Bali 2010 - Going to Bali and an example of Malaysia Boleh !
Thanks to Air Asia, getting to Bali is no longer such an expensive affair. In fact I've seen blogs where they bragged about doing a 4D/3N trip to Bali - inclusive of airfare and accommodation - for under RM 1,000 per person. That is amazing !
Our last trip to Bali (me and the Mrs in September) almost didn't happen. When we arrived at the check-in counter, we were told that we couldn't go - as my Mrs' passport was a few days short of the required 6 months validity. The ground staff told us travelers to Indonesia had been sent back with just 1 day short - they are that strict, so it wasn't worth the risk.
With the demise of the trip flashing in our heads, we had to quickly figure out what to do. Frankly I was a bit dazed and incapacitated for a few minutes. Our only chance was to renew the passport at Putrajaya - the nearest immigration office. Luckily we were early to the check-in and had a bit of time.
The taxi trip to Putra Jaya took about 40 mins, we got to the Immigration Office and was told that the passport department had moved to a new place a few kilometres away - not a good sign. Got on another taxi and quickly reach the place - luckily there weren't too many people. We told the officers our predicament and they were very helpful and promised to do their best. The good sign was a banner promising to complete a passport within 1 hour - there is hope ! Once the documentation was done we sat and wait, and guess what ? The passport was ready in under 40 minutes - what a great job ! The Immigration Department is indeed a shining example of what Malaysians can achieve when we get serious.
Our original flight to Bali was supposed to be 9:00 a.m. which we missed. We had to pay a cancellation charge and top-up the fare - came up to an additional RM 500 for 2 persons - not too bad. We managed to get on the 11.00 a.m. flight, and arrived in Bali exactly 2 hours after the original schedule. When I saw Ngurah Rai Airport I was ecstatic - we finally made it !
A familiar sight as you exit the airport. Unfortunately our driver was late.