Friday, 13 July 2012

Bali trip – Prologue

I'm returning to Bali within a span of one year! All along, I was hoping to return to Bali as I didnt get to visit the attractions I wanted to and eat all those nice food which I wanted to during my pre-wedding photoshoot last year. Hubby knew that I like Bali a lot and he's even helping me to look out for airtix promotion to Bali. Who knows, Jetstar launch their post lunar new year promotion and one way airtix to Bali starts from $68. The cheapest for return trip is $108 but cheapest for weekend trip is $138. Air Asia also has promo airtix to Bali but it adds up to be more expensive due to the fuel surcharge. The airtix is also not as cheap as zero air fare sale.

We decided to go in group of 4 which comprise of me, hubby, my sis and Samuel (hubby's friend). The travel period is from Apr - Aug and we decided to travel in July. However 2 weeks after I booked the airtix, Jetstar changed the departure flight timing from 7.25am to 10.25am. This means we have 3hr less in Bali =(

There are quite a number of airlines serving direct flight to Bali such as Singapore Airlines, KLM, Qatar, Garuda, Jetstar and Air Asia. Most of these airlines offer daily flight to Bali. Why should I spent money taking a full fledged airline when budget airlines airtix during promotion is less than half of what full fledged airline charged?

Map of Bali (extracted from Wikipedia)

Bali, the famed Island of the Gods, is an island situated east of Java. It is one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. In the 80s, the famous backpacking 3K are Kathmandu in Nepal, Kuta Beach in Bali and Khao San Road in Thailand. Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 91% of Balinese are Hindus.

I used to be puzzled on the GMT timing of Bali. Bali's GMT is +8 whereas Batam and Bintan GMT is +7. After googling, I discovered that there are actually three timezone in Indonesia:
- Sumatra, Java and West & Central Kalimantan are 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+7).
- Bali, Nusa Tenggara, South & East Kalimantan and Sulawesi are 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+8)
- Irian Jaya and Maluku are 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+9)

There is a list of recommended driver from Tripadvisor. I have never came across a list of recommended drivers in Tripadvisor, usually it's recommend in the individual topic. After enquiring couple of drivers, I decided to hire Mr Bagus (email: gelo82181@yahoo.com) for the whole trip. He charge IDR350,000 a day which includes driver + car + petrol for unlimited hours. Mr Bagus rate is cheaper compared to others who charge IDR400,000 - IDR 450,000 a day. I read from other blogger review's that Mr Bagus's service is good and he is very accomodating. The only con is that Mr Bagus is not a professional guide who can explain the history/ story of the places of interest. A blogger highlighted that the whole Bagus family runs the tour hiring services so they might send just anyone from the family.

I wanted to make reservation at Tegal Sari as I didnt get to stay there last year. I just fell in love with the wooden room when I first saw it on someone's blog. It's so lovely facing the padi field and yet value for money. However no room was available on the first night hence I can only make reservation for second & third night. There is only one wooden room available and the other room available is super duplex room. I booked about half a year in advance and yet most rooms are not available. The wooden room cost IDR550,000 (peak period rate inclusive of taxes) ~ S$78 a night w/o breakfast whereas the super duplex room cost IDR715,000 ~ S$102 (peak period rate inclusive of taxes) ~ S$102 a night w/o breakfast. Payment can be make by either credit card payment or bank transfer. For credit card payment, there is an additional 1.8% charge which is bore by the guest. I choose to make payment by credit card as the 1.8% additional charge would be lower compared to telegraphic transfer charge. Tegal Sari also has 2 villas for booking which starts from IDR1,000,000 + 10% tax.

I have to search for alternatives for the first night and I decide to make reservation at Green Fields which is just beside Tegal Sari. The rooms at Green Fields are also facing the padi field as both Green Field and Tegal Sari share the same padi field. I booked Bale Sukat Bali which cost IDR500,000 ~ S$71 including breakfast. Payment for Green Fields accommodation is upon checking in.

Bali is a huge island compared to Singapore. Bali's land area is 5,632km² and Singapore is only 704km². Even if I spend a week in Bali, it is also not enough to explore the whole island. Technically, I only have 2.5 days there and I decided to visit those must visit attractions first. I didnt do much planning for this trip as I only modify the itinerary which I have planned previously.

Itinerary for this trip:
Day 1: Reach Bali at 1.10pm, Nusa Dua beach, Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Day 2: Kintamani & Mount Batur, Pura Tirta Empul, Sukawati Market, Tanah Lot
Day 3: Pura Taman Ayun Mengwi, Yoga Plantation, Pura Ulun Danau Bratan
Day 4: Rest & relax at hotel, Depart Bali at 2.15pm

Budget for the trip is S$350:
- S$25 for departure tax (IDR150,000 is payable at Bali airport)
- S$30 for Greenfield accommodation
- S$40 for transport
- S$5 for admission fees
- S$150 for meals
- S$50 for shopping & souvenirs
- S$50 for massage

2 comments:

Betty and Ling Shing said...

Didn't come back for quite some time. Bali is always in my mind for second visit. Hope to get more update from you soon.

Surprise to see Sibu in your visiting list :)

rainy_girl84 said...

Thks for visiting my travelogue. I also dun mind visiting Bali again =) I read that there are delicious Food in Sibu so hope to visit one day.