SouthEastAsia 3 - Bali

The South East Asian adventure continues. After a wonderful day of exploring Kuala Lumpur it was time to travel through the skies again. A new country for me was on the menu: Indonesia! Let's go!

Leg 5 - Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar/Bali

 Route  KUL - DPS
 Departure  28.02.2016 10:30 
 Airline  AirAsia 
 Flight No  AK376
 Equipment  Airbus 320
 Registration     9M-AFD
 Seat  1A

Another long taxi ride it was this morning to Kuala Lumpur International airport. This airport is really far away from the city. But still the price for a cab is quite reasonable and it is certainly more convenient than the train ride. Finally arrived at terminal 2, home of AirAsia:

Nice plants here in the terminal building:
I had a quick breakfast and then proceeded through security and towards my gate, quite a long way to walk, but then I was delighted to see a plane in a special and colourful livery:
9M-AFD would be my chariot of the skies today, about 10 years old by the time of the flight and all the time in the air for AirAsia. Boarding started, it was quite chaotic, I entered the plane and settled down on seat 1A. Yes, indeed 1A, I payed a little extra for the privilege to sit there, since I didn't want to fold myself into the other narrow seats. Unfortunately the window was a bit cloudy, so all my pictures turned out a bit foggy, like this one:
On time departure, a Malindo 737 crossed our way towards the active runway, then take-off from runway 33 over huge fields of palm trees:

Flying along the coast before turning South towards Indonesia:
Feeling a bit peckish then I decided to order something from the menu. There wasn't a lot to choose from but two mini hamburgers in a box were just about right:
The load factor was quite good, almost all the seats were occupied. Next to me was an elderly couple, probably from Malaysia, and they both wore thick winter jackets! On a flight from one tropical country to another! Oh well.

But besides the rest of the flight passed uneventful, it was a nice smooth cruise. Some pictures already from approach into DPS:

Back on the ground after a bit more than two hours in the air. And welcome to Ngurah Rai International Airport, doesn't this name alone get you into a tropical holiday mood?
One last picture of the colourful airbus that has just brought me here:


Immigration into Indonesia was easy and quick, there was only a short line and it was moving quite quickly. Public transportation tends to be complicated here, so it had to be a taxi again. But again, no problem, you can prepay at the airport so there are no surprises. I had booked a hotel in Seminyak, at the coast North of Denpasar, next to infamous Kuta, but a bit more upscale and less partyish than Kuta. The Arana Suites, my room and the walkway leading to it:

And there was also a small but nice pool:

Let's explore the surroundings next, on the way towards the ocean:

And there it is, what the area here is mostly famous for, the beach, note the red AirAsia parasols:
Hmm, I have absolutely no idea where most of the tourists here come from?

Of course there are a lot of bars and pubs along the beach, and that's where I went next for my first Indonesian beer:
A plate with chicken sate goes along nicely with it:
The beach here is also famous for great sunsets. On this day however it was a bit cloudy, so it wasn't that spectacular, but the whole atmosphere was still great:

For the next day I had arranged a private tour with a driver to a few of the many sights of Bali. But first I started the day with a nice breakfast next to the pool:

Then I met with Made, my driver, and we started of to a whole day of touring the island. A few scenes from the road:

Then suddenly I spotted this next to the road, apparently the tail of an old DC10 on top of a building, what a surprise!
I couldn't get a better picture of it though. I have no idea about the story behind it. My guide didn't know anything about it either. If I saw it correctly it had a ZS registration, so maybe from South Africa.

Anyway back on with the tour. After a first stop at a coffee plantation we headed to the first highlight, the temple of Bedugul, beautifully located at the coast of a small lake in the mountains:
More impression from the temple grounds:

We continued the tour then to a viewpoint over the rice field terraces in the centre of the island:

Last stop of the tour was the probably most famous temple in Bali, Tanah Lot, also known as the sea temple or the sunset temple, because most people visit it in the evening for the sunset views. Its location just North of the beach resorts also means that it is very crowded with tourists. Nevertheless a beautiful little temple on a small island just of the coast:
The main temple itself is quite small, but there many other temples and other things to see around in the area and the location is quite nice directly at the coast.

So while Tanah Lot certainly is an interesting temple, for me it was way too touristy though. Even to reach the area you have to cross almost a whole village of tourist-trap-type restaurants and souvenir shops and the like. So my recommendation would be to rather visit the other great temples on Bali, like Bedugul, or at least go to Tanah Lot early in the morning to avoid the crowds.

And that was my Bali sightseeing tour, only one day, of course not even nearly enough for this awesome island. But it was ok for a first impression and I definitely want to comeback someday to see more of it.

But not this time, since for the next day I had another flight planned: Riding the tiger to Singapore, but that will be covered in my next post.

Thanks for reading so far!