Bali: Wake up super excited. Had great weekend in Kuala Lumpur, met some amazing Malayâ€™s, ate great food and really enjoyed myself in this beautiful city. Now, going to Bali
, a place where Iâ€™ve wanted to go for years now. Booked my flight on Air Asia again, it was only 200 MYR (Malaysian Ringgit) which comes out to little more than 60 bucks! Iâ€™ll say that is a deal! It was about a 4 hour flight with one hour time difference (Bali one hour back) I love Air Asia, brand new planes, very clean and service is just outstanding..eventhough itâ€™s the low-cost airline, but still..Highly recommend flying anywhere within Asia. I took 4 flights on this trip and always cheap, always on time! Landing itself in Denpesar was a sight to seeâ€¦DPS (Ngurah Rai Airport) is literally right on the water and when descending you can see the beaches.
Quite a site! I was soooo excited, next 9 days in Paradise! Especially that I was little tired of airports at that point (6) flights (5) and constant taxiâ€™s and walking..Walking out to the immigration was a trip! Not only the airport is small (think of Cabo Airport) but there were 4 or 5 flights that came in at the same time and each person had to go through the Swine Flu Scan..2 hours later I was going in to get a new stamp in my passport, only to find out I needed a visa! Thankfully, itâ€™s not one of those you need to get prior to visiting. Basically, we need your Monday for the stamp. 100,000 Rp (10 bucks) if you are staying less than 7 days, 200,000 Rp for over 5 days, oh, there was a huge line for that too! What seemed to be ages, I finally got my bag and headed straight for the exit.
Taxi! please take me to the hotel. I didnâ€™t know much about Bali so did a little bit of reading on my flightâ€¦. Bali is one of over 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago!! It is home to over 4 million people! Who knew?!! One big Negative about Bali was the terror attacks.. A bombing in 2002 by militant Islamists in the tourist area of Kuta
killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. This attack, and another in 2005, severely affected tourism, bringing much economic hardship to the island. After that Indonesia's currency had dropped approximately 30% against the US dollar..which later created great infusion of tourists to the area. I have not met any americans there, only Australians (short flight for them) and many Scandinavians.
Bali is HUGE and make sure you do your research as to what area you want to spend your vacation in. Island is divided in 6 main regions: South Bali (Kuta Legian Seminyak Jimbaran
Nusa Dua Uluwatu Sanur Denpasar
) By far the most popular part of the island with tourists. -Central Bali (Ubud Bedugul) -The cultural heart of Bali and the central mountain range. -West Bali (Tanah Lot)-The area least visited by tourists. -North Bali (Lovina Singaraja) -Quiet black sand beaches and access to the National Park. -East Bali (Besakih Mount Agung) - Laid back coastal villages and the mighty Mount Agung.
-Islands - Offshore islands in the south and north-west. I HIGHLY recommend staying in the South Bali region. I booked my hotel in Kuta on Kuta Beach at the Hard Rock Hotel, which the place to be, apparently. But for more romantic gateway and little more privacy, quiet, Ritz type hotels in Jimbaran (Four Seasons) and Nusa Dua are the places to be. Kuta is great but very very busy and mostly younger crowd (most bars/clubs are in Kuta) but Jimbaran/Nusa Dua is about 15-20 mins away by a scooter (little more by taxi.due to loads of traffic in Kuta) BUT..next time I goâ€¦Jimbaran is where I will be staying!! Hotels in Bali range in prices a LOT. You can stay in Four Seasons for $400/night, Hard Rock for $200/night or a smaller one, a block from the beach for $40/night! So, choose wisely.
Hard Rock Hotel pool was out of control, itâ€™s huge, with an sand island in the middle of the pool (and beach vball) at around 3-4 pm DJ comes over and start spinning on that island..had private cabanas all around the pool for only 200,000 Rp/day (20 bucks) and itâ€™s walking distance from the Ocean Club and other hot spots along the beach. But a place that is a MUST see that my friend Eva took me was without a doubt was Ku De Ta in Seminyak..AMAZING beach front restaurant/bar/club, etc. Beautiful people, beautiful views, awesome musicâ€¦I went back couple of times. Drinks, however were extremely expensive even for American standards, and compared to other Bali bars even more so. Drink I had was 140,000 (Rp 14 dollars), and you can get one in a club in Kuta for 2 dollars! Check their site Kudeta.
net Another area worth seeing is Ubud which is north of Denpasar, and is known as the island's cultural centre. I went elephant riding there and a day water rafting trip. Those two, I highly recommend doiing while in Bali. Just make sure you negotiate the price! I originally asked about it and was quoted 75USD for elephants and 125USD for Raftingâ€¦later got two for 75 total! Including transportation to and from your hotel, plus lunch and drinks. When you go rafting, you will see the amazing landscape of Bali, the rice-fieldsâ€¦Simply a must see! I had a great time and met very cool group from Melbourne which we later decided to meet up for a night of drinking. Fun crowd! Next few days I spent chilling by the pool, playing beach vball, went on another day trip to this beautiful area called â€śDreamlandâ€ť took surfing lessons.
Read 3 books and drank way too many Bintangs! (Bali beer) I honestly, I CAN NOT wait to go back and spend more time there. It is the most breathtaking island Iâ€™ve ever seen. People are amazing, food is great (canâ€™t beat a nice 5 dollar steak meal!) When you goâ€¦make sure you rent a scooter, explore the island, and just enjoy the beautiful weather, beaches, culture and food. Donâ€™t book a flight directly from the US, instead fly somewhere in Asia (cheaper) then book a flight on Air Asia. My overall impression of Asia was/is â€śexceeded expectationsâ€ť I didnâ€™t know what to expect, especially that I love Europe and South America so much..but Asia by far exceeded my expectations, people are extremely friendly and nice, food was amazing, other than Bangkok itâ€™s very clean and I canâ€™t wait to go back. I know I will keep coming back to Asia, I know I want to spend a lot more time in the islands of Thailand..(Bangkok, not as much) , Kuala Lumpur was a nice surprise and would love to vist again one day but Bali is an Island of the Godsâ€¦now I know why!