Bali Day One: Canadians and Cabbies

Denpasar Travel Blog

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The airport's temple

The flight from Taipei to Denpasar on China Airlines was uneventful and much nicer than then our previous flight from San Francisco to Taipei. The plane was nicely equipped with individual monitors for all so I was able to catch watch “Coco Before Chanel” and most of “Up.”

We arrived in Denpasar around 3PM and were greeted by the usual afternoon rain which is common in the rainy season. After getting into the terminal we were surprised to see many Balinese cab drivers and chauffeurs holding up signs with the names of their expectant guests.

There is art everywhere in the Bali even the airport's bathroom is appropriately decorated.
This was rather strange considering we have not even cleared customs or immigration. Aside from the greeters, we also noticed a beautiful temple area which I promptly took some photos of since where we're from there are no beautiful temples in airport terminals. Then, in a large room filled with other tourist lined up to clear immigration we bought our visas. They were $25 for a 30 day visa and we were glad we brought along some US currency to cover the cost. After purchasing our visas we quickly got in line to get our passports stamped. While in line, I chatted up a Canadian couple and we agreed to share a cab into Ubud together. When we finally made it up to the immigration booth 10 minutes later the officer printed out our visas, pasted them onto our passports and stamped our passports.
The Arma Resort
  It's was quick transaction considering how much he had to do.

Once we were out of the airport we checked the taxi stand and were informed that a ride into Ubud central would cost us 195.000 Indonesian Rupiahs approximately $20. We declined their services since they would not let us share a cab. Since the taxi stand virtually control the airport taxi or what they called “taksi” trade we crossed the small airport road and venture into the airport parking lot. In the parking lot we were able to get a cab for 275,000 IR or $28 since there were four of us and we had two different destinations. Getting from 300,000 IR to 275,000 IR took us only a few minutes of haggling. Considering the rain and travel fatigue I only had a few minutes of haggling in me so I quickly acquiesced.

The first of many welcome drinks in Indonesia

The Canadians were carrying rather large suitcases so we all piled into the four seater with one extra suitcase which I straddle between my legs for the remainder of the 45 minute ride to Ubud. Needless to say this was uncomfortable and not worth the savings of approximately $5 but we were in Asia where $5 is worth a one night stay in basic accommodations. We were stuck in Denpasar traffic for at least ten to twenty minutes. Our driver even stopped along the way to refill the gas tank which added to the length of our journey.

The Canadians were dropped off first at their hotel, the Mansion. Their hotel looked like a large, plain Chinese house and was not very impressive but the grounds were beautiful. The driver was confused when we didn't start walking away with the Canadians so he apparently misunderstood our earlier negotiations at the airport. We then told him that we were staying somewhere else closer to Ubud. This explanation didn't take too long and we were quickly back in the car headed to Ubud central.

After a ten minute ride we were dropped off at Arma resort our hotel and were pleasantly pleased with the lush, expansive feel of the property. We quickly checked in and were asked to pay for one night in advance and informed about the compulsory $60 New Year's Eve dinner and show, which I knew about from our reservation confirmation. Then, we were shown to our room which was on the third floor of a large building built along the hillside to by pass Ubud restrictions which do not permit buildings higher than a coconut tree. Along with our hotel many other large luxury hotels choose to build their resorts along the hillsides or cliffs to get around this building restriction. Our room was huge and feature a large veranda with a day bed but was really dark inside, had a really dated bathroom and slightly open to the elements. After the sun came down we went down to reception to inform them that this would not do so we were quickly moved to a newer but smaller room. We finished our day at the hotel's restaurant because the shuttles were out transporting other guests and we were too tired to walk in the dark in an unknown city to look for food.

knowledgebee says:
Thank you very much everyone. It was fun to write.
Posted on: Jan 16, 2010
mkrh says:

You are getting the hang of this travel blog thing....well done I like it....reminds me of the trip my wife and I took to Bintan in Indonesia last year


Posted on: Jan 16, 2010
XAndreasX says:
Good and very detailed blog!
Posted on: Jan 12, 2010
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The airports temple
The airport's temple
There is art everywhere in the Bal…
There is art everywhere in the Ba…
The Arma Resort
The Arma Resort
The first of many welcome drinks i…
The first of many welcome drinks …
photo by: dm_nana