Kingdom and Dragons



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    The above photos show the Tauck duffels, the zip on one broke the second try, they are not well made.
    The long jetty on Komodo island. The type of transfer boat and steep steps up to the jetty with no handrail. One of the old sad looking, moribund dragons we saw 😂

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    Gladys and British - thank you for the very helpful trip reports.

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    BKMD please stop your snide comments about my spelling, you are so hurtful to me on a constant basis about it.

    I don't believe I've ever commented on your spelling. And it's certainly not on a constant basis because I don't read most of your posts when I see 10+ lines without a line space between paragraphs. I have commented on that a few times because I find it rude on your part to post that way. How much extra effort is there to hit ENTER twice instead of once, to start a new paragraph, when it makes reading so much easier?

    No further debate necessary from either of us on this subject.

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    BKMD, British is not rude at all. It’s just the way she structures her posts. WhT does it matter? Something as trite as that, shouldn’t annoy you for a lack of spacing between paragraphs to even be mentioned or a concern. Geez.

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    Today is the last day of our tour and we will be really sad for it or end with all the characteristics on the tour and the shared memories
    This morning we went to a fantastic temple….don’t ask me the name, I’ve not been writing notes, leaving that to my husband. Anyway, here in Bali, the rides on the bus are so interesting because each home has it's own shrine and it is just amazing to see them all.

    The temple had lots of monkeys. As is usual, we were warned to remove sparkly objects, eye glasses and hats, anything that might tempt a naughty quick monkey. We were all very careful, until dear ….well let’s keep this anonymous set his phone down briefly to retrieve something from his backpack. Quick as a flash, a monkey appeared and took his phone. Who I call the ‘Monkey Man’ a special Guide who follows with us to try to retrieve it by offering food, sprung into action. The monkey was too quick, sped down steps and over the wall onto the cliff face. We were kept away. After a while, a local man scaled down the cliff, I think with food, the monkey dropped the phone and it was retrieved. We were all so happy for this and what a great story. We saw a monkey steal flip flops inside the temple from someone who was worshipping. According to monkey man, this happens every day! Mr. B has the monkey pics on his camera, so can’t share right now.

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    Ah, above is my monkey man and the other is the monkey man guide. 😂

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    edited September 2022

    Monkey with cell phone

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    British. Sounds like you had a marvelous time. I'm so glad for you. Enjoy your last day of relaxation & safe travels back home. B)

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    Thank you Pure luxury. We just completed the Farewell dinner, a very emotional time. As I said to our tour director, i can’t pinpoint why, but this is now one of our favorite tours
    I’ve had quite a lot of wine tonight and an exceptional Farewell menu. Maybe I’ll think of a few more hints to post in the coming days.

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    Great pictures British, enjoy the rest of your time there. Safe travels home

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    British - As you will soon be returning to Philadelphia I hope you haven't picked up bad habits on this trip that will get you in trouble in Philadelphia - Skinny Dipping! 😂😂

    Glad you've had such a great trip.

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    British,your posts are great and refreshing!I think we are going to extend pre and post tour !Temples in Bali will bring home fond memories of Hindu epics we have read growing up!One reason this is on our bucket list!I have not decided on air yet;There is @ direct flight from NY to Singapore on Singapore airlines;thinking of looking into it.Have a safe journey home!On a lighter note som3how British and skinny dipping don’t go together 😂

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    September 21
    "The above photos show the Tauck duffels, the zip on one broke the second try, they are not well made. . . . . "

    Were these Bali tour-specific "Tauck" duffles since they are colorful, highly decorated, and not all green, like previous ones, or are they the new duffles Tauck is issuing for all tours (K&T, Botswana, P&G, etc.)? Maybe someone can weigh in about other tours.

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    They are specific to the Bali tour Alan. They likely are not robust enough for Africa

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    Sudhamali, the reports here about Singapore airlines have not been good at all. Surprising but true. That was also the review of the Points Guy recently too

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    Oh, thanks British!Direct flight was the temptation.

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    We are on our first day post tour. It was nice to have a small lie in, then we went to the large infinity pool at 8am and swam for about half an hour. If you go to the infinity edge of the pool, you can look over and see a waterfall and two smaller pools. The landscaping everywhere is stunning.

    I’m trying to preempt some more questions…
    Mosquitoes have not been an issue for us, but we are advised to use insect repellent and most hotels have it in the rooms. I know someone who was on this tour in August and mosquitoes were indeed a problem with lots of bites
    If you are interested in spa treatments, I advise booking before the tour. We did this for a treatment at the Raffles hotel. At this Four Seasons, we tried weeks ago and there was nothing. We mention it to our TD and she secured a spot for us today. Then late last night, an email came saying a spot had opened for our original choice, so we went up to the spa to sort something out.

    I must admit that when we have elected to take post stays on Tauck tours, it has always been great. This time, we just don’t want to go home! Also in the night. I had messages from two best friends, one back in PA and the other elsewhere. They both have Covid, one really quite ill, who said this was over?

    Laundry…..Raffles hotel is extra expensive. All other hotels really reasonable, even this Four Seasons.
    Photography….several places we have visited it has been a challenge to take decent photos because of the lighting. Images are often back lit because there is no way to get to a better side for lighting. I just have my iPhone and it’s quite old. My husband has his big camera. So I’m hoping his are better.

    Clothing…Tauck suggested clothing to cover arms and legs, so I brought capris. It’s not necessary because Tauck provides sarongs which can be taken home. So I’m glad I brought shorts too. Everyone had patterns in the brown and black color range. The sashes were different colors, mine was yellow, my husbands was red. When we get home, I’ll wash them and maybe make tablecloths or cushions or whatever with them, they are just pieces of fabric with no finished edges.

    Rain, we had a small light shower in Singapore, not a problem. In the early morning before we left Singapore, there was a huge tropical downpour, but it was over before we got on the bus. The rest of the time it has been rain-free, except during last night. The rainy season begins in October. So many items we brought with is we haven’t needed.

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    BTW Airlines ratings for 2022 has been released:quatar is #1;Singapore airlines #2!

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    Airlines ratings for 2022 are as follows:


    1. Qatar Airways

    2. Singapore Airlines

    3. Emirates

    4. ANA All Nippon Airways

    5. Qantas Airways

    6. Japan Airlines

    7. Turkish Airlines

    8. Air France

    9. Korean Air

    10. Swiss Int’l Air Lines

    11. British Airways

    12. Etihad Airways

    13. China Southern

    14. Hainan Airlines

    15. Lufthansa

    16. Cathay Pacific

    17. KLM

    18. EVA Air

    19. Virgin Atlantic

    20. Vistara

    21. Finnair

    22. Gulf Air

    23. Bangkok Airways

    24. Delta Air Lines

    25. Iberia

    26. Ethiopian Airlines

    27. AirAsia

    28. Aegean Airlines

    29. Scoot

    30. Air New Zealand

    31. Garuda Indonesia

    32. Austrian

    33. Asiana Airlines

    34. Saudi Arabian Airlines

    35. Southwest Airlines

    36. Fiji Airways

    37. Oman Air

    38. Air Astana

    39. WestJet

    40. Ryanair


    1. Scoot

    2. Jetstar Airways

    3. Air Canada rouge

    4. LEVEL

    5. AirAsiaX


    1. SunExpress

      1. Air Transat
    2. TUI Airways

    3. TUIfly

    4. Vietravel Airlines


    1. Singapore Airlines

    2. ANA All Nippon Airways

    3. Garuda Indonesia

      1. Thai Airways
    4. Japan Airlines

    5. Qatar Airways

    6. Hainan Airlines

    7. Asiana Airlines

    8. EVA Air

    9. Cathay Pacific


    1. ANA All Nippon Airways

    2. Singapore Airlines

    3. Japan Airlines

    4. Qatar Airways

    5. Hainan Airlines

    6. Asiana Airlines

    7. Korean Air

    8. China Airlines

    9. Fiji Airways

    10. Cathay Pacific


    1. Virgin Atlantic

    2. Qatar Airways

    3. Turkish Airlines

    4. Singapore Airlines

    5. Air France

    6. KLM

    7. United Airlines

    8. Air Canada

    9. Emirates

    10. Gulf Air


    1. Plaza Premium

    2. Primeclass

    3. The Pearl – Bahrain Airport

    4. iGA Lounge – Istanbul Airport

    5. Aspire by Swissport


    1. Ryanair

    2. Vueling Airlines

    3. EasyJet

    4. Jet2.com

    5. Eurowings

    6. airBaltic

    7. Norwegian

    8. Wizz Air

    9. LEVEL

    10. Pegasus Airlines

    Source: Skytrax

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    Criteria? The results are probably as meaningful as the US News college rankings.

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    Alan - I agree, however, I have only flown with Qatar once and Emirates twice and they were impressive.

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    I agree Noreen, just came home from Indonesia on Qatar, their Q Suite is incredible, very spacious, bathrooms were always spotless and the service unequaled.

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    In 10 days I'll be boarding my Qatar flight to the Egypt: Jewel of the Nile tour. Can't wait. :D

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    And in a few minutes we will be boarding our Qatar flight

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    Smiling Sam - You are in for a real treat flying with Qatar.  Also, looking forward to reading about your trip experience in Egypt as we will be going there next October.

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    Noreen - We have good training location for the Egyptian weather, living in Tucson. I checked out the weather forecast through the end of next week (a few days before we arrive). Cairo: mid to upper 90s, down river in Luxor and Aswan 105 - 110.

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    Smiling Sam - Wow! It is hot in Egypt in September. We will be there from October 29 to November 7, 2023 and then Morocco from November 9 to November 18. Can't wait to hear about your trip. Have a safe and fun trip.

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    Smiling Sam - Have a great trip, I also went to Egypt and Jordan in September, you will enjoy Qatar.

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