Vancouver to Xiamen (12h) –> Xiamen to Singapore (4.5h) – Find out that Vancouver didn’t send my suitcase –> Singapore to Bali (2.5h) –> Bali Airport to Balangan Beach (30 mins)
Booking this trip came with two rules:
Change hotels every single day (exception of Ubud).
Wake up around 7am to take advantage of the day because the sun did go down around 6:30pm
We booked our first night and then decided to be as spontaneous as we could. We landed in Denpasar from Singapore, and there we saw tons of people with signs that have names on it. Then there’s another huge group of people that start yelling “Taxi? Taxi?”.
A couple of people followed us out of the airport for 10 minutes. AH. That was stressful.
Lesson: taxis have a monopoly around the airport so you won’t be able to get a Grab from the airport (Grab bought Uber so it’s the basically the same). You need to walk out of the airport for a solid 10 minutes to get a decent taxi deal – even then you’ll pay more than you are supposed to.
We paid 150K ($15 CAD) to get to our hotel beside Balangan Beach (40 minute drive away because of all of the traffic).
We got to our hotel at 10pm after a long travel day and a forgotten suitcase – La Joya Bungalows, Jimbaran. We were welcomed by a couple of meowing cats, humidity, and the dark. We’re both staring at a menu that said a salad is 120K and a burger is 150K.
At this point, does it matter? Nope.
Woke up at 5am, found a flight of stairs that brings you to the beach. We watched the sunrise, saw at least 7 dogs and 5 cows on the beach. Typical sunrise in Bali!
Breakfast was served at 8:00am with a choice of American Breakfast: Bread, Croissant, egg and coffee/tea or Indonesia Breakfast: Nasi Goreng which is fried rice with a sunny side up egg on top, shrimp chips and coffee/tea.
Both options come with a juice or a plate of fresh fruit – fresh fruit it is!
This is one of the more intimate beaches because it is closed off by two cliffs on each side (on the photo below you can see one of the cliffs). The sand is a bigger grain than other beaches (not as soft).
You’ll pay to have a chair in the sun 50K ($5 CAD) – remember that you can negotiate anything. You can ask for a better deal because you won’t be there as long or you just want one chair etc.
It's also a great beach for learning how to surf because of the height of the waves around 4pm + it's clear water until you get into deeper waters and there you will find sharp rocks.
By the end of our beach day, we had our feet pretty cut up from those rocks.
We rented a scooter for 50K for the day because I needed to find some clothes + a bathing suit since I only had what I wore on the plane. On the way back we stopped by Pasion Cafe for lunch.
Now it was time to figure out where we were staying next – so, we wanted to stay in the south because it’s not as touristy but still has the beautiful beaches.
We found Jungle Villa in Uluwatu – so we ask the hotel for a taxi and they quote us the fixed rate of 150K which was fine with us because it was 40 minutes away which sounds far but it takes that long because they have to go back up the main road to then go down another road or take the small dirt road where you still need to go relatively slow.
Xiamen Air: good airline, good food, they just don’t speak a lot of English so don’t ask any complicated questions
Xiamen Airport: you can barely buy anything because most places (even McDonalds) don’t take Visa. Bring cash or sign up for AliPay!
Singapore Airport: Singapore is architecturally pretty invested so their airport reflects that + it’s huge because of the number of people that go through that airport.
Air Asia: No-frills airline so you’ll have to pay for food (decently priced) + your suitcase
Balangan Beach: great to relax because it’s not busy. The crowd is late 20’s to early 40’s. A lot of French people, and families.
Picture: Shorts + shirt courtesy of Z