Subject: The trip of my life, so far
Dear Travelziners,

The recent poll on "the most exciting European city" inspired me to think about our travels. My wife and I have been fortunate to be able to travel quite a bit, and we have seen quite few places. I thought perhaps starting with a posting of "The trip of my life, so far" would be a good subject for the group, one that would inspire others to look back, share with us their experiences, and will provide invaluable insights that other members can benefit from.

What was our best trip? I would say Bali (and Java). We did see quite few countries - most of Europe, Israel, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala (recently), Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan - to name a few. But Bali somehow stood out...

We visited this special island in 2001. The most striking thing to us was the people and their culture. The primary religion there is Hindu, and they have the highest amount of temples per capita in the world. Every other day they celebrate something with mini parades and festivities. While the natural beauty is striking, the warmth of the people is very disarming. Just pleasure.

For Americans, everything there is cheap. We would hire a driver with a car (SUV) for a full day for $10 to $20. That is the best way to travel. The hotel we stayed in was $25 a day - a brand new, modern and air conditioned. Of course they also have much more expensive ones, as well as others for $7 per night. The typical meal for two was anywhere from $2 to $7. Of course, that was 2001.

We stayed in Ubud - a town in the center of the island, which is known for itís art and crafts, surrounded by many rice fields. A very charming town. From there we had numerous trips all over Bali. The beaches are beautiful, but we were too busy visiting all over to "waste" time on something available everywhere else. The least appealing city was Kuta, as it is too "touristic" and too commercialized for our taste.

While in Bali, we traveled to Yogyakarta in Java. There were two reasons for going there: this city is in the vicinity of Barabudur, a most beautiful Buddhist temple/center, one of the world's most impressive religious structures, and Prabanan - a Hindu religious group of structures of same caliber. This trip is a must for anyone visiting this part of the world. (I think they are considered wonders of the ancient world).

For a person with my limited writing skills (not to mention my typing) itís hard to pinpoint the many aspect and experiences we felt while visiting there, but it did feel very special to us.

I thought Iíll bring this trip we made to the members attention, so the interested may investigate it further.

Reuven, New York