Bali is only 2.5hr away from KL with flight, and i always wanted to go there many years ago. Last year, Airasia promotion allowed me and Erina to get free ticket to Bali, and we visited bali with Wen Leong and Halle.
We hired a tour guide, and we have no regret of getting one (unless u only visit Kuta-area for beach and pub, everyplace is within walking distance). Our tour guide name Wira, he is excellent tour guide which brought us to various places and plan our itineray for us. He can speak good English and also understand Japanese :) Without a tour guide, we would have difficulty navigating around Bali as there's no clear road sign and many of places can only be reachable through small route. Not to mention those small unstructure roads are way too difficult to have satelie navigation in Bali. Big credit to Wira for his hospitalization (sometimes from 7am - 10pm!!) and brought us to some nice local food restaurant in Bali. I have never taste such a good duck dishes in my life before, only in Bali.
To my surprise 97% of Balinese are Hindu. Pork is allowed and i believe this is the only place in Indonesia where pork is widely available. Beside this, i believe most Balinese prey to their god a few times a day. It is very common to see people preying in front of house or beside the roadside wherever we go. Each houses have their own temple, the build up area can be as equivalent to the build up area of the living room. It is clear sign that religous played important role in every day Balinese life. It is also easy to spot dogs around the street, in fact most houses will have minimum 1 dog as pet. The cultural activities are very rich here. When you see a road block, it aint police/JPJ (as common in Malaysia), but it is "upacara agama" (religious event).
Balinese like to "fly-kite" :) . I saw kite flying at the airport even before the plane landed. It is a seasonal activities where wind is much stronger now and hence a lot of children and adult enjoy flying kite.
The way people drive here is very polite. That may be a reason why accident rate in Bali is so low eventhough there are many bikes around. I dont see any "ah beng" type of car or bike around. If only Malaysian can drive and ride like dat.... sigh.
During these 6 days, we visited ~15 places, although some locations are missed either because it was too far away or we do not have enough time. A more relaxation tour will need approx 2 weeks.
The accomodation can be range from very luxury or backpacker style. First two days we stay in a Bali-style hotel which cost USD40/room (medium class hotel) at Ubud area, and we stayed in another hotel which cost approx USD15/room. It depend on your needs really. We have heard hotel charging as much as USD150/room, and you'll get 6-star class of service and room.
We spent 5 days at Ubud where we used it as "launching pad" to various places. Last 2 days we stayed at Kuta area (where the bombing occured) to do some shopping and also visited the famous Kuta beach and Uluwatu.
If given 2nd chance, i'll most probably visit Bali again in 2007. I like the weather, the food, the places, and the culture and the people. That may be another reason why tourist still crowded in Bali even it has been bombed twice previously.
I would like to thanks Gwen and Fong for borrowing me the 70-300mm Sigma lens. It's a great travel lens with sharp optic.
The rest i'll let the photo tell the story. enjoy reading. :)