I just wanted to take a minute to give some valuable information to anyone who is flying into Bali for the first time.
Chances are, if this is your first trip to Bali you probably don’t know your way around yet. Well, to get started, the name of the city that you will be landing in is Denpasar. Most people don’t know that before going, and by most people, I mean me. Also, most people don’t usually hang out there too long after landing.
The main city that most people go to from there is Kuta, popular for its surfing and party scene. Due to it’s popularity, it has become over touristic, a bit dirty, and the locals will hassle you to buy drugs, motorbike ride, or massages. Armed with low expectations however, it actually isn’t that hard to really enjoy yourself. I know I did.
This next part is probably the most important piece of information in this post. You can skip the rest, but know this…(I even added a color coded image)
You can easily get there for with a motorbike taxi for Rp. 25,000 which is about $2. If that sounds good to you, then after you land, grab your gear, head outside, ignore all the other drivers asking Rp. 100,000, leave the airport (Green. Note the runways are Fuchsia) through the parking garage (Yellow), and cross the street (It’s not a long walk at all, so dont worry about that). From here you will see a chain link fence, and on the other side (Blue) you can find a driver (or they will find you actually) from whom you can procure a very affordable ride, after a bit of negotiation of course. Oh, and there is an opening in the fence about 50 meters to the left. (I included an area in Red where you can find more options for drivers that will negotiate for cheap)
If you dont already have accommodation sorted, you can ask to be dropped off at Poppies 2, a street in the middle of the main backpacker area, or Sky Garden (which is a great place because they have a great ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet for $5 and you can get FREE DRINKS from 5-6 and 9-10. It was amazing) which is right across the street. They might only understand if you pronounce it “ski gadden”.
Your driver might ask for $50,000 which is already half of the cheapest guys in the airport, but you can get it a lot lower. Knowing a good target and walking away until you reach it is a great tactic for negotiation. Like I said, Rp. 25,000 is doable and not too hard to get, but 30,000 might happen sooner if you are in a hurry (and its only like $.50 difference after all).
When you finally arrive at Poppies 2 (or Sky Garden across the street), you driver should point out the direction. You won’t really need it though. It’s easy to figure out from here and you can always ask one of the many westerners for a good accommodation.
I would recommend Suka Beach Inn. It was a lovely; exotic atmosphere with a pool, free breakfast, wifi, and it was the cheapest I found. Definitely the most value.
And that’s it for ya. Plain and simple.
I hope you found this useful and if you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise enjoy Bali 😉