Top Tip for Bali #1: Arriving, staying, departing
A 30 day Visa on Arrival is available for many international travellers to Bali and will set you back $35 US dollars. Be sure to have your US Dollars ready (or your local equivalent) in cash. If you have forgotten this, do not panic – simply ask an usher to direct you to the counter offering credit card payment. [See Indonesian Immigration Website for all things official. They don’t take Visa misuse lightly, so neither should you].
On the other side of the airport immigration counter, you will find your luggage spilling out onto the carousels. You may be pleasantly surprised to find friendly porters who will grab you a trolley, carry your bags and help you with the heavy lifting as you head through customs. Even if you didn’t ask for this service, remuneration will be expected. If you don’t want to pay, you need to refuse their help.
Accommodation options are varied, and the spectrum ranges from budget surf stays to exorbitant beachfront resorts. Guest houses and losmans are probably the most cost effective option for stays of 30 days or more, but you can also nab yourself a relatively cheap mid-term villa. The quality of your accommodation will reflect what you are prepared to pay.
If you plan to stay a further 30 days, it is best to use an agent to process your extension. An extension will require a passport photo with a red backing (quite possibly the only red tape you may come across during your time here), and should set you back around 800,000 IDR (roughly $80 AUD/USD). For convenience sake, I use Channel One, located at the end of Sunset Road, Seminyak. we take care of all the logistics for you and are available via Facebook messenger for advice. Because let’s face it, you will be far too busy living the dream.
Always try to play it safe when it comes to departure timing. Allow at least 2 hours from your accommodation in South of Bali to the airport, and an hour extra if you are coming from Ubud. Bali traffic can be unpredictable, at times nightmarishly clogged, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you arrive early, there are airport lounges you can pay to access for a feed and a comfy chair to await your flight. Crisis averted.
Choosing where to stay in Bali…
Do your research. The area you choose will decide the type of experience you will enjoy. My basic rule of thumb? The further out from the tourist hub of Kuta you stay, the more peaceful and quiet your trip will be.
Areas like Kuta are great for family holidays with the kids, with direct access to tourist attractions, themed hotels, and central shopping districts. Spread out to Legian and Seminyak for a slightly quieter stay and access to private villas.
Move beyond these spots to Canggu or Uluwatu for rice paddies, losmans and surf breaks; Nusa Dua for water sports and all-inclusive resorts; or right out to Ubud for culture, yoga and peaceful serenity.