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(10/7/2001) Just one week ago, a group of American friends, led by Kurt Bodmer, Vice President of Product Development for Japan & Orient Tours, visited Bali traveling literally from one end of the island to the other. Is Bali Safe and still enjoyable for American visitors? Read their comments and judge for yourself:
Kurt Bodmer wrote . . .
If there is a Paradise on earth, it must be Bali...
What a peaceful, warm place to be away from the world's problems after the incident in New York. I had the opportunity to escort a couple of group promoters to Hong Kong and Bali, and we left on the first flight from the USA to Hong Kong on the evening of September 13. Cathay Pacific's flight was, as always, superb in every way. They had repositioned a stranded flight from Vancouver to LAX, to get it out on that evening. I was able to drum up my little troop on short notice and once we were on the plane, it was a soothing ride all the way.
While in Bali, we felt totally comfortable and safe. In fact, the warm and smiling local people of Bali seemed to be ignorant of what was going on in the world, although several people in the Bali tourism industry expressed deepest sympathy for what happened to New York. Bali was business as usual, and whoever was on the island at that time, thoroughly enjoyed their stay.
Thanks to Bali Discovery Tours, our little group had a most delightful and efficient visit to Bali. Their arrangements ranged from magnificent resorts to island drives to river rafting to fiery Kecak Dances to Bumbu Bali's fabulous cooking class to cocktail parties overlooking the magnificent sunsets.
The Matahari Resort we stayed at on the north-west corner of Bali is a class act, secluded and spectacular in every respect. The biggest surprise was the newly opened Maya Ubud Resort in Ubud, managed by well-known Paul Blake who some 20 years ago opened the first major resort in Nusa Dua, the Nusa Dua Beach Resort. The Maya Ubud has a spectacular location on a ridge overlooking the picturesque Petanu River. Their rooms are large, and their 34 Deluxe Pool Villas overlooking the river or rice terraces are an experience in itself! Fabulous restaurants, and the Spa treatments at their new bungalow locations down by the river are to be experienced! And all this located within a few minutes drive from the center of Ubud, Bali's shopping heaven.
Thanks again, Bali Discovery Tours for your most efficient and enjoyable arrangements on Bali. I personally would return to Bali in a flash, and I am sure that my colleagues will encourage and promote Bali to their groups with confidence.
Bali is truly different, and we found it completely safe to visit.
Two of Kurt's Traveling Companions, Mike and Linda Collier wrote . . .
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you what a wonderful experience my wife and I enjoyed on our recent trip to Bali. You and your excellent staff provided service beyond our every expectation.
From the "Meet and Greet" at the airport, assistance with immigrations and baggage, to the very knowledgeable English speaking guide, to the final farewell; all details were executed flawlessly. I was particularly impressed by the personal attention you gave to our visit and to ensuring we maximized our Bali experience.
Linda and I have visited Bali many times over the past 20 years and the trip organized and managed by Bali Discovery was by far the best ever.
I want also to express a special thanks for the services and assistance provided by Mr. Dewa Oka, our guide (and friend) and the bus driver "Kokok." They were with us for almost 10 days and early in the morning or late at night they were responsive to our every need and wish. From long hours of patient waiting while we shopped, or finding our way to remote locations they both provided unparalleled service. You are fortunate to have such high quality people working for you.
I would also like to tip my hat to other members of your staff, Mr. Rozi and Mr. Dian. Both were very professional and extended the wonderful hospitality for which Bali is so well known.
One of our most enjoyable experiences was the Kecak Dance you arranged just for our small group. Your ability to provide that sort of cultural exposure, in what can only be described as a truly authentic setting, speaks highly of Bali Discovery's ability to provide unique opportunities and experiences to your customers. And of course the more we know about the Balinese people and their gentle, kind ways the more we are enamored of the Island and its culture.
Despite the recent horrible events in the world I felt perfectly safe while we were visiting Bali, Hindu people are known for their peaceful ways and the Balinese people are a perfect example of that peaceful demeanor. No matter where we went on the island we encountered people who treated us with kindness and dignity, and who expressed genuine sorrow and concern over the events of September 11th.
Finally a word about the accommodations arranged for us by Bali Discovery. In a word, WOW! From the Matahari Resort on the north shore to the Maya Ubud Resort near Ubud, what a wonderful experience. Those hotels were really well chosen, their outstanding employees were at our beck and call, always with a ready smile, and the accommodations were magnificent. Those resorts really know how to treat a guest.
I'll conclude by saying our Bali experience was unsurpassed in our many years of international travel, and we owe to Bali Discovery Tours.