During the month of May this year,  my wife Anne and I with five of our family members once again headed off to Bali for 16 days travelling with Air Asia. Both flights were comfortable and represented excellent value for money. As usual our travelling time of three and half hours seemed to go very quickly with the aid of downloaded movies on IPads and also the use of ITunes.

I was aware of the construction of the new International Airport Terminal and the upheaval it was causing to new arrivals but it’s not as bad as I first thought it could be. We were transferred from the plane to the old terminal by bus and then we had a rather long walk to the processing area. For our group of seven it was not a problem but I did notice some of the elderly and unfit people struggling to bring up the rear. I did read once where the airport was providing electric golf cart type vehicles to assist those in need but alas none were to be seen on that occasion. Apart from the long walk everything else was satisfactory. On our return trip and knowing what we were in for, I decided to accept the offer of one of the porters to assist the seven of us. This turned out to be a good decision for only Rp 50,000 or $5 because he stayed with us until all our baggage had been weighed in.

Our driver Charlie from Bali who is mentioned in this guidebook under Transport was there to pick us up and also with another vehicle to take care of all the luggage and surf board. About twenty minutes later we were at the villa where we were greeted with cold towels and a cold fruit drink. From then on we mingled daily with the crowds and went with the flow each day for whatever appealed to us.

The reason why all seven of us were together in Bali on this occasion was to celebrate three birthdays. All three birthdays were celebrated on the same evening at a function held at the fabulous Cocoon Restaurant and Beach Bar located at the end of Double Six Road. The food, drinks, service and value for money was faultless with all thanks to long time family friend and restaurant manager, Anthony Bevillaqua. Other restaurants we ate at included my old favourite Gado Gado, Chandi, just for my wife and I on the open top deck, which is impressive, Nirvana and Sarong. The details of all these restaurants are mentioned in this guide under Restaurants.

A few highlights worth mentioning here start with our very enjoyable and successful tour to the Butterfly Park at Tabanan mainly to entertain our four year old grand-daughter and nine year old grand-son.For details about the Butterfly Park, please find a description under Tours in this guide. Dinner at Biku was a delightful experience for all with some excellent entertainment provided while devouring wonderful tasty food. Our grand-daughter was looking her splendid best dressed in her favoutite pink princess dress and because of this was actually introduced to the owner, a real life princess. After a vist to Tanalot to view yet another spectacular sunset we called in at Sea Circus restaurant opposite Semaya Resort and enjoyed wonderful fish and chips, squid rings and an assortment of other tasty seafood delights.

After a big nosh up breakfast at Lalucciola one Sunday, we discovered another new leather shop along Jl Petitenget. The name of the shop is 2ND Skin, leather by design. We met the owners who were more than busy at the time serving five young ladies who were homeward bound later in the day. We did call in again at a quieter time and if this is of interest to you then I suggest you look under the heading of Shopping in this guide and scroll down to Leather Products for a full description of what’s on offer for ladies and gents, phone numbers, address and website details.

There is a tremendous amount of new accommodation blocks currently under construction and in particular along Double Six Road, which is the border for the begining of the Seminyak area. While I was there I came across an old Balinese friend (Wayan Sadi) who has about 9 double rooms for rent at a very cheap rate. The rooms are large, clean and six of them are fitted with airconditioning. Rates are Rp200,000. or $20.00 per night for non airconditioned rooms and Rp250,000 or $25.00 per night with aircon. You will find full details under the heading of Accommodation and scrolling down to Rooms.

If you are ever wondering what to do on a Sunday evening, I suggest you head for the beach where you will find hundreds of locals and tourists enjoying soccer and racket ball before the sun sets. Once the sun sets head for the beach bars and restaurants located between Cocoon at the end of Double Six Road and Gado Gado Restaurant, Jl Dhyana Pura in Seminyak.

We called in at Romy’s watches in Garlic Lane Legian. You can read about Romy in this guide under the heading Meet My Bali Friends. Unfortunately, Romy had some sad news for me on this occasion and showed me a letter ordering him to get rid of all well known expensive brands of watches and was also fined a sum of Rp 35,000,000. or $3800. In the event he did not pay the fine he would be jailed for up to five years. Fortunately for Romy he was able to pay the fine. While I was at Romy’s I called into Billy’s Bar and Restaurant, which is an icon in the area. To my surprise the place has undergone a big make over for the better with a new layout, much cleaner presentation generally and even the staff looked immaculate in their new uniforms. THE BEER IS STILL CONSISTENTLY THE COLDEST IN BALI.

I will be in Bali again during August and September. Please feel free to contact me anytime should you want answers to any Bali questions.

Cheers

Mike

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