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Bali- Holiday destinations, advice

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Postby road.not.taken » Sat, 17 Jan 2009 4:34 pm

pakjohn wrote:
I find that advice is a bit overboard for Bali or Lombok... especially if you're staying at 5 star hotels there. I would say those are okay. RNT, have you even ever tried? Or it's just an overzealous overparanoid advice? I'm sure it's something other than eating at the hotel that you do that gets you the poisoning, and I find your tone is a bit demeaning.


I don't think it demeaning and I don't think it's meant as an indictment against the people. In the example of Lombok or Bali, the water contains impurities not found in Singapore water, our immune systems see these as a threat and cause the normal symptons. I generally brush my teeth with the water but I'm careful, even in the 5 star hotels in Indo, not to drink tap water, use the ice or even eat raw vegetables. I lived in Indo for almost a year, and after the first month of being sick, got used to the food and had no more problems. (I could even drink the tap water, but rarely did)

While the 5 star hotel kitchens and food storage may be more sanitary, the water still comes from the same place. If you're only going to be a few days even a couple weeks, save yourself a bit of discomfort and avoid the water, ice, and raw veggies.


Exactly Pakjohn. But still different people react differently. My friends lived in Jakarta for 10 years, never drank the water, never got sick. Went back last month and got very sick, they were careful, but not careful enough.


Dimwit Kid, is it worth ruining your entire vacation for a piece of fruit only to have to sleep on the bathroom floor for 3 days? Put simply, even at 5 star hotels, the fruits and vegetables come from fields where there are little or no sanitary conditions. Human excrement is therefore part of the equation. Didn't you read further in the thread? Most of our party got food poisoning in Lombok, a child was hospitalized.

Ozchick, I've stayed at the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay 2 or 3 times, the Hyatt, the Intercon, little no name '2 stars' in Kuta and Ubud, private villas and never got sick -- but I say 'no ice please' and don't eat any raw food unless it's been peeled. It's fine for a few days. All you can do is hedge your bets.

I got very, very sick in Nepal, but luckily it was after we returned to Kathmandu, after our trek to base camp. I would have missed the trip of a lifetime... Just not worth it.

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Postby DimWit Kid » Sat, 17 Jan 2009 5:43 pm

Sure everyone for his own then. I do understand the care taken with no ice, but still feel it's pretty over to not take even fruits or veggies. You do need to take care and even locals don't ever drink tap water (I have never drank any in 20 odd years living there) so those are presumably necessary precautions. I always try to see what locals do to be able to fully appreciate how to behave and what to do - and whether I should politely . Now and then it gets me in trouble, even in Europe I did get stomach ache and sick (not from too much beer - for example eating the mussle in Belgium, the herring in NL)...

It's all in the tone - and that's what I felt. If it's not then it's all fine, just watch it when you do cause it's always good to also try to behave well. Oh by the way, should anybody go diving or swimming on the sea? I'm sure human excrement is also everywhere in the sea yah? But anyway, like I said each to his/her own... You feel it's necessary you do that just try to say it nicely (and pakjohn, the demeaning tone I mentioned about came from the "it's Indonesia afterall" - see what I mean? If I say something stereotypically bad about, for example, australia, and say "it's australia afterall what do you expect?" I think the tone of the sentence is not correct)

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Postby road.not.taken » Sat, 17 Jan 2009 6:48 pm

DWK,

As developing nation Indonesia has different health standards than Singapore or anywhere in the EU. It's government and it's officials are among the most corrupt in the world. The life expectancy is 15 years lower than it is here in Singapore, medical care is unpredictable and often inaccessible. If you go on vacation to Indonesia without considering how these things translate to what is on your plate, than god help you. If you sense a tone, you're right. The tone is called 'educated caution' and it has served me well in the nearly 20 years of tramping around Asia.

Watching what the locals do (the ones with the lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality rate) will not help you from many water-bourne parasites and other potentially hazardous viruses and bacteria to which they have built up an immunity. You can eat all the fruits and vegetables you want, but they should be peeled or cooked. If not, at least rinsed in bottled water.

Your analogy about the sea doesn't -- if I may -- hold water. People do indeed get sick when the parts of e coli and other contaminants, exceeds the acceptable amount, this happens the world 'round. Luckily, not very often because of the ratio of dilution. When raw vegetables are grown in a field fertilized with human waste or with inadequate sanitation, and rinsed in non-treated water, that is a completely different story.

OK, so here's me being nice, as you recommended:

My Darling Ozchick,

I am so sorry I have hijacked your thread, please know that I do it out of concern for your well-being, which surely must need a guardian angel at this difficult time.

I would feel somewhat responsible if I did not remind you of the obvious and well established health hazards when traveling outside of our safe and sanitary Singaporean cocoon.

So, forewarned is forearmed, and better safe than sorry, not to mention and ounce of prevention...

Oh, nevermind. Go and have fun ozchick, but please take good care -- you're the only ozchick we've got.

Fondly,

road.not.taken

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Postby pakjohn » Sat, 17 Jan 2009 6:51 pm

You feel it's necessary you do that just try to say it nicely (and pakjohn, the demeaning tone I mentioned about came from the "it's Indonesia afterall" - see what I mean?


I see your point DWK... :)
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Postby road.not.taken » Sat, 17 Jan 2009 7:18 pm

Just to make sure I wasn't crazy, I checked out what the Australian government had to say to it's citizens travelling to Bali. Once you scrollled past the bolded and strongly worded cautions against any travel to Bali because of terrorist threats being "extremely high", I found this little nugget:

Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including cholera, hepatitis, measles, typhoid and tuberculosis) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.

Other diseases (including HIV/AIDS, polio and rabies) are a risk for travellers. The Indonesian Government has declared that rabies is present in Bali. A small number of people with rabies like symptoms have died recently after being bitten by dogs. Visitors to Bali are strongly advised to avoid direct contact with dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals. If bitten or scratched they should seek immediate medical attention.

We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and uncooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

Avoid temporary 'black henna' tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions. For further information see the Australasian College of Dermatologists' website.


Seriously Ozchick, do be careful and at the risk of sounding 'tonal' avoid the monkey forest, eh? :wink:

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Postby ozchick » Sat, 17 Jan 2009 10:27 pm

road.not.taken wrote:Just to make sure I wasn't crazy, I checked out what the Australian government had to say to it's citizens travelling to Bali. Once you scrollled past the bolded and strongly worded cautions against any travel to Bali because of terrorist threats being "extremely high", I found this little nugget:

Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including cholera, hepatitis, measles, typhoid and tuberculosis) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.

Other diseases (including HIV/AIDS, polio and rabies) are a risk for travellers. The Indonesian Government has declared that rabies is present in Bali. A small number of people with rabies like symptoms have died recently after being bitten by dogs. Visitors to Bali are strongly advised to avoid direct contact with dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals. If bitten or scratched they should seek immediate medical attention.

We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and uncooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

Avoid temporary 'black henna' tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions. For further information see the Australasian College of Dermatologists' website.


Seriously Ozchick, do be careful and at the risk of sounding 'tonal' avoid the monkey forest, eh? :wink:


I agree RNT one can never be careful enough. Can't believe I'd forgotten the tummy upset I had after Ubud. It wasn't serious, just a very mild discomfort (bloating) if I recall that went on for quite a few weeks. I'm sure gonna be careful and appeciate the advice and reminders. I don't like being sick- I'm a wimp. Don't want to hav the doctor's visits when I get back either...mm..gonna make it a personal challenge to 'beat the germs'...yeah I'm right onto this now!
...mm maybe I can make my own ice-cubes from bottled water in the hotel room....if I ever find a place to stay..... :-|
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Postby cbavasi » Sun, 18 Jan 2009 8:01 am

ozchick - i haven't read through the whole thread so i'm not sure if you've checked out the oberoi in lombok? when we were living in indonesia a lot of friends used to travel to lombok instead of bali and they would either stay at the sheraton or the oberoi. the feedback was the sheraton was good if you had children - but if you didn't take the kids then the oberoi all the way if you wanted to splash out.
in re: to tummy bugs - i think every constitution is different. i spent 2.5 years in jakarta with no problems what-so-ever (dozen trips to bali - brushing teeth with the tap water, eating fruit...etc) but my husband was continually down with stomach bugs. if you're only there for a short holiday - better safe than sorry and stick to the recommendations. have a wonderful time!!

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Postby ozchick » Sun, 18 Jan 2009 2:03 pm

cbavasi wrote:ozchick - i haven't read through the whole thread so i'm not sure if you've checked out the oberoi in lombok? when we were living in indonesia a lot of friends used to travel to lombok instead of bali and they would either stay at the sheraton or the oberoi. the feedback was the sheraton was good if you had children - but if you didn't take the kids then the oberoi all the way if you wanted to splash out.
in re: to tummy bugs - i think every constitution is different. i spent 2.5 years in jakarta with no problems what-so-ever (dozen trips to bali - brushing teeth with the tap water, eating fruit...etc) but my husband was continually down with stomach bugs. if you're only there for a short holiday - better safe than sorry and stick to the recommendations. have a wonderful time!!


Yes I'm gonna be careful. Been to Bali once. Got sick that one time.
Thanks CB. OK The Oberoi is far too expensive so I may go to one of the local 3 star digs on one of the Gili Isands for a few days and then the Sheraton for the last 2 nights. A bit of diving and R and R with a bit of luxury thrown in. This way, if one of them is not too great then at least part of the week will be better- and if nothing else, I'll be personally informed for next time! :)
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Postby notwavingdrowning » Wed, 25 Mar 2009 12:50 pm

Hi Ozchick

How was it, you still alive? Not dead from an apple or sitting in a Balinese jail?

I am going to Bali next month, well I was planning to, but after all these posts...I was nervous before but now... any tips, how did you go?

I have been going to Thailand way too much these last few years, am tired of it..Been too chicken to go to Bali, being a good Aussie who was way to exposed to the media over the years (scared of bombs, and sharing a cell with 'innocent' Shapelle...

But wanting to bite the bullet and give it a go.. never been before..Been told to avoid KUTA like the plague, go to Seminyak or Legian any ideas?

Medium budget..will be travelling with a 20 yr old who wants to be a little bit social, drink and do water sports.. I am keen on massages, food and shopping, without being hassled too much.

I have also posted this online for others..perhaps respond both places as I dont want to miss it..

:lol: Anyone?
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Postby cbavasi » Wed, 25 Mar 2009 8:59 pm

notwavingdrowning - Don't be nervous - Bali is such a wonderful holiday - the Balinese are gorgeous people inside & out and the setting and pace of life will make you relax in a heartbeat. I would recommend Seminyak or Legian for sure if you want good beach, shopping, relatively inexpensive but still with good places to eat and nice atmosphere. I go once a year without the kids with my girlfriend and we always stay in Seminyak - absolutely love it. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM.

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Postby notwavingdrowning » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 8:03 am

cbavasi thanks so much for that..

I had an interesting chat last night with Mr Drowning...I said I was worried about Bali, and I asked him why I should not be?

He give me a good example..Last August approx a friend came from Oz to meet me in Thailand. They almost called off their trip as there was supposedly trouble in Thaliand...I was most suprised by this as I had heard nothing of it..I checked the Aussie websites and papers and I was so shocked to see the headlines..and warnings from the Oz govt telling its citizens it was not safe to travel to Thailand...

He reminded me of the fact that for every Australian that stayed home from Bali, or anywhere, they were more likely to spend their travel dollar in Oz, which was good for the economy...It all made sense..When the original bombings happened in Bali, local tourism went thru the roof..

He said it was also about the insurance companys as well, as when the Govt issues travel warnings, like there are still in place about Bali, the insurance companies dont have to pay out if something happens..

So I am not so nervous now, of course I will be careful but I will not believe the propaganda anymore..
notwavingdrowning...is back from the Ashram and looking for a new career.

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Postby ozchick » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 8:18 pm

Have pm'd nwd about my recent trIp tp Lombok and the neartby gili islands (Trawangan). Flight direct from Sg to Mataram in Lombok is good and quick. Crappy airpoort there to be replaced soon. The taxi ride from main Mataram airport in Lombok to small harbour is about 60 minutes I think. The boat ride from harbour across to Gili T is about 5 minutes. All covered by hotel transfer I think....not expensive anyway. I spent 3 nights at Vila Ombak in Gili T -fantastic, peaceful and quiet, views to die for from beautiful white sand beach restaurants etc. I had 3 nights there then took the boat back to Lombak and taxi for 2 nights at Novotel Kuta. The gym there is a rusty heap of trash- not even worth using. It's outside and rusty... beware!
Was a bit bored there at Novotel Kuta and somehow it just didn't match Vila Ombak and is a bit too isolated for me....mm but still good and great friendly staff at both places. Went fishing. They all got away. Total accomm costs at these 4 star hotels was about $600sg. Very reasonable for good quality. Although Gili has a shortage of fresh water so one must be prepared for warm salt water shower with a 'cold' rinse down water..one gets used to it. Great weather it was in Feb and very few people around. Did a decent dive off Gili T to 20 metres and saw great turtles and stingrays and all bounty of sea-life with very good dive dudes who are based at Vila Ombak. Did also a brilliant snorkelling session to feed incredible fish...yeah Gili Islands very nice. Goin' back there and may try Lombok's Sheraton or Oberoi next time .
Selamat Malam!
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Postby joliefemme536 » Wed, 23 Sep 2009 4:00 am

I vacationed in Bali (Kuta beach) in March. Didn't like it much... Beach was not clean, couldn't take a romantic stroll down the street without someone trying to sell us something... The spa packages at the hotel were cheap which was a plus. I would like to experience Bali again just not Kuta.

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Postby Optimus_prime » Wed, 23 Sep 2009 6:35 pm

Bali, Nusa Dua recommended! We went to the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa. Bit dated, but nice beach and ok facilities with reasonable pricing (Palace Club was very enjoyable)


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