Shore Excursion, Bali (Benoa)

Aug 7th, 2011, 04:36 AM
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Shore Excursion, Bali (Benoa)

My wife and I are considering options while in port in Benoa, Bali (Oct.). Options include:
1. Elephant "Safari" in Taro
2. Drive to Jatiluwih passing through various villages and photographing rice terraces and landscape along the way
3. visit to the temple in Mengwi, and Tanah Lot and see Batik made along the way

All of these sound fun and interesting. An agent told us to pass on seeing more temples this stop and not to miss the elephant adventure. A look at the web site gives me the impression that this is a nice place if you really want to ride an elephant, but the safari doesn't really take you off the compound/resort property. Is this cool or not?

The other two options are not described in good detail, and I get the impression that the temple tour passes much of the same points of interest as the villages and terraces tour. A fourth option is to reserve a car through the cruise line and tell the driver where we would like to go. Thoughts?

Thanks, Kingster
kingster is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 05:06 AM
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You have a day in Bali.

Your agent is completely right. Pfft! Temples. Pfft! Thousands of years of culture. Pfft! Unique. Pfft! Bali. We don't want to actually BE there...

Do the elephants.

Here's their website.

What you will enjoy:

•Ride elephants through the cool forest of Taro
•Touch and hand feed elephants
•Watch elephants playful bathing rituals
•Have photos taken with elephants
•Stroll through scenic paths of beautifully landscaped gardens with fishponds and waterfalls
•Watch elephants painting, play basket ball hoops, do maths and spray water for good luck !
•Enjoy & learn amazing facts from the Elephant Safari information centre, museum and from park staff
•Participate in childrens mini rides

I'm breathless just reading it.

Here's your schedule:
10.30 Arrive at Taro Elephant Safari Park
10.45 Check in at Elephant Safari Park
11.00 Elephant talent show
11.15 - 11.45 Elephant safari ride in the Taro forest
12.00 Lunch at safari park restaurant
13.00 Activities - feed elephants, photo taking and more
14.00 Depart Taro Elephant Safari Park for hotel

Then you can hurtle back to the boat and never see one inch of where you are. Perfect cruising.

Hiring a car from the boat will cost you... $1000 a day?
Hiring one of the locals waiting for you at the pier will cost you $100.

Plus the neat little scam at the end of the trip... but I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.

And yes, I have been to Bali on a big cruise ship - twice. Benoa both times. Hire the local car. Go to Ubud, Monkey Forest, have lunch. Try and hire a very small driver. That way, when he tries the scam on, you can beat him to a pulp.
dogster is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 07:30 AM
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I am not sure if that was meant to be helpful or hurtful. I agree that visiting any country on a cruise ship is a trade off. In this instance we have 3 days in Bali, one at this port. It is frustrating, and that why I was asking for help. I think I received a lecture.
*Note: I did visit the Elephant Safari web site. Thanks.
kingster is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 08:02 AM
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kingster, I would avoid the elephant excursion at all costs. This is an entirely artificial tourist-oriented activity. In no way would this give you any sense of Bali or Balinese culture. The other two options have the potential of giving you a glimpse of Bali. But I'd engage a local driver/guide rather than taking the cruise line's trip.

A driver/guide who has been used by many of my friends here is Putu. You can search here for his contact info, or someone who has used him will supply it.
Kathie is online now  
Aug 7th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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kingster, what are your plans for your other two days in Bali? This could impact what you do with this "shore excursion."

Agree, nix the elephants and do something native to Bali,
marmot is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 06:38 PM
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Only reason I shared the elephant option was to be open minded. If those elephants were taking us through field and stream to stop in a village for a garlic crab and a shot, it would have been cool. I am fine w/out elephants on the agenda. Thanks for the advise.

The other port in Bali is Tanah Ampo. I have emailed Putu, the guide recommended on my other posting , and shared my Bali itinerary with him. We are open to jumping ship for a night to give us two full days of exploration. This may be a good plan, to leave the ship one morning and catch up the next afternoon--making the most of all options available. What do you think? Thanks, K
kingster is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 08:29 PM
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If I understand you correctly your ship docks one night in Benoa and one night at Tanah Ampo (which is Padang Bai).

When at Benoa, I'd take advantage of the beach location and spend a beach day in the Seminyak area, walk on the beach, swim in the waves, clean up at one of the beach clubs, have sunset cocktails then dinner at a lively Seminyak restaurant, back to the boat to sleep. If you're a serious shopper Seminyak is good for that too.

I'd explore Ubud from Pandang Bai. Spend one or two nights off the ship -- in the town of Ubud or outside in the countryside. You can arrange sightseeing in advance or just play it by ear on arrival. There's a lot to do in the area and you don't want to spend hours in the car.

The charm of the Ubud area is readily accessible. You don't need to do a lot of touring -- just stroll through the rice paddies, do some arts and crafts shopping in Ubud, have a spa treatment, see a dance or ceremony.
marmot is offline  
Aug 9th, 2011, 06:55 AM
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I'm curious what you mena by this:

"That way, when he tries the scam on".

We have spent a lot of time in Bali, and never felt scammed. What is this one you speak of?
drbarton is offline  
Aug 9th, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Also please note that elephants that are trained to do tricks often lead miserable lives. They are often beaten to learn those tricks and their spirits are broken so that tourists can easily ride them.
mcbg1 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2011, 04:25 PM
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I agree with kinster...we are also going on a cruise to Benoa and I was wondering the exact same thing...whether to go to the elephant safari or sightsee and shop...some of the feedback was to say the least, "interesting".
Tracy_Cox is offline  
Aug 20th, 2011, 04:49 PM
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never heard of elephants in bali--bag it..

a day in and around ubud would be fun

hire putu who many of us use... he is a driver guide and costs $40-50 for a fun and interesting day..

[email protected]
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 26th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Update: We are booked with Putu and checked ourselves off the ship for one night while it relocates. Putu's suggested itenerary as follows for anyone interested:

Oct 23rd: See east Bali and end in Ubud
-Pick up tanah ampo at 8AM
-see traditional village of Tenganan
-Old water palace of Tirtagangga
-Biggest temple of Besakih
-Check in hotel in Ubud
-Dinner and see tranditional dance in Ubud palace

Oct 24:
-See Balinese house compound
-rice terrace in Tegalalang
-ancient site of GUnung Kawi
-enjoying the view of lake and MOunt Batur (volcano)
-see coffee plantation
-arrive in Tanjung Benoa at 5PM.

What more could one ask, right?
Thanks for your suggestions and feedback...most were very helpful! Still sorting accommodations in Ubud, but no worries there. Just hard to decide. Keep you posted.
Best regards, K
kingster is offline  
Aug 26th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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I think it's a good plan. You'll get a real taste of Bali with this as opposed to any of what the cruise line set up.
Kathie is online now  
Aug 26th, 2011, 03:53 PM
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fabulous schedule... you will love putu.. tell him bob and karen suggested him to you..

a visit to his family compound is a real treat..
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 26th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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kingster, The only thing I would say is that maybe you should set aside half a day just to absorb Bali. The sights are all interesting but two days in a car is tiring, and the more big sights you see the more intimate sights you miss. You could use some time off for having a massage, wandering in the rice paddies, walking down a village lane, shopping in a local market or just sitting on your terrace and letting Bali come to you.

If I had to cut I'd eliminate the view of lake and Batur and the coffee plantation. [I also think the samller local temples are better choices than Besikih. I've actually never been to the Water Palace.]

I've never toured with Putu, but I have no doubt that he is an excellent Balinese ambassador. I'd suggest that you ask him to substitute some of the car time with more "wandering around" time. Nature and village life are just so much better viewed upclose and personal.
marmot is offline  
Oct 4th, 2011, 04:40 PM
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Final Question: Lot's of information on Ubud hotels on this site, but nothing conclusive. It's difficult to get a feel for how these hotels are situated from their individual web sites, as well. We are touring with Putu and have one (1) night in Ubud. We always go for luxury and charm, but our time in the hotel we choose will be limited. We picture something upscale Balinese with a view to wake up to and enjoy a cigar on our balcony/patio at night. Ambiance, style, location. Thoughts?
Thanks, K
kingster is offline  
Oct 8th, 2011, 03:10 AM
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copying my last post to a new thread. K
kingster is offline  
Oct 8th, 2011, 05:26 AM
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imo, the more diverse areas you see of bali the better, and thus lots of car time
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 8th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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I'd like to think that it was my gentle chastisement that provoked these revised and far superior plans. Congratulations on regaining your sanity.

My work is done.
dogster is offline  
Oct 8th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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If believing that makes you feel better, you go right ahead.
kingster is offline  

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