Everything to know about planning your Bali holiday!






If there are islands in our world deserving the description of paradise then surely Bali must be one of them, with its wonderful tropical climate; fantastic beaches; beautiful lush landscape; fabulous accommodation choices to suit all pockets; unbelievable shopping opportunities of all kinds at bargain prices; excellent restaurant choices including world class restaurants at the top end; exciting night life establishments and a myriad of interesting and exciting things to see and do each day.

After your initial introduction to Bali via the airport and transportation to your Hotel or Villa, I can assure you, you will be well rewarded for all of your efforts thus far because it does get much better from here on.

Right now the magic  moment you have been waiting for has finally arrived with a presentation of keys to your Bali hotel, apartment, room or villa and it won’t take long before you are heading for the pool area, a quick dip and a nice cold drink. WOW! thats more like it, let the party begin.

From this point on and if you follow my suggestions, I can assure you of an enjoyable stress free and fun filled holiday.

Hopefully, Bali will always remain the great holiday destination that it is today for all of us to enjoy for many years to come. However, if this is to happen we all need to understand the vast differences in our beliefs and culture. With this in mind, please remember to treat our Balinese friends with respect during your brief visit.



On average, Australians visited Bali at the rate of 1,400 people every day of the year during 2010 for a  total of 511,000 and if you think that number is impressive, the daily Australian average forecast for 2011 is expected to exceed 1,900 per day or 700,000 for the year and possibly 800,000 plus during 2012. One million Australians or 2800 per day are expected to arrive on the island during 2015 (this estimate actually happened). By 2020, Indonesia expects Bali to receive up to 10 million visitors annually, which includes domestic tourists, Australians and people from all over the world.

As a matter of interest, an approximate total of 2.5 million tourists from around the world visited Bali during 2010, which equates to an average of about 7,000 people arriving everyday of the year. In addition to these statistics a similar number of people arrive daily on domestic flights from all over Indonesia to attend to business interests or to enjoy a well earned holiday to Bali.

The mind boggles, when you think about 10 million visitors from all over the world landing on this beautiful but small island by 2020, at the average rate of around 28 thousand people per day. On top of that impressive number, the local balinese population will have grown from 3 million to around 4 million plus.

Every year many tourists will be visiting Bali for their first time and no doubt they will be learning the rules the hard way, while being surrounded by millions of people of many different nationalities.

Time To Get Smart

After many enjoyable holidays in Bali with my family and friends over many years, I believe I am now well qualified to pass on to you my knowledge of Bali by pointing you in the right direction, thus ensuring you of a safe and relaxing stress free holiday. The choice is yours to decide which way you want your holiday to go: the hard way or the smart way

This informative Bali guidebook will appeal to first-timers of all ages, celebrating school leavers, concerned parents, family groups and also those people who have not been back to Bali for some years.

If you are one of the smart people who invests in themselves by reading my Bali guidebook, you will learn how to get the best value for your money, how to keep safe, how to stay healthy and recognise danger but most importantly, you will learn how to be Bali street smart.

In fact, you will find you are being guided on your first Bali holiday with the aid of your own invisible guide 24/7. How cool is that?

Congratulations to those people who are about to read this guide because you will benefit big time from the information you are about to soak up.

How to be a Smart Traveller:

I recommend you consider the following for your own safety, as well as consideration for your family and friends.  Register your intended trip with smartraveller.gov.au.

The benefit of becoming a free member of Smartraveller is your registered known whereabouts in Bali should the government be alerted of something untoward is likely to occur i.e tsunami, earthquake or terrorism. In this event, smartraveller will have your Bali address and phone details to give you advance warning and help get you out of the area as soon as possible, if something was about to happen. In addition to this, you will also receive emails in the future warning you of whether it is safe or not for travel to Bali/Indonesia.

Your family will also be advised of your status in the event you are involved in any disastrous situations. Look it up on the net and form your own opinion.

Kuta, Legian & Seminyak

Obviously, on your first Bali visit it is impossible to do and see everything on the island in a limited time frame and also there are numerous choices of accommodation in many different locations to choose from, so with this in mind, what I have tried to do is condense your first visit down to a safe, manageable and enjoyable experience.

Before going much further, I will explain why my description of Bali as a holiday destination for first-timers, mainly centres around the Legian-Seminyak areas in particular and to a lesser degree Kuta-Tuban. Kuta has great appeal for young people generally who love to surf and party full on for a week or two. If this sounds like you, then go for it and good luck, however you should understand on your first visit the area is not as safe and is extremly busy and noisy when compared to Legian and Seminyak.

If you choose to stay in more secure accommodation available in Legian-Seminyak for example, you will find Kuta is only a cheap taxi ride to check out the area by day or night. Although there are many beautiful locations in Bali that I am just as familiar with, the reasoning behind my thoughts of directing first-timers to Legian and Seminyak, is because they are very much alive by comparison to Sanur, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran Bay. Also Legian and Seminyak areas are generally safe at night, offer excellent entertainment, fabulous choices of restaurants/bars and is more relaxing and popular for different reasons.

If you follow my line of thought for your first visit of only one to four weeks, you will benefit greatly and be in a much better position after this experience to judge and choose for yourself in the future as to where you prefer to sleep, eat and be entertained on your next exciting Bali adventure.

Bali of Old

I remember my first Bali experience 38 years ago as if it were yesterday and how shocked I was with the poor conditions visitors of the day had to endure, with the likes of putrid smells continually wafting about from open sewerage, while their contents were being directed out to sea, creating an awful sight as you can imagine. Much of this of course, washed up onto Kuta beach.

To give you an insight into how things were at the time, Bali hospitals and medical centres were originally purpose built with only the local people in mind and were far from being well equipped or clean. Communications were difficult with only very few staff able to understand some english.

At the time, Bali was not a good place to become ill or involved in an accident. There were only a few footpaths available in the Kuta area, which were unsafe in most cases with broken concrete slabs covering open drains filled with rotting sewage.

There was only a low grade of accommodation available, a low level of hygiene in most restaurants; only average meals on offer; bali belly was common; warm beer and no fresh water ice available for mixed drinks; horse drawn transport and bimo’s, which were  small open sided vans; basic local entertainment; packs of ugly half starved and interbred dogs roaming the streets and believe it or not, a non air conditioned tin shed as the airport passenger terminal to name a few.

Paradise was not a befitting name for Bali at this time.

Bali Today

As from October 2013, Bali now boasts a new and very comfortable world class international airport terminal currently handling around 5 million international tourists per annum.

Western managed hospitals and medical centres are now available with much thanks to Mr. John Howard, a former Australian Prime Minister of distinction.

Also, you can now enjoy all of the following improvements like world class restaurants; world class hotels; world class apartments; fabulous villa accommodations; world class golf courses; much cleaner beaches although still room for improvement; covered and contained sewage but you will still get the odd putrid smell; footpaths although much better still require your constant attention in some areas.

You will also now enjoy  an excellent transport (taxi) system and also exciting world class entertainment venues to satisfy the majority.

Book Early

With the current boom in Bali tourism including cheap airfares, you can now expect plenty of competition from fellow tourists from all over the world, booking airline seats and accommodation.

My tip to enjoy the best months in Bali is to book with your travel agent six to nine months in advance, if you plan on a holiday to Bali during school holidays and also the months of May, June, July, August, September, Christmas and New years. Bookings for the remaining months, would require no less than three months notice for best flight times and accommodation choices.

Hopefully, my Bali guidebook will paint a picture in your mind and whet your appetite to visit Bali some time soon, with much more confidence than you may of had.

Remember, without prior knowledge of what to expect at your destination, your holiday can easily become a disaster if left to your own devices.

Your Invisible Guide

The content in Bali Secrets Unlocked is meant to be light and easy to follow and is loaded with only the most important kind of information, all of which I believe is most important for Bali first-timers in the main to fully understand before their arrival on the island.

Also, you will find I have explained in detail some important issues regarding travel documents, Bali money and your health, which I believe should be clearly understood also before your arrival.

Now please read on and let me take you on my unique hand held type of guided tour through one of life’s most exciting journey’s. I will start from the time you have made your decision to visit Bali, what to pack, leaving for the airport and everything in between, right through to your safe arrival back home.

Your thoughts on what you think of this first edition guidebook and also your ideas of how I can improve this information, will be much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Mike Fennessy
[email protected]

Now onto the next part of this guide – Getting Organised.

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