Jane Ian and Family Just Back Report


We, 2 adults and 2 boys, 10 and 15, flew with Air Paradise to Bali in 
January for 2 weeks.

Accommodation:The boys really enjoyed staying in different places: in 2 
weeks we stayed in 4 different places which worked out well. The first 4 
nights were part of the package then we did our own thing.

Legian: 4 nights at the Melasti - much nicer than Kuta, great gardens, two 

pools, but our "family suite" had a king size bed only - 2 fold up beds 
were brought in but the second room was really only big enough for one. 
Great location right on the beach front; big breakfasts. All the spa 
treatments were 50% off and the 2 hour massage/body scrub is highly 

Ubud: Ketut's Place in Jalan Suweta 40 was fantastic - a bed and breakfast 

place in a family compound. Ask for the honeymoon suite plus one for the 
kids. Ketut can organise anything for you and there is a Balinese feast 
every Friday night - 15 dishes for 85,000 rp ($A12) per head.

Padangbai: - a sleepy fishing village on the east coast (gateway to 
Lombok). The only hotel in town with a swimming pool (2 in fact) is the 
Puri Rai. The fan room upstairs overlooking the pool was much nicer than 
the air con room and prices are negotiable.We all had a massage on the 
beach for 25,000rp each.

Sanur: Sativa Sanur was down the south end of Sanur; big rooms, a nice 
pool and great breakfast. The beach market at Sanur was very quiet. 
Tootsies (stall no 28) is the fixed price place which is a good place to 

Transport: It's cheaper and more comfortable to hire your own transport 
for 4 people than to take the shuttle buses between towns.

Things to do:

White water rafting - we did the Telaga Waja river with Sobek and it was 
great - a 2 hour trip 14 km down stream including a 4 m drop over a dam 
wall. The trip included hotel pick up and drop off, all safety gear, a 
practice run on how to follow the guide's instructions, also morning tea 
and a great buffet lunch at the other end (after walking up 200 steps from 

the river to the village). It was very professionally run and highly 

Snorkelling - at Padangbai there is a little beach called Blue Lagoon, 
about a 10 minute walk north from the village. You can hire masks and 
snorkels and flippers at the beach and the fish and coral there are 

Waterbom Park - as good as everyone said it was (comparable to Wet n Wild 
on the Gold Coast but better as fewer people - never more than a few 
minutes to queue for a ride). Lunch is expensive and they take photos for 
20,000rp each.

Fishing - we went out with the local fishing fleet at 4.30am one morning 
in Padangbai in small outriggers (2 people per boat). We organised this 
through the massage ladies and paid 50,000rp for each boat. We didn't 
catch any fish due to the storms overnight but is was fun anyway.

Cooking class - went to the Casa Luna cooking class in Ubud (they will 
organise babysitters for you). We spent the morning learning about the 
different spices and ingredients then cooked 6 different dishes and ate 
them for lunch - recommended. After the class I went to the market and 
bought lots of spices which were all confiscated by customs when we came 
home (despite what they said at the class). But I got to keep the knife 
and mortar and pestle!

Food - the best food was definitely in the cheaper warungs. We liked 
Legian Snacks restaurant a few minutes walk from the Melasti - great 
banana pancakes (Bali crepes). Jimbaran Bay was worth the trip for fresh 
fish and calamari on the beach. The fresh juices (banana was our 
favourite) were good everywhere. 

Shopping - Ubud was definitely cheaper than Kuta but no cheap DVDs/CDs 
there. However there were some lovely bead boxes in the market that we 
didn't see anywhere else in Bali. For silver it's worth going to the 
village of Celuk and looking around at the many jewellery shops there - 
much cheaper than Ubud. Legian is the best place for DVDs and CDs.

Visiting an orphanage - through the website carryforkids.com.au (a South 
Australian organisation) we got the names of some orphanages in Bali and 
lots of ideas of what to take for the orphans. We collected a big $2 
striped bag full of clothes, toys, games, sporting stuff etc. The place we 

went to was Jati Two near Klungkung (easy to get to from Ubud or 
Padangbai). Everyone was very welcoming and a little boy was sent up a 
coconut tree to pick young coconuts for us to drink. A worthwhile thing to 


Money - we had a few travellers cheques but relied mainly on ATMs. We had 
no problems and there were plenty of ATMs in Legian, Kuta and Ubud, but 
not in Padangbai.

Customs - apart from our spices we also lost a drum made of wood and hide 
at customs. They checked all the wood products very carefully.

As there were not a lot of tourists around bargaining (including hotel 
prices) was easy but people are desperate for business and we didn't mind 
paying too much sometimes when we heard their stories.

It's a great time to go to Bali - we had been there 30 and 20 years ago 
and it's still the island of the gods; a very friendly and welcoming place 

and we felt very safe at all times.