Finally, it was time for us to fly to BALI, after more than two years! This trip was initially planned for May 2020 and we know how the past few years have gone so… We were so excited to finally be heading to our lovely Changi Airport to FLY to Bali~! ヽ(>∀<☆)ノ

Annoying Pre-Flight Anxiety

I didn’t realise it but it seems like every time we travel, I would have some teenie weenie bit of anxiety as the travel day nears. Somehow the anxiety got worse during this period when there were pre-travel tests to take and more things to prepare before the flight.

The anxiety doesn’t show on the surface. Instead, it manifests in such a way that I would have some random illness. This usually happens one week before our travel day. On the last trip to Bintan, my body was feeling so warm I felt as if I was combusting. I had to keep doing self-tests almost every other day to ensure that I am not positive. (つω`。)

For this trip, my body decided to give me a toothache. And this came only a few days before we fly. (」°ロ°)」Anyway, all these illnesses usually resolve themselves by the time I reach the country that we are visiting. The same goes for this mysterious toothache. I hope that this anxiety thing would ease off soon as the travel regulations get more relaxed. (x_x)⌒☆

Normalcy in Singapore’s Changi Airport

It felt surreal stepping into the airport. Truth is, this was actually our first time stepping back into the airport since our last trip in Jan 2020. We didn’t even visit Changi Jewel as the airport seems to be a major source of infections. So we tried to avoid it as much as possible. Also, ‘cos Changi is kind of far for us so it didn’t make sense for us to go there without any purpose. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

We were flying with Scoot for this trip and love the option of doing our check-in with the automatic check-in counter! There weren’t a lot of people when we checked in so the process was quite smooth, as expected when we fly out from Singapore. It definitely felt like normalcy has kind of returned as we saw the number of people roaming the departure area and the queues forming at the Coffee Bean counter.

The Mask Situation

The only difference this time is that everyone has to be masked while indoors. I understand that not everyone believes in the mask. But I do wish that people would just try to abide by the rules of the country they are in. A security lady had to constantly shout out to people to put their masks on as they were unmasked and walking around. Oftentimes, there would be a handful of passengers who would board the plane while unmasked as well. You chose to travel so you have inadvertently chosen to abide by whatever rules that come with it. (・`ω´・)

The Common Mistake during Security Checks

A lot of us have not travelled for a long long time so it’s understandable to expect a lot of confused people while passing the security checks, me included. The most common thing that many missed out on was trying to bring bottled water or a drink across the security checks. Singapore has security checks right before the flight check-in counter. So most times, a lot of people would not be able to bring their drinks while waiting to board the plane. A lot of them had to either pour away their water or throw away their Starbucks drinks before crossing the security checks.

I guess Singapore is strict in this way but sometimes a tad bit annoying, even for a Singaporean myself. One of the most annoying things is there is no restroom in the waiting area! So it’s always a bother trying to board the plane at the right time so that I can avoid using the plane’s restroom. So if you’re in Singapore, opt to sit outside the waiting area until the time is right to board. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

The Messy Lady at the Security Check

Anyway, the one incident that stood out the most was this lady in front of us. She was kind of a mess. Like a real mess. She had a bag and a huge drawstring bag that has probably her neck pillow and all inside. It’s okay that she forgets that the trolley shouldn’t be used past the security check. Staff helped her with it. Then she took a long time gathering everything while holding up the queue. Then at the security checks, she started pouring things out from her drawstring bag. Totally unprepared is what I should say.

As if the unpreparedness isn’t enough, and for whatever luck she kept ending up in front of us, while checking into the flight, she forgot where she put her passport. And when she found it, her ticket stub is missing one end of the ticket!ヽ(°〇°)ノ I don’t know how she travels but OMG, she ended up holding up the whole line AGAIN! Also, I think the Scoot staff doesn’t care to manage the queue. She just let the lady search her pouch and bag while chatting away with her colleague on this issue. “NICE” job guys. (¬_¬ )

So anyway, she found the other end of the ticket somewhere in the black hole and moved on. We just tried to stay away from her as much as possible. (/ω\)

The Lack of Seats in the Waiting Area

Anyway, our flight was kind of early at around 8 AM SGT and surprisingly, it was fully booked. Usually, I would expect to have some seats after doing the flight check-in but I think Scoot doesn’t care. There were pockets of seats but it definitely wasn’t enough for a full flight. We ended up just sitting on the floor. Embracing the way to flying in a budget airline. ┐( ˘_˘ )┌

Arrival at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport

Interestingly, it wasn’t all that bad wearing a mask on the plane. The air is usually quite dry during the flight so wearing the mask helps to prevent dry air. Also considering that it’s only a 2.5 hours flight to Bali, the whole experience was actually not bad. (´• ω •`)

Confusion in the Arrival Hall

Since arrival tests are no longer required, hubs and I were a bit confused with the chairs placed in front of many counters once we entered the arrival area. So we decided to join one of the queues and realised that the counters were for checking your vaccination status and insurance. We got all of the documents printed out, vaccination status, insurance as well as our local accommodation, so we were all ready to get this done.

We had hardly sat down and the lady at the counter told us we are free to move on. (◎ ◎)ゞ I even asked her if she wants to see our vaccination status and she mentioned that our information is already in the system. OH. Probably since we have travelled to Bintan previously, just a guess, our information was already captured in their system. So erm… We flew by this section and proceed for the customs clearance.

At this point in time, everyone was still stuck at the vaccination counters so there was hardly anyone in the customs clearance queue. Haha! We flew by this as well, way too fast though. The luggage wasn’t even out yet! (*/ω\)

The Situation in the Airport

Once we collected our luggage, it was zoom time~! ☆ミ(o*・ω・)ノ As expected, a lot of shops are closed. A lot of money changers were opened though so if you didn’t change your money at home, you could do it at the airport. If I didn’t remember wrongly, there is also a local telco in the arrival hall after passing the money changers. So if you need a local sim card, you could drop by there to check out what they are offering. We didn’t walk around too much or explore the airport so that is all I could share~!

Getting Connected upon Arriving in Bali

Anyway, we have been using Singtel’s ReadyRoam for most of our trips in the past as it is really convenient to get connected once we arrived. So nowadays, there was hardly a need for us to buy a local sim card. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

Image Credit: Singtel website

The only downside about Singtel’s ReadyRoam is the 1GB of data for 30 days. Of ‘cos I could top up another few bucks for another 1GB but I want unlimited! So I still have an AIRSIM card in my phone (dual sim yo) for trips that I think I would need more data. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

So far, Singtel’s ReadyRoam has been great. As for AIRSIM, I think it’s about choosing the right telco with the best coverage in the area. We had quite lousy coverage while using it in Batam previously. ( ˘_˘ )┌

Transport in Bali

We got our airport transfers through the hotels instead of booking them through online platforms, Grab or GoJek. Hotels just seemed to be more reliable. Probably online platforms are fine as well since many have raved about booking through Klook. But Grab or GoJek? Not that they are not good but I have had my fair share of transport experience with them when I was on an overseas trip to Indonesia and I am not happy. Back then, I had countless drivers cancelling on me, just ‘cos they can’t find me. I had to wait like 10 mins for the driver to arrive, only for him to cancel on me. The whole process probably took 45 mins before I approached a security guard to save me from the situation. (ノω・、)

Considering that roads in Bali are usually quite tight and sometimes only one way, once the car passed the turning point, the driver would usually opt to cancel the ride. That was what happened to us in Seminyak while we stayed at the private villa. We were transferring to a hotel and used GoJek to book our car. Two drivers missed the turn and cancelled on us. In the end, we got the villa manager to talk to our third driver about where to turn and that eventually went well. (つω`。)

Streets in Ubud and Seminyak

When in Ubud, I also spotted a sign saying that no Grab/GoJek is allowed. It has always been common knowledge that taxi drivers in Bali are quite territorial so not sure if this is still the case. But just to be safe, probably try to get a car out of sight then. We didn’t use Grab/GoJek while outside so we don’t know how bad is the territorial situation. Sorry! (*/_\)

Hotel/Resort vs Private Villa in Bali

Given a choice, we would usually go for private villas instead of hotels/resorts in Bali. However, we decided to be slightly more careful about this trip. As such, we decided to book two hotel stays (COMO Uma Ubud & Alila Seminyak) and one with a private villa.

COMO Uma Ubud and Alila Seminyak Reception Areas

Hotels/resorts are just generally better at helping you with issues you might face, such as IF you got COVID while staying with them. A private villa comes with its villa manager but since they don’t offer 24-hour services, it might be tougher to reach them for urgent matters.

But a private villa comes with its convenience. We usually get a villa with a pool, so there’s no need to fight with hotel guests for the daybed or the pool. We can use them as and when we want. Bali has A LOT of food options, so you would usually not be stuck with hotel food. But it is just more convenient to use Grab and GoJek to order food straight to your villa, as compared to having to go to the hotel lobby to collect your food. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

The Food Poisoning Incident

I never know how good it is to stay in a hotel until this trip. As the title mentioned, I had food poisoning for this trip and it happened on the day we were due to fly home. I was vomiting and having diarrhoea in the early hours of the day at around 3.30 AM. This went on for a while before hubs decided to call the reception to seek assistance. Sadly, the hotel’s doctor was unreachable hence we had to go to the nearest hospital instead. The hotel staff was already on standby when we reached the lobby. It was a 10-15 mins ride away.

Surprisingly, the hospital staff were quite fluent in their English. Probably ‘cos it’s Bali where there are a lot of expats. Hubs settled the administrative stuff while the doctor had a look at my problem. It seems to be a case of food poisoning and until now, I am still not sure what caused this. But everything was quite efficient, probably ‘cos the hospital was pretty quiet around 5+ in the morning. Paid, collected my meds and the hotel staff waited outside to bring us back.

We had plans for the last day, to enjoy the pool and the hotel’s breakfast but alas, life happens. The hotel was really nice to prepare a complimentary chicken porridge for me for my breakfast, though my stomach can hardly take anything much. (╥_╥)

Importance of Travel Insurance

Honestly, I don’t know how it would go if we are still staying at a private villa. The whole experience might probably not be as ideal as what we went through so I was happy we stayed in a hotel this time. Phew.

Also, the trip to the hospital ain’t too cheap as well. It costs us about 180 SGD. Luckily we had travel insurance so that helps to cover the cost. So ladies and gentlemen, it’s important to get travel insurance. This cost might seem minor but at least you know you are protected when overseas, especially now that COVID is still rampant out there.

Final Thoughts

Despite the unfortunate case of food poisoning, hubs and I had a superbly enjoyable stay in Bali. We were met with rainy weather in Ubud and some rain in Seminyak instead of the scorching sun, but that did not spoil our stay. In fact, we loved how nice and cool the weather was in Ubud and was grateful for the less-burning sun in Seminyak.

We enjoyed TONS of food in Bali, mainly ‘cos Grab and GoJek were so easy to use in Bali! They are definitely better now as compared to 2019 when we were there. We also had the chance to visit many restaurants along the way. I would be sharing about all of this as well as our three accommodations in the upcoming weeks so keep a lookout for them! (´ ε ` )♡

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Useful Travel Resources

Pack your wanderlust, and let’s set sail! I have prepared the following travel resources that you might find helpful to fuel your next adventure. This section will be ever-growing, and if you think there is anything that you want me to add to this list, drop me a message to let me know! ⸜( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝

BEST Cards to Use for Your Overseas Spending
Want to enjoy seamless spending overseas without the pesky fees? Check out my post on the best cards to bring overseas—the Trust Bank and YouTrip cards!

A Guide to Using Your Multicurrency Cards for Overseas Cash Withdrawal
Feeling stressed about using foreign ATMs? Let me help you navigate overseas ATMs with ease as I share my experience using my Trust Bank and YouTrip cards for overseas cash withdrawals—examples included!

Transform Your Travel with Lounge Access + Cards I Use to Get Free Visits!
Ready to ditch airport stress? Visit my post to discover the magic of lounge access and my go-to credit cards for complimentary lounge visits!

Are you craving some yummy Balinese food? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered with food guides for Sanur, Seminyak and Ubud! Are you looking for a cool place to stay, too? We have some awesome pool villas in Bali that we absolutely love. Otherwise, check out these other cool Bali posts I know you’ll love! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ


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Alternatively, you can reach out through my contact form or email me! Looking forward to connecting with you lovely people! (´ ε ` )♡

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