Author Topic: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days  (Read 6884 times)

Offline @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 8893
  • Total likes: 53
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2017, 04:02:49 AM »
I'm glad you had lots to eat at all those breakfasts, because that Friday night dinner sounds pretty unsatisfying. :P ;D

Offline Hjay

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jan 2016
  • Posts: 443
  • Total likes: 6
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #61 on: July 21, 2017, 04:13:37 AM »
Amazing TR. really enjoying!!

Thanks!At the Elma it was $68.73 all in, as charged on my card. IIFC it was around 65 NIS a person including the SPG discount. The Ritz was free.

I remember you saying they were only giving you 25% discount on breakfast in the ritz, did that change?


Online Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8823
  • Total likes: 58
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #62 on: July 21, 2017, 09:12:56 AM »
The highlight of my morning is reading this TR. Thank you!
Lol, glad to provide entertainment.
I'm glad you had lots to eat at all those breakfasts, because that Friday night dinner sounds pretty unsatisfying. ;D
We were full. What can I say?
Amazing TR. really enjoying!!

I remember you saying they were only giving you 25% discount on breakfast in the ritz, did that change?
The Ritz didn't end up changing us for anything, at least as of now.

Online Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8823
  • Total likes: 58
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #63 on: July 23, 2017, 12:45:59 AM »
Flights to Hong Kong and Bali
Sunday started much the same as the other days we were at the WA. I went to shul at 8:00 am and met DW and DD at breakfast. After a final breakfast (at which the soft pretzels were quite stale), we went upstairs to pack a bit.

We then went back down stairs to the restaurant to meet up our friends from LA. It was nice seeing both of them (he’d been sleeping on Shabbos) as well as their baby. We didn’t have that much time, but DW got to spend a bit longer than I did since I needed to check out.

At 11:00 am I had a car service pick us up and take us to the airport for 170 Shekel. The driver, a frum man, arrived on time, loaded our things into the car and off we went. We didn’t encounter much traffic and arrived at the airport around 11:45 am.

The check-in hall had a huge line for the counters we needed, but we quickly found the business class line and were through to check-in in a few minutes. The check-in took a really long time, as the agent at first assumed we were Israeli and was asking for our visa to travel to Indonesia. Eventually we were all set.

We walked to security (we couldn’t find a business class line) and immigration. At immigration they were encouraging people to use the automated system, even those people like us who were waiting in line to speak to a person.

I figured I’d go and try the machine, and after my great experience, I had DW go as well. We waited for the person at the counter for DD since she was in her car seat and we didn’t want to take her out of her car seat. Around the corner we went, and as we were about to go through the gates, we couldn’t find DW’s ticket.

At first she became very mad with me, saying how I must have lost it somewhere, and how could I do that. She then proceeded to have me—then her—go through my entire bag to find it. She went back to speak to the agent about what to do if she lost the paper, and he said it would be a whole mess and would take quite a while to sort out.

As DW gets back to me, exasperated, we all walk back to go begin the long process we’d have to go through, we lo and behold there’s DW’s ticket sitting on the floor right where we’d been standing when we were at the window for DD’s customs! We picked up the paper and were off.

Because of the long time it took them to check us in, the wait at security and the whole mix up at customs we were running a bit late. We decided to skip the lounge and head straight for the gate. We got to the gate about 15 minutes before the actually started boarding. Lucky for us there was a kids’ play area right nearby that we let DD run around in to get some of her energy out. Before we knew it, it was time for boarding and we got on the plane.


Our flight to HKG

We got on the plane and were directed left towards business class. We were seated in the middle section in the 2nd row while the 1st row remained empty the entire flight. The rest of business class was full.


Lots of leg room on CX’s new A350

It took a bit to get settled, but once we were everything went smoothly. We left a few minutes late, at around 2:15 pm, but the reset of the flight was smooth. As it turns out, the dean of her seminary was on the flight a few rows behind us, so she introduced me to him. We took turns eating lunch while the other person held DD, who was just OK for the flight. They let us bring the Doona on the plane and put it in an empty seat, but DD was not allowed to go in it.

I slept well during the flight. After the meal when it was time to sleep, I did just that: went to sleep. DW and DD slept well too, but upon landing had a hard time. When we were landing (in HKG in the summer), the rough air was a bit too much for DW. I held DD while DW puked her guts out into the provided bag.




Dinner on CX




Breakfast on CX

Once we got off the plane in HKG we went through security and made our way to The Wing lounge to rest. Turns out the business class part of The Wing lounge, while they might have nice showers, didn’t have a nice area to wait. We were both very tired, so we schlepped all the way to The Pier Business Class lounge. Once there, we went to the very end, to the quiet room, and just slept.

Well more specifically, DW & DD slept. I went to shower. After my shower, I davened and lied down on another recliner for about 45 minutes. About 10 minutes before we needed to leave the lounge I woke up DW & DD so they could get ready to go. Our gate, number 33, was a few minutes from the lounge, and by the time we got there, they were about to start boarding.

Our flight to Bali

The plane we were on to Bali was not as nice as the plane to Hong Kong. The seats were almost lie flat, and there were 3 seats in the middle section. We were on the window section with just two seats, which ended up being fine. They did take DD’s car seat away to be returned in DPS.

The flight was short and sweet. DD was in a great mood for the flight spent much of the flight in our laps and on my seat. Before we knew it, we were landing in Bali. After a short taxi to the gate, we were among the first off of the plane, only to have to wait until nearly everyone was gone to get our car seat.


Food on the way to Bali

We then walked to the customs hall, where we proceeded to wait for about an hour until we finally got through to get our checked bag. We waited again to go through customs though oddly we didn’t see the line for things to declare, so we just went through the regular lane. I was bringing in tuna packets which I declared on the customs form, but ultimately no one was there to give us any problems and we went right through.

The next thing we needed to do was find our guide. I’d hired someone to pick us up at the airport, drive us around for 2 days, and drive us back to the airport all for a grand total of US$115. Right when you exit customs there are loads of people holding up signs for people who they’re going to meet. It was a bit overwhelming, at first, so we just walked around behind them to try to find our guy. I was texting the owner of the company, who said the guide was there. After a bit of back and forth and a lot of hashgacha, I ran into him. His name was Wayan (surprise) and he took us straight to his car.

He had a great attitude, spoke English very well, and was a pleasure to deal with. We sat in a bit of traffic leaving the airport, and even more once we got on our way because it was around 5 pm and rush hour.

I mentioned about an hour in that I needed to stop to get cash at an ATM. Around that time Wayan must have wanted a cigarette, so he pulled over and I took out some cash. He spoke to the owner of the Airbnb we were going to in order to find out exactly where it was. The owner told him, and about one hour and 45 minutes after we left the airport we arrived at our Airbnb.

The owners of the Airbnb, a Norwegian married to a Balinese woman, were actually visiting from Norway for 3 weeks, so she met us at the car and showed us around the place. We got settled, had dinner, and went got ready to go to bed.

Our place in Bali:






















All of a sudden, all the lights went off. Not only was DD scared, but it was pitch black! Within 30 seconds of the lights going out, there was a knock on the front door. It was the owner with a lit candle she was giving us to light all the other candles around their place. No sooner did we light all the candles and get a romantic mood going than the electricity came back on.

Apparently, this was the first time in years that they’d lost all power, but at least it was only for 10 minutes or so. We finished getting ready for bed and went to sleep. It was a long and exhausting two days, but we were finally in Bali.

Offline Denverite

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 1374
  • Total likes: 60
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Denver
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #64 on: July 24, 2017, 01:54:03 AM »
Just curious, why did you go with an AirBnB? To have a kitchen?

Online Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8823
  • Total likes: 58
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2017, 08:46:41 AM »
Just curious, why did you go with an AirBnB? To have a kitchen?
That, it's more space, dry cheap, in the right location, and hotels charge more (points and dollars) for less space.

Online Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8823
  • Total likes: 58
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2017, 10:22:39 PM »
Day 1 in Bali: Coffee Factory, Batik, Silver Market and the Monkey Forest

Our first day in Bali started out at around 8:00am. We’d all gotten to bed on the early side, and as Bali is only 5 hours ahead of Israel, it’s only half the jet lag compared to going to Israel from LA. I woke up, davened and got ready for the day.

We had oatmeal packets we’d brought from LA in small, plastic bowls for breakfast. Once I opened the front door, our hostess also provided us with our requested fruit plate, which was a nice addition to our meal.

As we didn’t know when we’d be up, we asked Wayan to come at 11:00 am, as we likely wouldn’t be ready before then. We decided to do the Coffee plantation, a few of the markets, and the Monkey Forest. If we were still in the mood of continuing, we’d also do the rice terraces, but as it turns out we saved those for tomorrow.

We left at 10:45am, as Wayan had come early and we were ready to go. Our first stop was the chocolate factory, Pod. I had mentioned that I’d wanted to see the cacao growing, and this is where they took us. This was a bit of letdown for me, as we didn’t end up going somewhere where I could buy cocoa powder, rather we went to a factory with a self-guided tour.

After driving for 1:15, we arrived at Pod. We went in and one of the people took us on a “tour.” The reason I put it in quotes is because she just basically showed us a few different cacao pods in different stages of processing. The pods are for demonstration purposes, not for actual use, so it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. We were able to walk along the outside of the building watching them make the chocolate on the inside, but besides reading the signs as to what was happening, there wasn’t anything else going on.


Pod






People making chocolate

The people at Pod were extremely nice, and were sorry we couldn’t taste anything (nothing was Kosher, as expected). I inquired about buying cocoa powder, but they don’t sell any. Back in the car we went to our next stop: The Batik factory.

Now when I’d reserved the tour, I thought I was specific about what we wanted to see and what we didn’t want to see. Wayan was just driving us to where he assumed we’d want to go based on the conversation I had before we arrived, so I don’t fault him for anything.

Anyway, after nearly an hour of driving we were there. By this time we were hungry, so we took DD out of the car so she could walk around. We all ate on the side while the people waited for us to be finished before starting our “tour.” Once we were ready to start, the whole “tour” lasted about 10 minutes. It was basically a row outside with a few props to show people what Batik is, as well as a woman actually making it.

In short, Batik is intricately designed fabric, where the patterns are made out of wax, then melted off. The effect is a cool pattern on the fabric. For more info, look on Wikipedia.


A Batik stamp, one of the methods used to make the Batik patterns


Examples of different types of Batik


Woman weaving at Batik

After we finished at the Batik factory, we headed over to the silver market that I’d seen driving to the Batik place. It was just a few doors down.

This place was slightly more interesting. We were met by a guide who took us to the work room of all the people working at the factory in the silver department (the gold department is not open to the public for security reasons, understandably).  We got to see how they made and refined, by hand, many of the pieces they sell. From bending the silver into patterns to adding gems, it was all done here.


Stairs at the silver place


Working on the silver


Their signature moths

After seeing how they made and refined the products, it was time to go into the (nicely air-conditioned) show room. Our guide showed us around for a bit, and DW ended up getting a pair of earrings for under $24, which I thought was a good deal. Sure, I may have been able to get them cheaper elsewhere, but it was cheap enough for me there so I bought them.

From the silver market we headed to the Monkey Forest about 40 minutes away. Wayan dropped us off and showed us where he’d be waiting. The entrance fee (around IDR 50k/person) we paid in cash and in we went. This place was amazing. DD really enjoyed seeing all the monkeys and nearly petting them (there are signs warning against touching them).

We spent about 1:20 there, walking on many of the trails looking for more moneys. It was pretty cool, but after 1:20 DD and DW had had enough, so we left. We drove back through the main part of town, looking at all the shops and “touristy” things that we were avoiding. We were quite tired this point, so despite it only being around 5:15 pm, we headed back for the day and decided to save the Rice Terraces for the next day.

Monkey Forest:












We arrived back at our place, and while DD and DW were relaxing and going in the pool, I decided to go to the supermarket for some veggies. The owner of the Airbnb offered to take me, so together we set out on the 25-minute drive during rush hour.

I spent about 15 minutes in the supermarket looking at all the vegetables they had, as well as searching the rest of the store for anything kosher. Spoiler alert: they didn’t have anything I could find besides things that don’t need a hechsher. Most of the products are made in Indonesia and are just not kosher.


Though I was not in the mood to shop for sheitels, but if you were you could always get some at the supermarket

We headed back to our place, and I prepared more noodles for dinner. While I was gone, DW took DD in the pool for a minute, but they both ended up only spending a few minutes in the water. After a nice (and simple) dinner, we bathed DD and put her to bed.

Despite not doing a ton of stuff that day and the day getting off to (in my mind) not such a great start, we had a lovely time and wanted to rest up for our next and final day in Bali.

Online cholent

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Aug 2014
  • Posts: 1752
  • Total likes: 65
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #67 on: July 24, 2017, 10:57:38 PM »
Sorry part of your day didn't work out, but I'm still enjoying reading about it! Thanks for continuing to post and not leaving the tr hanging like so many others
Don't ask stupid questions and you won't get stupid answers

Online Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8823
  • Total likes: 58
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #68 on: July 24, 2017, 10:59:53 PM »
Sorry part of your day didn't work out, but I'm still enjoying reading about it! Thanks for continuing to post and not leaving the tr hanging like so many others
You're welcome. Almost done...

Offline Moshe123

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Posts: 4477
  • Total likes: 40
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: NYC
  • Programs: Lost
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #69 on: July 24, 2017, 11:26:19 PM »
It's amazing, Yehoshua!

Offline Denverite

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 1374
  • Total likes: 60
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Denver
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2017, 10:23:41 PM »
It's amazing, Yehoshua!

+1 Monkey forest looked really cool!

Online Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8823
  • Total likes: 58
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2017, 11:41:37 PM »
Day 2 in Bali: Rice terraces and the Bali Zoo

For our second day in Bali we planned to take it a bit easier and opted for just 2 stops: The rice terraces and the zoo. We woke up a bit earlier than the day before, got ready and were out the door to go by 10:15 am. Once again, our hosts provided us with fresh fruit in the morning, though we didn’t eat a ton of it before heading out.

Our first stop was the rice terraces. We were visiting in the beginning of July, so it was the off season for rice: none was growing. That didn’t stop us from enjoying it though. We arrived at the rice terraces 35 minutes after leaving our Airbnb, which was quite close.


Seen in the parking lot near the rice terraces

Once there, we parked and went down to pay the nominal entrance fee. We then proceeded to walk about 5 minutes down the main street to where the entrance was located. There was no one to take our tickets when we got there; I think it’s mainly on the honor system. Our guide told us where to meet him on the way back, and off we were.

I’d always wanted to walk down the rice terraces to see them from the bottom, but DW wasn’t such a fan of walking. DD was in the backpack carrier, so she didn’t care either way. We started walking down the mountain. While it’s not the easiest of paths (it’s not paved and there are no escalators), we made it about 75% of the way down.






Views of the rice terraces

At that point DW had had enough, and I didn’t want to push her any more. We stopped under an overhang/rest area where a small shop was set up selling cold beverages. We admired the surrounding area, took a few pictures and then began the climb up.


The daunting climb up


Apparently you can take a picture with the baskets as this guy did

Once back on the street, we decided to look for some souvenirs at the many stalls we passed on the way there.  We ended up buying a shot glass and a dress for DD, both of which averaged out to a good price. We made it back to the car, found Wayan, and were off to the Zoo.


Bali zoo

About an hour after we left the rice terraces we arrived at the zoo. Once again Wayan explained that he’d wait near the car and we’d see him when we were done. We got our tickets for the zoo (which were about ~$25/person) and then sat down right outside the zoo to eat lunch, as no food is allowed in.

After eating lunch we were ready to go. We’d brought the Doona this time so DW could go in if she wanted to, she just didn’t want to. They took the obligatory photo of us holding some colorful birds, but here they actually took it with your camera in addition to the zoo’s camera. Sweet!

We ended up exploring the zoo backwards. The path that loops around the entire zoo went one way and we were going the other way. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but the worst part was some of the signs were angled the wrong way for us. Ultimately it wasn’t the biggest deal, but most people view the zoo the other way.





DD loved the zoo! At every new animal she would just stop and look at it before either reaching for it or just walking on. I’d say the highlight of the zoo for her was the petting zoo. Here, unlike in the US, the petting zoo was just open to the public, without having any zoo employees around. Among the animals they had in the petting zoo were some kangaroos, goats, and a lamb.

DD had a great time sticking her hand out to all the animals and looking at all of them up close and personal. This exhibit wasn’t extremely large, but the animals were all (either on sedatives or just) extremely calm and friendly. I’d say it was probably her highlight of the trip to Bali!

After walking around the main path we took the bus to the elephant exhibit. Most people going here are paying to go on the elephants and ride them around the path. We weren’t. We just went to see them and to explore the area. Lucky for us it was feeding time for one of the elephants just as we were arriving.

We got to feed the elephant some food (for free!) and pet its trunk. It was a bit close for such a large animal for DD, but DW and I both enjoyed it a lot. We only spent 20 minutes or so in the elephant area before heading back and out of the zoo.








Feeding the elephant


Elephant saddled up for a ride

We met Wayan in the parking lot where he was talking with lots of other guides. The drive back to our place was pretty quick at only about 30 minutes, and that includes stopping for a religious procession. We made up with Wayan that he’d pick us up the following day to take us to the airport at 11:00 am and bid him good night.


Religious procession blocking traffic

We had more cup-of-soups and vegetables for dinner and put DD to sleep. We relaxed for some time, as well as packed up a bit before turning in for the night. I know it sounds boring, but the Bali Zoo was one of the highlights of our trip to Bali and I’d highly recommend it.

Offline mgarfin

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2012
  • Posts: 1638
  • Total likes: 24
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #72 on: July 25, 2017, 11:59:14 PM »
Nice TR

What is the reason you went all the way to Bali?
What is unique about this place, beaches?

Online Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 8823
  • Total likes: 58
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #73 on: July 26, 2017, 01:01:49 AM »
Nice TR

What is the reason you went all the way to Bali?
What is unique about this place, beaches?
Thanks. Because it's pretty. We didn't go to any beaches.

Offline Luvtotravel

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2012
  • Posts: 2336
  • Total likes: 26
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 6
    • View Profile
  • Location: Ny
Re: Israel & Bali: around the world in 17 days
« Reply #74 on: July 26, 2017, 01:35:45 AM »
im really enjoying your TR and nice to see how much you can accomplish even with a little tagalong. though i would like to point out that your DW would probably appreciate DD to be in the Doona instead of herself...
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.