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Thread: Bali and Hong Kong

  1. #1
    seasalt is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 577

    Bali and Hong Kong

    Looking for tips and general advice for an upcoming trip to Bali and Hong Kong. Thank you in advance, fellow travelers.

  2. #2
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,174
    Can't help with Bali, but in Hong Kong the place to stay is the Peninsula Hotel

    Great location for taking the ferry over to Victoria and exploring
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  3. #3
    seasalt is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 577
    Thank you, John!

  4. #4
    infi is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2006 Sydney, Australia Posts: 1,238
    I know Bali pretty well - what are your interests and I can give you some ideas

  5. #5
    seasalt is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 577
    It will be my first time there. What not to miss? I am interested in hiking, snorkeling, yoga, seafood restaurants... Staying on the south coast...Thank you in advance!

  6. #6
    infi is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2006 Sydney, Australia Posts: 1,238
    Here's a few ideas. The thing about Bali is depending on time of year for Australians it is our Cancun - cheap holidays. That crowd certainly exists in and around Kuta. However, get out in the island proper and away from Seminyak (still worth seeing for fun and some great bars) and there are some incredibly interesting and picturesque parts. There are good restaurants in Seminyak worth doing and an active bar scene.

    Some highlights to include:

    The Rock Bar at the Ayana Resort. On the side of a cliff escalator or steep stairs down. Make a booking or arrive very early and prepare to wait for a seat. Sunset views to die for and certainly worth the effort

    Tanah Lot Temple for sunset. Beautiful. Hire a guide there and take the warnings about the monkeys stealing your cell phone and sunglasses right off you very seriously. You will see it happen for sure. Try and make sure it isn't you that ends up the entertainment spectacle

    Jimbarin Bay for a pick your fish feet in the sand on the beach rustic dinner. Beautiful, low key and not flash but good food

    Ubud is a must - the rice paddies - spend at least two days. Do the cultural bike tour great insights into local life (teeth sharpening, whirling dervishes, family compounds, Hindi life etc). IF you want to do a local thing get sluiced byt the water down the levels of the rice paddies down the hills. Might be too authentic for some and there are snakes. At your own risk and a hoot but the farmers won't love you too much for it...not technically legal

    Take a look at Bambuh Inda for a hotel a little off the beaten (not far from the Four Seasons but nothing like a chain hotel and very authentic). Link here:

    Visit the Monkey Park in Ubud (not a zoo - a park with monkeys everywhere). My advice is don't feed them with bananas the local try to sell them to you. Watch you'll soon see how aggressive they can get

    The Don Antonio Blanco Museum is worth a visit. Some of his work is quite erotic. A warning if that offends. Ubud just wander - off the beaten path and you will see so many hidden gems

    Also good warm water low danger white water rafting worth doing in Ubud too

    For your diving try Gili islands - very beautiful. Check on sea lice conditions. Not dangerous if you run into them but can be annoying. Reef sharks v common nice scuba available too

    If you are active try a tour and or climb of the volcanos like Mount Batur. You can do tours too. There is also a couple of hidden villages only accessible by boat with cemeteries that go back eons. Fascinating

    It is a Hindu island so please dress conservatively when you go to the temples. The locals are kind but are often offended by what tourists wear. Get your fortune read with the sticks by a monk - fun and worthwhile

    If you like cooking there as many cooking courses available too teaching you about their cuisine - they are fun too

    Anybody offers drugs _ NO_ death sentence and/or life imprisonment and they get tourists for this frequently. Even if you are non-partaking around someone who is that is trouble. I don't know your age but when my kids go there they are lectured ad nauseaum on this. Weed is there but do not go near it. If you are taking teenage kids please tell them.

    Most people do stay on the South but the North is much more authentic. Spend a day or an overnight , hire a driver and go up there. Spectacular and not many tourists. You can keep your main hotel down south and just grab a rustic room for the night in places if you go touring for a song. Cheap accommodation is available right alongside the 5 and 6 star hotels

    For a chic hotel/bar try Alilia - you can read about it and a range of other Bali ideas on my wife's blog here: She will also have some sections there on Hong Kong and a few other places that might interest you :)

    My advice would be slow down, wander/wonder, hire a driver and just explore. Cool place

    Honk Kong - the Island and Mid -levels are the better parts. Kowloon - meh a little touristy for me. Just wonder especially the back streets away from the tourists. I spend a lot of time on the China mainland (just got back from there yesterday again) and what you can see in the backstreets of Honkers is equally authentic. Great party town too - go for drinks at the Feather Boa - ask the concierge he should know it... malt ball cocktails - fun cocktail night and usually ends up with a malt ball fight with the ex-pats.

    HK is a little edgy at the moment with the protests. I was there the day the UK handed it back to China and the atmosphere there now also feels similar. Everyone is just a little testy. You will not be in any danger but if a protest starts just get out of the way, the Chinese police aren't very delicate

    All in all - have fun you have picked a pretty good combo. If you have time or inclination add in Cambodia. Well worth it and if you do let me know and I can give you ideas there.

  7. #7
    seasalt is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 577
    Excellent! Infi, thank you so much for taking your time. Your advice is greatly appreciated!

  8. #8
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,764
    Not that I'm planning a trip to either place right now, but I just had to chime in to let you know, Infi, that your wife's blog is my absolute favorite travel blog. I've been following for years, and love her suggestions for hotels, etc. How cool! Bali, following these suggestions, sounds wonderful!

  9. #9
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,968
    Infi covered Bali well. If you have time, consider Lombok next to Bali. Something different, less touristic, less the "Mallorca for the aussies". Very easy to reach by boat or plane from Bali.

    For the activities the river rafting is simple fun in Bali, nothing like e.g. New Zealand, but do rent a bike or do a bike tour, there are some pretty cool areas to bike inlands and you'll get a bit off the beaten track.

    If you want the finest service in the world, take one of the finest hotels in Hong Kong like the Peninsula JEK mentioned. If just need a nice bed, take a hotel that's near a subway station. HK also has good serviced apartments. HK is such an easy place to get around, get an Octopus card. Enjoy the weird, small restaurants all around. Head to the nearby islands that are a light year away from the bustle of the city itself.

    For the hotel I'd also recommend The Ritz-Carlton in the ICC. Easy access by subway and the hotel is on the 102-118th floors of this 8th tallest building in the world. We had a room on the 116th floor (or something like that) with city view and it was simply amazing, don't forget to swim there. If not staying there, at least visit the bar.

    PS. Nice blog infi! Bookmarked!

  10. #10
    seasalt is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 577
    Thank you, Petri. Re "serviced apartments"… is it an equivalent of airbnb or vrbo?

  11. #11
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,968
    Quote Originally Posted by seasalt View Post
    Thank you, Petri. Re "serviced apartments"… is it an equivalent of airbnb or vrbo?
    It's like a hotel but instead of a hotel room you get an apartment with e.g. your own kitchenette, washing machine and other facilities. Feels more like living in a "homey" real apartment than a hotel. They usually cater folks who need to stay for a few weeks to a few months but most offer daily rates as well.

    We stayed here some years ago,

  12. #12
    Rahena is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2015 Posts: 13
    bali is an extremely beautiful place for holidays. I have been to the amazing and beautiful place Island once in my life, After coming back from the Island i realize that it was one of the most amazing and memorable journey i have spent ever in my life. So I always love to explore all these kind of placers, and i really love the place.

  13. #13
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 28,428
    I am constantly amazed at the wealth of information that is so eagerly shared on this St Barth's forum. What a great bunch of travelers you are.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.


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