kingdoms & Dragons- Bali - Singapore

edited August 2023 in Announcements




  • mil - Different strokes for different folks.

    Forum has its uses in different ways for different people. All is good. :D

  • Mil Were you not going on this trip?

  • Hi! We are going next month so I’d be happy to share our experience when we return. For those who have been there, are there any “must see” sites or activities you’d suggest outside of Tauck’s itinerary in the various destinations? For example, the Night Safari or Singapore Zoo? Did anyone pop over to Malaysia at all or look into doing that while there? Not sure if it’s worth taking the time to do that but we are going two days early. I did see a recommendation from one Taucker for a food tour in Singapore, and we have booked that. We always enjoy checking out the local culture through the food when traveling! I also took note of the suggestion to visit the Gardens by the Bay at night. I do appreciate the feedback from the forum, especially when considering a destination or planning for a trip, so I am happy to reciprocate when I can! ☺️

  • Mil, our TD booked us lunch at the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which is on the roof, so no need to buy tickets, you sit and have lunch looking at the view. I believe we went straight from the included tour of the Gardens by the Bay… you had a choice to be dropped off at three different stops, so we arranged to go there and the TD booked it for us that morning. The food was delicious by the way.
    You get your best photos of Gardens bu the Bay from that vantage point too. More opportunities to see the view when you go to the top of an apartment building tour as well. I think you will be repeating some of the places you will see as part of the tour itinerary unless it has changed since we went.
    Don’t miss a tour of the Raffles hotel with one of the staff who has been there years. It’s essential to book that as he only takes a small group.

  • British, Yes! I booked the Raffle Tour, I thought of your recommendation. I'm doing the Observation deck at sunset, so I can see the city turning lights on etc.. and the Spectra show.
    Tauck doesn't mention anything about visiting the 3 Neiborhood's so I'm doing it on my own. and yes, they do a boat ride but not at sunset.

  • Wow - thank you so much for the helpful information, mil and British! It is very much appreciated! Where would I pre-book the tour at the Raffles Hotel? I tried looking on their website but didn’t see anything there about booking tours.

    Mil - Did you purchase tickets in advance for the night boat in Singapore? Also were you able to buy tickets for the observation deck at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel? If so, where was that? We did want to try to be there at sunset if possible but figured we’d probably have to arrange that in advance if they allow pre-purchase of tickets.

    Lastly….just curious - what made you decide to book the tour you did in Ubud in lieu of the scheduled Tauck activities? Also we are staying one extra day in Bali at the end of the tour.

    Thanks again!!!

  • I would email the concierge. The tour was very new when we went last year and we did not find out about the tour of Raffles until we got there. Initially when we got there, there were no spaces so they took our name just in case and they called us to tell us there was a space. The man is full of facts about the hotel, it includes the history and he shows you the suites that the rich and famous stay in. There was a sort of personal connection to us as the old Victrola in the foyer has an old vinyl record with a famous song which used to be played there on the piano and the recording is by one of the famous members who was in our singing group, Nelson Eddy. Of course I took a picture of it!
    Oh by the way, when you arrive, all tired and disheveled, they take your picture with the hotel in the background 🤪😂😂😂

  • Hello buonviaggio
    I will give you all the concierge emails.

    Raffles- Singapore : [email protected]

    Amanjiwo- Amanjiwo Front Office [email protected]
    Four Seasons- Ubud : [email protected]>
    Four Seasons- Jimbaran: [email protected]>

    Yes, I did book everything in advance, from here and paid all already in US dollars.

    for the Bays Sands observation deck and the Artscience Museum: I booked through GetYouGuide

    for the boat: you could use same:

    for local affordable guides- (private daily tour guide: I booked with Lokafy.

    I hope this helps.

  • buonviaggio me again....

    I start my homework about a year in advance... as I've decided where I'm going.
    I looked into the most see temples in Ubud and the one I chose it's the "Most beautiful" one.! Tirta Empul Temple. (Super popular w/locals and tourist-) it's the real thing a working temple. - .
    and also wanted to do (scary) the water rafting. which it is setup by the Four Seasons and with a raft & guide only for the Hotel. .

    So, as I was trying to accommodate my xtras, together with my Spa treatment, and the changes Tauck made- I decided to skip the valley visit and Temple Blessing on Day 8th (I have done several villages- Vietnan/Thailand/ Cambodia-Kenya & Tanzania... So, I think I can skip it).
    Also, I'm doing a Temple Blessing during my the xtra time at Denpasar-Bali. after the Tauck tour it's over.
    I'm staying 2 xtra days.

    Tauck change the visit to the Monkey Temple from arrival day- Day 7th- in the afternoon, to Day 9th - after the cooking class and lunch- at least that's what I was told by Tauck.
    So, on Day 8th- the only 2 activities are the Valley & the Temple-and lunch -done and back to the hotel by 2:15 pm- then free till.4:00 for the rice field activity. .

    Please!!! let me know the name of the rice field you go to. Please. :)

  • For those who have been there, are there any “must see” sites or activities you’d suggest outside of Tauck’s itinerary in the various destinations? For example, the Night Safari or Singapore Zoo?

    Buonviaggio I visited Singapore several years ago (not with Tauck) during Chingay--It was a great time with parades and festivities. I stayed at Raffles - It's a simply marvelous property! The Night Safari was very nice. I haven't studied Tauck's itinerary; however, I'm sure you'll visit Sentosa Island (Merlion), and the orchid gardens. A foodie tours is a must --I didn't have a formal tour as I had colleagues living in Singapore, so I feel I received a truly authentic foodie experience--don't forget to try the Durian fruit--it really is tasty.

  • Tauck does not spend enough time in Singapore imo, so arriving early is highly recommended, esp. factoring in jet lag. Gardens by the Bay is on the itinerary, but I don't think the others mentioned are. Traveling that far, you should see all you can squeeze in!

  • The botanical gardens are not on the tour, we went before the tour started and it was excellent, you need several hours. We passed the Merlin on the river tour. We went on the Night Safari about thirty years with our children and really enjoyed it and intended to do it again last year but it has not had good reviews recently so decided against it.

  • Another must-try food is chili crabs - a messy but delicious experience!

  • Hi, All!

    Thank you all ever so much for this wonderful information! It is VERY helpful and I truly appreciate it! Mil - I will take note of the rice field for you and will be happy to let you know!
    Wow - water rafting sounds very intriguing and adventurous!!

    Also, thank you, mil & British for the tip about the Raffles Hotel tour - I did reach out to the concierge per your suggestion and I heard back from the hotel historian, and I will be booking a tour! Still working on the rest! Getting very excited for this trip!

    Thanks again, everyone!!! 🙏

  • buonviaggio
    Have a great trip!

  • Thank you! I was looking at the CDC website and had one other question….did anyone get vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis for this trip? We have had the other suggested vaccinations (except Rabies) but I am a mosquito magnet and wondered how much of an issue it was in that part of Asia.

  • Buonviaggio - I took this tour last year and did not get vaccinated against Japonese Encephalitis, actually this is the first I heard of it for this trip.

  • No didn’t get the shot.

  • milmil
    edited August 2023

    buonviaggio OMG! please do not panic with the CDC recommendations... Japanese Encephalitis. Insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please, do not worry- you are going to good hotels, civilize areas and you're not going to hike any remote jungle.
    Just get the usual if you don't have them by now..., Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A&B, Malaria if traveling to Africa , Typhoid and I also got the Tdap.-Costco has them all and at great cost- specially Malaria and Typhoid if not cover by your insurance Nothing xtra.

  • What is the best month to take this trip? I am looking to book this one in 2025 as I see the dates just came out.

  • Thank you all for the peace of mind! Mil - your post made me laugh! 😁 Thanks for the tip about Costco. We’ve had all of the vaccines you mentioned. I was planning to take Malaria pills - did anyone else take them? According to CDC, malaria is present in Labuan Bajo & Komodo Islands. Like I said, I’m a major magnet for mosquitos 🦟!

  • buonviaggio I did not take any malaria pills either. Don't remember flies in the Komodo Island, actually there is more than one Komodo Island, I think the one Tauck goes to is the only one with access to tourists.

  • Mimitravels Hi.
    Go, during what they call dry season. July-Oct. Bali it's hot and Humid year-round- so you want the less rain possible. Singapore it's December to June. but this tour only stays in Singapore average 3 days.. I would do anytime between early Sept.- mid October.

  • buonviaggio, no Malaria for me. Buy REI - Sawyer Jungle Juice 100 Pump Spray Insect Repellent - 2 Fl. Oz. 2 Oz it's amazing! no mosquito will get close to you- I always use it- it's odor free and they do have the 100% . Amazon sales them or go direct to REI dee dee te spray&originIGUID=0BEDCE33189146DD858E466D68D72400&form=LIASTR

    CDC has business going on with travel clinics. They like to terrorize the travelers- they do have great info. it's just people get paranoid.
    Best thing to do consult your Dr.

  • milmil
    edited August 2023

    buonviaggio have you gotten any goodies- packing cubes- money wallet, set of marbles..?

  • Thanks, gladysorlando! Maybe the Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are in another part of the island? I’ll have to see if my doctor knows. But it sounds like no one needed Malaria meds for this trip. Thanks for the link to that insect repellent, mil - I just ordered it! 👍

    Mil - I do have packing cubes - a fellow Taucker recommend them to me about six years ago and I’ve been using them ever since! They rock!! Plus they save so much time. I remember the person who suggested them said she and her husband would be all relaxed the night before they had to switch hotels, maybe kicking back and having a cocktail, while the rest of her fellow travelers would all be up in their rooms scrambling to pack their luggage. By money wallet, do you mean money belt? I bought a Rick Steves one a number of years ago and I use it when I travel internationally. But I’m not sure about the set of marbles! What would I do with those? Do tell! 😄

    Thank you!

  • Buonviaggio, Mil was making a joke because some Tauck people have been getting gifts of packing cubes and others a wallet with 10 euros in the mail. Very funny Mil!
    Nothing came for us but we have plenty of packing cubes and love them too.
    Re Malaria, we did not take them for the Singapore tour. I sometimes use the British NHS travel website, will find it and post a link. It’s a better site. We pretty much have every vaccine we can under our belts. Will be checking to see if the RSV one is available next time we visit the pharmacy, it wasn’t when we last asked. We’ll need malaria meds again soon.

  • edited August 2023

    Here is a link. I think this is a great website with very clear information and great Malaria maps for each country too.

    Here is something on the site I just read about Indonesia. Watch out in the rice paddies!

    Japanese Encephalitis: spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is highest for long stay travellers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.

  • Thanks so much, British! I may need to swim in DEET! And, LOL mil! No marbles for moi! 😜😂🤣 I’m bad enough at trying to pack light without weighing my suitcase down with any toys! 😆

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