Recently, I was on a 11 day business trip to Asia and found myself in Singapore on the weekend. While Singapore is great, It can be expensive and there is no surf. Where could I go for the weekend?
After some thought, Bali came to mind. It has great surf, food and hotels are inexpensive, and it is just a two hour flight from Singapore. By using the power of the internet, and a couple of hours, I put together a custom DIY surf trip. Here is how I did it and would love your feedback.
My first task was to research surf spots. Was the surf going to be good in Bali? For this I use http://www.surfline.com. It is a great site and if you are a subscriber you can get 14 day forecast. Reading the surf spot information , I wanted to be close to the Impossibles surf spot. However, near this site are a bunch of other sites ranging from difficult to beginner. This was great.
Next was to find a flight . My preferred site here is http://www.kayak.com. It has a good search Engine. Playing around with times I found a flight leaving Singapore at 8:45pm and arriving in Bali at 11:30pm. Perfect! I could get all my meetings done, then skip over to Bali. My return was around 5:55pm arriving in Singapore at 8:45pm. This would give me 42 hours in the country. How many of those could I surf?
Next I needed a Hotel! For this I used http://www.tripadvisor.com to help me search, find reviews and map their locations. I wanted a site near the Impossibles surf spot if possible and http://www.tripadvisor.com helped a lot. After some research, I found an inexpensive but nice little place called Sal Secret Spot. It wasn’t on the beach, but the beach was within walking distance, and the reviews were good, So I went for it.
My next task was to find transportation to the hotel. For this www.Expedia.com helped. Expedia was advertising a custom driver that would pick you up and return you back to airport when leaving. Awesome, Since it was late at night when I arrived, I wasn’t interested in taking a taxi and haggling over prices. The rates seemed reasonable , so I signed up for the service.
The final task was to figure out where it get a surfboard for my trip. A simple google search brought me to a cool site called http://www.rentasurfboard.com. The selection was good and they gave you an option to drop it off and pick the board up at your hotel room. This was going to be great to maximize my surf time.
That was it. The planning took a couple of hours and needed a couple of follow ups. I called the hotel to check if a late arrival was going to be a problem (12:30am on Saturday). The surfboard rental company sent me an email Letting me know my surfboard may not be available if the previous renter put any dings in it. I told them to call me if that occurred and we could figure out an alternative.
The next time I will rent a scooter with surfboard rack (about 180k IDR) versus taking a taxi to the different surf spots (about 260k IDR). Just two taxi rides , to and from surf site, was more that a scooter.
The taxi service in Bali appears to have a fixed rate to different parts of the Provence. My reserved ride was a little higher priced, but worth not worrying about the taxi when I arrived.
I checked on my return driver an hour before the expected departure from hotel and I’m glad I did. They had the wrong flight time on my reservation. It was not an issue. They arranged for a local driver at my hotel to drive me and handled the payment.
I flew on a budget airline called AirAsia and their carry on bag service appears to be a scam. They limit the total carry on baggage to weigh just 7kg. As a business traveling I never check my bags as a rule and my suitcase was at 15kg, so this was a little stressful on my return flight. From Singapore to Bali, I used an automatic check kiosk and did not encounter this rule. However on the return trip the automatic Kiosk was not working, So I encountered the rule at the counter and was charged $30 for the suitcase I had to check. The Singapore airport is awesome. My bag was out by the time I arrived at baggage claim.
Wow that looks like an amazing little trip Mark! I’ve been in Singapore and loved but Bali looks even more inviting.
Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and traveling tips.
Loved your pictures and description of your planning process. Can you help us with our plans for India and the Maldives?