Jen and families Bali holiday

Hubby and I and our 2 girls ( 4 & 6yrs ) have just returned  ( on July 18th 2003 ) from 11 fantastic days in Bali. Like many Aussies, we agonised for months on whether to go. In the end we weighed up the risks and decided to bite the bullet and go. We never regretted going for a minute. It is absolutely idyllic in Bali at the moment- beautiful weather with very little humidity, not too many crowds but enough people to have atmosphere. The Balinese people ‘ especially in Ubud were so pleasant and cheerful despite it being deserted. It is true what people say – they are genuinely interested and helpful with your children. This really helped to make our trip an interesting and non- stressful one.


We began our trip staying for 3 nights at the Taman Harum Cottages in Mas, 10 mins out of Ubud. I wanted the girls to see the more cultural side of Bali and this was a great starting point. This very small hotel was a peaceful walled oasis with beautiful gardens and ponds. We had a villa with a downstairs bedroom, small lounge area and beautiful outside bathroom. The girls slept upstairs in another bedroom and there was an upstairs verandah with a view over the rice paddies. The girls would wave to the people working in the fields each day. I should point out however that there was no tv or tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms.It was just a matter of ringing room service and they brought it to you for a very small charge. Drinking water was provided free whenever you needed it.The pool and restaurant were really nice with the restaurant being very affordable. It was very quiet with only a few other guest so we felt like we had our own private villa most of the time. The advantage to the quietness was we got to chat with other guests from other countries and the girls became like family- getting lots of attention from the staff. The cottages had a free shuttle bus to Ubud and I think because it was so quiet they were happy to go whenever we wanted and made several detours for us on the way. The driver even babysat the girls while we looked around art galleries and batik shops ( with out being asked.)


Shopping and eating in Ubud were great, although it was heartbreaking to see so many restaurants empty.I found the food to be much nicer and cheaper for the quality and variety you were getting than in Kuta. Similar food in Kuta was much harder to find and cost a lot more. I have been to Ubud before and didn”t enjoy the experience. It was suffocatingly hot and humid and the shop people were extremely aggressive. Wow, what a change this time – mild weather, no humidity and the hawkers were very happy to let you just wander and look. It was really pleasant and a great introduction for our children on their first visit to Bali. We took the girls to the Barong dance at the Palace in Ubud which we all really enjoyed. The other excursion we did was to the Bird and Reptile parks – again really enjoyable for all of us. The Reptile park especially was a hit. There was an outdoor enclosure with lots of large lizards and turtles which you could get up really close to and hold and pat. The bird park had beautifully landscaped gardens and a vast array of exotic birds. I couldn’t believe the toilets here – they were fantastic- very new, clean and spacious.


After three very stress-free days in Ubud we transferred to the Bali Hai Hotel in Tuban. This was a great choice for us as it was lovely for adults and children. We stayed in a very spacious family suite on the ground floor right near the pool. The space and the fact that there was a separate lounge was great when you have small children who want to eat in the room or curl up in front of the Disney channel.I liked the way the rooms are all arranged around the pool and the added bonus of sun lounges and a nice restaurant on the beach front. A highlight was the daily soccer game that took place on the beach front every afternoon. It was a wonderful sight to see the locals and hotel guests all playing together. After no tv or kids club in the first hotel, the girls were very keen to do both at this hotel which made for a very restful time for us adults. The kids club is not big but adequately met our needs as the girls didn’t need to be in there all the time and it was wonderful when we wanted to do shopping or eat without the kids. We also found the babysitting to be wonderful. We arranged it thru the hotel and it was only 15000 rp per hour. After active days the girls were more than happy to stay in the room with the sitter and watch tv and go to sleep. The sitters were lovely and very trustworthy. We tried to get the same lovely lady each time. The hotel also had a range of activities available each day such as Indonesian language lessons, palm frond weaving and water volleyball.


All in all it was a brilliant family holiday – due in part to all the fantastic advice I got from this forum and the Bali Travel Forum. Thank you to all who provided it. We also made sure sickness was not a problem by religiously taking 10ml of raspberry juice each morning ( nb: refer to Bali Travel Forum &  Bramble Farm, Victoria for more information and how to get it ), washing our hands with sanitising hand gel that doesn’t need water and using aqua ear in our ears after swimming. I hope this helps any families also planning to visit Bali.

Cheers, Jenny from Perth WA