After 24 hours of traveling (from Madrid to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Jakarta, Jakarta to Bali) I’ve finally touched down in paradise. Or what I hope is paradise. I arrived at about 5pm, taxied straight to my hostel in Seminyak and crashed. A tip that I wisely took: when you arrive at the airport in Bali, don’t go to the taxi stand or accept a ride from the cabbies offering. Instead, exit the arrivals gate, turn left and pick up a Bluebird Group Taxi from the departures gate (they’ll be dropping people off for their flights and you can hail one as they exit the car). This is much cheaper and the Bluebird Group Taxis are the only truly good ones who use a reliable meter.
I did go out to dinner at a cute place literally next door to my hostel called Cafe Moonlight Bali, which is where I’m currently writing and eating breakfast. By Balinese standards, it’s expensive, but not so much for Westerns. I had a big salad with watermelon and feta, and a fresh fruit and veggie smoothie for around $8 total. But then again, I’m told meals at most local places will run you between $1-5 American dollars – a welcomed change after Europe.
My hostel is nice, but the area is fairly busy so I’m hoping to look around a bit and see where I can stay for the remained of the month. I had originally just purchased a one-way flight and hoped I’d be able to extend my stay later on without booking an onward ticket. No such luck. Minutes before boarding I heard my name called over the intercom to come to the desk.
“Miss Henney. May we see your passport, please?
“And proof of when you’ll be departing the country?”
“Ummm… yeah. I’m going to Thailand next.”
“Wonderful! May I please see that ticket?”
“Yeeeeeeeeessss. Just a second.”
Cue me whipping out my computer in a frenzied frantic to search for the cheapest ticket out of Bali after one-month’s time (which is all you’re allowed as a tourist without a visa). I was able to book one for a few hundred dollars to Phuket in Thailand, so it worked out, but it sure made my heart beat fast for a bit.
In fact, because I’m staying for less than 30 days (29 to be exact) I didn’t need a visa at all. If you stay for 30 or more you need a visa, which runs about $35. If you want to extend it you can for an extra 30 days and an undisclosed amount of money. But I’ll cross that bridge if/when I come to it. For now, I’m off to explore and ask around about where I might be able to post up for the rest of my time here. Oh, and I can check another continent off my list! North America (duh, but whatever), Europe, Pacifica (I can hear my brother now: “You’re a damn fool for not having gone to Antarctica when you were in Australia“), Africa and now Asia!