Not a fond memory but a very sad one. The terrorist attack on Bali in October 2002, besides directly affecting those killed and injured and their families, has devastated a lot of local businesses and severely impacted the local economy.
Hotel occupancy rates were running at 25-30% in January 2003 when they should have been full. Taxi drivers, restaurant workers and a host of other local people who survive by providing goods and services to tourists were struggling badly.
This T-shirt seems to sum up local sentiment quite succintly.
Favorite thing: One of the most famous things about Kuta and Legian Beach is the beautiful sunset on a nice day. During sunset, many people will gather at the beach to watch it. The views (see photos) are worth the wait.
Favorite thing: The view of Kuta and its surroundings from the air is fantastic on a clear day when your flight is landing and taking off. If you want to experience it, I suggest that you take day flights. More photos are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
Favorite thing: Because of some mix-up, I got to stay at a big apartment room at Jayakarta Hotel (more information at "accomodation" section.. This apartment is very comfortable and I enjoyed my stay here. It has also nice view of the sunrise but unfortunately could not view the sea from here.
Favorite thing: If the sea is too rough, you can always swim at the swimming pool of the various beach resorts which are usually beautifully designed. There are also other sports such as tennis for those who are keen to keep fit. If you are lazy, you can always relax and suntan by the pool or sit around and chit-chat.
Favorite thing: The sunrise at Kuta is from the land and therefore may not be so beautiful to some people as compared to the sunset by the sea. Nevertheless, watching the sun rise from beneath the coconut trees is also a very nice experience and photograph taking opportunity.
Favorite thing: During sunset, you can witness the beautiful reflection of the sky on the beach due to a thin layer of water on the sand as the waves reside. This is very enchanting and very good for a romantic walk and photography.
Whilst in Bali I had to make several phone calls to the UK. I asked a few locals the cheapest way to do this and was told to buy a local 'simPATI' SIM card and replace the +44 UK code with 0101744 when dialing. Therefore, +441603 123456 becomes 0101744 1603 123456 The cost of the SIM was 25,000 Rupiah which is just over £1.50 and the calls were pence per minute rather than pounds!
Hope this helps someone, Mark.
Every alley you enter, you are bound to find interesting shops selling various stuffs. Some have services for tatoos, massages, beauty treatments, saloons.......Vendors will bid you to come see their shops. You can politely nod your head and say thank you and continue to walk along or just ignore their biddings.
Fondest memory: You will not be bored walking in and out of the alleys in Kuta.
Don't be surprised that while you relaxing and having a bite , someone will pull a chair and sit next to you . He will be very friendly and start asking questions like - "where are you from", "how long you have been in Bali", "how many days you will be staying"...... Sooner than you know, he will be promoting his tour packages which sounded very attractive. Don't buy the deal outright from him. You should just get his contact and say that you will get in touch with him if you are interested.
Fondest memory: Kuta - you need not worry about how to travel around Bali. Tour operators are everywhere.
Indonesia is an archipelago of over 17,000 islands with a population of more than 200 million, scatterd over a land area of some 2.02 million square kilometers. Lying across a region of immense volcanic activity, Indonesia has some 400 volcanoes, with at least 70 still active.
Bahasa Indonesia is the official language. English is frequently used in commerce. The people are predominantly Muslim, minority religious groups being Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.
Long-distance telephone calls within Indonesia are by direct dialing. International Direct Dialing (IDD) is available in all 26 provincial capitals and in more than 320 cities throughout the country. For the business travellers, facsimile, telex and email services are available in most hotels and at service outlets.
Fondest memory: The evernings close to the beach
Although Indonesia is hot and humid throughout the year, the official wet season runs from October to August and is marked by heavy, short rainstorms after which the air is fresher. Temperatures range from 21 to 33°C in the lowlands. Higher altitudes enjoy cooler conditions.
Airport Tax and Transport
Passengers departing on international and domestic flights have to pay Rp. 50,000 and Rp. 11,000 airport tax respectively.
Metered taxis are available only at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta. At other major Indonesian airports, taxis operate on a fixed rate basis.
From Jakarta airport, all taxi fares include a surcharge of Rp. 2,300 and a highway toll of at least Rp. 4,000, depending on destination. The surcharge does not apply to trips to the airport, though the highway toll does. In both directions, airport taxis offer a 25 percent discount on the toll fee.
Fondest memory: My mornings on Nusa Dua Beach
Exchange facilities for the main foreign currencies are available in banks or at authorized moneychangers in major cities of Indonesia. Rupiah comes in denominations of 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 500 and 100 in bank notes, and 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 coins.
Indonesia is divided into three time zones. Western Indonesia Time (Sumatra, Java, West and Central Kalimantan) is seven hours ahead of GMT, Central Indonesia Time (Bali, South and East Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara) is eight hours ahead, and East Indonesia Time (Maluku and Irian Jaya) is nine hours ahead.
50Hz at either 110 or 220 volts.
Most government offices are open from 8 am to 3 pm. On Fridays, they close at 11:30 am. On Saturdays, they are open until 2 or 3 pm.
Business offices open from 8 am or 9 am to 4 pm or 5 pm. Some work half day on Saturdays. Banks open from 8 am to 3 pm on weekdays. Banks are closed on Saturdays. Money-changers open longer hours till the evening.
Favorite thing: Being in a tropical region, Kuta has lots of colourful tropical flowers and abundance of plantlife. Do observe the rich and colourful flora of Kuta when you are there :)
Favorite thing: If you enter Kuta Beach by the main road, do observe the interesting stone carvings on the entrances. They are quite interesting and are of traditional figurines.
Even the walls on the alleys are beautifully decorated with drawings. Isn't this a fun place to move around ?
Fondest memory: Colourful not only on main street but lanes and alleys are also fun places to move around