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A Tour to Singapore, Bali with extension to Java with Martha Gill of Gill Interiors


October 2 - 17, 2010

This tour is designed to showcase the best design of Bali, including Interiors, Architecture and Gardens. In addition to visiting current structures, we’ll see the artisans at work creating their works. Several well-known Bali design professionals will be showing us their specialties, and we’ll have an insider’s look at their work. However, Bali is not just design, and we’ll take the opportunity while there to become immersed in this special culture, from food to dancing, and with an extra special evening in the Royal Palace of Krambitan, enjoying a private banquet and the Prince’s own dancers. We take advantage of being in the neighborhood by spending two nights in Singapore, where we observe the city’s dedication to Feng Shui principles with a Feng Shui master. The Tanglin Center has Singapore’s largest collection of antique galleries, and we’ll have time to visit, shop, and set up relationships with gallery owners. We also have an optional tour to Java, and the 7 to 8th C temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, and a visit to the Sultan’s Kraton (palace).

For anyone with an interest in Southeast Asia, especially its design and architectural influence, this is a tour not to be missed.




Day 1 - Saturday, October 2: Home City/ Gateway City/ In Flight

We depart our home cities today to fly to our gateway city, which will vary depending on airline used. Some airlines have flights that leave the west coast a little after midnight, meaning that those flights arrive in Singapore late on Day 2. Regardless of arrival time participants will be transferred to the hotel. (*D)


Day 2 - Sunday, October 3: In flight
We lose today due to the International Date Line, but regain it on our return journey.singapore hindu temple


Day 3 - Monday, October 4: In Flight/ Singapore
We arrive in Singapore early this morning, and check into our hotel, where we have time to shower and relax until after lunch. This afternoon we begin to explore Singapore, starting with a city tour to such icons as Raffles, the area of Little India with its colorful temple and the res taurant-rich riverfront. Closer to our hotel we visit the Tanglin Center, home many antique dealers with a wide variety of Asian wares. Some may wish to take advantage of this to talk with potential trading partners. This evening we enjoy a welcome dinner. (*B,D)

Day 4 - Tuesday, October 5: Singapore
This morning we visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the National Orchid Garden; it is not uncommon to see locals welcoming the day by practicing Tai Chi on the lawns here. The Orchid Garden contains over 20,000 orchids of about 1000 species. The gardens are a surprisingly restful and quiet place in the midst of this bustling city. This afternoon we learn how Feng Shui was used to safeguard Singapore's prosperity; despite its most modern aspect the ancient premises of Feng Shui have been extensively used in many skyscrapers and other buildings, and most companies emply a geomancer prior to design and building anything. We visit the important Cosmic Centers in Singapore's landscape; our guide explains to us the importance of each site and its Feng Shui parameters, helping us to understand the underlying cosmic pulse of the country. (B,L,D)



Day 5 – Wednesday, October 6: Singapore / Bali
We fly to Bali this morning, arriving a little after noon, where we are met and transferred to our beachfront hotel in Sanur. The hotel is built and decorated in traditional Balinese style, anda walk in the gardens will reveal both the detail beloved of Balinese, and the influence the particlular Balinese version of the Hindu religion has on their everyday lives. The rest of the day is free to relax and adjust to our new environment, and to enjoy the stunning gardens and setting of the hotel. The hotel has a world class spa, and this may be the time to get rid of any left-over affects of the change of time zones over the last few days. This evening we have a welcome dinner in nearby restaurant. (B,D)


Day 6 – Thursday, October 7: South Bali
Today is dedicated to visiting several of the leading resorts of southern Bali and a renowned ceramic factory. In Jimbaran the Four Seasons Hotel is famous for its gardens, designed by Bali landscaper and architect Made Wijaya. Also in Jimbaran is Jenggala Keramik Bali, home to the best of Balinese ceramic design. Following lunch in Sanur, we visit the Bali Hyatt hotel, and some private residences to continue our familiarization with Bali design and application. Dinner tonight is with Balinese dancing at Puri Taman Sari, Umabian, a small village in the middle of the rice fields. Puri Taman Sari, a private home and now also a small, boutique hotel, was designed by traditional architects following ancient laws of magical harmony, the compound consists of a number of pavilions, the family temple and a traditional kitchen around a well kept yard.    (B,L,D)


Day 7 – Friday, October 8: South Bali
We start today with a visit to the Warisan workshop and show room, in Dalung. Although some may be unfamiliar with this furniture accessories and lighting, anyone who has stayed at top class hotels around the world has probably seen their work. Following lunch we visit homes designed by several leading architects in Bali (Milo, Gianni, Popo, Frank Morgan). Bali is a design and cultural wonderland of beauty, and we’ll take advantage of serendipitous sightings during our travels to share in the visual cornucopia all around us. This evening is free for a little personal exploration of nearby restaurants and cafes, and perhaps some moonlit beach time. (B,L)


Day 8 - Saturday, October 9: Bali / Pemuteran
We leave southern Bali this morning to make our way to the North Coast, and the small village of Pemuteran. We traverse the length of the island, making a stop at the royal temple Pura Taman Ayun in Mengwi, with its impressive gate, spires and intricately painted ceiling. On arrival at Pemuteran we will be inspired by our simple Balinese hotel, with its low-key traditional Balinese lines and careful consideration of placement and function. Once again we are on the beachfront, and we dine here tonight, the better to take advantage of the lights of the small fishing boats twinkling on at sunset.    (B,L,D)


Day 9 - Sunday, October 10: Pemuteran
Today is free day to take advantage of the many possibilities available here, and to have a break for our organized touring of the last week. Pemuteran is adjacent to Bali Barat National Park, the last home of the critically endangered Bali Starling, and the site of a captive breeding program for this beautiful bird. Walks can be taken in the park to visit this project, and see some of the other wildlife of the park. Menjangan Island, a short distance offshore, is one of Bali’s prime diving and snorkeling locations; there is additional snorkeling on an artificial reef project along the beach from our hotel. This is one of the few areas where sea horses and pipe fish can be found by walking out from the beach. The reef can be enjoyed by snorkeling, and certified divings can hire all their gear at a nearby dive shop and dive at Menjangan's prime sites. There’s also a turtle hatchery here, raising and releasing thousands of turtles each year. In addition to these outdoor activities, you can take advantage of the spa, which uses traditional Balinese techniques and materials, visit local temples, or get a taste of the life of a fishing village. As this is Bali, around each corner another surprise is likely. Our guide will assist us to make any arrangements for our chosen activities.       (B)



Day 10 - Monday, October 11: Pemuteran/Ubud
We continue our easy stay at Pemuteran this morning, with time for more snorkeling, taking it easy, or a walk along the beach. After lunch we head south, towards the mountains and the town of Ubud, Bali’s cultural and artistic center. Although crafts are made over much of Bali, artisans are more concentrated in the villages near Ubud than elsewhere. During our journey we stop at Candi Kuning, home to a flower, vegetable and spice market, and a good place to see firsthand the wide variety of produce grown on Bali. Nearby is Lake Bratan, with the often photographed Pura Ulun Danu on its edge, surrounded by water. We arrive at our hotel, also built in traditional Bali style, and overlooking rice paddies and a forested valley, late afternoon. After resting up we are treated to a highlight of our stay in Bali, the amazingly energetic and fiery Kecak Dance, performed in a local temple, where we are usually accompanied by some locals, especially children. Balinese have been watching this dance all their lives, but seem never to grow tired of the spectacle, and the story.. Like many of Bali's dances, puppet shows and other stories, the Kecak is based on a section of the Ramayama, where Rama's queen is kidnapped, and is eventually saved with the asistance of Hanuman, the monkey warrior god; Hindus have revered monkeys ever since. Our performance is followed by diner at Laka Leke.    (B,L,D)


Day 11 - Tuesday, October 12: Ubud
This morning we begin our exploration of the Ubud area by visiting the ancient temple Pura Penataran Sasih, with what is considered to be a 300BC Bronze Age gong, the Moon of Pejeng, in the tower. We continue to Goa Gajah, a cave temple built into the side of a hill that is mentioned in the 1365AD Javanese poem Desawamama. We take lunch at the estate of well-known designer Linda Garland, followed by a tour of the property. In addition to her well known furniture and other design products Linda founded the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, dedicated to promoting bamboo products as environmentally sustainable, and to preserving the many species of bamboo.      (B,L,D)

Day 12 – Wednesday, October 13: Ubud
Most of our day today is spent with visits to various textile production centers, including Gianyar for ikats, Sidemen for songkets, Tengannan for the special double ikats produced since beyond memory at this village, and often thought to have magical powers, and of course the ubiquitous batik. Although most are familiar with the batik process, the more subtle differences between songket, ikat and double ikat will be part of our learning today. We’ll have lunch in Candi Dasa, on the east coast. Dinner tonight is al fresco, at Mozaic, the best restaurant in Bali.     (B,L,D)


Day 13 - Thursday, October 14: Ubud
Today is an option day, to allow participants to pursue their own interests while on Bali. In addition to arts and crafts Bali has a superb culinary tradition, as we have discovered over the last week or so. One of Bali’s oldest cooking school is run by Janet de Neefe (amongst the world’s best cooking schools, according to The Australian newspaper), proprietor of both Casa Luna and Indus restaurants, and we can arrange for participants to learn some Indonesian cooking. The day starts with a visit to the market for ingredients, after which you spend a most informative morning in a specially designed kitchen preparing and grinding for the recipes. In addition to the cooking, you’ll learn many secrets of a typical Balinese home. (Numbers are strictly limited for the class, which is only operates three days per week, so we will have to reserve your place well ahead of time.) Other opportunities include white water rafting, learning to prepare the offerings seen all over Bali, visiting the Bali Botanic Gardens, or continuing to seek out the private homes and gardens for their design features. Dinner tonight is on your own, allowing you a chance to eat at a typical warung, the small restaurants favored by local Balinese, or perhaps try the original fast food, the pre-prepared, and usually spicy, food of Padang, Sumatra. The style here is that everything available is brought to your table, and you select individual pieces from the dishes. At the end of your meal the server tallies up what is missing, gives you the tab, and you pay on the way out. As there is no menu, and much of what is in front of you will be unfamiliar, this is mystery dining at its best.    (B)



Day 14 - Friday, October 15: Ubud
Following breakfast we visit stone carvers in Batubulan, silver smiths in Celuk, wood carvers and a mask maker in Mas, and finally Pak Jani’s Place, renowned for his collection of ikats, batiks and other textiles from all over Indonesia. We also will visit a high priest’s house in the village of Kemenu. Lunch is at the spectacularly located Café Lotus. The afternoon is free. Ubud offers a wide and surprisingly sophisticated range of shopping opportunities: paintings, silver jewelry, antiques, clothes, wooden sculptures, ikat weaving, batik, etc. You’ll negotiate for the best prices, although by now you’ll have barong dancealready come to understand that in Bali, the “first price” is just a starting point, and bargaining is a customary legong dancepart of any purchase or transaction. Tonight is extra special, for our farewell night in Bali; a Night at the Royal Palace. At 5pm we are driven to Puri Anyar, the Royal Palace of the twin Princes of Krambitan. Upon arrival, we are welcomed by a tektekan group of musicians, introduced to our hosts, offered cocktails, and further entertained by Balinese dances. An opulent Balinese feast in the palace gardens, with shimmering lamps, ceremonial umbrellas and festive decorations, and to the accompaniment of a bumbung ensemble, follows. After dinner, we are invited to join in a Joged Bumbung social dance. The evening ends with a performance of a dramatic Calonarang trance dance, with the famous kris dancers - in real trance - the fearsome magical lion, Barong, and the hideous witch, Rangda, exerting their magic powers. This enchanting evening ends around 10:00pm, and we return to our hotel.   (B,L,D)


Day 15 – Saturday, October 16: Bali / In flight
bali offering box Our tour of Bali has finally come to an end, and we bid farewell to our fellow travelers going to Java, or fly there ourselves. Today we transfer to the airport for our flight home, taking many images, both in our minds and cameras, of the amazing places we have seen and come to understand, and the friendly and gentle people we have come to know. Depending on flight times we may have part or much of the day in Bali, and we will visit the Denpasar Market to pick up local goods that are not found in the more tourist-oriented stores we have visited. This is the place to pick up some of the materials used in daily life, from textiles, sarongs and other clothing, to the colorful umbrellas and hand-painted offerings baskets used in temple rituals. (B,*M)


Day 16 – Sunday, October 17: In Flight/ Gateway City/Home City
We arrive back in the US today, and transfer to our flights to our home cities.   (*B)

Please note: this itinerary represents the overall activities of the tour, but the order of days and specifics of each activity may change as we get closer to the date. In Sanur and Ubud we can arrange for professional drivers and guides for alternative personal touring.

(B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner; M: Meal, S: Snack, * In Flight meal)


You can download an pdf version (83kb) of this itinerary, including the extension, by clicking here



Java Extension

borobudur buddha

Add the grand temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, and the Sultan of Jogjakarta's Palace to your journey. See our Java Extension for full details.




Tour Date
The tour departs October 2 using currently available air, and returns October 17. The extension to Jave begins October 16 and returns October 19. There is no set group air, but we do have recommended flights from a number of gateway cities to fit in with the itinerary. For those who wish to take other flights, add days pre or post tour we will assist with arrangements and air if desired. Those with frequent flyer miles or who prefer to make their own arrangements should contact us first for suggested flights before finalizing arrangements.

Tour cost with is $3350 per person based on double occupancy; a single supplement is available for $1280. The Java extension is $635 with a single supplement of $210.

This is an all-inclusive tour; no part is refundable or can be broken out for individual costing. Cost of the tour includes transfers to and from airports when traveling on our chosen flights or on flights at similar times; all accommodation, meals as per itinerary, English-speaking guides throughout, entries and local taxes. In short, this is a very inclusive tour with just 4 lunches and 2 dinners not included; beyond these no additional costs other than private alterations to the tour (if any) and personal costs will be necessary.

International flights and internal flight if taking the Java extension, laundry; visa costs, soft drinks and alcohol during land-based meals; personal snacks; other items of a personal nature such as phone calls; transfers required due to private flight arrangements and cost of any private touring (no cost will be deducted from main itinerary for alternative private touring, but the optional tours Day 13 are included in the cost).

Numerous carriers fly to Singapore and Bali. Our preferred carrier is Singapore Airlines as it has conveniently timed flights into Singapore and out of Bali and Solo, close to Jogjakarta. Singapore Airlines also has add-ons from a number of US cities spread around the US. However, other airlines also offer suitable flights, and each participant’s home city will help determine the most suitable flight. Generally flying across the Pacific, even for many cities in the eastern half of the country, is more convenient and provides better connections and fares. As of February 2010 fares for this tour, including taxes, were about $1150 - $1450 depending on home city and routing.

Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance is highly recommended, as deposits and final payments are necessary well in advance of travel. While participants can choose any insurance provider we strongly suggest contacting us before you do so to ensure the correct type and level of coverage is chose. Our insurance provider, Travelex, one of the world’s largest, has very competitive and comprehensive insurance, and we would be happy to give you a quote to compare if you have another preferred provider. Please note that the insurance provided by many credit cards is not as comprehensive as normal travel insurance. Please note that due to the remoteness of parts of this tour medical/evacuation insurance is mandatory for the tour. This is covered in all normal travel insurance policies, and can be taken out separately for a very modest sum ($45 including fees for a person 61-70 years old) through our insurer.

Terms and Conditions
Our full Terms and Conditions for this tour, including cancellation policy and charges, are online at Bali with Martha Gill Terms & Conditions.

General information about Bali and Indonesia can be found here.




Space is limited. To reserve or for more information please call 1 877 2851170