Posted by: The Travelling Mallorys | July 20, 2010

Our journey to Bali. Never again!

We bought our tickets out of Singapore and into Bali pretty late in the day and so some of the prices were a bit steep. The cheapest way was to go via Jakarta rather than fly direct. It was going to take a bit longer, but we would get the chance to hang out in Jakarta in the three hours between between flights, and it would be fun to see another place. What could possibly go wrong?

They could lose these!

Our precious rucksacks

Hey – don’t spoil the story.

But didn’t I say before we bought the tickets “I bet they lose our luggage”?

Yes dear, you most certainly did (right as always), but we had to go through a whole heap of crap before that happened…

So we left Singapore. It was easy. We got a train to another train then got a free monorail to the right terminal then got on our plane and it took off and then it landed. And then the fun began.

We had to get temporary visas soon as we got off the flight, but there were no signs, no ATMS to get the money we needed and just general madness. Finally were allowed to pay with Malaysian ringgits, though we were ripped off.

We met a really nice Canadian guy who was a Bali veteran, so we thought he knew what he was talking about when he said “we need to go up these steps” but it turned out we had accidentally bypassed immigration and were in departures. Whoopsy!

We finally found and got through immigration which took ages. Then no one seemed to know where we were meant to go for our connecting flight.

Eventually some kind person said we were in the wrong terminal and actually had to go out of the airport and catch a bus!!! Wah!

So we had to go through customs where we headed for the only sign that made sense to us, which was wrong but did get us right to the front of a 250 metre-long, 5 people-wide queue which was a result.

and then out into the exterior or Jakarta airport where we hassled loads by various peddlers before finding the bus stop. We crowded on to a hot dodgy looking bus bound for the two other terminals. We were standing right by the front window and there were people jammed into every space on the bus, most worrying!

If the door had opened, you’d have been on the road and I kept having to move my touche so the driver could check his mirrors (or at least that’s what he told me he was doing).

After about 20 mins of extreme discomfort we were thrown out at Terminal 1. It was utter madness, like somewhere out of a film! Hawkers and touts, millions of people, sweltering heat, no idea of what to do. We figured out to get INTO the terminal and went through a vague security thing

By which she means we walked through a metal scanner at the same time as about 5 other people

and wound our way through the people to get to a gate titled Airport Passenger Charge! Uh oh, we had to each pay 40,000 rupia to enjoy the bliss of travelling through this place!

Well as you know we had no money and we hadn’t seen a single ATM. This lot wouldn’t take any of our foreign money and didn’t seem to know where we could get any! In a bit of a panic now as those 3 hours between flights had now become half an hour before we were meant to board. We dashed back through the melee and asked at a money changer where we could find an ATM. Guess what – outside!

So I had to exit, hunt down one, get very confused about the amounts – too many 0’s and not enough decimal points – with people shout at me to hurry up before finally getting some money then going through the long security queue and coming back. In a way it’s good the security was so lax because I just barged through it all. Out of my way women and children! Then I found the wife.

Phew! We got through the airport charge and finally to our gate. Our flight was then delayed, hurrah! But we finally got on it and arrived at Bali. What a relief we thought. NO. Our luggage had not been transferred from our previous flight and was floating around in Jakarta. Not exactly a shocker after the chaos of the place. Unlucky thing was that the address of our hotel in Bali was in Gavin’s rucksack! Doh….

We both felt like crying at this point. However a nice American lent us his i-phone and we got the address from the internet, told the Bali airport people where we were staying,they said they’d send our luggage asap after it arrived, we hopped in a taxi, checked into our hotel and then got a beer. Our luggage arrived late that evening so all’s well that ends well!

After all that, we needed a holiday and we’ve certainly had one so far in Sanur, Bali. It’s cheap even when it’s expensive and we’ve found some really nice places to eat. All you have to do is buy a sandwich off them and they give you a sun-lounger for the day. It’s pretty quality.

Wife on the beach

Husband on the beach

Our days are spent on a sun-longer on the beach, with breaks for eating and mooching along the boardwalk and getting hassled by all the ladies saying “Helloooooo. You look at my shooooooop?”

I have done lots of reading.

And I have done lots of muffled yelps after burning my entire body on the first day in 2 hours of unprotected sunbathing.


Versions of this information have appeared in some earlier e-mails.



  1. Are you in Bali on the 26th? It’s full moon and a good time to travel to the top of the volcano and see the sun rise on one side and the moon on the other. Romantic!!

    • Sorry Eric – we quit Bali tomorrow and can’t wait. When you see our next post you’ll understand why! Next stop The Cameron Highlands. What could be more romantic than proper cup of tea and some strawberries?

  2. When you get back, can I buy the film rights for this adventure? I’m feeling like it’s going to be an epic!

  3. Mrs Friday is here with us and we’re all sending you lots of love and hope for the next leg!!! Florey wants to know if the Bali beer offered any consolation? xxx

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