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FAST TRACK no longer exists at Bali Airport Immigration…

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I Gusti Kompiang Adnyana, the Head of the Bali Regional Office of the ministry of  “Justice and Human Rights”, ensures that there are no more rogue immigration officers who commit extortion against foreigners during the examination of travel documents at the Denpasar Ngurah Rai Airport.

The statement refers to the issue of Immigration staff offering bribery to foreigners who don’t want to stand in the immigration queue for the passport control, often also called “Fast Track”.

“There are no more rogue officers, I guarantee no more. This was an issue a few months ago and has now been rewired, and it doesn’t happen any more,” said Kompiang Adnyana in Denpasar, Bali, on Thursday (11/27/2014).

The issue of alleged illegal payments (bribes) taken by immigration officers came from comments from Made Pastika, the Governer of Bali, through complaints from foreigners who visit Bali. Governor Pastika says he will make a video recording of the poor service from the immigration officer at the airport. Moreover, when long lines occur at the passport control, the number of officers is actually at a minimum.

“We continue to fix. What was once a long queue, we try to improve in order to serve well. It is already better now,” he said.

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In addition, long lines take about 2-3 hours to serve 3,000 to 6,000 people. Under these circumstances, the number of immigration officers and technical services should be reconsidered so that tourists, especially foreigners to Bali, can feel comfortable.

Source :  http://www.balistoreluggage.com

images ©exclusivelybali.net

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NEW TRAVEL OPTION AROUND TOWN!

Bali has brand new, tourist shuttle buses scheduled to retstart on September 1, 2014.  The Kura-Kura buses are green and yellow, modern, clean, air-conditioned and operate with WiFi!!

Based at the DFS Galleria, several routes will be running to Kuta, Legian, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Sanur and Ubud.  An alternative route is between Seminyak Square to Petitenget and return.  Both routes will be linked.

Prices are one way and reasonable eg. 10,000Rp to Kuta, 30,000Rp to Sanur, 40,000Rp to Nusa Dua and 70,000 to Ubud.

Tickets are purchased via Kura-Kura on line or at ticket offices.  Kura Kura coins or a card are used. 

Customer Service Office Address:  DFS galleria Kuta, Ground Floor, DFS Galleria, Jl. ByPass Ngurah Rai, Kuta, Badung, Bali, Indonesia 80362

Hours: Daily, 10 am to 9:30 pm except on Nyepi Day.

Tel/ (+62) 361 3700 244
Email/ info@kura2bali.com

Hours of Bus Operation: 09:00 to 23:00, depending on the bus line.

Information, questions and answers here: https://www.facebook.com/kurakurabus/app_118870671531441

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kurakurabus

images: sourced.

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INDUL FITRI or LEBARAN

This is the end of the month of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and is one of the most significant Muslim festivals in the Islamic Calendar. Mass prayers are held in mosques and also in large open areas around the country.

The people of Indonesia celebrate Indul Fitri with great enthusiasm and peace. Muslim people wear new clothes and distribute sweets. During this time, markets through Indonesia are decorated and people enjoy shopping.

Banks, private offices and government centres are closed for almost one week in Indonesia. (Major Money Changers will remain open – but rates will not be as competitive).

Indonesian Muslims are expected to celebrate the end of Ramadan by travelling to be with their families. This custom is locally referred to as mudik, or homebound travel.

How this is expected to impact Bali:

  • Traffic during the Idul Fitri exodus will increase considerably
  • The heavy traffic is likely to lead to a higher number of accidents
  • Shops may be busy
  • Offices and Banks will be closed

bali muslims queue to board a ship image reuters

image:  reuters 2012. (Hundreds of vehicles queue to board a ship. Muslims across Indonesia travel from major cities to their hometowns to celebrate Indul Fitri festival).

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Have you taken out TRAVEL INSURANCE ??

Travellers who are not insured are at risk of not only huge bills, but may also compromise their quality of care.

A medivac from Bali to Australia for example, may be in excess of $40,000AUS and this is required to be paid UPFRONT!! There is no service provided with an invoice that follows, like at home.

Here are a few tips:

  • Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you book your travel. This way you are covered if you have to cancel or postpone your trip.
  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition, ensure your insurer is aware.

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image ©exclusivelybali.net

  • If you are planning on riding a motorbike on Bali or participating in any known “at risk” activities, ensure your insurance covers this and that you adhere to their limitations.
  • Ensure your laptop, ipad and smart phone are covered.
  • Look for an insurance provider that offers 24-hour worldwide assistance.
  • If you are a frequent traveller, look into an Annual Multi-Trip policy that offers year-round cover for unlimited trips.\
  • If you get robbed on your trip, notify the police within 24 hours and keep a copy of the police report for insurance purposes.
  • Shop around for insurance: book online, via travel agents or via your credit card provider.  Ask friends for recommendations too.

Wishing you safe travels! x

images: sourced.

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Shopping tip for Fashionista’s..

ARIZA II (shop)

 

embroidered bag

Ethnic tribal fashion bags for those hippie boho kinda days….

 

If you’re a lover of these embroidered, vibrantly coloured bags and purses in assorted sizes, Exclusively bali recommends you head to ARIZA II who are centrally located in Legian.

 

You won’t pay too much here with competitive prices eg. embroidered bags with leather handles selling at 170,000Rph and embroidered wallets starting at 130,000Rph.

 

Shop: ARIZA II
Address: Jalan Legian Kaja No 468, Legian
Phone: +6281337097985

 

images: ©exclusivelybali

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FIXED PRICE SHOPPING TIP:

 

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The ever popular Ketut’s Fixed Price shop in Legian is often crowded these days and you have to stand in line to be served.

You can easily bypass this however by shopping at Ketut’s Family Shop, run by her baby brother, Wayan!

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Ketut’s Family Shop is literally a short walk away and it amazes me that not many people know of it.

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Shopping here is a breeze!  There are no crowds and stock is plentiful.  Clothing, sunglasses, bags, belts, perfumes and even small toys are sold here by the helpful and always friendly, Wayan.  He will offer you bottled water, just as Ketut does (and has even been known to offer a Bintang!!)

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By shopping at Ketut’s Family Shop, you are continuing to support her family and benefiting from a trustworthy fixed price source.

  • Did you know that Ketut is one of 9 children?  (8 girls and 1 boy, Wayan).

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*Please let Wayan know that Exclusively Bali referred you ~

~ H A P P Y ~  S H O P P I N G ~

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Ketut’s Family Clothing Shop

Shop Address:

Jalan Melasti/Lebak Bene

Phone: (0361) 763 821

Legian Kuta – Bali – Indonesia

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How to hail a Blue Bird Taxi in Bali on YourSmart Phone

Blue Bird Taxi On Line Booking Application in Bali

 
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Indonesia’s leading taxi and transportation company – the Blue Bird Group has introduced a mobile application that promises to make hailing a taxi in Bali a less burdensome task than in the past.
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After the introduction and trial operation of the same system in the greater Jakarta metropolitan area, Medan and Semarang – Blue Bird Group has extended their Taxi Mobile Reservation System to Bali commencing May 14, 2014.
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Using an Android, IPone, Blackberrry, Windows 8 and Nokia Ash applications – the new system allows both visiting tourists and local residents in Bali to hail a taxi via their smart phones.
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Those wishing to use one of the five applications listed only need to perform a free download via www.bluebirdgroup.com/mobile or via the social network on Facebook  or Twitter at @bluebirdgroup
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The new application using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) allows immediate confirmation in the form of a taxi number and a map showing the current location of your taxi in relation to your current position.

 

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Article attributed to: balidiscovery.com.

 

Waisak Day – The Buddha’s Birthday…

Buddha in the pond of Semadhi in Pemuteran

Waisak Day is a holiday observed by Buddhists in Bali, it is also a national holiday in Indonesia. The exact date of Waisak varies according to the various types of calendars. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually falls in April or May. This year, Waisak will be on 15th May 2014, the theme is to carry the spirit of self-contemplation and living in harmony.

Waisak honours three important events: the birth, life and teaching of Siddhartha Gautama.  Early Buddhist scriptures describe that the Buddha was born enlightened and died on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month, Vesakha.

On Waisak day, Buddhists assemble in various Buddhist temples for a ritual. The ritual comprises of collecting water from a holy spring, lighting a torch from the eternal flame, food donation for Buddhist monks and meditation under the full moon.

pics: sourced.

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Legian to Fine Bali Visitors who Give Money to Street Beggars Rp. 2 million

Time Out for Hand Outs

Cooperation between three local community elements in Bali has resulted in a new regulation intended to once and for all eliminate beggars from the beach and streets of Legian.

In the future those who hand money to street beggars are liable to a fine of Rp. 2 million (US$174).

Quoted in DenPost, the chairman of the Legian People’s Association (LPM), I Gusti Oka Wardana, said on April 28, 2014: “Beggars will always operate if people continue to give them money. If no one donates money to them, automatically the receivers (beggars) will disappear.”

Oka Wardana said it will take several months to socialize and make the new rule effective. Local community leaders will coordinate the publication of the new rules to accommodation providers in Legian who will, in turn, inform their guests.

Wardana is confident the new program will eliminate beggars in Legian.

 

News attributed to http://www.balidiscovery.com

Photo:  Jakarta Post

 

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Laundry service

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Lets face it, one of the big attractions about holidaying is the fact that there is generally no cooking, cleaning or washing whilst away.

In Bali, it is inexpensive to have your clothes washed and ironed. Hotels can be a little pricier, but local laundries are common in the tourist locations and charge by the kilo.

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Fortunately, you don’t have to walk far without seeing a laundry or 2… or 3!  The cost is approximately $1 -$1.50 AUS per kg, and it’s a 24 hour turnaround.

It is such a treat to have your washing done before returning home.  It will be folded and wrapped for easy packing too!

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HINT: Be cautious handing over super valuable or delicate items as laundries often use clothes dryers that can be quite harsh on clothing items.

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  • NOTE: Comments and recommendations are based on my own personal opinions or experience, or those of close friends.