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She Absolutely Loves Bali


Yummy rice and veggies...

The usual local fare consists of rice with vegetables and small amounts of beef or chicken. Most villages and towns have a wide variety of restaurants, with prices starting from US$2 a meal for chicken satay and rice plus all kinds of delicious Indonesian dishes. Western meals are also widely available, and if you're looking for a truly special dinner in the mountain village of Ubud, try Terazo (on Jaya Suweto), where a four-course dinner for two costs approximately US$35 and is considered quite upmarket. In Sanur near the airport, Billy's Cafe (named after the owner's dog) had great meals. Reminder: Always ask for bottled water in all cafes and restaurants!

Drivers I recommend...

Bali is small enough so that you can hire a taxi or personal driver to get the best transportation value -- especially if there are two or more travellers. For approximately US$12, you can be driven to many places only one to two hours from your hotel. You're able, for example, to visit the elephant sanctuary or Monkey Forest, and be back at your hotel by 6:00pm. Local reliable taxi drivers I met and used include Agung (based in Candidasa). You can book him in advance to meet you at the airport and drive you to the village (Tel: 0363-21627); in Ubud, call Made (pronounced Mah-day) at 081-734-5533, or Gede (pronounced. G'day) at 0812-390-3434.

Shops to look for...

At Momo's store (Kunti St No. 20, Seminyak ) you'll be able to order beautiful handmade leather and suede shoes in many colours, for both men and women. In fact, if you bring a favorite pair from home they will copy it exactly! Want a leather coat, skirt or boots made? That's no problem either. Tel: 0361-732-361. Tailors/seamstresses abound in Bali and JourneyWomen can get clothes made for very reasonable prices. Visa & Mastercard are both accepted in tourist areas, and you can get cash out at most ATMs. In smaller villages moneychangers will cash travellers cheques for you.

Handpainted scarves & sarongs are in abundance in Bali. Visit Gorim's shop in Ubud (Penestanan - Klod, Tel: 80571) for the most exquisite shawls, scarves and sarongs -- approximately US$5-6 each. It makes sense to buy half a dozen for Christmas and birthday gifts.

There are so many beautiful inexpensive items to buy in Bali, but be sure to check on what you can bring back to your country. For example, Australia has to screen every wooden item as well as leather products, very carefully. Woven handbags could possibly be contaminated with tiny little bugs, so shop with your eyes wide open. Ubud is definitely Bali's shopper's heaven, but many other wonderful treasures can also be found in the tiny little out-of-the-way villages.
You might want to pack an extra shopping bag or small suitcase so you'll be able to bring back all your extra goodies.

What to pack...

I suggest packing lightweight T-shirts, shorts and summer dresses. However, if your budget allows, have some fun. Take very little with you and buy whatever you need for a fraction of what it would cost at home. Sarongs can be worn over shorts for temple visits and slip-on sandals are ideal -- easy to slip off before entering shops & places of worship. Don't forget to pack closed shoes for serious walking (tennis shoes etc.). A hat (foldup is perfect) is essential as it is very sunny and hot year round with temperatures hovering between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit or 24-33 degrees Celsius. It's a good idea to take a long-sleeved sweater or shirt for slightly cooler evenings.

Staying in touch...

Internet shops are everywhere, even in the tiniest villages. An average cost for using computers is about US$0.04 per minute. If you want to take your cellphone along, make sure you have "global roaming" so you can make and receive calls overseas. For this you'll have to contact your service provider a few weeks in advance. If you use SMS (Short Message Service on your cellphone), this is the quickest and cheapest way to stay in touch.

One final bit of advice: Make sure that you keep 100,000 RP for your Airport Departure Tax (US$12.50) on the way home. Have fun, everybody!

EDITOR'S NOTE: The prices quoted in this article were correct at the time of writing. Time has passed and the rates have probably increased a bit. Always do your research prior to booking.

Click here to read about a womans' ancient island ritual on Bali...





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