Have you ever wanted to take a spontaneous trip to Bali? I did and abandoned the SE Asia backpacking circuit to do so. I wasn’t alone, my travel family from all over the globe was in too. Sharing two obsessions: surfing and travel, it was definitely time to leave in pursuit of waves in Indo!
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, and it was a surprisingly long way from Phnom Penh International Airport to Ngurah Rai International Airport (also known as Denpasar International Airport) in Bali, my mind hadn’t factored in the part between the A and the B.
So here is what I learnt on my Air Asia flight path to Bali:
Lesson 1: You have to have an exit airfare out of Indonesia dated within one month of your arrival. Or guess what? Air Asia won’t let you check into your flight out of Phnom Penh, even though you have a stopover in Kuala Lumpur. But have no fear, the kind Air Asia ground staff will let you into their staff quarters so you can jump on their computer to book a flight and print off a ticket.
Lesson 2: There are limited food options at 5am in the morning in Phnom Penh. Not only are the options available extortionately priced, like all international airports, but you have limited choices. Stock up the day before, and no, Pringles don’t count as a meal.
Lesson 3: Air Asia planes are new and comfortable. Curl up into your window and watch the world go by beneath you or take a well-earned nap after the insanely early start to the day.
Lesson 4: Booking late may have the disadvantage of putting you at the back of the plane. But, you have the luxury of less people, if any, back there with you. You’re more likely to get a row to yourself or at least a one chair buffer from your neighbour.
Lesson 5: It is incredibly easy to go through immigration in Malaysia. However, it is a long way into the city, so with zero energy, it may not be worth the 2 minute wait in line after a very long walk through the airport to enter the country.
Lesson 6: After passing through immigration and you realise you are actually too shattered to go anywhere, McDonald’s has very comfortable booths in a section that is closed off except when its exceptionally busy, and staff wont disturb you if you spread out and sleep for a couple of hours. The restaurant also has strong WIFI too for a skype chat with friends and family, just in case you haven’t updated them on your latest great adventure; it was spontaneous, after all.
Lesson 7: Arriving in Denpasar in the middle of the night after weeks of little sleep is a drag. Fork out the cash at the taxi desk and have a driver take you to where you need to go. You can always leave the airport and try and flag down a legitimate bluebird taxi but with no energy that is so not worth it and probably not the safest idea either.
Lesson 8: Learn to nap standing up and make friends with the cute guy next to you who will keep you shuffling forward as you wait in line for the 30+ minutes to reach the taxi desk.
Lesson 9: Work up the last of your energy to get said cute guy’s details, because fate doesn’t happen.
Lesson 10: You have earned that surf so get out there and get wet!
All opinions are subjective to the writers personal travel experience. The writer travelled at her own expense.