I recently returned from my first holiday in beautiful Bali with my girlfriend and I had a ball.

I hope to show some of my holiday to you and perhaps share some tips along the way in a few posts. I found in planning this trip it was hard sometimes to find everything I wanted on the world wide web. Before I went to Bali I was a little hesitant in going because of the recent terror threats but as a friend pointed out, you only live once. So no, I didn’t throw caution to the wind, not completely but I was going to be aware of what was going on around me.

Leaving Melbourne, it was actually raining……it happens, even in Summer. I chose to get my check-in luggage wrapped at the airport. Now for those who haven’t travelled overseas before, there is a little booth just inside the doors of the International Terminal where they will wrap your luggage in something that resembles Gladwrap to protect your luggage from being tampered with anywhere along your trip. For $14au it’s cheap insurance I think. I don’t want to be the next Shapelle Corby.

I flew with Jetstar for my trip because 1: they were cheap and 2: it was a direct flight to Denpasar.   My plane, a 787 Dreamliner. If you don’t want to pay for a meal when you purchase your plane tickets, take some munchies with you because the flight will take approx’ 5 1/2 hours and when you smell the meals being served to other passengers, you want to eat lol, well, at least I did.

Walking into Ngurah Rai International Airport for the first time, it’s really quite easy. First up is your Visa. V.O.A. is Visa On Arrival and it’s good for a 30 day stay in Bali. $35us is the fee and they want it in US Dollars. OH…TIP. Get your US dollars before you get to Tullamarine as it’s a bit expensive there $35us equated to $60au after their commissions etc.  Next you have Immigration then you’ll go to the baggage claim to get your check-in luggage followed by customs. After a little research on the Internet a lot of sites said that if you’re going to do a money exchange, do it in Bali as the exchange rate is better than here. I had a bit over $600 I wanted to exchange. What I ended up with was a pile of Rupiah big enough I almost couldn’t close my wallet. $600au equates to roughly 6,000,000 rupiah and the largest note they have is 100000 rups so there is a lot of money to fill your wallet or purse(it was about 1″ thick).

I knew about the humidity in Bali, but WOW it hits you like a truck when you walk out into the sun. Oh, and when you walk out of the airport, if you don’t have a driver picking you up from the airport there is a million Taxi’s(a slight exaggeration hehe, but there is a lot) all vying for your fare.  As I had to go to the domestic terminal to meet with my girlfriend I chose to walk. If for some reason you need to go from the International terminal to the domestic terminal, walk out the front and turn left. It’s a 5-10 minute walk and by the time I got there dragging my luggage behind me I was already feeling the humidity and cracking a nice old sweat.

As we already had a driver waiting for us there was a lot of polite “no thank you”s and “I already have a driver” being said. I lost count of how many times I said that lol.   Our first week was in a town/village called Ubud which is a slow hour and a half ride north in a thankfully air conditioned van.

Well, that’s part one, done for now. Stay tuned for more on Bali in upcoming posts

Wookie out

***UPDATE***  It is no longer necessary for Aussie visitors to Bali to obtain a Visa. Good news that’s been coming a long time. You can visit Bali for 30 days(non-extendable) visa free. If you’re travelling to other parts of Indonesia I’d still check and make sure all of Indonesia is included and not just Bali. Cheers guys