From US, to Sweden, to Bangkok, to ending the year in Bali! A year ago, if you would have told me I would end up in Indonesia during the holiday season, I would have laughed and said ‘yeah okay’ sarcastically. However, a 4-hour flight and some fried chicken later… here I am! This is my first 24 hours in Bali.
Traveling to Bali was much less stressful compared to Bangkok. Zero flight delays makes for an easy transition. Before leaving Bangkok, I ended up downsizing much of my belongings, so it felt good traveling with a lesser load. My bluetooth speaker actually takes up almost half of my luggage. Priorities. When I arrived in Thailand, I flew into BKK, this time around I had departed from DMK. I flew with AirAsia since it is the most affordable within Southeast Asia, I think my ticket was around $50.
This flight was a mere 4 hours, not terrible. My previous flights were 9 and 11 hours, so this felt like nothing. However, some entertainment would have been nice considering there were no tv’s. I can’t recall how I entertained myself for those hours, but I did write a blog post the last hour. At nearly 1 AM, I finally arrived in Bali!
My first impression of the Denpasar airport was that it was strangely quiet. I wasn’t sure whether that was because it was so late at night or if it’s just always empty. Everyone was so chill too, I found it a bit humorous. One thing to take note of is the Visa on Arrival situation. You have two options: paying $35 for a Visa on Arrival in order for it to be extended or receiving a visa-free entry for 30 days at no cost. I was confused when I arrived, assuming you had to pay $35 regardless. After doing further research, I found out that the law was abandoned back in 2015. This is why I blog… information on the internet can be so difficult to find sometimes!
After going through passport control, which was extremely laidback – at least the guy I was talking to, I grabbed my bags and went to find the nearest ATM. From what I saw, there were only two ATM’s at the exit. Next to the only mobile provider to purchase a SIM card and a small duty free store. At the exit, I met with Andre who was a staff member from the Airbnb I was staying in. He happily assisted with transport from the airport.
At this point it was nearly 2 AM and all I could do was laugh because I ended up on a mission for food. Except, it was Andre’s idea. He definitely made my first impression of the Balinese people a great one. They are very kind and helpful. The food mission ended after 15 minutes of driving around and he found a place to get delicious fried chicken. I was introduced to some legit homemade sambal also, damn that stuff is good.
Arriving at my Airbnb everything seemed great, but that opinion changed a bit over the week. That’s a blog post for another day. The next morning I ventured out a bit to see what was around me and I found a nice little warung to eat at. I had some tasty eggrolls, but my mom still makes the best ones. I guess that’s the bad part about growing up Filipino… my mom’s cooking will always knock out any other’s.
The heat here is no joke, and I even remember reading a blog post about Bali that mentioned you will never stop sweating and I completely agree. If you aren’t sweating then the humidity in the air makes it feel like you are. Keep in mind this is the wet season, I’m sure the dry season is much more comfortable!
After walking around for a bit, I found everything I needed: a place to eat, a grocery store, a fruit stand, and a convenience store. All within a 5 minute walking distance, perfect! One major thing I noticed that was different between Bangkok and Bali is the traffic. Oh my god, the traffic here is horrendous and they really have no road rules. I thought Bangkok was bad… this is a whole other level.