It’s enough to make you cancel your reservation

Originally posted on Blogdramedy:

A vacation is supposed to be your time away from the crazy. Remind me never to travel to any of the same vacation spots these people have booked. I’ll take that upgrade and trade you a bus tour of “OH MY GOD THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS!”

THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS”:

1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

2. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

3. “On my holiday to Goa in India , I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

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Top Ten Aman Resorts

bukitvista:

What is an Aman Resort?

Originally posted on The Tiny Traveller's Top Ten:

Consistently described as the best hotel chain in the world, Aman Resorts consists of 29 exclusive properties which, despite all being completely unique, share the brand’s core traits of outstanding service, small room numbers, world-class facilities and beautiful surroundings, whether those be forests, jungles, deserts, cities or snow-capped mountains. The most important shared trait of all Aman properties is the exquisite service; a beguiling combination of discretion and read-your-mind attentiveness, every need will be met before you even became aware of it. As if to counter the growing problem of luxury hotels the world over increasingly merging into mirror images of one another, Aman properties are unique in the way every resort sensitively interacts with its environs; the majority of staff are always from the surrounding areas, buildings are designed to echo traditional building styles and materials, food is a tasteful blend of Western and local and each property offers a range of cultural…

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Oh Bali, I Love You!

bukitvista:

Awesome time in Bali!

Originally posted on amandina*:

Freshly minted with a vacation tan, don’t be jealous! ;)

PLUS we had a pro camera tagging along, courtesy of Cheryla, so we actually have non-blurry, non-filtered pictures to remember the good times! BIG kisses to my boyfriend who was so stressed at one point in time (teaching QM how to ride a bike, and pillion-ing two girls); and to the awesome girlfriends who made it so fun! <3 <3

We ate superbly, at La Lucciola, Warung Eny and Sardine. Unfortunately did not get a chance to try out new places this time round but I’ve heard Merah Putih along the same Jl. Petitenget is also excellent. Next time!

All picture credits to @lushxlife

Rolling around

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Being cultural

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Eating well

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What is Aman Resorts?

What is Aman Resorts?

Aman resorts is a boutique resort group pretty unknown in the United States.  In Asia, it’s a hidden jewel of the hotel world.  I first started hearing about the hotels among clients that would come down to Bali and buy expensive villas in my early days as a real estate agent.  The brand was admired in the way that rare wines or exotic cars are mentioned. 

Finding others who love Bali in America

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I get a mixed bag of responses when I tell folks that I’ve been living in Bali for seven years. Its usually a “wow”, followed by a wry smile with a “So what have you been up to?”  I’m tempted to say that I was a surfer sex-fiend that partied everyday, ate mushrooms and tore my hair out while howling at the moon.  It’s the better story since I don’t think people quite believe me when I tell them I was building hotels, renting villas and raising a family.

The funny thing about living in paradise is that it’s not about lying on beaches and sipping daiquiris.   One must earn a living on a tropical island and work is not pleasant.  I always liked to remark that everything wrong about life in the California happened outside of work.  The opposite is true in Bali.  Everything wrong with life in Bali happened at work.

Work in Indonesia is broken.  When I worked selling villas, most of our time was spent waiting for customers.  Sometimes, days would roll by and not a single person would email, call or walk in the door.  When you’re living on 100% commission, there’s no benefit to having slow days.  I remember being stalled by the countless legal ambiguities and unreliable ‘legal professionals’ we’d rely on to button up paperwork. When I worked in construction, most days were spent chasing dishonest contractors or rejecting shoddy materials.   Most of the inefficiencies of working in Indonesia are absorbed in the form of low wages and brutal hours.

On the flip side, on good days at work, you’re absolutely on top of the world.  You’re really having your cake and eating it too.  You’re chilling at the finish line of the rat race with a fat bottle of champagne.

Honestly, most folks do admire this time I spent living in Bali.  However, we do quickly move onto other topics since Bali isn’t commonly visited by North Americans and inevitably my new friend agrees to visit me sometime in the future.

I found myself on a long car-ride up to Tomales Bay with another expat from Indonesia.  This guy had gotten the bug from working in Indonesia and ran into that same log-jam that I had.  We lamented the cultural divide, the corruption and the pollution.  We visited those themes that grumpy expats seem to love dwelling on.  Bitching is something expats do well but I had never heard it so well articulated.

I found myself jumping out of my seat in laughter and recognizing all the social taboos that I hadn’t realized before.  For example, a boss in Indonesia should not roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty.  He must stay cool, clean and remain above work assigned to subordinates.  I remembered the idea of division of labor according to caste and how this fit well into that construct.

What can I say, paradise works in strange ways.