Upon returning from our recent trip to Indonesia, a lot of people have been asking questions about what we did, where we stayed and how much we paid so I have put together all of this information to try and help everyone get a better understanding of our movements. Hope it helps!!
For a long time I have always avoided Bali - not because I didn't want to go or because its too touristy.. I have found that the ‘too touristy’ places (Bali, Phuket, Hawaii) are that for a reason - they are fun, the weather is good and people always have an awesome time there!
I have avoided it because its convenient, and as an Australian it is a relatively easy trip and I can go there any time.. Its close 2-6 hours deepening on where you live, lots of daily direct flights, cheap to get to, inexpensive while you are there in comparison with Australia and there are lots of cool things to do. At this point in time I felt that my time had come, so we found some cheap flights and off we went!
We flew into Bali, then took a flight over to Flores which is the gateway of the Komodo National Park, from here we headed to Lombok. The Gili islands are only short boat trip from the Lombok mainlands that was our next desitination, followed by Ubud and then we finished our journey in Kuta and Seminyak. The map below may help naviagte through the Islands :)
Indonesia is huge! It is made up of over 18,000 different Islands with a population of 250 Million people and becuase of this, is the largest muslim coutry in the world. From pristine beachs, lush mountains to busy and poluted cities Indonesia has it all. Bali is the countrys number one draw card as most popluar tourist deistination, with millions of toursist from all of the world visiting annually.
First of all, you can pick up a great deal if you can keep your dates felxible and are watching out for cheap flights. We purchased return flights for $300AUD with Air Asia. Some people don't like flying with the budget airlines like Jetstar & Tiger but for me, I am not fazed. Athough you need to pay for all of your extras like food and drinks. I have no problem with not eating for 5 hours on a flight - I will just eat before. You may also have to pay extra for baggage and seat placement, however we were both allocated seats next to each other, which happens most of the time (but sometimes you can get unlucky). You can also fly direct with Garuda or Virgin from most Australian Cities, and a hot tip is Jetstar usually have thier birthday/take a friend for free sale around the the start of April.
Upon arrival to Indonesia, lots of countries can enter without a Visa, but Australian’s must purchase a tourist visa which is only valid for 30 days. You can buy the visa from a counter in the airport for 35USD and you can also pay in Australian Dollars or Indonesian Rupiah. Make sure that you have over 6 months left before you passport expires or you will not be let into the country (happened to my sister in law) and she was not allowed to board the flight from Australia to Bali.
At the time that we were in Indonesia, the exchange rate was around 10,000 Rupiah for $1 Australian Dollar, so it was relatively easy to round up. Throughout my travels, I found that all of the travel money/bank cards/credit cards are all as bad as each other and they best way get get the highest exchange rate in Bali is to take over Australian Dollars in Cash. That way you can just exchange money at the counter as you need without any bank fees and you with get a higher rate because Indonesians work on a lower profit margins than in Australia.
There are a ridiculous amount of money vendors, look for the best rate at a couple of stores and know how much you are meant to walk away with - generally if they look dodgy they are. I have been exchanging money like this every time I travel and always count the money out on the counter in front of the vender to make sure, but on the last day I took $400 to exchange for the tattoo, I counted the money in front of them then put it in my pocket - a few hours later realised I had been short changed, never happened before and am shattered to admit it but they got me.. Bali 1 - Lucas 0!
From the Airport there are hoards of drivers that will try and approach you to try and get your business, if you haven't already organised transfers you can negotiate a price of around 50,000 to 150,000 Indonesia Rupiah to go to your hotel in Kuta, Legian, Seminyak or Jimbaran. Like any situation similar to this you will have to barter and be willing to walk away but don't stress as there will always be someone who is happy to take you for that price.
Usually I would just organise a taxi once I had landed but we had been recommended a driver so I added him on Facebook and organise him to pick us up for an agreed price. I did this so I could try and make some trustworthy contacts that I could recommend friends and family to go with and I was not disappointed - his name is Ceppy and he was waiting at the airport with a sign. Ceppy has a van and works everyday, I have listed his details along with all other links and contact details if anyone wanted the information to help organise a future trip.
Ceppy +62 813 387 56789 (also has a Facebook page)
Denpasar International Airport is very big and modern with free wifi throughout, lots of shops and restaurants, however there are no big fast food franchines like McDonalds or Burger King. As an Australian there is a $20USD exit fee which has been incorporated into your fee on your ticket so make sure you dont try and pay again when your leaving. As with any international airport meals are pricey 120,000-250,000, especially in comparison with meals on the flight were 30,000 for noodles or 65,000 for rice and meat (typical aeroplane food) so you are better off having your last meal before you get to the airport.