Traveling to Bali on a Budget

Who doesn’t want a gorgeous getaway? Traveling is one of the best forms of therapy, because it allows you to see sights that aren’t so similar and mesh with different cultures – or maybe give you that seclusion away from life’s worries! Here we’ll give you a few tips to travel to Bali on a budget, and a few ideas on what to do when you get there. Traveling doesn’t have to be a luxury!

 

  • First things first: how to get there. Airfare can be expensive, but planning ahead is one of the best ways to ensure you save a little money. Check airfare prices regularly prior to traveling on as many sites as possible and keep yourself on a list that’ll tell you when prices have gone down.

 

  • Second, keep in mind that Bali’s cost of living and traveling is extremely low, so you’re already doing yourself a favor by going there! No doubt you’ll be saving yourself quite a bit of cash, just remember to handle conversions securely. Meal for 2 in a cheap restaurant costs only about A$2 .  

 

  • Another good idea is to find a safe spot to stay. Hotels can be expensive when you book online, so you can book a hotel for couple of days and once you are in bali look for alternatives. Budget accommodation comes in the form of homestays and guesthouses. They are owned and operated by locals and fitted with modest furniture.

 

Now that you’ve got a bit of an idea about how accessible Bali is, let’s talk about some things to do! Whether you enjoy nature or dancing, Bali’s got it all.

 

  • SeaWalker Tours in Bali: Exactly what it says on the tin! This fabulous experience allows you to walk on the seafloor wearing an airtight helmet while you explore the flora and fauna of the sea. Inexpensive and accessible, it’s the best way to explore the ocean without burning a hole in your pocket. Best deals on SeaWalker tours I found here.

 

  • Ubud, a slice of relaxation: Ubud is a small village perfect for rest and relaxation. Offering traditional Balinese dancing, massages, and beautiful scenery in a green world. Museums and galleries are also available to peruse, and a forest home to monkeys awaits you as well. Additionally, there are many holy temples and ancient shrines to visit and pay respects to while in Ubud.

 

  • Kuta: A bustling surf town with beaches, nightlife, and fun! Plenty of space to stretch out and tan while enjoying the beautiful blue beaches of Bali. During the nights, restaraunts and nightclubs brim with people, and it’s no wonder it’s so popular, as the atmosphere is revitalizing.

 

  • West Bali National Park: A beautiful preserved natural location that is home to the endangered bird, the Bali Starling. The Bali starling is a beautiful white-plumaged raptor that is on the verge of extinction – a threat the park hopes to eradicate. Enjoy the natural scenery and take pride in knowing you’re helping to preserve the planet.

 

There are hundreds of other things to do in Bali, and we’ve covered only a small portion of them. Keep these tips and hints in mind while you plan for the perfect destination, and be sure to try out as much as you can to make the most of your stay in this beautiful province of Indonesia.

Going on a Winter Holiday? Here Is What You Should Know

Some Australians like to take off in the winter and go camping. Although it can be uncomfortably cold, it can be invigorating too. However, because they are in a holiday mood, travellers may overlook the fact that their camper must be winterised. Whether you own or rent a camper, you are responsible for winterisation.

Therefore, you want to make sure you winterise your van as traveling in the winter can be just as unique and rewarding as it is in the summertime. In other words, the fun of driving a camper van is not limited to the warmer times of the year. Many travellers enjoy taking camping trips when it is cold as well. The key, then, to ensuring pleasant winter travel is to safeguard your camper from the season’s harsh elements. Keeping your van winterised is essential if you plan to spend any time at a campground.

Why Winterisation is Important

To understand why winterisation is important, you have to know how the cold can impact your vehicle. If freezing temperatures strike and you are not prepared for the drop then the water in the van’s engine, heating tank, or plumbing lines can freeze. If this occurs, a costly repair job can ensue.

To avoid the hazards of freezing temperatures, antifreeze must be liberally applied to each tank that contains water. Pour the solvent down the toilet of the camper rental to keep the water in the holding tank from becoming frozen solid.

Antifreeze should also be added to the shower drain to keep the water in the water tank from freezing. The process should be repeated consistently to prevent the possibility of a burst or cracked holding tank. Holding tanks should also be only partially filled with water. When the tanks in the vehicle are completely filled, they are more likely to freeze during the colder times of the year.

Bring Plenty of Water

Because winter campers are required to winterise their camper van, they will not be able to obtain potable water from the vehicles’ taps. That means people who drive camper vans in the winter months must bring water with them – lots of water, in fact. Otherwise, you won’t be able to cook or wash dishes. Keeping a large jug of water is an ideal way to keep stored water for daily needs. Again, bring plenty of extra water, especially if your travels lead you into wilderness areas.

Picking a Winter Camping Site

Needless to say, you need to know where the water lines are located in your camper van. Before you go camping, protect the exposed lines with a heat tape to keep them from freezing. You will also need to pick out the right campsite. During winter travel, look for a spot that receives a healthy dose of the sun throughout the day. You will want a site that is also sheltered from the freezing cold and unrelenting winds.

If you can do so, find a campsite where you can hook your vehicle to electricity. Making the connection ensures that the water lines in your rental vehicle will not freeze. Once a camper van is hooked up to electric power, it will heat all the water in the storage tanks.

The Most Rewarding African Destinations to visit

Africa as a continent has the potential to compete with other continents given the range of natural and cultural attractions that can attract millions of tourist to choose Africa as their safari destination. Africa’s savannahs, tropical rain forests, highest mountain ranges, longest rivers of the word, largest fresh water lakes, cultural festivals, music, dance and drama make Africa on the top of most travelers bucket list destinations worth visiting.

Africa has emerged as an important safari destination despite the political uncertainties in some regions. Africa’s international tourist arrivals grew form 37 million in 2003 to 63.6 million tourists in 2012 achieving the strongest growth globally and hit a new record of about 5% of the world’s tourism share. Tourists came to Africa for different purposes but not limited to business meetings and conference, leisure and recreation, culture, sporting events, visiting friends & relatives, and adventure activities. Tourism is one of the fastest and largest growing economic sectors in Africa generating employment opportunities in terms of jobs created. Income generated from tourism with receipts from tours, airlines, Hotel chains and cruise ships. International tourism receipts in Africa reached USD 43.6 billion in 2012 while direct and indirect employment generated about 8.2 million jobs in 2012 across the continent according to the Africa Tourism Monitor Report published in 2013.

This boost in tourism development across Africa has partly strengthened conservation of wild life protected areas, natural and cultural sites have increased standards of tourism service due to emerging expertise skills in the hospitality industry which further motivates repeated visits by some tourists with specific interest in Africa’s top safari regions of East Africa and Southern Africa.

Without forgetting the diversity of wild life and culture as the main reason why tourists come to different regions in Africa, with these natural attributes Eat Africa, Southern Africa and central regions have been the most visited. This is because these 3 regions have well established tourism sectors and diversified tourism activities including big game safaris, adventures such as gorilla trekking, mountain climbing and world’s strongest water fall rafting services. Particularly countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa have been frequently listed among the most visited countries in Africa.

The East African Region

Five countries make up the east African region; these include Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The region is diverse given the strategic locations of countries in the Great East African Rift Valley area giving it an array of natural attractions including Africa’s oldest equatorial rain forests, highest mountain ranges of Mount Kilimanjaro at 5,896 meters above sea level in Tanzania and the Ruwenzori in Uganda at 5,109 meters above sea level. The world’s Wildlife spectacle between the Serengeti and Maasai Mara wildlife reserves of Tanzania and Kenya is the Great Wildebeest migrations consisting of over 1.5 million Wildebeests and thousands of hoofed mammals between December and March. The big five African mammals are well represented in big numbers within Kenya and Tanzania which attracts many wildlife lovers. The rare engendered mountain gorillas situated Uganda Rwanda and Congo – safaris to see gorillas in Africa is the only strategy established to protect these endangered species which were at the verge of extinction.

As the region of friendly and hospitable people, the tourism industry has successfully been established putting visitor satisfaction at the top of every step taken. The joint East African community states work together to maximize benefits from tourism, wildlife and marketing, east Africa is now being marketed as a single tourist destination. Recently the single visa was introduced and is working across the countries in an attempt to increase visitor stays in the region. The visa can be obtained at a cost of USD 100 per visitor.

The dedicated government tourism development strategies has created an enabling environment for successful private sector driven investments in hotels, campsites, transportation, digital marketing , product development and diversification. Other efforts have achieved the standard criteria grading hotels resulting into world class hotel chains setting up in the region such as Serena and Sheraton chain of hotels. As a result expertise and excellent tourist service delivery has seen numbers of tourists visiting the region increase from 3 million to 4.9 million tourists from 2006 to 2011 according to the east African community travel.

Central African Region

Central Africa is far from the big game safaris of Kenya and Tanzania, the region features the Virunga mountains regions that spans across the democratic republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda which are the dominant countries regarding tourism. Since the 1990’s Central Africa has been characterized by civil wars in DRC, Central African Republic escalating into violence and crime rates something that did make headlines across the worlds popular travel Medias scaring tourists to come to the region. However, over the last decade tourism has significantly developed with well-established activities like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking and other wildlife especially birding.

Due to the fact that mountain gorillas are critically endangered and being the main tourist attraction, joint trans-boundary collaboration between Uganda, DRC and Rwanda has established conservation management mechanisms aimed at protecting wildlife and reaping from the revenues generated to boost economic development. This kind of enfranchisement has benefited from increasing gorilla numbers and other wildlife due to community awareness.

The Southern Africa Region

Southern Africa has 14 countries but not all offer the best opportunities for wildlife viewing. The most popular visited nations include South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malawi and Zambia. These have an amazing landscapes and wildlife loved by many travelers who come to Africa. They include African acacia woodlands, desert and semi-desert areas, savannah grasslands, coastal and temperate areas with marshes and swamps, snow capped mountains.

Wildlife in southern Africa is abundant with big five mammals such as white rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and other hoofed mammals such as zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, antelopes.

Wildlife specialists have specific interest in wildlife areas such as central Karoo region of South Africa where the critically endangered Riverine rabbit dwells along seasonal rivers, with less than 200 Riverine rabbits remaining the ecosystems are under strong conservation and management to avoid extinction of such species. Along the Western Cape coast of South Africa are the wetlands and swamps that habits the critically endangered Reedfrog. South Africa’s Kruger National Park is a top safari destination in Africa for big game viewing, the big five mammals, diverse landscapes ranging from deserts, woodlands, savannahs to tropical forests cover an area of about 19,485 sq km. several species of birds live in the park making it a birders paradise in South Africa.

In Botswana 17 % of the county’s land is dedicated to national parks making it a great game destination. Among the most visited is central Kalahari game reserve the second largest wildlife reserve in the world with many African predators, Chobe national park is famous for the largest concentrations of elephants in the world about 45,000 elephants recorded although estimates vary. Nata bird sanctuary is a home to over 160 species of birds and a premier destination for birders in Botswana.

Zimbabwe and Zambia share the great Victoria water falls offering rafting opportunities. In Zimbabwe Hwange national park has big five mammals and the critically endangered African Hunting Dog.

Malawi is a natural paradise with diverse wildlife including big five, over 600 species of birds making a birding spot and the amazing Lake Malawi protecting Africa’s tropical fish concentrations and safe boat canoeing opportunities on the surface of the deepest rift valley lake.

 

How To Choose The Right Campervan

 If you have decided you want to rent or buy a campervan, you will need to make sure that you know which make and model will best suit your budget as well as your needs. You will need to do some research into the different campervans on the market in order to ensure that you make the right decision and it is probably a good idea to take some time out to test drive the vehicle before you commit to it.

Even if you decide to rent a campervan, you should time your time and take it for a spin in a quiet area before heading out onto the open roads. Once you have found a company that offers deals on campervan rentals, you can then start doing some research on the different makes and models that they have to offer.

 

You should try doing the following:

 

  • Check out customer reviews to see which vehicles come highly recommended
  • Look at online forums
  • Contact the rental company for some advice
  • Visit the rental shop and try driving a few different vehicles
  • Ask people you know who have driven a campervan before for some advice

 

Bedrooms

 

You will need to think about how many people will usually be using the campervan, so you know how many people the van will need to accommodate. Some campervans will have more than one bedroom to cater to four or more people, while others will have a seating area that can be changed into a bed at night.

 

Makes & Models

 

There are lots of different makes and models of campervans to choose between and knowing which ones are well known for their comfort and reliability is important. You can ask the rental company about which make and model they would recommend for your budget and the style of the campervan will also vary. Some will have an area on the roof that opens upwards to give more space for sleeping in, while others might have a slide out section on the side.

 

Top Tips

 

Consider all of the following:

 

  • The size of the vehicle
  • The age
  • The mileage
  • The rental rate
  • The MPG
  • The facilities and amenities on board

 

You can find out all of the above information by contacting the rental company and it is always important to enquire about the MPG in order to ensure that the petrol won’t cost too much money.

 

It is also a good idea to find out what on-board amenities the vehicle has, as some vans will come fully functional with everything from cutlery and crockery to a well-equipped bathroom complete with a hot shower and toilet. While others will be more basic in their offerings and often your budget will affect which van you rent.

 

Make sure you check to see what the minimum age should be for the driver of the campervan, as this will vary depending on the rental company.

Urban Tours: West Hollywood, California

Hollywood is quite synonymous to you chasing after your favorite actors. If you mind kissing the grounds of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you’re in luck since there are other things that you can do instead of soaking up the glamour that Hollywood is known for; although I hate to admit it, it’s practically what constitutes your travel itinerary. Before you hop to your favorite airline, make sure that you have your ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) Visa with you for a smooth and carefree travel. Oh and if you don’t have one yet, it’s a travel requirement so you really need to have one. Getting it is quite easy, you can simply apply for ESTA Visa online.

First stop is of course at George Best Belfast City Airport, so make sure you land on this particular airport because Hollywood is just a few minutes drive from it. Don’t get surprised if you choose to ride taxis, they’re basically expensive. Take the bus instead and the slow ride allows for more urban sightseeing; mind you, urban tours has never been this exciting. The relaxed nature of the people in West Hollywood is simply fascinating, kind of contagious so allow yourself to feel the excitement. Loose yourself from the shackles of your everyday life, have fun and think about hot parties.

West Hollywood is also known for its extravagant shopping. It has all the splendid names, such as Gucci and Armani stuff and many more. If you want to taste a bit of a celebrity life, go inside one of the high end shops and let them weird people dress you up. On lucky days, maybe you even get to bump into one of Hollywood’s famous residents.

What West Hollywood is famous for is The Roxy Theatre. Some people travel across the globe just to get to this theater to see their beloved music icons such as John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen. This popular theater continues to be a venue for bands getting closer to stardom. Perhaps on one of your visits, you just witnessed the next Bruce Springsteen. This is a high end spot so don’t go gaga when you see a popular celebrity. You’ll probably have the best night of your life.

Another popular Hollywood landmark is The London West Hollywood and its well sought Rooftop Dining. This is one of the best places in the world to bring your date for an urban romantic getaway. You also get to taste the delicious food of Chef Gordon Ramsay. His perfectly crisp salads and delicious burgers with delectable sushi servings on the side will certainly evoke all the right emotions for your romantic plans. Make sure to look over the stunning skyline view of the city as you bottom-up a splendid glass of a delectable wine.

By the way, parties are at the Rox bar so include it on your itinerary as well. It’s highly popular for hosting the world’s hottest parties. You also get to feel the excitement that you’re probably sitting on the same plush velvet seat overlooking the wonderful Sunset Strip that your favorite actor once used.

Remember that for intimate and exhilarating parties, West Hollywood never fails to deliver.

 

Sell your property without using an agent

Selling your property is probably one of the biggest decisions that you are ever likely to make. If you have bought your house outright or have managed to pay off the mortgage over a certain time period then you know that you will be receiving nearly all of the money that you make from the sale. You have a big decision to make before you start the selling process, will you go it alone or will you choose to hire an agent? There are pros and cons for both options, many people like the option to sell property without agent because it means that they do not have to pay any commission to a third party for work that may be done to secure the sale of the house. For more information about selling your property then click here.

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If you are in the fortunate position to be able to sell your property by yourself and feel that you have the time on your hands to spend pushing through a sale then I strongly advise you to do it! Here are some great reasons why you should choose to go it alone and conduct the sale of your property by yourself.

Believe you can do it

We think that selling our property is such a massive job that we will not be able to do it, remember that you are a lot more capable than you think! You will of course be able to rent your property out with very little problem at all. Remember that you have to be confident when you approach this issue.

Agents can’t give you an accurate price

Agents are not people that will realistically be able to give you the correct price of your property. The people that offer this service are appraisers. You can hire an appraiser for a minimal cost, they will give you a very accurate opinion about how much your property is worth. For just a couple of hundred dollars you will know the price and not have to pay an agent!

You can do everything they can

Yes, you are able to do everything that an agent does during the process of selling your home. I am sure that you will be able to organise viewings, conduct negotiations and also sell your house. You love it more than anyone and will therefore be more passionate when selling it!

 

How to Road Trip Around Bali

Bali is an exciting and gorgeous destination that is the perfect combination of accessible and unexplored. While there are a large number of tourists, there is plenty of the island to be explored and a great way to do it is through a road trip. Rent a car or campervan and enjoy the full freedom that comes with road tripping around this amazing island.

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Plan Ahead

You can rent a car for about $10 per day in Bali, plus a bit for insurance. Buy the insurance; it’s great peace of mind for just a tiny fee. Or rent a campervan if you want to be able to stay out in the wilderness on your road trip. You can bring extra equipment and have a real adventure with a campervan! Make sure to take photos of whatever vehicle you rent. It’s important to note any damage to the vehicle beforehand so you don’t get charged later. If you want to have a vehicle for the long-term, check out caravan sales in Bali.

Maps

If you’re the kind of person who likes to have a map in hand, it’s not a bad idea to pick one up. But keep in mind that many of the roads will have different names than you see on the map (it’s Southeast Asia!) so it might not be as helpful as you might think. You can alternatively take the explorative route, just going with the flow and seeing where the road takes you! Or stop and ask locals for directions.

Driving

Don’t forget that you’ll be driving on the left side of the road- it’s different from what Americans are used to! Be aware that road signs are often covered with vines, random stickers or some other obstructions. And don’t be a victim of a gas scam! Generally people here are honest, but just watch the gas meter to make sure they’re actually filling your tank.

Where to Go

Bali is chock full of exciting places to explore on a road trip. Uluwatu in the south is perfect for beach bums and surf lovers. Ubud is the island’s cultural capital and the perfect place to chill out for days or weeks at a time! Here you can find all kinds of yoga and meditation classes, healthy vegetarian food and everything else you might imagine Bali to offer.

The Best Ways to Get Around Bali

Imagine a gorgeous island in Southeast Asia with pristine beaches, warm and friendly culture and some of the best food you’ve ever eaten. Might you be thinking of Indonesia? Bali, Indonesia is one of the most incredible destinations for a Southeast Asian holiday, where you can literally experience it all. Whether you’re here for an adventure holiday, want to totally relax, or lie somewhere in between, it’s possible in Bali.

But as amazing as the island is, it’s definitely not known for its excellent public transportation. It doesn’t mean it’s difficult, it just means you need to be prepared to be a bit flexible! Which leads to the next question… what are the best ways to get around Bali? Here are some tips for getting around the island:

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Scooter/Motorbike

For the ultimate freedom in transportation, learn how to ride a motorbike and rent one for just dollars a day. It’s so much fun and you can go anywhere you like. It’s a cheap, quick and super fun way to see the island, and you don’t have to sit in any traffic because scooters can just bypass it all! If you’re nervous to start, learn how to drive in a more secluded area. Make sure to wear a helmet- it’s the law!

Bicycle

You can rent bikes all over town, and it’s a scenic and relaxing way to the see the island, even if you won’t cover as much ground as you would on a motorbike. If you plan to be there awhile, check out bikes for sale and get your own set of wheels.

Taxi

Taxis are a good option for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about the safety issues of a motorbike. They’re really the closest thing to public transportation in Bali. Take a taxi for a night out and it won’t set you back very much money. But if you’re using taxis to get everywhere every single day, the costs could add up very quickly. It’s possible to walk through the towns, but if you need to travel a further distance, taxis can be a good option.

Tourist Bus

There isn’t really a public bus system in Bali, but you can tourist buses around the island. They’re more expensive than a public bus would be, though, and they don’t really stray from the tourist track. So if you’re fine with visiting the touristy spots, it can be a comfortable way to get around. If you want to really explore though, learn how to ride that scooter! :)

5 Top Things to Do in Bali

Bali is a popular tourist destination full of fun ways to make the most of your vacation. In order to get around town, the best method is to rent a car or take a taxi. There is no public transportation system in Bali, leaving you to either travel by car or rent a bicycle. Once you get your transportation, you can start planning your fun activities. Here are some of the top things to do in Bali.

5 Top Things to Do in Bali

Have a Cocktail in the Rock Bar

If you happen to be staying at the Ayana Resort in Jimbaran, then make sure you visit the Rock Bar. This bar is located right in the ocean. In fact, you have to take a lift that will take you down to the bar which is placed on top of rocks on the ocean. Here, you can enjoy your cocktail while watching the waves of the ocean.

Go To the Monkey Temple in Uluwatu

When it comes to holidays in Bali, a great option for sightseeing with the family is the temple in Uluwatu. Located towards the south end of the island, this temple is the home to a large variety of wild monkeys. A small note – do not wear sunglasses or hats while touring the temple, as the monkeys have a tendency to steal them right off of the top of your head.

Sunbathe On Balangan Beach

Those looking for the perfect beach will find it at Balangan. Balangan tends to be a bit more secluded than the popular beaches at Jimbaran and Bingin. There are also some excellent reefs for surfing. Walk down to the beach to gaze at the rock pools of the reef.

Go Surfing

If you are a surfer, then you have to take advantage of some of the greatest locations for surfing. For those that prefer to surf on reefs, take a trip to Bingin, Balangan, and Uluwatu. The beaches at Kuta and Seminyak provide great spots for beginners to learn how to surf. Other options include Sanur, Nusa Dua, and Canggu. There are so many options it is hard to choose one.

Have a Retreat in Ubud

Ubud is the final destination in this list. Ubud has long been the center of arts and crafts on the island. This is a wonderful location to get a taste of Balinese culture. In Ubud you will find several spa retreats and other fun resorts. This is also a great location for finding organic restaurants.

One of The World’s Top Destinations – New Zealand

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of returning tourists seen by any destination in the world. This is not only caused by the great time that people have enjoyed previously but also by people that ran out of time in their previous holiday to see everything that they wanted.

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It is important to allow enough time to explore the areas that interest you. The sheer number of interesting places on the North and South Islands make it difficult to adequately cover them in less than ten days each.

 

Rent a Caravan in New Zealand

This is a great way to travel at your own pace. It gives you the ability to stay longer if you need more time or leave early if you wish. It is a simple process to rent a caravan in New Zealand and they are available in major cities of the North and South Islands.

Tips for renting a caravan in New Zealand

  • If you want to a one way rental consider a Christchurch to Auckland for the best rate and availability
  • Book well in advance if you are traveling in peak season
  • Allow three weeks to explore both Islands or you will be very rushed
  • The Christmas and New Year’s period is very busy and camp spaces need to be pre booked

 

Holiday Home Investment

The rise in holiday homes available is being driven by increasing investment from both New Zealanders and foreigners wanting a place that they can retreat to for a few weeks a year. The ability to rent the holiday home for the rest of the time allows them to pay off the investment more quickly.

This is great for visitors because holiday homes close to the beach, major attractions and the snow fields are available at reasonable prices. The increased numbers have made booking services much more important and helped them to move online and adopt a professional attitude. Check the many holiday home websites when you are planning your next New Zealand holiday.

 

Car Hire in Auckland

The largest city in New Zealand has so much to offer and one of the best ways to inexpensively see the sights is to hire a car. Car hire in Auckland is only a phone call or an internet click away with suburban, city and airport depots available for most car hire companies.

You can then go exploring or book into one of the great accommodation options at places such as Coromandel or Rotorua. The roads are easy to navigate and there are many activities to enjoy so you might even want to take an extra day to see everything.

Your Bali travel and tourism guide