Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bali, Indonesia (Aug 2012)


It was my first time visiting Bali and after my recent stay, I now truly understand why people rave about it so much that one would return whenever possible. The sunset along the many amazing beaches was truly memorable to say the least! However, there were many surprises, some being pleasant while some being shocking confusing to me as a tourist. Firstly, the weather was beyond amazing! I was expecting high humidity like Singapore but during my stay it was nowhere close to being humid, the climate and weather was so good! What I dislike the most about Bali (which many may agree) is the terrible traffic! I am quite speechless about the traffic because I really don't know what can be done to improve the situation unless the government demolish a whole lot of buildings and existing roads to widen them. Kuta and Seminyak districts are seriously congested ALL THE TIME! (Note: All images are by iPhone 4, experimenting with smartphone photography)



The government is quite smart in implementing the Visa On Arrival (VOA) system for many common wealth nations of which one simply arrive at the airport and pay USD25 for a 30 days VISA. Based on my research before the trip, for less than 7 days, one needs to pay only USD10 for the 7 days stay but apparently the real situation as different even when I asked the only answer I got back was ... "USD25 please." Not a bad way to gather foreign currencies. Oh remember not to use up all your local currencies before department because there is a Passenger Service Charge of IR150,000 (around USD15), another interesting fee in my opinion.

Also, due to the unit of the currency, don't be surprised your purchases / returned changes being rounded up by the thousands in monetary value, it is their custom I hear. Some shops may give you candies instead but based on my experiences, they just round it up.
If you plan to travel to many tourist sites including historical buildings in the different parts of Bali, it is highly recommended that you hire a car and a driver. Average cost is about IR600,000 (around USD55-60) for 10 hours and you can basically go anywhere for that period of time. Realistically, you are hiring the car and driver for less than 10 hours because of the terrible traffic. If you opt for taxi, make sure travel by the meter. There is also another option which is to use hotel taxi which take you to any destination within a specific district for a fixed price, pre paid as well. The cost would be about 30% - 35% higher than by the meter but in a much more comfortable ride of course. Is it worth it? I think so especially the taxi fares are quite cheap even in Hong Kong standard.

Alright, even with the boring stuff, here are some of the places I have visited and would definitely return / recommend.

Dala Spa at Villa De Daun
Literally an oasis in the middle of the city. Located behind the busy streets, you can find this cute little villa resort with this wonderful Dala Spa! We spent an afternoon here being pampered and then followed by a simple yet satisfying meal under the sun listening to the music performed by the wind and the leaves. (http://www.villadedaun.com/)


Anantara Seminyak Spa Resort  
Sunset in Bali is usually around 6-615pm and quite on time as well! So if you do plan to watch the amazing sunset, make sure you head to whenever you want at least an hour in advance due to traffic! The SOS Supper Club at the Anantara Seminyak Spa Resort overlooks the Seminyak Beach and with their large beds one can sit back, relax and enjoy the sunset while enjoying a glass of cocktails. (http://bali.anantara.com/) Oh of course you can also dine under the sky while overlooking the sunset as well here at the SOS Supper Club.



Potato Head Beach Club
Almost anyone visit Bali knows about Ku De Ta, it is beyond famous as the beach side lounge but I personally prefer the nearby Potato Head because of the atmosphere. With a minimum spending IR500,000 (around USD45-50) you can have the bed! Trust me, it is quite easy to achieve that amount. (http://www.ptthead.com/)


Sardine
Dining in a rice field under the sun, enough said! (http://www.sardinebali.com/)


Theta Spa by the Sea
This spa is not as upscale or as luxury as the Dala Spa but the packages are much more reasonable. The premise is by the sea, being part of the Ramada Bintang Spa and Resort so do make sure you book the room overlooking the sea to get the best  bargain! If you are not a spa person, go for their foot massage option in a separate glass room overlooking the sea / beach as well.  (http://www.thetaspa.com/)



Breeze @ The Samaya Bali
Dinner by the sea. Enough said. Excellent Service! Quite a memorable dining experience to dine by the sea eating Indonesian cuisines haha. I quite want to stay here on my next trip to Bali! (http://www.thesamayabali.com/)
Bali, I will be back next May! I hope the traffic problem can be improved!!! 

12 comments:

Peech said...

Jason, I used to pay USD 20/day for a driver… I would check around for better rates.

Jason said...

@Peech: Oh really? I asked a few already and about the same price. Maybe I looked too confused. I should have negotiated further!!

iPad Mini Button Stickers said...

impressive

Sophie Atkins said...

Bali, Indonesia is a great place for relaxation! This will be our next destination with my grandma after her stay in new homes in new york .

Anonymous said...

i paid about IR$350,00/day for a driver+van

Sue

Hannah Sanders said...

Yeah, I heard they also have good foot doctors in there which specializes in foot massages and therapies whenever your foot is suffering from any kind of cramps or tension pain. Also it's important to take some time to relax from all the stress you've got from all the work you've done. Take time to rest and treat yourself.

Charlene Mayersen said...

Nicely shot and the photo effect only made this very impressive. Bali has an active grommets community and most of my blog posts are about shots of grommets riding the waves.

Mishy Carters said...

I've heard a lot of good things about Bali, so I'll probably consider it for my next travel destination. For now, I'm getting really excited for our trip to London in January of 2014. We've also scored a ticket to Cirque du Soleil in Royal Albert Hall. Amazing.

Lauren Hayward said...

These are all taken from your iPhone? Amazing. Beautiful Bali and so are your pictures.

Seminyak Bali Villas said...

Wow! You give justice to this awesome nature/surroundings and by just using an iPhone! Really Great.

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