Bali traveller

An established Seminyak classic…

THE ROYAL BEACH SEMINYAK

The Royal Beach Seminyak Bali is a member of MGallery Collection and as such is an Accor hotel.

I have had the pleasure of staying at this comfortable, beachfront hotel on several occasions.  For me it remains a favourite, well-established Seminyak “go-to” hotel that never disappoints.

Formerly the Sofitel, the grand foyer is welcoming and the service impressive.  If you are seeking an ultra modern or chic resort, then the Royal Beach Seminyak is NOT for you!

Situated in 4.5 hectares of tropical gardens the resort has that “old Bali” feel without being too dated.

128 hotel rooms vary from  Superior, Deluxe, Grand Deluxe to Suites – all having a private balcony/terrace.  A Coffee Machine and quality tea selection in the Grand Deluxe and Suites are a nice touch.  The Suites provide a separate living area, powder room, well appointed ensuite and a spacious bedroom and walk-in robe.

17 private villas with their own private pool or spa pool are also available.  These are walled in their own private enclave with a Butler service.

Some truly are “position A” with a  direct ocean facing outdoor area.

Two outdoor  pools include a stunning beachfront pool and a private garden pool.

The garden pool has a spa attached and has plenty of tropical foliage giving a sense of seclusion.  It’s my favourite of the two pools for time-out and relaxing!

Breakfast is served at the Husk Restaurant overlooking the beachfront pool and ocean.  The cappuccino’s here are fabulous!

The Capri Beachfront Bar & Restaurant is a fab place for a sunset cocktail.  Often a guitarist is situated on the lawn area between the beach and the hotel.  The  poolside cabanas can be a great spot to chill and relax. The Teppanyaki Restaurant serves Japanese cruisine and the hotel also  provides 24hr room service.

Other facilities include free hotel parking, a well equipped air-conditioned Fitness Centre, in-house luxury Spa, Living Room Lounge featuring internet corner, kids play area and library.

The position affords easy movement between Seminyak and Legian and is in close vicinity to beachfront bars, fine dining restaurants and luxury Seminyak shopping.

If you enjoy an early morning walk, The Royal Beach is an easy stroll along the beach to Kudeta  or to Legian, in the opposite direction, along a paved beach path.

As a loyal Accor Advantage Plus member, I often benefit from room upgrades, benefit from 50% off Accor Sales, enjoy 2 for 1 meals and 15% off drinks.

If you are after a spacious resort with a firm Balinese theme, well established gardens, committed and loyal staff, well kept, comfortable and spacious rooms, then this gem of a resort is for you!

Whilst attending an invitation only, in-house cocktail party on the beachfront lawns last week, I noted the Reservations Manager was in his second decade of employment at the Royal Beach Seminyak. Clearly, the hotel treats it’s staff just as well as it’s clientele!

I can’t wait to return…

Website:  http://www.theroyalbeachseminyakbali.com/

Accor Advantage Plus website: http://www.advantageplus-asia.com/indexau.php

Accor website: http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/australia/index.shtml

Pics:  Royal Beach Seminyak Bali.

  • NOTE: Comments and recommendations are based on my own personal opinions or experience, or those of close friends.

 

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A Day of Silence: Nyepi

Nyepi is a traditional “Day of Silence.”  It marks the Balinese New Year in the Hindu calendar. This is the Hindu New Year and like the christian Easter, the date changes annually – though it usually falls during March and April. The fundamental nature of Nyepi is to rid the Island of evil spirits, and renew both the environment and your individual philosophy.

On the eve of Nyepi, spectacular ceremonies, parades of great bamboo monsters and fireworks occur.   It is a wonderful celebration!

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The following day is Nyepi and is a day of silence and seclusion.  It is a time for self-reflection.

From 6am until 6am the following day, the island simply stops.  Lights must be kept low; no-one works so businesses are closed; there is no entertainment; no travelling; and even lovemaking is not supposed to occur.  The belief is that by doing this, the Gods will be fooled into believing the island is uninhabited and no evil spirits exist. Everything can then start afresh.

Out of respect , non-Hindu residents also observe this day of silence

Tourists too are not exempt.  Major hotels generally permit their guests use of their various facilities with the understanding that guests will not venture outside the property.   Even the staff will have to sleep over at the hotel that evening.

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A quiet peace reigns over Bali where the usually busy streets are empty, all is quiet and there are few signs of activity – even in homes.

As a tourist, Nyepi can be a wonderfully cathartic, therapeutic experience whereby you are forced to slow down.

NOTE:  Since the date of Nyepi is not set until late in the year prior, flights and accommodation may already be booked for travellers.  The airport is closed for the full 24hr period of Nyepi however!  This may necessitate some changes to existing bookings.

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In need of a Doctor or Apotik in Seminyak?

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Med Mart & Pharmacy, on Jl Raya Seminyak is located just to the left hand side of Bintang Supermarket (at No 17) and directly next to a Silver shop.  A wide selection of medicinal needs are available here at a fraction of the cost of Australian prices.  Note:  If you’re unfortunate enough to be sleeping with a “snorer”, this Apotik DOES sell ear plugs!

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A Medical Clinic is conveniently situated at the rear of this Pharmacy.  Here you are able to wait to be seen by a Medical Practitioner.

NOTE:

There are numerous Apotiks in the tourist regions of Bali.  Personally, I always find them easy to locate if they’re near a “landmark” as this one is, near Bintang Supermarket.

If in Kuta, head to Matahari in Kuta Square for a reliable Apotik situated on the ground floor, opposite the Supermarket.

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ONE STOP Seminyak Shopping…

BINTANG SUPERMARKET

Address:  Jalan Raya No 17, Seminyak

Bintang Supermarket is a handy one stop shop for all your holiday essentials!  Go here early in your trip to purchase basic necessities.  Always busy, this supermarket is the stock-up place for expats.

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It’s located on the main street of Seminyak, close to the Legian end. It’s large  and has two levels.  Mostly, I’ve found it stocks all the basics – and a few surprises too. You can purchase food, drinks, bathroom products (including sunscreens, though a little exy on the island), baby goods and many other supplies here also.  It really is a one stop shop!  Don’t forget to head upstairs for stationary, hardware and all your home bits.

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Bintang is great for imported as well as local goods. It opens early around 7.30am and closes 11pm.  Such a handy shop if you’ve forgotten to pack something!!  Some friends stock up here for supplies to take back home since they’re so inexpensive eg. toothbrushes, moisturizer, soaps, hand sanitiser, panadol, rubber thongs, bodywash, bandaids, shampoo….

HINT: I use Bintang as a a land mark that people and taxi drivers will instantly recognise.

HINT 2:  There is a reliable Money Changer across the road.

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HINT 3:  A fab PHONE SHOP for sim cards and data is located on the RHS of the Bintang Supermarket carpark.

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HINT 4:  If you are looking at posting goods back home, head to the POST OFFICE – also located on the RHS of the carpark.

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HINT 5:  Although Bintang Supermarket sells alcohol, there is also a specific LIQUOR STORE several shops along on the RHS of the Bintang Supermarket.

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Happy Shoppping!! x

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A lazy Sunday Brunch at the Sheraton…

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Bali Sunday Brunches have reached a competitive level these days.

Having previously enjoyed an indulgent brunch at the divine St Regis Resort in Nusa Dua, I felt theirs would be hard to top.   It was with some trepidation therefore, that I attended Sheraton Bali Kuta hotel’s “Sunday Market Brunch”.

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I need not have been concerned however, and at just 270,000Rph per adult, the “Sip, Savor and Shop at the Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort’s Feast Market Brunch” is a screaming bargain!

We chose the wine package “all you can sip of locally crafted beers, fine wines and signature cocktails” for an additional 200,000Rph.  (Duval Leroy Brut Champers and Starwood Wines of the World Selection was an additional 450,000Rph)

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As a self-confessed décor snob, I was slightly let down on arrival.  (The St Regis at Nusa Dua however, is on a level of its own, let’s face it!)  I soon settled in with great company, moorish free-flowing cocktails and a selection of scrumptious food selections.

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An outstanding seafood selection was available for viewing on ice, via the alfresco area.  BBQ style cooking took place here also.

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I chose more than I needed and came back for 2nds – and 3rds!!  The free flow wines are very drinkable.  The service at this brunch is impeccable.

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The Sheraton Bali Kuta brunch runs from 12midday to 3pm each Sunday.  The menu changes weekly to allow for seasonal ingredients availability.  A Market stall is also available should you wish to purchase fresh produce.

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A kid’s corner is all set for small people dining.  It really is a fab family venue- and outing!  Having said that, we were seated comfortably enough away from the kids area so as not to be disturbed.

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Did I tell you the Market Brunch is a screaming bargain?!!  Kids (aged 4-12yrs) are just 135,000Rph too.

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For more information and booking details, click here:

http://www.sheratonbalikuta.com/en/market-brunch

HINT 1:  Hit the ground running after brunch and head into Kuta square by foot for some fixed price retail therapy.  Alternatively, duck out to the adjacent  new and impressive Kuta Boardwalk shopping centre and pick up a bargain at Zara or other recommended designer stores.

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HINT 2:  If you are wanting to kick back and continue being waited on ( as we did), head on up to the next floor where you can enjoy a continued drink service whilst watching the sun set over the idyllic Kuta beach.  Bliss!

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Cheers & Bon appetite!!

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Photos: ©exclusivelybali.net

Festive Venue Options in Bali….

Christmas-Decorations

Are you looking for a wonderful venue on the island of Bali to share Christmas, or to celebrate the New Year?

The following venues are already advertising their festivities.  Perhaps you’d like to consider them as dining/entertainment options?

CHRISTMAS

1. CHARLIE, Jalan Petitenget 5, Seminyak.  0821 47417332.

One of  the most delicious Christmas menu’s in town!  They’re accepting reservations now on 0821-47417332 or mail@charliebali.com

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2. FINNS BEACH CLUB, Jl Pantai Selatan Gau, Banjar Wijaya Kusuma, Uluwatui +62 361 8482111.

Email: finns@semararesorts.com for bookings

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3.  KUDETA.  Ho ho ho… Last year Santa magically arrived with his fancy ride. This year he will come with lots of surprises. So go along & bring the whole family for the yuletide Christmas celebration.

For bookings & inquiries please contact reservations@kudeta.net or +62 361 736969. www.kudeta.net

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4. COCOON BEACH CLUB,  Jl. Double Six, Blue Ocean Boulevard,, 80361.  +62 361 731 266 or Fax: +62 361 731 155.

Email: info@cocoon-beach.com to reserve your table

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NEW YEAR’S EVE

1.  KUDETA New Year‘s Eve party is going to be classic & glamorous. Prepare your best swanky suit & pearls and ROAR into the 2014 countdown .

For tickets & info please contact reservations@kudeta.net or +62 361 736969

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2. POTATO HEAD BEACH CLUB, Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak Bali, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia 80361  +62 361 4737979.

Join them on New Year’s Eve for a fantastical night filled with magical sights and colourful sounds, celebrating the year that was 2013 with an 80s Club Tropicana style party, next to the beach and under the stars.  Continuing in Potato Head family tradition, they hand over the spotlight to their own fabulous international DJs – Lady Flic (NZ), Yuki (JP), Dea (ID), Stuart Mac (UK), LBS (USA) and Denis (RUS); the tunes will be fresh, fruity and above all FUN, so get tropical and celebrate another phenomenal year on this planet at Potato Head Beach Club!  This is a strictly 18+ event, tickets are 1,000,000 IDR.

To purchase please email tickets@ptthead.com, for table and VIP reservations please email table.enquiries@ptthead.com.

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3. SARDINE, Jalan Petitenget , 21, Badung, Bali.  (62)3618436333/111

See the delish menu below!

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4. COCOON BEACH CLUB,  Jl. Double Six, Blue Ocean Boulevard,, 8036  +62 361 731 266 or Fax: +62 361 731 155

VIP fully booked!  For dinner they have a very limited number of tables.

Email nye2013@cocoon-beach.com to secure your tickets.

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Get in soon as these popular venues usually book out quickly!

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♥ Have a great Christmas and New Year, wherever you spend it ♥

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How to have your clothing smelling like Bali….

If you’d like your clothing to smell as they do when you’ve had them laundered and ironed in Bali, then why not  purchase sachets of the fragrances the Balinese laundries use to bring home?
These fragrant fabric softeners are readily available from the shops of Bali including  Bintang supermarket, Mataharis and Carrefour.
Although there are several brands available, including Molto and Rapika, “KISPRAY Ironing Aid” is a firm favourite.
Kispray can be used as an ironing aid to produce smoother, fresher and softer clothing.  It also has a long lasting fragrance and contains an antiseptic (alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride) which they say kills germs. Kispray can be economical too since it’s available in sachet packs (great for bringing home in your luggage!)  You only need to add water.  It’s also practical since there are refill pouches available to refill the original spray bottle.
Kispray scents vary and can be purchased as:
1. AMORIS – floral, rose (powdery scents)
2. SEGERIS – green floral, jasmine (perfumery scents)
3. BLUIS – floral, fresh (clean scents)
4. VIOLET – various floral, rose (a little sweeter, fresh scents)
A gorgeous reminder of beautiful Bali!
Exclusively bali - Kispray
image © Exclusively bali

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Bali Market Shopping and PRICE Guide

Market shopping 

Bargaining – you either love  it or loathe it!

Either way, consider these tips:

  • keep smiling
  • never say this is your first trip to the island (even if it is)
  • have a clear price you are willing to pay before you start negotiating
  • be mindful that they do this for a living so are likely to be more skillful/persistent than you are
  • go early for best “Morning Price”
  • be prepared to walk away
  • if you think it’s a reasonable price, then do the deal
  • remember that 10,000Rp is equal to approximately $1.00Aus
  • watch the zero’s on your notes as it can be confusing.

Above all, always keep your sense of humour!!

ROUGH GUIDE TO MARKET PRICES

Please note:

These prices from Tripadvisor are VERY outdated. I recommend you use them as a GUIDE only.  (Be generous in your negotiations.  Some peoples livelihoods may depend on it!)

Stay tuned for a CURRENT Market Price Guide, coming soon!

Bamboo Wind chimes: Sml – Lge RP 10000 – 20,000

Baskets…set of 3 with mesh tops for food 50 000

Batik bags 30 000 with Bali written and 45 000 plain

Beach towels (toughen up princess , Bintang etc) 50 000 rp

Beaded purses, 20 000 to 30 000 for larger size

Board shorts RP 30 000 35 000rp

Bracelets, wide knitted stretch beaded 10 000rp, chunky beaded 20 000rp.

Caps Baseball Peaked RP – 15 000, 20 000rp

Car steering wheel ( timber and with boss kit) 150 000

Cardigans light weight plain coloured mesh RP 35 000 + to larger size printed with hood 85 000

Cushion covers RP 25 000 – 30 000

Denim skirts, branded 70 000rp

Dresses (summer market style batik , Rayon or crinkle) RP 35 000 to 80 000 depending on size and length

Dresses , cut on the bias flowing 3/4 length 100 000rp and long 120 000rp

Earrings (market danglies) 10 000rp ,20 000rp

Earrings, pearl studs 20 000rp +

Flags/umbal umbals 25 000rp each + for longer

Frangipani butterfly hair clips 10 000 medium sized single frangipani. 15 000 multiple small frangipanis on clip

Handbags (department store, hardy’s, Ramayanas etc) no brand…RP 50 000 – 70 000 depends on size

Handbags better quality and a brand name etc 130 000 to 160 000rp.

Incense and oils 5000RP to 20 000rp

Ikat style throw blankets 100 000 to 150 000rp

Kids T-shirts/Singlets RP 15 000 – 20 000

Kimonos (satin) RP 50 000

Ladies fashion stretch tops in markets (lace, print etc) 60 000rp

Ladies tops made from a sarong 35 000 to 70 000rp

Large Overnight Bag RP 180 000 – 200 000

Lawang root oil (bottle) they come in and sell to you in restaurants 25 000rp

Masks RP15 000+

Mens shorts, short pull on 30 000, longer fitted striped 70 000rp.

Necklaces beach to markets RP 10 000 – 25 000, boutique shops 50 000 plus

Pashminas 50 000 – 80 000rp

Pearls, twisted double strands 70 to 100 000rp, long with stones too.. up to 150 000rp.

Placemats Wooden RP 12 000 to 15 000

Placemats thick cinnamon printed 40 000 each

Puppets large 100 000rp

Rayon pants 35 000 +

Sandals, soft leather 60 000rp

Sarong dress with elastic in back 35 000rp

Sarongs Short wrap (basic printed) RP 15 000

Sarongs Long RP 25 000 – 35 000

Sarongs, Very fancy cut out or painted and fancily gold or silver embroidered (turtles, elephants, geckos etc) 60 to 160 000rp.

Singlets /tank tops 25 000 rp

Silk mix scarves and sequined scarves 25 000 – 50 000RP

Shirred dress 35 000rp to 65 000rp depending on size and length

Shirred top and similar styles 25 000rp to 35 000rp

Shirts Collared Polo’s RP 25 000 to 35 000

Shoes (dressier, sling backs , suede , studded etc) 75 000rp to 90 000

Stubby holders packs of 6 – 20,000 rp

Sunglasses 30 000 rp

summer shorts Ladies/ girls (checked etc with zip) about 50 000rp

Table runner 30 000rp 1.5 meter satin with elephants etc , up to 50 000rp for 2 meters or woven ones are up to 70 000rp, batik Table runners (tootsies) are 50 000rp.

T-shirts (always buy larger as will shrink) 35 000rp up to large, 40 000 XL plus Bintang 25 000

Umbrella / ceremonial 60 000 rp

Umbrella for rain 35 000rp, 40 000rp

Watches RP 30 000 to 70 000rp (Bagus watch shop more expensive but gorgeous)

Wallet mens, branded, Black Leather RP 35 000rp

Wallet ladies , branded, 40 000 rp to 50 000rp

 

Happy shopping!

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Price information – as per current tripadvisor

Schapelle Corby Urged to be Patient While Awaiting Parole from her Bali Prison Cell

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Waiting for a ‘Get Out of Jail’ Card

Schapelle Corby Urged to be Patient While Awaiting Parole from her Bali Prison Cell

Bali News: Waiting for a ‘Get Out of Jail' Card

(10/6/2013)

The Chief Warden of Bali’s Kerobokan Prison, I Gusti Ngurah, on Friday, October 4, 2013, publicly denied that “marijuana queen” Schapelle Leigh Corby has been freed on parole.

Australian Corby was arrested on October 8, 2004 at the Bali International Airport carrying 4.2 kilograms of marijuana in her checked baggage. After a highly publicized trial, Corby was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Ngurah explained to The Bali Post that the process of parole from prison, especially when involving a foreigner, was time-consuming matter. Corby has served the requisite two-thirds of her total remaining sentence and paid a Rp. 100 million fine imposed by the Courts, leaving only a number of administrative steps, including Ministerial approval, to be addressed before her prison door can swing open.

The Prison’s Warden explained that Corby must still submit a photocopy of her verdict, undergo investigation and review by the prison, submit to a public review board and a be the subject of written declaration to the Denpasar prosecutors’ office testifying to her good behavior.

Also, In the case of a foreign prisoner, the individual’s consulate in Bali has to accept responsibility for their national who must live in Bali until the period of parole is completed.

Ngurah said local and international media reporting that Corby is free or will imminently be released is premature and creating a misconception with the public.

Reproduced from: © Bali Discovery Tours.  http://www.balidiscovery.com.

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Fantastic family fun day!

BALI SAFARI & MARINE PARK

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It is easy to keep yourself and your children fully engaged at the wonderfully maintained and well presented Bali Marine & Safari Park. It is a day full of photo opportunities too: a picture at every turn!

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Tourists can enjoy a variety of performances as well as having the opportunity to ride and hand feed the elephants, take photos with them and learn of their ancestry and diversity at the parks historical and graphic displays.

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The aquarium is crystal clear with lots of fabulously attractive fish – and some pretty unattractive ones too!  Air-conditioned safari buses tour through the park leaving every 15minutues.  This allows you to be up close and personal to most of the animals.  You will be but a few feet from lions, hippo’s, rhino’s, zebra’s, cheetahs and more!

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If you wish to stay overnight, you are able to stay at the Mara River Safari Lodge.  In the evening, visitors can see wildlife roaming in their habitat.  There is also a restaurant which serves a range of food and beverages.

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Besides being an attractive tourist destination, Bali Safari Marine Park is also used as a breeding place for endangered animals, including the white tiger.

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When you need to cool off, the water park is an absolute hit with the kids. It has shallow play pools with spurting water, slides and big buckets so there is plenty of fun for older kids and adults too.

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I can highly recommend a visit to this Park.  Book a tour or arrange a driver to take you as it’s an approximate 2 hour drive from the southern resorts of Bali.

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HINT:  Don’t forget your hats and sunscreen.  Try to get there early as there is a lot to see.

Jl Prof Ida Bagus Mantra Km, 19.8, Bali 80551, Indonesia

62-361-95000

http://www.balisafarimarinepark.com/

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