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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Keep Your Eyes on the Tides!

   When I first arrived in Bali, a local person told me 'Oh, full moon - big waves today'.  I thought this sounded like a bit of an old wives' tale, especially coming from someone who did not surf - how wrong I was!  Bali, with its position so close to the equator, has a very different tide pattern to anywhere I have visited before.

   At first glance, the biggest tide of the month being around 2.4m did not register with me, especially as, coming from Wales where we have 12m high tides quite regularly,  this seemed like nothing.  Again, I was

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Wet season Vs Dry season in Bali

Before I came to Bali I wondered how big a difference there would be between the wet & dry seasons.  After having seen out the entire wet season & just a little bit of the dry season, I thought I would weigh up the pros & cons of each to let you figure out which would be better for you as, depending on what you are looking for and are used to, it may differ quite a lot from person to person.  I should note that the wet season is from early November through to late April / early May and the dry season is mid-May until late October.


Monday, 21 June 2010

Bali Tourist Visas - Indonesia Tourist Visa (VOA) - Visa on Arrival ; Changes in the visa rules for tourist visits

Here's some useful info on charges for tourist visas and rules & regulations concerning them.

Bali Tourist Visa - Indonesia Tourist Visa (VOA) - Visa on Arrival ; Changes in the visa rules for tourist visits., expatriate,expat

The Indonesian authorities are extremely strict on these issues and don't take them lightly. If you overstay your visa, it will cost you to the tune of around $20 US per day. On top of this you still have to pay the rather annoying 'Departure Tax', which itself is around $15 and, apparently, is only payable in Indonesian Rupiah. For which reason, keep a few bills for the airport on your way home!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Medical Advice For Travellers and Surfers

  Seeing as I came off my motorbike the other day,  I thought I'd write some info on medical advice for Bali and certain products you might need. I would highly advise buying a few of the following products when you get here to clean up any cuts you get from either hitting the road or the reef!

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Cost of Surfboards & Surf Stuff in Kuta, Bali

   NB - Looking for a custom balsa surfboard made in Bali? Have a look here!

Contrary to what I had thought before coming out to Bali, you can buy everything you will ever need surf-wise here in Kuta; it  is stacked with surf shops BUT they are not cheap like other things in Bali - it seems that online shopping in the UK / USA is a slightly cheaper option.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Driving a motorbike in Bali

   In addition to general things which you should know about arrival and transport before you go to Bali, I thought I'd go into a bit of detail about actually being on the road here on a motorbike (the cheapest & easiest form of transport) and a few things to remember.

   Firstly, in Indonesia, they drive on the left - remember it!! (Here's a map of countries that drive on the left in blue, those that drive on the right in red) It's fine for us Brits, Aussies & Kiwis but for people coming from North America or mainland Europe this is something to bear in mind!

Which airline to fly to Bali with?

This may seem like a simple question to all the non-surfers out there; 'the cheapest one of course!', I can hear you say. However, if you are considering bringing a surfboard with you to Bali to make the most of the surf here, you might have to think twice about which airline really is 'the cheapest'; extra charges for boards are a well-known nemesis of travelling surfers and so the folks at surfline.com have made up this list of airlines and their various

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Bali's Dry Season: 'tis the season to be jolly!

The Bali surf season has well & truly arrived.......as you can see from the forecast below (click for a larger version), the surf is non-stop and is seemingly world-class nearly every day.....even the 'small' days aren't so small!! It's what we all came here for and after a slightly dreary wet season we are now reaping the rewards for 'sticking it out'!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Video: Fire Dance at Uluwatu Temple, Bali - Kecak!

When my father was visiting a few weeks back, I thought it would be a good time to check out the Uluwatu Temple Kecak (pronounced ke-chak) or Fire Dance. It's a pretty awesome show if a little expensive by Bali standards

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Bali Know Before You Go: Arrival & transport

Hi there - have been living in Bali for the past few years and I thought I'd write about things I found very helpful knowing before coming / things I've learnt the hard way! I'll keep to short, simple points and will try to update as I go on here.

- You can get a visa on arrival no probs (max 30 days) - just make sure your passport has AT LEAST 6 months left on it AFTER your planned departure date. People I know have been screwed on that one.

- When arriving at the airport, the going rate for a taxi to Kuta is around 80,000 rupiah ($8 US). As you come out of departures, immediately to your right there is a taxi booth with all the set prices (and you can't bargain) to the various destinations. Book from there to avoid getting ripped off by an opportunistic taxi driver.

- A good rate for a rental motorbike with a helmet is around 500,000 Rupiah/month (about $50 US) - if they don't offer to give you a helmet, find someone who will!! To rent a motorbike all you really need is money - they don't want to see a passport or even driving licence - cold, hard cash is enough! Just be aware - driving a motorbike in Bali is definitely not for the faint of heart!

- Be careful with Honda Vario rental motorbikes - they are classic rental bikes and run well but are VERY EASY to break into - I had my stuff ripped off at the beach twice before. Just try putting your hand in the compartment under the seat when it is locked - you will see what I mean! Try to avoid leaving any valuables inside as it is an easy target.

- Rental cars are also an option but I think most people would want to see the roads here before deciding on renting a car - they are manic!! You can get a Suzuki Jimny (old one) for about $8/day but more likely $10, a Toyota Avanza for around $15/day. Shop around in Kuta and find out! Insurance is rarely offered and if it is, don't expect to be of much use to you - remember, you are in Indonesia!

- You can hire a driver for around 300,000 Rupiah ($30 US) per day - they will normally wait for you and can be a good idea at the start of your trip while you deal with jetlag, heat, culture shock and generally getting used to the chaos that is an average road in Bali.

- Most bank cards work in ATMs over here without problems but make sure to tell your bank before coming how long you will be here. I have not had to do this when leaving the UK to go to other places in Europe but in Asia the ATMs need to be forewarned of your presence!!

100,000 Rupiah note
10,000 Rupiah note
- Be careful with 100,000 Rupiah notes (see image to the right) and 10,000 Rupiah notes (see image to the left)- they look very similar and have been known to confuse the unsuspecting tourist before!! 100,000 is red while 10,000 is light purple - try to get some cash before you come so you know what to expect!!

Life in Bali

I decided to come to Bali as, being surfer, it seemed like an ideal location; perfect waves, sunny year-round, warm water and beautiful beaches and scenery.

I plan to write a little bit about my experiences so far for anyone my age considering moving over here or simply coming to Bali for a holiday.

Thanks for reading,

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