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Bali or Hawaii

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Bali or Hawaii

Im planning a holiday in November and was tossing up between Hawaii or Bali. Looking for some advice from people who have been to both places and can give me some honest opinions on what is better about each place in particular the beaches, shopping, costs, activities, and snorkeling.

Please help!

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1. Re: Bali or Hawaii


I spoke to my partner who has been to both (as we are currently in Bali on vacation for the 1st time!)

He said that the beaches in Hawaii were much better than Hawaii as the sand was white and sea crystal blue in Hawaii. It is the classic paradise beach from Hawaii. The beaches in Bali are not as good as you may expect them to be. They may be clean but in some areas the tide goes quite far out in the afternoon making it impossible to swim.

Bali is a lot cheaper than Hawaii but the shopping expreience in Hawaii is much better than Bali, especially for designer stuff. The majority of designer stuff in Bali is fake and obviously so. They have shops that sell purely fake bags and clothes!

My partner concluded that he has been top Hawaii 3 times and would go back tomorrow if he could. With Bali, he would come back but not as quickly as he would to Hawaii.

Please let us know if we can help you any more than we have!!


Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Bali or Hawaii

I concur. Hawaii is beautiful in that TV-beach sort of way - amazingly blue waters and white beaches. It conjures up that vision of paradise. Great snorkeling and diving. But everthing is expensive.

Bali has much better shopping, IMO. Handicrafts, furniture, silver, carvings, you name it. And so inexpensive. We are shipping back a container of furniture from Bali (we were there in September) - even with shipping costs to the US, it's far cheaper than buying things of a similar quality here. This is assuming the items make it here :)

Good luck with your decision!

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3. Re: Bali or Hawaii

Read this first:

Bali Tourist Areas Hit by Series of Blasts

Email this Story

Oct 1, 8:38 AM (ET)

BALI, Indonesia (AP) - Several near-simultaneous explosions occurred Saturday in tourist areas of Bali island, injuring at least three Westerners, a private Indonesian radio station said.

At least three blasts occurred along Jimbaran beach, which is lined with seafood restaurants commonly frequented by tourists, El Shinta radio reported. Witnesses saw at least three bloodied Westerners leaving the scene, the station said.

Another explosion hit downtown Kuta, about 18 miles away, the radio said.

Police confirmed the blasts but could not say whether they were caused by bombs.

In 2002, bombings linked to the al-Qaida-linked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah killed 202 people in Bali, mostly foreigners.

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4. Re: Bali or Hawaii

I have been to both places and they are both well worth a visit. If you go to Hawaii try to visit more than one island. There are plenty of flights between the larger islands. The volcanoes on big island are fantastic, and Pearl Harbour is also worth a visit. The snorkelling is amazing and you will often get turtles swimming up beside you. However a lot of the coastline is not sandy, so you have to search out the best beaches. Hawaii is also very expensive compared to Bali. Food is mainly shipped in from the mainland, so eating out is costly and there is nowhere near the choice that you would get in other parts of the US.

My first impression of Bali was that it seemed a bit run down, but within hours I had fallen in love with it. The people are wonderful, so friendly and helpful. We stayed in Legian, and the beach stretched for miles. Eating out is very cheap, starters cost about £1 and main courses £2 - £3. Taxi's are also very cheap and so is accommodation.

Shopping is so much cheaper in Bali. You can get fake goods for pennies, or go into the more upmarket shops for more genuine items, but either way it's very good value.

I think November is the start of the rainy season in Bali, I'm not sure what the weather is like in Hawaii at that time of year.

After the news of the bombing you may well have decided to choose Hawaii, but please don't write off Bali for the future it's a beautiful place to visit and the people deserve all the help they can get. I will certainly be revisiting Bali as soon as I can manage it.

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5. Re: Bali or Hawaii

Hi, weazle,

You have a pleasant decision ahead of you ;)

As some of the other members have written, Hawaii does have some lovely beaches. I presently travel to the Big Island of Hawaii about six times a year, and always treasure every minute in the ocean (I have a small place in Kamuela, near the Mauna Kea Resort). Good snorkeling, golf, tennis, restaurants, shopping, and some of the best natural beauty you will ever see: an active volcano, and if you are up for it, sunset from the summit of Mauna Kea, the world's highest mountain (when measured from the ocean floor ;-) ).

Having written all that, I will never be able to get Bali out of my mind. A friend and I spent one week in Bali in June 2003, dividing our time between the Four Seasons' properties at Jimbaran Bay and Sayan. It was absolutely magical. Both resorts were nearly deserted, so that only heightened the sense of tranquility. We loved everything about our stay in Bali.

That was my one and only time in Bali, whereas, Hawaii has been a regular destination for many years. I consider both locations to be, yes, paradise. I think you have a wonderful, "no lose," decision awaiting you :)


macintosh (Robert)

Oakland, CA
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6. Re: Bali or Hawaii

We went to Maui and Bali this year and your choice really comes down to what you want to do. If your're looking to explore a different culture and seeing sights that you would not see in a Western country, definitely go to Bali. If you're primarily a beach person, and not that interested in exploring the inland areas, then go to Hawaii.

As noted by others, Hawaii's beaches are very clean, water is very clear and is the perfect place for all kinds of water sports. Bali's beaches aren't that clean and doesn't compare to Hawaii in terms of quality.

Having said that, I found in the inland parts of Bali to be very beautiful. Once you get away from the touristy southern coast, you'll quickly realize Bali's unique culture and get to know the friendly people. You simply won't find that anywhere else in the world.

The resorts in the Ubud area are of very high quality, espeically the Four Seasons Sayan. Having stayed at the FS in Maui, I would go back to the one in Sayan anytime. You can get your own pool villa for the same price as the cheapest room you'll find at a FS in Hawaii.

Not sure if you're skittish about Bali give the recent events, but I think once you're away from the usual tourist traps, you'll be fairly safe and it'll allow you to see the true beauty of Bali.

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7. Re: Bali or Hawaii

I would have to say Hawaii.It is easy,healthy,happy,friendly and safe and really beautiful.Costs are higher in Hawaii but are off set by the better options for meals,sightseeing and other essentials, far nicer cleaner beaches, much better shopping Given you are in America,activities so much more Visit Maui or one of the other outer islands,lots more history and If you have kids They will love you for it,Sadly I cannot answer your question on snorkelling.

As for Bali I would say do not even consider it, instead look at Penang or Singapore.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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8. Re: Bali or Hawaii

Hi Weazle,

We've done both Bali and Hawaii (as well as numerous other snorkel/beach locations).

IMHO I don't think you can compare the two. if you are after cheap shopping, bartering, daytripping and lush padi rice scenery then bali is for you. The beaches do not compare (other perhaps tha Nusa but it is not a snorkel location). Whilst people rave about good food for little dollars i am yet to feel they have it quite right. We didn't find bali particularly cheap unless you wanted fake stuff...although in the wake of the current climate you'll get a much better exchange rate.

Hawaii... we've stayed both in Waikiki (overated strip a bit like a small version of surfers without the endless beach) and on Maui in kapalua. This would be my pick if you are into snorkelling from the beach, especially for the fish. Coral is mostly dead from people walking on it (oh don't you have you reef hoes..how will you walk on the coral???). We had an apartment so combined self catering and dining out. We spent less on food because we could eat as at home and then retaurant in the evenings..

Without sounding parochial..good old FNQ (i know it doesn't have the lure of OS) cannot be compared..so do not expect either destination to offer what we have.

As another side issue...if you are considering bali check that any travel insurance will be vaild as you are going to a destination which is now advised against and the industry will use this as a point to block any claim.

Summing up..for an OS destination...Hawaii..but get away from Waikiki

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