Our guide and driver in Bali were very nice, good communicators, and knowledgeable. I felt very comfortable with them. Our guide and boat family for the Borneo portion of our trip were also very friendly and made us feel quite welcome and well taken care of. Our Borneo guide even played games with our 8 year old during the long boat rides, and our daughter enjoyed making friends with the young son of the boat owners.Suzie from this Indonesia (Bali) travel agency didn't give us sufficient info about the bike ride in Bali. I had explained we needed something easy that wouldn't be as challenging as the ride we had done a year earlier in southern China. This ride was quite challenging with muddy single track thru rice paddies -- luckily our daughter rose to the challenge!Also we were frustrated when we arrived in Bali and weren't met by our guide. We tried calling all the tel numbers we had been provided by this Bali (Indonesia) tour operator, and we were only got put through to vmail.
Visiting the orangutans in Borneo -- great to see them close up in their jungle habitat. Watching the kecak fire dance shortly after we arrived in Bali -- really felt like we had arrived in an exotic locale. Participating in the water purification ceremony at a Hindu temple on Bali -- very unique experience for us, very spiritual and calming. Our daughter says -- playing on the trapeze at Club Med Bali was awesome.We really enjoyed Indonesia and would love to go back!
Bali: Arrange your sightseeing and accommodations so you don't spend so much time driving places as we did. We loved our hotel in Ubud, but it seemed like we spent hours on the road every day to see the sights on our itinerary. I rely on tour planners to help with such planning logistics, and I didn't get enough guidance here on the amount of travel time involved with each day's agenda. We love packing in LOTS of sightseeing each day, but we don't enjoy spending so much time driving. I'd recommend looking into staying in a different town each night to reduce driving time or concentrating on sights closer together.
Skip Club Med Bali unless you have a kid who really wants to participate in the kids' club activities (like circus school). Our daughter loved it, but the hotel was so huge and so far removed from the "real" Bali that it was like being on a cruise ship (not our thing).
Next time, I'd book directly with another tour company. I had corresponded with a local tour company rep, and I should have stayed with them as I don't think I got any extra service by dealing with Mongol and paying premium price.
Travel Company's Comment
Jean we are so glad that you had a great time whilst in Indonesia, and are sorry for any frustrations or difficulties you had during the trip. I’d like address a few of the items for further clarification:
In regards to the bike ride what we discussed was that it is mostly a downhill ride going through local villages. I want to apologize if it was not clear that it would not be on paved roads. We do have children of various ages who really enjoy this ride. It sounds like your daughter did a great job, and I hope that the family all had a great time.
We are very sorry for the situation upon your arrival at the airport. This was a VERY rare circumstance as President Obama was in Bali, at the airport that day and there was little that anyone could do. The roads were all blocked off, very high security, and the phone lines were crazy and jammed. We were able to still meet you at the airport, although we were very sorry that you had to wait awhile. Being the airport early is normal procedure for us, as we know it’s so important to have your guides waiting there with a smile on their face to welcome you to the country.
We’re so glad that you had a great time visiting the Orangutans! Borneo is a magical place.
With you time in Ubud, we did have you staying at the Komaneka Rasa Sayang which is located on Monkey Forest Road which is a fantastic location for exploring Ubud. You did express a desire to check out some of the local villages as well as Mt. Batur. Also there were a number of temples that you had specifically requested to have included in your time. With three nights in the area we did have to pack that portion of the trip to get everything accomplished. We hope that you had a great time exploring the area and that you were able to see a lot.
Club Med is an American chain, and as an all inclusive it does promote staying within the resort. This part of the stay was something that you had specifically requested from the beginning as where you wanted to end the trip.
We work very closely with our local partners in country to create your holiday. We offer the ability to plan your holiday with someone here in the United States, offer very competitive pricing, and provide you with the local contacts details while in the country. We had spoken many times on the phone prior to your travel, we’ve taken a lot of effort to create a great team of drivers, guides etc. Our goal is to provide you with an excellent travel experience that is tailored to your specific preferences.
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