It just occured to me that this trip resembles Julie Roberts Eat, Prey, Love minus Italy. Yes, I watched it but I won't admit to liking it. The flight from HK to Bali was only 5 hours. I'm glad we split up the travel time or it may have been a 17 hour flight from Canada..
Bali aiport is small and word to the wise when you get off the plane go directly to the visa on arrival to purchase your ticket. There is another area also called visa on arrival but that is customs. Not sure why they didn't just call it customs, Iguess that would be too easy.
I can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours to get through the airport. Think of it as game of chance. If it happens you arrive the same time other planes are landing, expect a very long wait. Bali has very strict rules so I would advise not to smuggle any contrabands or exceed your duty free limit or any ivory tusk or tiger penis part..yes I am allowed to say that because I am asian.
Once you get out of the airport it's madness. It's best to have an idea where you want to go so taxi drivers are not taking you to their friend's 5 star shack. I would recommend the pre-paid taxi's - average costs about 50K rupee.
We decided on Kuta whch is super touristy but needed a place to chill out while we figure things out.
Kuta is similiar to Koh San road in Thailand. It's where you party and well party more. 2 days is enough but we decided to stay 3.
If you visit Kuta I would probably recommend picking up supplies here. A lot of selection and prices are decent. I am trying to find a surf board but I just found out the west side is crappy for surfing so I need to make my way to the East. Water is chopppy and too much debris to surf. You can get a used board for $250 and resell it later or keep it. I plan to keep mine.
I recommend staying at Un's hotel - about $40 a night with a good balcony restaturant. They even have Cameron Diaz picture on the wall when she visited Bali...along with all these world surfers. The place is ran by this couple and their son is a world class surfer so the vibe is very chill.
The beach is mushy and it's been raining alot which is bumming us out because we really want to surf and explore. In hindsight i would not advise to travel in January because it is the wettest month but it is what it is. It's still fun as hell exploring and I am starting to completely forget my past life back home. I may even pierce my nose with a bone and call myself Omfoofoo.
Food in Bali is way cheaper than HK and more value. Good seafood selection and pretty much every restuarant can cook in any nationality. Kuta is fun to shop, chill and party. I reckon in the summer this place is on because the surf is off the hook on Kuta beach and it's a beach break too. Most of the breaks are reef here so I am too chicken to take a boat out still until I get 10 sessions in.
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