Going to Bali is like going to another suburb in Australia, even the airline used a domestic style no frills aircraft with no movies or added luxuries. Immigration has abolished the $50 USD Visa on arrival, so its now free and much more streamlined at Denpasar Terminal.
The currency is the Indonesian Rupiah at an approximate exchange rate of 10000 IDR=$1.00 AUD….IMMEDIATE MILLIONAIRE LOL. There are Aussie Commonwealth Banks there for convenience.
Vendors know it’s your first time
The first time I visited Bali my son was chased down the street by around 100 eager vendors after we went for our first walk outside our accommodation. One brazen Indonesian woman tied a beaded bracelet around his wrist and asked for a payment. You’re white , you stop to look at what they’re selling and you mistakenly ask how much. They will know and You’ll sweat like there’s no tomorrow.
You’ll sweat like a pole cats butthole
Forget your levi’s, or that denim jacket, Bali is hot year-round with an average temperature of 32 degrees. Pack light fabrics, sarongs and open-toe shoes. You will live in your board shorts or bikinis. May to July is considered the prime time to visit Bali. You may even be able to glide down the street without leaving a trail of sweat – but then again i doubt it.
The drinks are icy cold, and cheap
Bali sure knows how to make a great tasting cocktail and some of the best can be found in bars, beach clubs and restaurants in Seminyak and Legian but I’ve had delicious peach martinis in the middle of nowhere. Beer is also cheap at $2.50 a stubby but be aware of inexpensive and nasty home-brewed alcohol and avoid drinks that appear too cheap even by Asian standards. Avoid drinks labelled as arak. Wine, compared to spirits, is extremely expensive.
You can get a decent hot brewed coffee from real beans
Once upon a time Bali was a desert for coffee lovers, but not so anymore. Try the two outposts of Revolver in Seminyak, Butter Cake and Coffee Shop in Canggu, plus Gloria Jeans Legian. Because of the abundance of free Wi-Fi at most cafes, bars and restaurants, whilst in holiday mode, you may consider becoming a digital nomad, earning an income.
You don’t need to wear a helmet, but it helps staying alive
Lots of tourists hire motorbikes and drive around without helmets, in shorts and thongs – not a care in the world. Don’t do it, look at the news, every week some tourist is involved in a motorcycle accident. Your travel insurance doesn’t cover unlicensed riding . Falling off hurts even more when you don’t wear protective gear, and there’s not much in the way of public transport to speak of but Bluebird taxis are metered, super cheap and clean.
You no longer need to have cash ready when you land in Bali
Under a visa waiver program Australians are granted free entry into Indonesia for up to 30 days. Australians are no longer required to pay $50.00 for a visa on arrival in Bali.
A lot of people smoke, and cigarettes are ridiculously cheap
Both the locals (mostly indo men) and every second tourist smokes, so it’ll be a shock for those who love our Australian tobacco-free public spaces. It’s not surprising to see young boys smoking and kids selling cigarettes either. My son was able to purchase cigarettes for me when i was too lazy to leave my hotel room.
You will get sick of Nasi Goreng but give it a go
Balinese cuisine is not world-renowned, but it’s tasty and inexpensive. You should at least try Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice) and sate lembat. Bali’s restaurant scene is world class, with some of the most incredible and tasty food you’ll find anywhere in the world. Every 10 metres you can buy beer so don’t stress you’re gonna die of thirst 🙂
You’ll be there in a flash, before you know it
There’s a reason Bali is so popular with Australians because it only takes five or six hours to get there and fares are cheap, except in peak season (Australian school holidays) when airfare and accommodation prices triple. Before you know it you’ll be kicking back with a Pina Colada watching a spectacular Balinese sunset. The good thing is nearly all flights home are at night, so you can get in a snooze and let your liver repair.
You can’t drink the local tap water
Drink bottled water only, plus brush your teeth with it too. Bottled water is cheap and many hotels and resorts provide complimentary water in your hotel room daily. It’s advisable not to have ice in your drinks either, unless it’s a reputable hotel, restaurant or bar. Its not a hassle to carry a bottle of water rather than suffer Bali belly, which frequently does happen – particularly to first timers.
Live like a two week millionaire
The exchange rate means $100 is equivalent to about 1 million Rupiah, so your wallet will be as fat the Michelin man. There are money changes everywhere, probably within 100 metres from your room and you can get money out at ATMs on your credit card, but be careful. There have been instances of credit card skimmers so just check the card slot thoroughly. Be aware the prices for material possessions seems cheap but check the quality, the t shirts shrink about a thousand percent after one wash.
Tips are not expected, but don’t be a tight arse
The Balinese people are lowly paid like in many other Asian countries, and yet extremely generous and hospitable. If you receive good service, a small tip is a kind gesture and means so much to them. If you’re with a group throw in a couple of dollars each, and learn to say thank you: “terima kasih”. The locals appreciate you learning a few Indonesian words, its a sign of respect.
You will be sure to return
Bali offers something to everyone, the culture, the weather and the sunsets have a kind of euphoria about them. Please act respectfully and remember we are guests in their country, we dont like rude or arrogant tourists visiting Australia so we should show the same respect. I was a bit put off by the sheer volume of Aussies there, but its a budget destination so that people can say they went OVERSEAS, YOU WILL RETURN I PROMISE.
Where to Stay
We took a short taxi ride from the airport to Legian which is very close to Kuta Beach, and booked into Kuta Lagoon resort for $45.00 a night.
Eating and Drinking
Food is cheap even in Gloria Jeans, this breakfast was $8.00 each, its $25.00 in Australia i’m sure. A 330ml Bintang beer ranges from $2.00 to $3.00, and you can drink them in public, even on the beach watching the amazing Bali sunsets.
Mr Prata, Being a foodie my son and i love Roti Channai, a Malaysian dish consisting of flaky bread dipped in 3 different curry sauces.. $3.00 a plate, Address: Jl. Raya Legian No.350, Legian, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia.
Bali Bule BBQ
Bali Bule BBQ is a restaurant that sells various preparations of pork. Located in JL Nakula Timur no 19E, Seminyak, Bali. Come and feel the dishes we serve directly from the experts. These ribs are to die for, and have a look at the bill (10,000 to 1 exchange rate) address Jl Nakula Timur, Seminyak Badung Bali 80361 Indonesia
Things to do
Watching sunsets while drinking beer on the beach, there’s not a lot more to say about this experience, however make sure youre patient with the constant stream of beach vendors selling anything from cigarettes to hammocks. The do not take NO for an answer…TIGHTARSED TIP……………DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT….LOL
Waterbom Bali Water Park
#1 WATERPARK IN ASIA
Waterbom Bali is where you can enjoy a full wet day out with family and friends, through numerous waterslides, rides and playful games. This island’s premier water park is just across the road from the Discovery Kartika Plaza and Discovery Shopping Mall in south Kuta. Waterbom has 17 exciting slides and water games for all ages since its inception in 1993. The park has 3.8Ha of lush tropical gardens and pools, as well as snack and modern toilets and locker rooms. Security wristbands allow access to your locker at anytime during your stay. The rides go from a 20m vertical drop where a trapdoor opens and maximises your gravitational adrenaline to gentle toddler friendly slides. Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 09:00 – 18:00 Location: Jalan Kartika Plaza, Tuban, South Kuta. Tickets start at $35.00 per person.
White water rafting
There are a plethora of companies offering tors and trips al over the country so just choose whatever suits your budget and excitment level.