Bali with Kids - Guidebook

Toko Buku - Bali Advertiser

What first occurs to you when you pick up Bali with Kids is: Why didn't someone think of this sooner? This unique compilation of information, the first of its kind, is not only indispensable for newly arrived families holidaying on Bali but of great value to residents who have been here for decades as it uncovers hundreds of little known or underpublicized activities reaching even into North and East Bali.

Targeted to the needs of the growing family market, this guidebook takes care of not just children but also consistently considers the convenience of parents (the authors motto is "Happy kids make Happy Parents"). Written for parents of infants up to teenagers, the book was produced by a small team from who painstakingly gathered the material over a 10 month period.

Divided by color coded chapters according to the type of activity, it's easy to follow the chapters on kid friendly hotels and restaurants, where to encounter animals, shop for children, how to entertain kids, beach and nature activities, suggested itineraries that kids will love, listings and descriptions of elephant parks and spa treatments. Teenagers can read entries themselves and choose what they want to do that day. Long time favorites as well as the very latest kid friendly venues are included. Hundreds of photos of happy children fill the pages.

The emphasis is on outdoor activities. Parents are advised to leave the electronics behind and take advantage of Bali's beautiful scenery and natural attractions: mountain biking, trekking, climbing volcanoes, swimming, scuba diving, buggy boarding, snorkeling, surfing. (Have you even heard of Stand Up Paddle, the world's fastest growing water sport?). Separate boxes discuss Bali's temperamental monkeys and the sad tale of the extinction of Bali's last tiger.

Cultural and background information is not neglected. Contributors include not only parents but experienced educators, travelers, and residents who offer a comprehensive insights into what parents can expect when they bring their kids to Bali, helping to understand your surroundings and fully enjoy and integrate with the Balinese way of life. An ethnomusicologist explains what ceremonies are carried out for a baby and a children's book author discusses traditional outfits worn by Balinese men and women.

A number of sections are written by experts in their given fields: travel tips are provided by Ann Martin Bowler, author of Gecko's Complaint. Grant Clark, who wrote Monkey Magic, gives valuable pointers on how to get kids reading while on vacation. Vivek Bammi, author of Indonesia: A Feast of the Senses, explains how the tooth filing ceremony is the end of innocence for a child. Snorkeling advice is offered by Hidden Paradise Cottages in Amed, what it's like to charter a traditional sailing schooner has been contributed by Blue Water Cruises.

There is also sound advice on how to find a nanny or babysitter, real travel stories and testimonials from families who have been to Bali, and two pages are devoted to favorite children's snacks such as perkedel tahu and rujak. The chapter on health is a useful resource in case medical issues arise, giving such tips as recommending the anti-diarrhea medicine Norit which "works wonders."

Practical nitty-gritty advise includes: If lost follow a taxi driver with your car; take a taxi for shorter journeys but use a driver for longer ones; buy the Periplus Bali Atlas for trips; use Google Maps to plan itineraries; place your hotel's business card in your child's pocket each day when he or she go out; bring a blank journal and colored pencils so your kid can record their adventures during periods of downtime.

A chapter entitled "New Residents" surveys schools, sports, playgrounds, language schools, music lessons, and delicatessens. The list of the best book shops and a detailed reading list of children's books on or about Bali can help fill the quieter moments of a busy Bali holiday for your child. A chapter on NGOs (Yayasans) has been added to fulfill the demand of many families who want to support reputable charities.

Buying Bali with Kids will also save you money. Not only do many of the suggested outings cost just a fraction of what the comparative activities would cost in the West, readers also benefit from discounts offered by half a dozen companies such as dive outfits and surf schools listed in book. The editors urge families to request a family discount whenever possible, and note that a family-size villa is more convenient and economical than rooms side-by-side in a hotel.

The book needs a subject and geographic index, not just a business name index, so that if a parent living in Sanur wants to know about everything going on in Sanur or if a reader was particularly interested in birds or art they would be able to find those entries. Though Bali with Kids was printed in a compact 12.5 cm X 18.5 cm format, making it easy to carry around, the type size is almost microscopic in the special interest callouts.

Bali With Kids is jammed packed with suggestions, contacts, useful ideas and opportunities for long-term residents of Bali. The book is also an invaluable reference if you're planning a successful family vacation in Bali, particularly if you have limited time. The editors have already received numerous emails from parents seeking advice and the initial 2000 copies have already sold out, prompting a reprint.

Bali with Kids: Families Guidebook for Babies to Teenagers, Avenir Solutions 2011, ISBN 978-981-08-8123-8, soft cover, 223 pages, kid-oriented useful phrases, index. Available for Rp185,000 at the many retail outlets found online at, where it can also be ordered. Electronic edition (ebook) available for US$12.50 to download to iPad, Kindle or laptop.

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