Second Honeymoon in Bali

Jessika and I never really had a proper honeymoon. We got married just over two years ago in Germany and then went back to Malaysia for a few months. At that point in time I was in the midst of my job transfer to Germany. Things were a little crazy with my transfer then and we decided to hold off our honeymoon until things were really settled.

In my defense, I did arrange a short trip to Phuket for the both of us. It wasn’t really honeymoon-quality but as the saying goes, “Nothing else matters when you’re in love…” Now comes the bad part. I fell terribly ill a few days prior to our departure. I remember standing in line at the immigration checkpoint like a zombie, fuming at the officers that seemed to be on vacation in their minds while examining the passports. I was probably hallucinating but I could almost see an imaginary masseur behind each officer! Anyway, to cut it short, we couldn’t make the most of our trip to Phuket but we still had a good time.

Things in Bali were going to be a lot better – at least we hoped. This was our second shot at the whole honeymoon thing – a second honeymoon, so to speak. Bali is a world renowned holiday destination and a hot spot for honeymooners. It doesn’t matter if you got married two weeks ago, two years ago or two decades ago, Bali has something for everybody. We fall into the two-year category and our experiences (as described in our blog posts) may reflect that.

We decided a few months back that we should spend a few weeks holiday in Malaysia and in between we would visit Bali. We flew from Kuala Lumpur to Bali with Air Asia, Malaysia’s favorite airline (so they claim). Return tickets for the both of us came to about RM 780 (~EUR 150). Reservations can be made online at Air Asia offers holiday packages that include flight and accommodation as well. However, we found a better offer for accommodation at decided to go “á la carte” instead. We reserved our accommodation at Kinds Villa Bintang Resort, a 4-star hotel. At 60 USD per night, their price was very reasonable. For the two months or so since we finalized our reservations for Bali, we were the envy of everyone whom we told (and bragged!) about our upcoming vacation. Of course, we were ourselves extremely excited too.

So, the big day arrived. Our flight was at 5 pm. I called a cab to take us from my aunt’s place, which is where we were staying, to the airport. Note that Air Asia, Malaysia’s favorite airlines (no, I’m not being paid to say that) doesn’t fly from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). They fly from the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), which is about 15 minutes away from KLIA. I would love so much to bash the Malaysian government right now for making such a costly, stupid move to build another airport next to an under-utilized airport for the sole purpose of protecting (at least that’s what they thought they were doing) the national airlines (and of course, more importantly, their cronies) but that topic deserves another post or perhaps even another blog altogether.

Anyway, back to our trip. The drive to LCCT took us about 45 minutes. Believe it or not, my German wife was freezing in a Malaysian taxi. Thanks to my great advice, she didn’t bring a pullover along (who needs a pullover in Malaysia!). I have to admit that we Malaysians do get a little carried away with air conditioning but it just didn’t occur to me. Well, Jessi did survive the cold winds and we checked in immediately when we got to the airport. We had some time to kill, so we had a cup of “teh tarik” (translated as: pulled tea) each while waiting. Soon enough, we boarded the plane and took off.

Air Asia is a no-frills, budget airline. They don’t offer some of the niceties available on regular airlines and if they do, they’re usually chargeable. The flight from KL to Bali is about three hours and we arrived in Denpasar (Bali) International Airport at 8 pm. There is no time difference between KL and Bali. Our first stop: “Visa on Arrival” counter. Being a Malaysian, I do not need a Visa to visit Bali. However, Jessi does. The visa costs 10 USD and is valid for up to seven days. After obtaining the visa, we queued up to go through immigration. The line was pretty short and I was feeling pretty good. When it came to our turn, we went up to the immigration officer and handed over our documents. He told me that he was only able to handle “Visa on Arrival” cases and since I didn’t need one, I should go to a different counter. I walked over to the other counter and this time I really got pissed. There was a really long queue and just about everyone who was on the plane with us was ahead of me. And remember those imaginary masseurs I saw at the immigration counters in Phuket? I saw them in Bali too! To make things worse, three (Indonesian) Amigos jumped queue and forced their way in front on me. A fourth one tried but I held my ground. I was fuming and surprised that the fire alarm didn’t go off. In the mean time, Jessi had already picked up our luggage and was waiting for me on the other side. I harnessed every ounce of patience imbued in my body and after about 45 minutes, I was through. I was still furious, but I was through.

Next, we queued up for a taxi. Fortunately, it didn’t take more than 15 minutes before we were in the cab and on our way to Tanjung Benoa (close to Nusa Dua), which is where our hotel is. The drive took us about 30 minutes and cost 10 USD. Once we arrived at the hotel, we immediately checked-in. We got a pretty big room that even includes a small terrace outside to relax and chill. There were a couple of hiccups - the water was trickling in the bathroom and the safe was jammed. However, the hotel staff resolved them very fast. Our first impression of the hotel was positive although I would question its fourth star a little bit. The décor could have been more tastefully done.

After washing up, we went hunting for some good Balinese food for dinner.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joel,lovely text,I like it and glad you had a good time
Deniz x