Lanie Geller

Roseland, New Jersey Travel Agent

Bali and Hong Kong

BALI

Bali is a place that really touched me. The culture is so rich and I saw a deep sense of family; the way they feel about their elders so different than in the U.S. For example, we visited a family compound and our guide explained that the elders’ houses were in the position of honor.

One of the most memorable experiences receiving a blessing from a Buddhist monk on a beautiful beach. We had hiked there from the mountains and gathered with people from around the world of all faiths. We all chanted as part of the ceremony and it was very moving. 

We were based at the Four Seasons Resorts in Bali. There’s one in Jimbaran Bay another at Sayan, beside a river. You really feel immersed in Balinese culture and landscape because accommodations have both indoor and outdoor spaces. Our room was actually a stand-alone bungalow with a private pool and garden with statues outside and a gorgeous four poster bed with netting inside. Plus, the resort offers cooking classes and its own cultural center where you can learn about tradition crafts, art and music.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong was amazing in a whole other way. Here, we learned that whole families live in one small apartment and co-exist so perfectly. It feels so different from the U.S., where everyone wants so much individual space and elders live apart. We went out on a “junk” or sampan, with a family, saw how they lived and fished and then they hosted us for lunch. Their refrigerator was an old-fashioned ice chest. It was impressive how much they could do in so little space. 

Another amazing experience was doing Tai Chi a master. I’d never done it before and it was incredible to be able to. But what was even better was to do it in Hong Kong in a class where they explained the meaning behind every move. It is personal experiences like these that make travel so memorable. 

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