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Budget Bali

November 01, 1998

Regarding your very nice article on Bali ("Bali Low," Oct. 11): The only problem I found is that the cheap rates you say are available are misleading. We are planning on going to Bali after Christmas, and those rates just don't seem to apply during the holidays. The writer definitely spent most of the vacation searching for a room. Is this a vacation or a bargain-hunting chore?

Is it the best deal when you waste precious vacation time figuring out where to stay--or putting up with no pool, few amenities, remote access?

Evidently, a lot of Bali's top hotels are savvy at dealing in U.S. dollars, and the real bargains can only be had in dealing with local purchases, including food.

ANGIE THORNBURY

Toluca Lake

*

Congratulations to Susan Spano on her travel piece on Bali. She probably saved a total of $80 and perpetuated the image of the ugly American to a culture in the throes of economic adversity.

What a challenge to save $5 on the minivan. It must equal the challenge the driver has to feed his family. I have lived in Asia for 16 years and traveled extensively in that area, and was dismayed at her insensitivity to the struggles the people of Indonesia are going through to survive.

I would hope she could concentrate a little more on insights on the beauty of the culture and the problems of the current conditions, and worry less about her pocketbook.

CATHIE YONKE

Pacific Palisades

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