Post # 1
For you married and/or well-traveled Bees:
I have a severe nut allergy (all nuts/peanuts, among other things). A few years ago I got my heart set on going to Bali for my honeymoon. I’m beginning to look at booking hotel, flights – and checking out menus to make sure I’ll be okay. Truth is, I’m having a hard time finding things I can eat.
Has anyone traveled to the region with a nut allergy? Did you fare okay? Were you able to experience the culture/local cuisine, or did you have a very sanitized experience?
Post # 3
Oh, aaand I’m allergic to coconut. (I totally can’t go to Bali, can I?)
Post # 4
How sensitive are you? The only place I could see you having problems is, even if you can successfully translate, “I can’t eat nuts,” they may think it’s okay to pick the nuts out of a dish and serve it to you, or to assume it’s okay to give you nut oils because it’s not “actual” nuts.
One of the girls I studied abroad with has celiac disease, and she was sick a lot of the year, even though it was western Europe and we all spoke the language fluently 🙁
Post # 5
@GoldfishPie: I would have a reaction in the above situation because the oil would be left behind from the nut.
If need be, we could take day trips from a hotel and I could bring safe snacks with me and eat when I’m back at the hotel. That seems unfun for the FH, but I suppose his constantly worrying that I’m about to die wouldn’t be fun either.
Post # 6
As a west aussie, we go to Bali about twice a year. Fiance has a nut allergy and he has not had an issue, but coconut may be an issue as they love coconut. But in saying that most of the restaurants serve western food so you will still be able to have burgers, pasta, pizza etc. Where are you staying? Kuta, Legian etc have more restaurants than you can poke a stick at but Ubud is a bit smaller so it may be a bit harder
I have both a gluten and a lactose intollerance and I manage to eat fine 🙂
Also – Bali is not a very sanitary place. At all. Your resort and higher end restaurants may be, but your run of the mill places eat are not. Be very careful to avoid the water or you will end up with Bali Belly (google it, not nice!). Do not drink any water that is not bottled (dont even brush your teeth with tap water as it is not sanitary) and if you can avoid ice that isnt obviously commercially made.
Other than that, have a great time! Bali is hot, smelly, dirty and crowded… but it is also insanely beautiful and the people lovely. It is an experience!
Post # 7
@Bears-bub: Ahh…you’ve confirmed what I feared – that I can go there, but I have to stick to pizza, pasta, fast food, etc. At the hotel we were looking at, they have Japanese restaurant, so I could have sushi ever night. (YUM!)
I’ve lived in Mexico and Morocco, so I’m a-okay with the sanitary issue. (And know very well about the water issue!)
Thanks for your feedback – I’m going to be very realistic and present the pros/cons to my partner and see what he says. He’s a foodie and LOVES trying new things. If we keep our hotel as “base” and do daytrips, I can bring safe snacks with me so he can enjoy the cuisine and culture of Bali.
But if he’s going to feel overwhelmingly guilty, sad or scared the whole time – well, that’s not fun for either of us and frankly we should go elsewhere.
Post # 8
I also have a nut allergy and am a vegetarian, so I am always a little nervous about what I am going to eat when I travel.
There’s a site that creates allergy cards in the language of the destination that you are visiting. Hope this helps!
Post # 9
@zagora: no way, my Darling Husband is only sensitive to coconut and EVERYTHING is cooked in coconut oil. He spend much of the time in the bathroom if he didnt eat a ton of medication.
He had to find sandwiches and salads towards the end because it just got to be too much.
Even fries are cooked in coconut oil, onions and mushrooms sauteed etc. Really, its the only oil they use.
Post # 10
@zagora: Having lived all over the world, with allergies, I can tell you that no other country really gets the allergy situation like North Americans and some Europeans (haven’t been to Australia or NZ yet).
I am somewhat lucky in that my allergies are not all anaphylactic, but the whole time I was in Thailand my insides were itchy to the point I was using a beer bottle cap to scratch myself. Of course I was eating meals that were shellfish free (one of my allergies) but my meals were all cross contaminated, and they probably used fish sauce, oyster sauce in my food. This has been true for me all over the world.
North Americans have some of the highest allergy rates in the world, and other cultures just don’t understand because they don’t have people with as many allergies (or they die very young)
If you do end up going take lots of EpiPens and stay close to hospitals.
Post # 11
@zagora: We love food and was very disappointed with Baliness food during our vacation in Bali. The western and fusion food in Seminyak was surprisingly good but it was kind of strange having really good western food but crappy Indonesian food while in Indonesia.
If you want to try really good asian food, I highly recommend Singapore. It’s a tiny city but it has so many amazing food that will blown you away. I been there couple times and every time, I found new dishes that made me go “OMG!!!!!”
Post # 12
We spent about 6 weeks in Bali on our 10 month honeymoon, and my husband has a severe allergy to all nuts, all fish, all sesame.
He didnt have a problem b/c he ate western food everywhere we went. We spent about 3 weeks in Bali, 1 in Java, and 2 in Lombok and never had a problem. Even in parts of Lombok and Java where western food was rare, theres always steamed rice and eggs that are nut free. He never even thought about it, although I was his filter and was very careful what I deemed suitable for him to try.
you can DEFINITELY go. We almost didnt go for the same reasons and I would have been devastated had we not gone to Bali. Indonesia as a whole ended up being my favorite spot on our 15 country trip.
Post # 13
we had these AWESOME cards made for all countries we went to. Strongly worded:
we never used them tho b/c alot of people speak English in the tourist areas and if you dont bother with local food, its not a problem.
i ate local, husband has lots of rice and mcdonalds.
Post # 14
@phishgirl: This helps – I was planning on eating very safe “Westernized” food and also supplementing with some pre-packaged food (vetting for immigration/customs regs, though).
But I don’t want SO to miss out on eating the food – he’s such a foodie! – so I’m glad to hear that your hubby having a similar allergy didn’t hold you back.
(BTW, do you ever go to Allergy Girl’s allergy-free dinners in NYC? I’ve always wanted to go…)