|Our family of four ( two sons 17
and 20) have just arrived back from a wonderful two weeks in Bali and
Unlike our previous trip, we were on a tight budget so we stayed and ate at
the lower end places (i.e. 2 and 3 star hotels and 15,000 to 30,000 Rp main
All travel and accommodation was booked over the internet using local (Bali)
travel agents and no money changed hands until we arrived at our
destination. This worked very well.
This was our second trip to Bali and first to Lombok. The weather was
perfect for the two weeks and we were amazed at the lack of tourists
particularly in Lombok.
We flew proles class with Qantas . Food OK, service OK although some of the
Flight Attendants really need to try and look as though they are enjoying
their job. They after all are well paid hospitality workers. (Angela and
Dennis on QF29 you were great!) The continued use of 737’s from Denpasar to
Darwin is to me still an issue as the seating is really cramped – anyone who
was overweight would really struggle to occupy just one seat!!
In Bali we stayed at the Puri Raja Hotel. This was a very comfortable three
star hotel situated on Jl Padma Utara in Legian and in my view great value
at US$38 per room per night including an American breakfast. This Hotel has
been reported before on this Forum and I would suggest anyone on a budget
give it consideration. It is close to good restaurants and shopping
including a mini mart, clothes, CD’s etc is on the beach has two pools (no
pool “lounge lizards” here) and good massages for 45,000 Rp for one hour.
We also stayed at place in Legian called Tropical Kubu. This is an
Australian persons holiday house and is on Jl Sahadewa, which is between Jl
Padma and Jl Melasti. It is a great place to stay with two double bedrooms
up stairs with ceiling fans, pullout beds down stairs, a living area with
TV, VCD, CD sound system, a bar area, dining area , fully equipped kitchen
with good sized ‘fridge. The gazebo area outside was great for end of day
Bintangs and G & T’s. Cost per night for the House was 300,000 Rp There are
also reasonably priced losman next door which would be worth considering for
travellers on a tight budget. The on site cleaner/caretaker is most helpful
as is the property manager. Their website is http://www.balibagus.com/tropicalkubu
In Lombok we stayed at the Bukit Sengiggi Seaview Cottages. The hotel is
located in the heart of Sengiggi on (I think) Jl Jaya opposite Lina’s. I am
sure we were the only guests staying there for the first 2 days. Quite
incredible. This comfortable property was well serviced by helpful and happy
staff, offering great views to the ocean and only 100 metres or so to the
beach. It has a lovely swimming pool and is built into the side of a hill.
Good eating places were close by and I would recommend this hotel to those
on a budget like us. We paid 200,000 Rp per room per night inc breakfast. A
local friend negotiated this price on our behalf and as such it may not be a
price others are likely to achieve, but it does indicate how desperate they
are in Lombok for tourists.
It is still difficult to get a really bad feed in Bali and Lombok
we did come close at Jimbaran Bay)
A few memorable places we ate at were:
- Poco Loco - Near Puri Raja Hotel Legian) Mexican food – take a good appetite
as the serves are generous
- Legian Snacks - Jl Padma Utara near Jl Padma Legian ) – Great value for
money local food, with excellent service
- Café Tegal – Jl Hanoman Ubud. This is our favourite and we keep coming back.
Local eatery on a rice paddy very cheap and great quality.
I do have to express disappointment at our seafood meal at Jimbaran Bay. As
first timers, I guess the hype generated on the Forums may have had
something to do with high expectations. The place we ate at was certainly
popular;( indeed the places immediately next to it were deserted). Our food
was Lobster, Crabs, Prawns and Squid. The food was overcooked, dry and
lacking in any substance. To describe the meal as a rip off is probably a
little defamatory however I can not recommend Sharkeys. I think next time
seafood on the beach at Sanur is the go.
Took some cash but mainly travellers cheques. Other than in Lombok all
transaction were undertaken at Kodak Shops (PT Central) with no problems.
Also no problems in Lombok although the rate was marginally lower than in
Bali. Travellers cheques were only about 25–50 Rp less than cash making it,
in my view sound reason to take them in lieu of cash. Had no trouble with
credit cards although it is common for a 3% charge to be levied.
Where possible we only used Blue Bird Group in Bali and Lombok. Less hassle
with the meter.
Travelled to Lombok by the Mabua Express US$25 one way – pleasant trip with
good scenery into Lembar harbour. In Lombok use Bemos and Cidimo to get
around - both are fun, cheap and efficient. Also hired a driver for the day
trip to Gili Trawangan.
Flew back to Bali on Air Mark – 237,000 Rp. The plane was a C-121 (I think)
looks a bit like a pregnant Fokker F27.
Since our last trip, the hawkers in Bali are less in your face, which frees
up the pavements. In Lombok (Sengiggi) they approach you as they used to do
Some people still get so uptight with the hawkers but my family still finds
them to be interesting pleasant young people just trying to eke a living
from the tourists. Take some time to talk to them.
The kids did the most shopping. I am not reporting on prices as this Forum
has plenty of prices for the fake watches, clothes etc. For me when shopping
it’s the interaction with the seller when haggling that I enjoy and not
getting tense over the price. Remember, the final price is always what you
are willing to pay – just have fun with the haggling process; you can always
No Bali Belly or Lombok Lurgy. The only health precaution we took was Doryx
for malaria. We did this on medical advice as we were travelling in Lombok
and the fact that we would be spending some time in a village. Malaria is
endemic in Lombok. Our nursing friend who lives in Lombok and knows of
village friends who have had the disease verifies this. Next time I think we
would also be wise to consider Typhoid medication. Hep A and B and tetanus
were all up to date.
Bali is still a great holiday destination with delightful people who are
good fun to talk to. We were however amazed at how quiet the place was
compared with same time 3 years ago.
Lombok was a real highlight. We thought Bali was quiet but Lombok seemed to
be almost void of tourists. What a shame, people do not know what they are
missing. If you are going to Bali try and make time to visit this lovely
Island. The people are very friendly (our boys made good friends with the
locals) and the scenery is fabulous. Diving/snorkelling off the beach at
Gili Trawangan is a must do. If you go to Gili Trawangan there is no
shortage of “mushroom” soup !!
I hope these note are of some interest.