Posted on January 21, 2016
Leaving Bali for the Philippines with a short stop in Malaysia
In our last week, we spent new year’s eve in Ubud. All the big festivities would be organized in Kuta but it would be impossible to get into town with all the traffic. Besides, we wouldn’t be able to drink before driving back. The expensive hotels had their own parties but there didn’t seem to be much going on outside until we found the big temples in the center. People there seemed to be waiting for something. It was almost midnight and we found a second floor of a small restaurant where nobody else was sitting. We didn’t have to wait long for the fireworks to start. We had the best view from the terrace – the fireworks exploded right above us.
On our last day in Bali we drove to the airport twice to get all the luggage there. We met up with the owner of the scooter to return it. He asked to give his phone number to anyone else who wants to rent the scooter there (1 million rupia per month, about € 2,50 per day). Checking in our luggage went fine; it didn’t matter that the bags were over the weight limit.
We were allowed to stay in Bali for 30 days. However, our 30 days after our arrival was still in the first week of January, when the flights are at their most expensive. The only available flight for a decent price was on our 31st day. So, upon going through the check-in, we were brought into an office to pay a fine for overstaying the visa. The price: 300,000 rupiah (almost € 20) each. However, this was the cheapest option for us. Extending the visa would cost more (400,000 rupiah) and taking a flight earlier would’ve cost a lot more.
After traveling Bali for one month (31 days), we spent a total of 7,762,890 rupiah (about € 8 per person per day). Details of our total spendings here.
It took us about two hours to get to our next destination: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysia is really easy to get into. No visa needed, they just stamped the passport, allowing us to stay for 30 days. Compared to Indonesia, Malaysia had a very organized look. No more smoke everywhere, roads are well-maintained and traffic doesn’t follow the Balinese flow. As for the language, it may seem like an advantage to be in an English-speaking country but somehow, people are hard to understand here.
Kuala Lumpur is huge. Getting around is a hassle. Public transport is hard to find and even if a bus is driving, it’s hard to find any information about it. We had already arranged a host for the following days. To get there, we could take a one-hour bus ride to a mall nearby but we still had to walk for an hour from there. Somehow, the weather here, was making us very tired so we had to take breaks. We stayed at our hosts and their three cats in a small but nice apartment with several balconies. The apartment complex also had a small swimming pool we used to cool down once in a while. We didn’t really see our hosts much so we were mostly on our own but we didn’t get far. To get around here, you really need a car or a taxi. All that was near, was a park with a lot of monkeys running around.
One day, we had a look somewhere central in Kuala Lumpur. We walked for ages to get to the bus, drove for two hours and had to walk again. It was hardly worth it though; there’s not much to see in Kuala Lumpur. We wanted to see Chinatown but apart from a market with cheap Chinese stuff and some Chinese banks, it didn’t look like a Chinatown.
We only stayed for three days in Malaysia and had to drag ourselves back to the airport to get a flight to our next destination: the Philippines. We will return to Malaysia in less than a month. Malaysia is a good point to return to because of the 3-month visa-free stay and the flights are a lot cheaper from here.