One of the most Romantic Islands in the World!
As alternatives there are connections via Dubai and Doha, with onward direct flights to Bali although there may be a transit stop en route.
[su_heading]Visa Free Travel[/su_heading]A total of 45 countries can now travel to Indonesia without having to pay for a Visa-On-Arrival. Some include China, Russia, South Korea, Japan, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and South Africa. Note this only applies to main arrival gateways of Bali and Jakarta. A paid visa on arrival apples to many other points including Lombok if this is your first point of Indonesian entry.
The TOTAL Romance, the high quality hotels, the wonderful smiles, the scenic variety, the innovative restaurants…. In our view, Bali is the most genuine in Asia.
You have 4 main resort areas, all in the south. Jimbaran has the best beach, non-motorised water sports, and is a generally a quiet area, Nusa Dua, a purpose built resort estate, with good beach with many hotels, restaurants and a wide selection of water sports. The Benoa resort area is adjacent. Sanur has a more village like atmosphere, with restaurant options, although the beach is limited. Seminyak is the ‘posh’ end of lively Kuta (known locally as Costa Fosters, given its popularity with Australians) and here you will find some of the very best restaurants in the region. A good beach with high waves, so better for the surfer or more confident swimmer. All are within easy drive of each other, although rush hour traffic jams will add considerably to the time.
Just over an hour drive up into the mountains you have the artist village of Ubud, which is, in our opinion, a must on any visit to Bali. For sunsets, Ullawatu on the southern tip is the place to visit. For those who want more than just a beach -and maybe a more authentic experience- we suggest the combination of the south with Ubud, then maybe a trip up to the volcanic sand North Shore at Lovina, or the ECO focused Menjangan Resort.
Lombok is much less developed and quieter. Hotels tend to be on the smaller boutique scale. Scenery is just as spectacular as Bali and the beaches even better. The culture is interesting, more Islamic based than Buddhist -Hindu Bali, and the smiles, whilst genuine, are maybe not as wide. The Gili Islands, famous for their diving, are just 30 minutes by boat from north west Lombok.
Bintan is just 50 minutes by ferry east of Singapore. A purpose developed resort island with good beaches, several golf courses, and a totally relaxed atmosphere. A nice easy contrast to fast paced and commercial Singapore. We would suggest a 4 day extension arrangement, with the resorts generally quieter mid week – the weekends tend to get very busy.
If We Were To Be Critical…
It is a long way from the UK, so we would suggest a stop over en route at one of the gateway cities. KL is the most popular, travelling throughout on Malaysia Airlines, but we can offer alternatives via Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Bali is just discovering that if you continue to build even more hotels and villas, you also need to improve infrastructure, in particular roads. The new motorway bridge has considerably eased traffic congestion from the airport to the beach resorts, although it can still be heavy around the Kuta area.
The profile of tourist arrivals has changed in recent years, as the financial situation in Europe bites and the Asian economies get stronger. So, in addition to Australians, you will see plenty of mainland excitable Chinese, as well as other regional nationalities.