If you haven’t seen on my YouTube channel, at the end of May, I went to Bali – on my own! (Sort of). It’s taken me a while to compile and finesse these in between work, life and just being damn busy! I hope you love them as much I enjoyed documenting it all 🙂
If you don’t want as much detail, maybe my videos will be better as they’re a tad more visual with impromptu chats from me. But, if you are seeking details, information and costs, and anything else to ease your anxiety, then these blog posts should be for you!
This blog, the first of many covering my Bali trip, focuses on my travels outbound where I changed at Qatar, Doha.
Going back to the start, I made my own way to Gatwick airport by train: me, my bag and big suitcase! The train arrives at the South terminal, but there is a free, super speedy shuttle train which can take you to the North terminal. Like any checked baggage situation, I had to queue up, although this took a long 1 and a half hours! I also had the panic of not thinking I had the right insurance – fortunately the checking in lady reviewed my paperwork and my mini heart attack ceased at once. My wait in the airport flew by (oops) and I got on the plane – with a whole row to myself! I flew with BA which took around 7 hours before landing in Doha, Qatar.
The transition was super smooth, where many of us passengers were greeted by a dude with a sign for Qatar Airways, my next flight in 3 hours’ time. If you don’t have this, there are plenty of signs anyway. After checking in for my next transiting flight to Bali, I went through security again before heading into the terminal.
My goodness, Doha airport is massive! And super busy! It’s a main hub for a lot of connecting flights and is full of all the big brands, various food options and is just huge, so give yourself plenty of time to walk – or you can even take the internal shuttle. Sadly the water fountains had been taped off due to COVID, so I had to buy water… £7 for 2 bottles!
Anyhow, I boarded my Qatar Airways flight, whom I’ve never flown with before. Let me tell you, the service was impeccable! Even though I found the seats to be quite thin and super hard and upright, I managed to snuggle against the window. I declined some of the food having filled up from the very generous offerings from my BA flight and tried to get as much sleep as I could for the next 10 hours! I woke up every hour but managed to get some sleep and woke up in time for some food. My body clock was a bit confused at that point but I managed some teriyaki chicken which was alright.
Many hours later… I landed! I smiled to myself and was on my way to reuniting with my best friend – but not before going through all the COVID admin, of course, and getting my 30-day Visa which cost me 500k IDR (about £28). I was then free to collect my bag, submitted my paper customs form (you can do this online too), and then finally headed to meet my friends at arrivals. As you do this, the currency desk people will shout at you! My expression was very confused, but I continued on and there I finally embraced my best friend – and said hi to her boyfriend! We popped in the taxi to the hotel.
If you haven’t got anyone meeting you, there are plenty of taxis nearby. I’d avoid blue light taxis if you’re seeking a cheaper taxi, otherwise you can haggle with nearby drivers, or use the popular GoJek and Grab apps to get a moped or car, where you can see a price upfront too. Uber isn’t really a thing in Bali!
After a day of travel and a half hour car ride, we got to our hotel in Seminyak at the Amadea Resort & Villas. Even though it was on the pricier end of hotels, it still didn’t break the bank, but I’m so glad we chose it. We’d come to realise throughout our stay there that the staff were incredible and the facilities were just what we needed. As a thank you for waiting at the airport, I bought us all dinner at the hotel restaurant, Asparagus. It was a complete must that my first native dish would be Indonesian dish, so I opted for a coconut chicken curry… my dear reader, it revealed sensations I didn’t know one could experience. It was delightful. Delicious. Super yummy. And damn affordable!
I’ll go more into Indonesian currency in my next post, but for 3 of us including drinks, it cost 340k IDR (Indonesian Rupees) = £18.36.
I repeat, for 3 PEOPLE!
By this point, the jet lag was crazy. I was super tired and went to bed at about 10pm but woke up at 2am due to loud, room-vibrating thunder storms which scared me. I’ve read that it is a lot more difficult sleeping when flying East compared to West, and I just couldn’t get back to sleep, so I was very tired the next day!
I hope you enjoy the rest of my Bali blogs!