This little paradise island in the Indonesian Archipelago had been on my bucket list for many years. I used to work in a kitchen with a South African surfer dude who had spent 6 months living in Bali and told me his stories of kicking back in a beach hut for $3 a night, surfing all day and living off $2 nasi goreng meals and fruit. My entry into the ‘Island of the Gods‘ was a little different.
This is not a post to talk about how amazing Bali is, but rather my own personal experience upon arriving at Denpasar airport, which I found rather strange.
My friends and I went on a 5 day holiday from Perth to Bali.
We paid for a fancy 5* resort, as this was a short break after a 6-month project in Western Australia before going straight back into another long job in construction.
My partner Amanda had just landed out from Ireland also so it was a bit of an adventure for us and as you can see by the picture below, the pool bar was amazing!
We landed in the hornet’s nest that is Denpasar airport. Woahh! This place is hectic.
I had been to Thailand twice and know what Asian airports can be like, but this place was mental. As soon as I had cleared customs where you pay $25 US for your 30 day Visa, a man came up to me in what looked like a customs/police uniform and took my bag from me. I held on and he was like “
I held on and he was like “no, its ok, come with me”… So I followed him with my bag and after we cleared passport control again, he was still beside me with a hand on my bag.
I was thinking ‘what the hell is this guy doing with his hand on my bag? Am I getting searched or whats is the story?’ We proceeded through the alley of currency exchange where there are literally 20+ currency exchequers shouting and waving cash at you to coax you into buying some Indonesian rupiah there.
We proceeded through the alley of currency exchange where there are literally 20+ currency exchequers shouting and waving cash at you to coax you into buying some Indonesian rupiah there.
Then… Just before the Taxi ambush…
“Give me money!”…
I’m like, “huh???”
“I carry your bag, you give me money.”
WTF? Get lost buddy.
Confrontation – shouting in my face –”I carry your bag, you give me money”…
Then like a swarm of honey bees, there were taxi drivers pulling and pushing to try and get us to take their taxi. We had a pre-arranged deal with the hotel for a pickup so we just laughed and powered through the mosh pit.
That was my arrival in Bali!