Monthly Archive: November 2019

The Best Beach Holiday Destinations in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and luxury resorts. So whether you’re in the process of organising your Bali accommodation or if you are still deciding on your itinerary, we’ve listed 4 of Southeast Asia’s best beaches you don’t want to miss.

Tanjung Rhu-Langkawi, Malaysia

If you are looking for seclusion and privacy this cove is one of the most private beaches you’ll see in Southeast Asia. Like something from a postcard, this wide beach features soft sand and palm trees with deep blue waters perfect if you like to swim. Because this beach only has one resort, you’ll be guaranteed privacy and space to enjoy the beautiful surrounds.

Chaweng Beach-Ko Samui, Thailand

For those who like a beach with a bit more action, Chaweng Beach in Ko Samui, Thailand is just the place. The beach is beautiful with picturesque soft sand and blue waters. Just beyond the sand, you’ll find bungalows nestled in the trees. If you feel like exploring, there is a small town behind the beach which boasts great Thai eateries, shops and fun nightlife.

Lombok, Indonesia

Just off the coast of east Bali, the beaches found here also boast privacy and beauty. Depending on the experience you want, there are also beaches in Lombok that have stretches of shops and venues for you to explore. With clear aqua blue water and pure white sand you’ll think you’re in paradise. Just a stone’s throw from Bali, it’s the perfect place for a romantic escape or a holiday of peace and complete relaxation.

Senggigi Beach is the main tourist town and beach in Lombok. For a more secluded experience a visit to East Lombok would be more suited. It is less developed and lets you take a peek at rural life in Indonesia.

For a more adventurous experience, visit the Mount Rinjani National Park. Mount Rinjani is an active volcano that makes for a spectacular place to visit. The sights are breath-taking and it’s not hard to see why local people revere the mountain as a sacred place.

Not matter what type of holiday your planning, it’s definitely worth factoring in a visit to Lombok when organising your Bali trip.

Mui Ne Beach- Phan Thiet, Vietnam

This is the latest getaway destination in Vietnam. Just a few hours for Ho Chi Minh City, Mui Ne Beach offers visitors gorgeous white sand and incredible resort accommodation. There is a wonderful golf course here too and because the town of Phan Thiet is a fishing town you can expect delicious seafood on offer. It would be worth going on the day trips to surrounding areas while visiting as there are some amazing sights to see such as giant sand dunes and quaint surrounding fishing villages.

So whether you’re in the process of booking Bali hotels for your trip or you’re just getting started, consider perhaps the idea of extending your holiday to be able to take in the beauty of all of Southeast Asia’s amazing beaches.

Vacation Rental Vs Hotel

And the winner , read this, then decide!

First, the ubiquitous hotel. Swathed in branded names, cookie cutter rooms, marginal service, questionable decor, and exorbitant prices. If you haven’t guessed, I’m not a big fan. Keep that bias in mind. I admit it and put it out there for you, right up front! Staying in hotel accommodations is a hassle. The rooms, although comfortable, are sterile. The fact that you have to eat via room service, venture out in all kinds of weather or settle for the overpriced, mediocre cuisine offered by the hotel’s restaurant, just doesn’t float my you’re traveling with family or a group of friends, you have to rent an expensive suite or settle for separate rooms. Then there are issues of privacy, laundry, transportation, tips, taxes and stairs and elevators. I could go on but I’m sure you get the point.

Now, with a vacation rental, the scenario is radically different. First and foremost, you are residing in a warm, homelike environment. Your privacy is on a par with that which you enjoy at home. The prices for your stay per person are typically significantly less than you would pay for hotel accommodations, especially true if your are a family or will be able to cook your own meals, wash your own laundry, avoid tips, duck taxes, dodge surcharges and come and go as you please without fear of drawing the attention of the desk clerk who looks at you as if you are stealing the hotel linens.

Then there are the less tangible but real advantages to the vacation rental. You get the real experience of place. You are living in the culture, experiencing first hand what life is like as a resident rather than a guest.

The amenities you will enjoy in your vacation rental exceed those available in the typical hotel. Cable TV, Internet, telephone service, refrigerator, range, dishes, linens, towels, cutlery, laundry facilities and more space!

Is there a downside you ask. Sure, but no different from booking a hotel. Yes, you may find that the vacation rental doesn’t live up to expectations, but you’ve had the same experience with hotels, I’m sure. You may find that researching vacation rental property is a little more laborious than searching for a hotel. Booking may be a few extra steps, but the resulting experience makes this small extra effort worthwhile.

Now I’m not going so far as to say that vacation rentals are for everyone. If you are a couple, or traveling alone, the hotel can be a good choice. Maybe you are totally comfortable with the hotel atmosphere. It’s okay!

I maintain, however, my position on the validity of a vacation rental as the best choice for those traveling with friends and those all important family vacations. I will concede the fact that vacation rentals are not available for all destinations.

As the title of this article implies, you be the judge. I apologize for my bias but I did disclose that at the outset.

Bali’s Beautiful Attractions

The destination is famed for its miles and miles of pristine beaches but there are many other reasons to visit Bali, some of which are outlined below. While the geographical region does of course contain the threat of natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes, this has apparently not been enough to deter intrepid travellers from making their way there to enjoy a luxury holiday somewhere different from where they might ordinarily head.

Bali is famous for its scuba diving and snorkelling sites which are considered among the best dive sites anywhere on earth. Among the most popular dive destinations in Bali are Menjangan Island situated off the north-west coast and also the stunning sights and reefs off Nusa Penida to the south of Bali. Dive conditions often vary depending on the time of year so it can often be worth asking the staff in Bali hotels which is the best place to go diving at the time of your visit. Lots of visitors to Bali find that they fall in love with diving and as such choose to study for their PADI or SSI diving qualification while there.

Bali is also renowned for its many beautiful Hindu temples which are liberally scattered all over the island. The island has a law which requires every village to be home to a minimum of three temples and the influence of this tradition on the place is there for all to see. There is something quite mystical about Bali and a visit to the island’s temples is an absolute must for any visitor. Remember though that there is a dress code for entering temples and that you should always be respectful while there.

Like many other south-east Asian destinations, Bali is home to many stunning natural waterfalls which are one of the chief attractions on the island. It is very easy to lose oneself on a trek through thickly canopied jungle to a beautiful lagoon where hikers are invited to cool off with a swim. Many Bali resorts are happy to help visitors arrange treks through the jungle with specialist firms which know the routes and provide guides.

No visit to Bali is complete without seeing the landscape’s famous fields of rice paddies. The fields go on for miles and miles and are quite a sight, being laid out as they are in terraced rows making them a sight to see in their own right. The stretch between Candidasa and Amplapura is arguably the most famous area around for seeing the rice paddies and many tourists like to take in the route by bicycle – getting a bit of fresh air and exercise while seeing the countryside too!

Indonesia is of course famous for its many natural disasters caused by its unique geography and geology, so while in Bali it is always worth a visit to a volcano. Gunung Batur is arguably the place’s most famous volcano and symbolises female reproduction and fertility, in contrast to Bali’s other famous volcano, Gunung Agung. The volcano is still active though so be very sure to seek advice from a local or a tour guide about when and how to go to see the volcano safely.