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Reason for moving..? - Page 2


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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 25th September 2013, 04:43 AM
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Bali can be a bit full on especially around Kuta but once you get out of the main tourist destinations and into the real Bali it's an awesome place, and if you are into surfing then the waves alone make it a worthwhile trip. Been there 4 times and never saw anything related to gangs.
I used to vacation in Bali regularly (never around Kuta though) but last went ten years ago. I would never go back. Tourism and increased numbers of Indonesians (as opposed to Balinese) ruined the place. Strangely, it is this rather than the increased poverty and crime that put me off going back there.
I love the Balinese people but their attitudes towards visitors have changed and its nowhere near the safe and welcoming place it once was.

The Cook Islands, on the other hand, are wonderful. The best part of the Cooks is that there are so many islands to stay on and explore. Rarotonga is very laid back and a great place to chill out for a week but its also the gateway to even better islands.

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Old 25th September 2013, 06:38 PM
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I agree about Raro, spent just a day there coming back from our interviews but saw how great the people were. I remember walking to Muri Beach which was farther than we thought and a woman with a car full of kids stopped to give us a ride.

Thanks for the feedback on Bali. We are full on going there but plan to stay away from Kuta area. Looks like 4 nights in Ubud and then 3 days on the beach. Would love any recommendations. I know that there is an element of risk, but then there can be anywhere. Been close a few times, bombings in Germany ( Bader Meinhof ) , near robbery in Budapest, home invasion in Arizona. Trespasser onour Montana ranch that tried to force his way into our house. I have lived in parts of the US where you honestly had a loaded .45 in the kitchen cabinet, just in case. It's all relative.

I may come back and say, "not for me, " but at least I will have gone and seen it. I think that is what life is about and why so many of us make the choice to move and live overseas.

Would love any recommendations
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 26th September 2013, 01:23 AM
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I agree about Raro, spent just a day there coming back from our interviews but saw how great the people were. I remember walking to Muri Beach which was farther than we thought and a woman with a car full of kids stopped to give us a ride.

Thanks for the feedback on Bali. We are full on going there but plan to stay away from Kuta area. Looks like 4 nights in Ubud and then 3 days on the beach. Would love any recommendations. I know that there is an element of risk, but then there can be anywhere. Been close a few times, bombings in Germany ( Bader Meinhof ) , near robbery in Budapest, home invasion in Arizona. Trespasser onour Montana ranch that tried to force his way into our house. I have lived in parts of the US where you honestly had a loaded .45 in the kitchen cabinet, just in case. It's all relative.

I may come back and say, "not for me, " but at least I will have gone and seen it. I think that is what life is about and why so many of us make the choice to move and live overseas.

Would love any recommendations
Ubud is a lovely area. I'd personally prefer to spend most of the time there, perhaps hiring a jimminy (small jeep-like car) and using that to explore the area and take trips to a beach. There is a lot to see by using Ubud as a base - a white heron colony coming back to roost each night, trips up a volcano, stunning old temples, a forest full of monkeys, rice fields - and its not too far to do daytrips to beaches.
Driving is an experience in itself! You have to drive slowly and carefully and be prepared to navigate around a lot of potholes. It's safe enough if you take care.
I don't recommend hiring motorcycles or bicycles. They are definitely NOT safe.

While you are in Ubud, buy tickets to two of the cultural shows. One, the Kecak dance is, IMO, a "must see". Better yet, if you have transport and go to Uluwatu see the Kecak dance there. They are the same dance and the one in Ubud at night is stunning, but the Uluwatu Kecak takes place on the beach with the setting sun illuminating the dancers, which is just beautiful.

The other cultural show to see in Ubud is theatre, essentially a cross between drama, dance and performed with all the power of opera. It can take several hours so go with drinks and snacks but sneaking out if you have seen enough after awhile is okay too.

Both the dance and theatre are performed for visitors but they are traditional in every way and are well worth seeing.

Shopping - bargain for everything. Don't convert the money in your head to get an idea of what you think is a good price, observe others for a bit and look at what prices things are going for. Bargain hard! The best shopping is first thing in the morning as the Balinese place a great deal of importance on the first sale of the day. My rule of thumb for shopping there is to halve what they ask then negotiate up until you are both happy with the deal.

One of the first things you should buy is a sarong and fabric belt. Get one for each member of your party then carry them with you always. You must be dressed in a sarong and belt in order to visit temples. Arms must also be covered when visiting temples. Some tourists ignore the cultural norms and go in wearing shorts and t-shirts. This causes great offense and really should be avoided.

Your vacation will be better if you observe local customs. Away from the beach, men should wear long trousers and a short-sleeved shirt. Women should have upper arms and thighs covered. I always took the opportunity to wear a blouse and sarong the whole time and being "properly" dressed resulted in invitations to people's homes, to weddings, and other non-tourist events (dressing their way is also cooler).

Learn a few words for politeness - ask the locals how to say, "thank you" for example. Terima kasih (ter-eema car-see) is much appreciated by the Balinese.

As for Kuta - it's worth a visit if only to see how tourism has ruined the place. Kuta has never been a nice place (unless you are a young Aussie that is there to just surf and get drunk) and I've been telling people for the last twenty years to avoid it until your last day. See the best of Bali before you see Kuta.

For safety, be prepared for people to hassle you to buy watches, or to offer you massages on the beach, or for the "guides" that pop up out of nowhere whenever you stop to look at something. They vary their approaches depending on your accent. An American accent will see prices double. Americans became known over there for tipping so tipping, while not part of Balinese custom, can be demanded almost aggressively at times. If you decide to hire a guide, negotiate the fee up-front and do not let him see that you have any other money. Never pay up-front. Apart from that, personal safety is pretty much the same as anywhere in the world - don't flash money about (remember the people there are poor) and keep aware of your surroundings.

Where there are monkeys, put watches, rings, sunglasses, and anything that can be grabbed, away. If bags are carried, sling them across the body to avoid a sneaky monkey doing a bag-grab. Even caps and hats are fair game to monkeys. Also, remember that cute as they are, they aren't tame. Unless you have purchased some of the food from the rangers don't let them get too close (a monkey on your back looking for food when you don't have any isn't a pleasant experience!)

One of the advantages of moving to NZ from the northern hemisphere is that there are a lot of great places to visit that are easy to get to from here. Have a great time in Bali!

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 29th September 2013, 03:24 AM
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Angou

Wow thanks so much for the info on Bali. It will help us a lot. Always sensitive to the local customs and cultures. I was wondering what was appropriate tourist garb. We are leaving in 2 weeks. The hard part of living here is that there are just so many places to visit, places that would be more difficult and expensive from the States

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