My friends and I, including my sister, started planning a trip to Bali since February. One of them chanced upon cheap tickets from Cebu Pacific. As it is, I was in a tight budget but badly needed a break from busy work. Travel has always been a welcome break to me. It has a certain lure to it that just makes you want to drop everything else and take comfort in the fact that there is a bigger world out there. Needless to say, I immediately confirmed the ticket, along with my equally excited sister.
Though traveling has a price tag, my saving grace was planning early. We had exactly seven months to save up money to pay for the hotel and establish a travel allowance. I think this is more than enough time to come up with PhP 10,000 target budget, excluding flight tickets and travel tax. We booked our hotel through Agoda.com, where one can get the best deals. I paid only PhP 2500 for the 3 nights stay at a villa in Sanur with breakfast, wifi, and a private pool/jacuzzi.
It also helped that I was traveling with my sister. We combined our travel allowances and watched our spending closely. Except for our first day in Bali, we handled our rupiah pretty well.
Day One was kind of a disaster. We had to board a 4AM flight, which takes us to Bali by 8AM. Excited to cover enough beach time, we stopped to check in our stuff at the Abian Residence, then headed to Sanur Beach for lunch. We took a cab ride to the beach since our villa is a bit far, which we consider a good thing because we really need the peace and quiet. A cab ride from our villa to anywhere in Sanur is around 30,000 rupiah. To our surprise, the beach we saw is not so good. It was dirty and there were a lot of boats. Disappointed, hungry, and tired, we decided to go back to the drawing board over lunch. Our waiter suggested we go to Lembongan Island, 30 minutes via speedboat. It costed 350,000 rupiah each, but it sounded like a very promising idea at the time.
Lembongan Island is indeed a beautiful place but we really felt ripped off. The sum we paid only covered the boat ride from hell, which gets you to the drop-off point and nearby establishments. You still need to rent another boat or a motor cycle to get to the beach areas. By then, it was already 2PM and we have to be back at the drop-off point by 5PM so the speedboat can take us back to Sanur. We decided not to pursue the beach anymore and just enjoy the scenery.
My sister and I ordered mocktails at a bar so we can also swim in their infinity pool overlooking the Indian ocean. By 5:30PM, we were back in Sanur. We started walking along the beach , hoping to find a good enough spot to take pictures. To our surprise, we found out that Sanur does have a good beach a few steps from where we stopped looking earlier that day. If only we had enough sleep and energy, we would have found the good side of the beach sooner and saved us 350,000 rupiah in the process.
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