Singapore and Garuda. Maybe ita doesn't show budget airlines? Hopefully someone else knows.

Bali and Jogja would be a wonderful trip! But you could easily spend all of the time on Bali and not get bored.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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Thanks Kathie.
I hope someone else has suggestions on airlines we can take.

I probably should read up more on Bali before asking this: But given that we have a total of 9 days on ground in Bali (not counting the day we arrive and the day we head to Singapore), I'm thinking we could wing a trip to Yogyakarta. Except... of course, I have no idea how, or is it worth it.

We're thinking of staying at the Le Meridian in Bali. Has anyone stayed there. A quick search says that its out of the way. We're not night people so I don't think this is a big deal as long there its easy to get to a town during the day and does not cost us a lot. The other option is the Laguna Resort. (I have SPG points

Thanks
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Sep 4th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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Between Singapore and Denpasar Bali you can fly Singapore, Garuda and Lion Air. (Also Quantas, but there may be restrictions.) Service preference would be SQ, GA, JT (Lion). Price would most likely be the reverse. They will all get you there.

If you decide to do Yogya Iíd stop either on the way or the return instead of doing a round trip from Bali. The less time spent in Indonesian airports the better. For culture and scenery Central Java is very interesting. Tourism is a lot less developed on Java then it is on Bali and travel can be challenging. Whether itís rewarding or just plain irritating depends on the traveler.

If youíre intent on using points for hotels then you are limited in your options, but there are many better choices in Bali than the Starwood properties, that I would weigh that decision carefully. Both resorts are of an older vintage Ė not exactly rundown but somewhat ďtired.Ē

The Meridien is primarily a golf resort. Itís actually built around a golf course. Heaven for golfers, annoying for non-golfers. Itís on a cliff overlooking the sea and doesnít really have a beach (which is true of many of the elite resorts in Bali). The good news is that itís about half way between Ubud and South Bali tourist areas. The bad news is that itís really near nothing of interest, except that golf course and the very photogenic Tanah Lot temple.

The Laguna is in Nusa Dua which is a sterilized tourist enclave. To me the least desireable location in Bali.

If you have 9 nights, not including Singapore, Iíd do a couple of nights in Central Java, three on the beach in Bali and the rest in the Ubud area. Some will be eaten up by travel. Some you just want to chill, do the spa, look at the view, take a walk on the beach or in the rice paddies. Indonesia rewards the traveler who slows down and lets the country come to him.

There are lots and lots of excellent resort choices depending on your budget. As testament to the excellence of Balinese hospitality you'll find that most travelers highly recommend their choices.

My personal preferences as a return visitor are the Legian in Seminyak and the Alila outside of Ubud, but I could easily give you another 20 recommendations.
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Sep 4th, 2008, 06:31 PM
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We flew Singapore air from Singapore to Bali for about US$300 per ticket a couple months back. Airfare on Singapore varied widely depending on days flown - they have a grid where you can see airfares for different days. We had originally planned one itinerary, but flights to Bali were expensive, so we made an adjustment and got much lower airfare.

We loved Bali and would go back in a heart beat.
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