Schia's "The Critic" Reviews


Informative travel reviews with a critical edge.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is beautiful, exotic and full of spirituality and love...but that's for another Go Girls' review :) The trek to Bali from the States is no easy feat. Plan to throw on your most comfortable ensemble and get comfortable sitting next to a snoring stranger, encroaching in your private space on your nearly 30 hour plane ride. A saving grace for myself was nearly all airlines serve wine and refreshments the entire flight. Upon arrival you are welcomed by the infamous immigration personnel who doesn't share your vacation enthusiasm nor do they sympathize with your sore bum and disorientating jet lag. You'll experience this in all international destinations, but this was by far my most difficult country transition, mostly due to the long flight time.

Transportation, GAH! Although you won't have any difficulty finding a taxi all hours of the day, be prepared to buckle up and make use of the "oh shit" handles in the car. Everyone drives Mario Andretti style, dodging mobs of mopeds. Some locations, especially certain airBNB villas do not have addresses, so ensure you have a good idea where you need to be as you'll likely need to assist your driver. I would strongly suggest using Blue Bird cab company as I've learned that they are the most reputable and honest. Still a good idea to discuss price first.

Although some locations have sidewalks, they are few and far between, often times with large holes (sewers) that you can easily fall in especially at night. Being I'm pigeoned-toed, and a self-proclaimed klutz, I carried a flashlight at night, and strategically walked behind someone else to allow them to take a tour of the sewer system before myself; because that's how I roll, ha!

There are many excursions to partake in, including waterfall tours, Sacred Monkey Forest, Tanah Lot temple and jungle hikes that will take your breath away (literally) they're steep! I recommend doing all you can, but don't be surprised that you can't capture a serene photograph, because of the hoards of tourists these marvels draw from around the world.

I had a love/hate relationship with the native critters. Like the Hindus, I try to respect all living creatures, but having a bat-sized spider hanging in your doorway in the morning can be a bit unnerving. My favorite animal was the monkeys! One morning I woke up to several monkeys swinging in the trees outside my window. I woke up all my friends in the house and tried to feed them my Ritz crackers. Probably not a good idea. If you want to feed the monkeys, visit the Monkey Forest and buy them a banana. There's still a very real risk associated with doing this, as they have been known to bite. I suppose I've done worse things than risk my face getting eaten off by a primate.

Lastly, be prepared to haggle. It's expected and accepted. Take a day or two and get used to the currency, rupiah, before showing off your mad negotiation skills. There is beautiful, handcrafted sculptures and artwork for sale virtually everywhere. Pack a compact, spare duffel bag to haul back all your new treasures and souvenirs and enjoy the look on the flight attendants face when you store them all in the overhead compartment!  Thanks for reading..