четверг, 17 октября 2013 г.

Family Holidays: Bali, Indonesia - part 2

See the first part by following the link
 What to do with kids in Bali?

As a general recommendation, I would say that it makes most sense to go to Bali with older kids (school age) as little ones won't really be able to appreciate what Bali can offer. Moreover, the flight could be too tiresome and long for small children, and it may be difficult for them to adjust to the change in climate.

There are a lot of beautiful temples in Bali, and I would strongly recommend visiting Uluwatu, which is not far from Nusa Dua and Jimbaran. Uluwatu is a beautiful place with stunning views of the ocean.

You will encounter a lot of cheeky monkeys on your walk around Uluwatu, so be careful!They will try to steal your jewelery, sunglasses, hats and anything else they can! Make sure to pack your drinks and food safely away - we saw a monkey snatch a bottle of Coca-Cola from the hands of a little girl, so be especially careful if you have little ones with you. The monkeys do not attack people without any reason, so be sure to be cautious and they should keep their distance

There is an evening show in Uluwatu that is really something quite special. In the outdoor ampitheatre you can go and watch the famous dance 'kechak!' Children, especially, seem to love the show!

his is a costume show, relating the story of Romeo and Juliet in a truly Balinese style.

The show is very colourful, and is quite distinctive in that there is a chorus of dozens of men in sarongs, all of whom are practically in a trance as they chant "Chak-chak-chak ...".

Do not miss it! Make sure to get there early so as to get good seats as it is usually overcrowded.

Another great place to visit is the beautiful temple on the southwest coast of Bali: Tanah Lot. This temple is featured on lots of postcards of Bali and it resides on the rocks so at low tide you can walk to the temple by land. It is very beautiful, especially at sunset.

Near Ubud I would recommend visiting Tegallalang Rice Terraces – these are very picturesque!

Families with older children may enjoy a rafting trip down the Ayung River.

Visitors to Ubud may also wish to visit the Monkey Forest, although we were not very impressed.

Not far from Ubud is the Elephant Safari Park Taro. There is also a hotel here so you can make the trip and stay for a day or two, instead of spending several hours in one day where you are stuck in traffic. This hotel has some good reviews, although we didn't stay there ourselves.

If you have the time and the opportunity you might want to visit the dormant (sleeping) volcano at Lake Batur and Lake Bratan.

This place is famous for its temple, Pura Ulun Danu, and there is also a nice park there but, unfortunately, heavy rain prevented us from visiting.

I highly recommend including a visit to the coffee plantations in your itinerary. Kids (and adults!) can learn how coffee, cocoa and various spices are planted.

Kids will be especially curious to see how a particular species of local animal is used in the production of the most expensive coffee in the world: Kopi Luwak.

These cute little animals eat coffee beans, which are not fully digested and so sit in the animals' stomachs fermenting. The coffee-growers then extract the beans from the animals' excrement, with the reason being that this fermentation process imparts some kind of special taste on the coffee.
I do not drink coffee, but loved the cute animals. My husband refused to taste this coffee, but you can taste different kinds of coffee and tea here, including coffee luwak for an extra fee, as well as buying coffee at the store. It is quite a touristy place, but certainly interesting..

I recommend visiting Bali Safari & Marine Park with kids as this is a safari park with a tour into the world of wild jungles and savannahs. You can ride the elephants, and see different animals here.

There's also a Fun Zone (amusement park) and a water park there, which kids are bound to enjoy.

The kids can take Balinese dance lessons.

You can also watch the excellent musical "Bali Agung" here.

And there are various exotic Park birds and reptiles. You can even feed the parrots and see real dragons from the Komodo Island

Children will want to visit the aqua parks in Bali: New Kuta Green Park 

and Waterboom in  Kuta .

Your family may also be interested in exploring Green Camp Bali - an ecological camp near Ubud.

At the eco-camp you can stay as a family or leave your child there for a few days under the supervision of the staff. They offer different programs for kids: 5-8 years (Junior Explorer Camp) and for older children - Discovery Camp (9-12 years). They teach children how to make a kite, how to make chocolate from cocoa beans, how to build a raft from bamboo, and how to collect rice. Your kids will have a real experience of living in Bali, getting closer to nature, and learning to understand and respect the wonderful and amazing world around us!

You can also go to Lovina ( Lovina Beach) where you can take a boat trip and watch the dolphins at dawn.

Last, but not least, Bali is known for its surfing schools. If you have children of 4-5 years old, they can take the surfing courses with you. There is a surfing school in Kuta, for example, which offers kids' surfing lessons (Odyssey Surf School).
Moms might want to visit the local shopping malls :)? There is a shopping center Bali Collection
in Nusa Dua which has a playground for the kids, letting mom enjoy the shopping and spas.
We hired a driver (who doubles as our guide) to help us explore the island. If you book a driver for a day or more then it becomes more affordable. You can also book a group tour, which is cheaper, or rent a car or scooter. However, the traffic is very chaotic there and so it can be difficult to feel safe if you are driving or scootering around yourself..

The local people are very nice and friendly, always smiling and never seeming to worry about life's daily problems!
A final thought for my review of Bali: I would like to say that this is really a beautiful island, with a special energy. You can find practically anything you want here – from an escape from reality to a lovely and memorable stay with the kids!

Bon voyage!
I look forward to getting your feedback when you return!

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