We left Perth on a flight at 745pm to Bali on Friday night. The flight is not very long making it very appealing to those of us who want to get away for a long weekend from Australia.
As we only hand luggage, our journey out of the airport was very quick. I found immigration very interesting, the man behind the desk did not even have the manners to say hello or look at me while he stamped my passport and I found it was quite rude.
Anywho, it wasn’t long before we had our first experience of being ripped off in Bali. We were staying in the Sun Island Hotel in Legian and our taxi driver charged us the equivalent of $30 for the journey, which was way too much as it should have been $10 for such a short distance .
*Tip: Negotiate the taxi fare before you get into the taxi
On arrival at the hotel, we were warmly greeted and given a welcome drink and hot towel while checking in. The thing I liked about this hotel was the fact that there weren’t too many rooms which meant the hotel would never be too busy. Our room was nice but it was small and had no view out the window, at all! I was pleased that the room was cool and there were robes and lots of towels and toiletries. After working on the Friday and settling in, it was late so we ordered room service and turned in for the night.
We were awake quite early the next morning so decided to get dressed to explore and have breakfast downstairs in the hotel. Luckily for us, our breakfast was included and had everything from small pancakes to chicken fried rice. We could even have an omelette made as we watched. The only thing that I wasn’t a fan of was a coffee, however, there were a lot of juices to choose from so I was happy.
Leaving the hotel was like literally stepping into another world as both sides of the streets were packed with tiny shops selling everything from bracelets to clothes to handcrafted souvenirs. What I was most surprised about was the amount of shops selling fake designer bags and trainers. Shop owners were eagerly waiting for the opportunity to bring you in to see the array of bargains but most of the shops had the same thing so we didn’t stop very often. As we meet our where down the street, I spotted a Starbucks and even though I enjoy embracing the food and drinks in new countries, I really wanted a nice coffee so I couldn’t resist stopping. I was quite surprised by the prices as they were extremely expensive, no sign of any locals. It was my mission to find a good coffee spot!
It only took about 15 minutes walking before we realised that we were in the main area of Kuta and there were so many vendors selling day trips and tours on the island as well as shops and cafes. We went into one of the large shopping centres along the area I would call the boardwalk, to escape the heat and grab a cold drink. We walked through the centre and exited on a busier street close to Water Bomb. It was on my ‘to-do list’ to go to the water park but we weren’t going today so it went on the back burner until we figured out what we wanted to do.
We spoke to the guys at MBA Tours & Travel which was recommended on TripAdvisor and decided to have a look at the tours on offer. Ms. D had been to Bali very recently and recommended that we bargain for the cost of the trip especially if we were interested in buying more than more. We had a look and my attention was immediately drawn to the volcano trek. I really wanted to do the hike but the vendor told us that it was a 130am pick up and with such little time on the island, I thought it was best to leave it to the next time. The first trip we decided to book was for the following day and would take us to some beautiful sights around the island. The second trip which we would take on Monday and included viewing the volcano from a popular lookout in a national park and visiting Ubud. We bargained the two trips down to 210000IDR for 2 people and we were happy with that. We were informed that our driver would collect us at the hotel at 8 a.m. the next morning and we could discuss the second day from there.
*Tip: Have fun bargaining and haggling for anything you can
We decided to walk along the beach and look at all of the beach hotels, cafes, restaurants and shops until we made our way back to the hotel.
An afternoon at the pool side with an alcoholic beverage in hand was very appealing. Luckily for us our room was on the same level as the pool which had a pool bar. After a few hours on the sun lounger and jumping in and out of the pool, Mr. T decided to treat us to a spa treatment. We made our way to the 4th floor at around 6 p.m. The spa treatment was beautiful and it was so good that it made me fall asleep. By the time we made it back to our room, I had hit a wall and I was so tired for the rest of the evening. Needless to say, we relaxed in the hotel ahead of our busy day.
We were excited for the next day ahead!