September 13, 2003

Now in Indonesia: Sanur

I arrived in Bali yesterday evening. I was stuck at the immigration for about 30 minutes as the police officer requested to see my return ticket and of course he could not figured that the date on it was just a fancy one 'July 30' and it was in reality an open ticket.

As a matter of fact I have had some advices from frequent flyers used to RTW tickets to NOT to put any date on tickets, but as it is the staff at British Airways desk insisted to put a date on it. 'it does not matter, you can change it any time'. Sure, here is the result in some strict controls. As the date is written on the ticket they think that a past date invalidate the ticket.

Never ever listen to airlines staff. If you do your homework you will realize that you will know the RTW rules better than they do (especially if you ask frequent flyers) and it may be useful in order to avoid them telling you that you cannot do this or that while the rules state it clearly. Pay also extra attention when checking in, as you are with RTW tickets you are in 'piece concept' luggage system (as opposed to 'weight concept' ), meaning that you can get 2 bags of 32kg each even though the flight is normally restricted to a maximum of 25kg. Be prepared from a quick reaction like 'no, this is a piece concept ticket' when the staff tells you at checkin that you have excess baggage

Anyway, so, I had to wait that a custom officer actually give me back a proof of my booking (he went to the Qantas desk), so that I could pass the immigration. Actually the zealed officer was not there anymore and I was then asked by another one, who was responsible for half-stamping my immigration card....ok... I then explained shortly the matter but he obviously did not care much about the flight issue as he did not even look at it.

Then of course I arrived to pick up my bags.. who were under severe scrutinity from police officers. Of course, what are 2 bags doing there alone when it looks like there is no one anymore in the airport ? Lucky I was, that they did not call the counter-terrorism unit to explode the bags. They however checked carefully my bags ids...

I shared a taxi (actually 2) with 4 other travellers (RP20,000 each) to a place called Sanur, about 18km from the airport and past Kuta. I have been told to avoid Kuta at all costs but at the same time someone gave me a good/cheap place where to stay if needed. Sanur was said to be a more laid back alternative to the busy Kuta, though a little bit more pricey.

After looking around we found a cheap and good place called Bella homestay(19X Danau Tamblingan St., This is back from the main street, in a small private dirt road facing the Lotus Pond restaurant. There is no sign advertising the place, they expect to put one in three months...maybe). First price was RP50,000 but as we were 5, we were in good position for bargaining and we got it at RP35,000 (including breakfast) which is about US$4.2. Not so bad.

Internet here is about RP15000/h (US$1.80). Yes it is slow.

Posted by stephane at September 13, 2003 04:11 AM