Everyone have heard about this island once in their life. And yes, it seems like paradise here – well depending on where on the island you are. I will bring you closer to the more developed areas and tourist centers of Bali rather than the whole island.
The best known parts of the island are located within 70km radius in the southern tip of the island. Kuta, Seminyak, Legion, Nusa Dua and Ubud.
Kuta is the best known town just next to Legian and the international airport. And it is a – shit hole. I will be honest. If you are up to cheap parties, drunk Aussies and annoying hawkers selling all kinds of shit, you are probably in the right place. But there is nothing else than cheap tourism as you know it from all the touristy epicenters. And the beach is not even nice. Everyone tries to pull money out of your pocket (and even it is not expensive, it just adds up if you are staying here for more days). It’s simply a place to avoid at day (and at night). But still worth a visit so that you can appreciate the better parts of Bali.
Legian, between Seminyak and Kuta is way more quiet, but you can still feel the dirty tourist vibe here. And to be honest, even if the beach is wide and long, it is simply not nice! The water seems constantly dirty due to the strong currents and waves and the sewage system also does not help to keep this place clean.
The further southwest you walk, the posher the places become. Seminyak seems to be a good compromise if you want to stay in a kind of busy area but keep yourself away from the mass tourists. Still, the beach is not worth it, the hotels and restaurants become better. And everything is in kind of a walking distance.
A cab ride to Seminyak from the airport will set you back 100.000 – 150.000 rupiahs.
Once you arrive at the airport, you can withdraw money after immigration and customs. Since most of you are able/ have to buy a visa in arrival, it is actually advices to have Rupiahs in hand before you arrive to Indonesia. Currently, the visa on arrival can be obtained for 30 usd and it is valid for 30 days. Check with your consulate if you are eligible. Immigration is pretty straight forward and nothing to worry about. Once you head out to the arrivals hall, there should be an ‘official’ taxi stand. Well, it’s official but run by a monopoly. Check the price with them, and check other reviews and comments on taxi prices on the Internet. It can be a hit and miss. We were quoted 200.000 which was way over the price reviewed on the Internet. So we went further and this is where the touts approach and start annoying you… Don’t take the next best, negotiate to go as low as possible.
After refusing most of them, we agreed on 150.000 to north Seminyak. This was not on an official taxi but rather with a private driver. Still trustworthy and I will provide more information on him on the info overview of this trip.