Thailand/Bali travel questions

Jul 2nd, 2005, 06:03 AM
  #1  
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Thailand/Bali travel questions


I am going to Thailand via Hong Kong In August. I was also considering Bali. I have never been to Asia and I have about 3 weeks - some solo, some with companion. I have done come reading, especially of this site but am still not clear on what I "need" to see. Does anyone have a suggested itinerary? I am interested in BKK and cities but also like beach areas and part of the incentive to go to Bali was that I love crafts (and would actually be interested in taking some classed while there). Thanks!!

cindy1 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 07:54 AM
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I would do something like this:
Bangkok - 4 days
Chiang Mai - 4 days to see crafts
Bangkok - 4 or 5 days
Bali - 7 days

I'd divide my time in Bangkok but whether to do that after Chiang Mai or after Bali depends on your flights.

I think this will give you a great trip with one of the world's best cities, lots of crafts and a fabulous beach.
glorialf is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 08:11 AM
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gloria has provided a very good layout...for cheap flights to bali contact eddie: [email protected]

i used him with great success last year and saved about 50% on a thai flight...

bali is fabulous and very different from thailand...

look at the thai craft site:

www.thaicraft.org

try to go to one of their sales...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 08:41 AM
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thanks so much for the advice. one more question -- Phuket or the beaches of Thailand or Bali?
cindy1 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 09:10 AM
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Definitely the beaches at Bali since you are interested in crafts as well. If you're going to bali I would strongly suggest you spend your thailand time in bangkok and chiang mai. thailand beaches are gorgeous but they're just beaches. Bali is a beach but so very much more.
glorialf is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 03:18 PM
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Bali is perfect for trying your hand at crafts and artsy things. Last Christmas we were in Bali and were lucky enough to try batik, wood carving, painting, music and dance. I loved doing batik. We are going again this coming Christmas, and will do more of the same, plus add in silver, basket making, weaving, and kite and toy making. We had all of our classes arranged by our hotel, and most were held right there, and the ones outside were quite nearby...painting is a walk away, music is a quick drive into the rice fields to this amazing temple with a room just filled with an entire Balinese orchestra. Time required for each class is variable..depends on your level of interest and how much time you have. Fees are next to free.

There are several places that I know of that offer classes...the place we stayed at and will return to is Alam Sari in Keliki (just outside of Ubud). On the other side of Ubud, is Taman Harum...they offer similar classes. Puri Lumbung in Munduk is another. There are more...these are the 3 places that I or friends have stayed at and enjoyed.

Beaches...I wouldn't say Bali's beaches are as nice as Thailand's...and some are better than others. The popular beach area in Bali is in the south...Kuta, Legian, Seminnak, Nusa Dua. That area of Bali is not my style, but that's just me...I prefer more off-the-beaten-path types of places and getting into the heart of an area and meeting the people.

Last year, we went to Lovina for a week...it's quiet, beach is black pebble. We didn't swim in the sea much...did some nice snorkeling, lots of fish. What I really did enjoy about Lovina was around sunset at the beach...I would walk the beach around this time and without fail I'd end up having a nice chat with a few locals. Inevitably, conversation would start with some sort of sales pitch...see dolphins tomorrow, snorkelling, buy something, transport...I never bought anything from them, and right from the start I always told them that I had no money with me, and I wasn't going to buy anything now or later. That was always fine, and the talks I had with these people were always great. I helped a couple of guys sand their boat in preperation for repainting one time...we had a great time. I really enjoy this type of experience, but it isn't for everyone.

On several recommendations, we are headed for Amed this next trip. It's another quiet area with black/gray beaches, but is a little less developed for tourists than Lovina. There are some gorgeous beaches in the east...they require a bit of work to get to and aren't particularly easy to find.

I might do 3 days in Hong Kong...it's a great way to ease into Asia I think. Our first trip to Bali 10 years ago was preceded by 5 days in Hong Kong...we had a great time.

Then, 3 days Bangkok (see Grand Place, canal tour, Teak mansion, temples, Chinatown...shopping is quite good if you are into that).

You might want to go to Koh Samui for a beach holiday for a few days. There are flights from Bangkok. If you do classes in Bali, you will be busy...you might want to relax a bit beforehand.

I'd go to Bali for at least 7 days. Until this Christmas, we were Thailand lovers...we still are...but Bali has taken over first place for us because of the huge variety of experiences you can have without travelling far. In our experience, the Balinese are thrilled to share their culture with you, invite you to their homes, share their lives with you. In Thailand, we had great holidays...but we never got into the heart of Thailand like we could in Bali. In Bali we ventured far off the beaten path and out of the norm, and in Thailand we never had the opportunity to do that.

KimJapan is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 03:38 PM
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If you're interested in crafts, you really need to go to Chiang Mai and 4 days in Bangkok really doesn't do the city justice. yes, you can get to the "biggies" but you'll miss the places that are must sees for anyone interested in art and crafts. The beaches themselves may be better in Thailand (and I disagree there) but they are much more generic. Bali has the culture, beauty and beaches.
glorialf is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 05:24 PM
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if the cost prevents you from considering bali...transportation costs that is as hotel are quite cheap...then i would consider phuket, koh samui or koh chang for your beach destinations in thailand...bali is much more exciting and interesting but if you find you do not want to spend the flight money then one of these should be considered...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 05:31 AM
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I agree with Bob that they should be your Thailand choices if you can't go to Bali but I would shorten the amount of time spent there to 4 days and add time to northern thailand -- go to the Chiang Rai area.
glorialf is offline  
Jul 8th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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the cost hasnt been the issue as much as the availability of flights back from bali which are very difficult to get...thank you all!
cindy1 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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For a very interesting class in Bali take a look at www.threadsoflife.org - they are doing amazing stuff. In Ubud.If you are in touch in advance you may be able to schedule something with them.
hobbes is offline  
Jul 10th, 2005, 05:36 AM
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Bali is amazing. We just got back from there less than a week ago. You're right, flights were a bit on the high side but the prices of shopping in Bali made it all balance out, and then some. Very inexpensive for everything you do. Do yourself a favor and do not shop outside your hotel for atleast a couple of days as it's very easy to get ripped off. Get comfortable with the exchange rate, haggling with aggressive vendors and ask around appx. prices for things before you venture out on your own.
We stayed at the Bali Dynasty Resort which was great! I will never consider staying anywhere else...why mess with perfection, right? We were there with kids aged 6 and 9, they love kids there and are very nice to us on the entire island.
Some of the things we did was white water rafting, it was alright. Got some great pictures and now I can say I've done it. The water wasn't very deep and our raft kept getting hung up on rocks. If you do that, we used Bali Adventure because they had the longest trip down the river ( I beleive it was 8 km vs. the other company which was only like 3?). They were great but prepare yourself for 400 steep stairs down and then another 200 back up in the blistering humidity. I'm not sure of the name of the other company.
We also went snorkling, glass bottom boat riding with a trip to Turtle Island. That was nice and again, accomodating with the kids.
I do NOT recommend the bird park. Too expensive for a trip to look at birds. The Reptile park next door to the bird park was kind of neat.
Definately go on the elephant safari. Leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, play at the beach and to shop. Plenty of it all and it's such a friendly and safe atmosphere. There's a Hard Rock Cafe right across the street from Kuda Beach to get some great official souvineers. Their prices seem to be the same all over the world.
For an island who was physically untouched by the tsunami, tourism did slow way down. These people have no natural resorces (oil, etc.) and do not export anything so they rely 100% on tourism to live. They all welcome us with open arms and open homes.
raoulette is offline  

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