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I went to Bali in September 2002 and we stayed in the tourist region of Nusa Dua, which is only about 15 minute drive from DENPASAR, Kuta Airport. The hotel we stayed at was called Melia Bali which is one of the top hotels on the Island.

Before I tell you more about my experience here I would like to tell you all about the VOA which stands for Visa on Arrival and you will have to pay for this on arrival and is available to the following countries,
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
People of these countries above will be able to apply for a VOA, which is valid for either 3 or 30 days upon arrival by air in Bali, Jakarta and a few other international airports or by ship at a limited number of Indonesian seaports. A 3-day visa costs £5.50 and a 30-day visa costs £14.00
The VOA cannot be extended or converted into any other kind of visa. Also be aware that Immigration officials calculate the 30-day period as follows: your arrival day is counted as your first day, and you must leave the country on the 30th. Day!
Nusa Dua is at the southern peninsula of the island and is where you will find most of top international 4* and 5* hotels including Bali Hilton and the Grand Hyatt Bali. The only trouble I found with this area is although it was very nice it was not very traditionally set in the Balinese garden environment. The beaches here though are very nice with shallow water and not very high waves ideal for that romantic paddle together. There are also plenty of water sports and there is even an 18-hole golf course for all you golfing fans to escape the missus for a quick round.
The surrounding area itself is also kept in immaculate condition with its nice gardens and cleanly swept pavements and roads. There is also a small shopping precinct, which is called Nusa Dua Galleria centre, which has some very expensive restaurants and shops and department stores which is ok for a look around but I would not suggest buying any thing here apart from the essentials as you will be able to get gifts and clothes much cheaper else where in Kuta which I will tell you more about later.
Nusa Dua is more of a Romantic and or a Honeymoon type of are of Bali as you will find out if you ever going there is not a lot of night life and the bar's and restaurants in the surrounding area's close quite early due to this that's why myself and my partner decided to go out of the area most night's to eat which can be quite a lot cheaper also.
One area we found to be ideal for a few drinks and some cheap Seafood was Jimbaran Beach, which can be found on the West coast and is just South of the airport which probably has Bali's best beaches it also has some quite good accommodation. The best thing about Jimbaran is the Sunsets where you can relax and sit on the beach while wining and dinning your loved one to some great seafood this is a definite must to all the romantics out there. The best way of getting here is probably by taxi but I would recommend you let your hotel organise this for you as some of the local taxi drivers can lets just say make a little extra out of you.
Now if you want some excitement and action you need to go to Kuta which has been described as Australia's Ibiza and can be found on the west coast of southern Bali, it's seems here you will find every other person here is Australian and there is a good reason for this. Kuta and Kuta beach has some of the best surf around and seem to be the centre of Bali's nightlife with loads of great pubs and clubs that are open until the early hours of the morning. There is also loads of shops and department store's which I think you can buy every type of fake item you have ever wanted with some of it quite good quality.
Their were some bad points about Kuta that I can recall and that was the very insistent hawkers and time share sales people with what ever you do don't give them you hotel name and room number as you will be badgered into taking one of there tours and quite possibly parted with some money just to get away from them which has made this very untypical part of Bali quite ugly to most visitors, but my advise would be if any one tries to stop with a sales pitch just to be polite say no thank you and carry on walking. I would not really recommend this part of Bali to honeymooners or families but for those younger people who are out for some excitement.
There are lots of things to do in Bali including tours of the island the one we went on was the Handicraft Villages & Ubud Tour, which cost around £30 pound for the two of us but I would recommend you book this from your hotel and not one of the street sellers' as they do tend to try and charge you extra and some times not turn up at all and try and charge you for a no show fee but just be careful.
This Tour does take about 8 hours and includes visits to some of the museums and galleries in Ubud including MUSEUM PURI LUKISAN in the Ubud which is a don't miss also the NEKA MUSEUM in campuhan, the AGUNG RAI GALLERY in peliatan. The Problem I found with some of the museums and galleries was when you were walking around them you were seeing the real art but it came to shop most of the products had been made quickly and cheaply so watch out for this.
The other tours we did were the Monkey Forest & Tanah Lot Tour, which enables you to visit the royal Taman Ayun temple in Mengwi, which was built in 1624 also the holy Monkey Forrest which can quite fun but watch out as some of the monkeys can get quite aggressive fighting over the bananas that are for sale that you can feed them.
Kintamani Volcano Tour, this tour does take a long time to get to as it is northeast on the island but does give some quite spectacular views and is still an active volcano, which you can cross volcano lake and visit the small village there. This tour normally then takes you the Celuk that is a silver jewellery type of town where you can purchase some nice trinkets.
There are lots of other places to see and visit in Bali but probably too many to list but I would recommend Bali to any one who likes to see new cultures experience the food, weather and sites it was probably one of my best holidays. Please look out for my other reviews on places I have visited including Singapore, Thailand, New York that I will writing a soon as I get the time I also I hope you enjoyed my review of Bali and I hope it helps you make a decision on your holiday.

Neal Bowman

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silverstreak 28.09.2005 13:14

Sorry, but I've had to give this OT because I've already rated it in the correct section. If you ask Ciao to remove it from here, the negative ratings and points will be removed with it.

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Product details

Country Bali
Continent Asia
Author Insight Guide
Title Insight Guide Bali
Subgenre Country Travel Guide
Genre Travel
Type Non-Fiction
ISBN 1585732885
EAN 9781585732883

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Review Ratings »

This review of Insight Guide Bali - Insight Guide has been rated:

"very helpful" by (71%):

  1. Tonyc7
  2. sandemp
  3. Bollinger28

and 2 other members

"helpful" by (14%):

  1. salem_witch

"off topic" by (14%):

  1. silverstreak

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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