Aaahhh Bali. Five years later I was going to spend yet another month in this idylic island, only that this time I am married and was traveling with my wife. I had excellent memories of my previous stay, and knew that Liza would enjoy the place as much as I would. The only doubt I had was whether it was still as cheap as it had been 5 years ago; several travelers had told me that those great deals were long gone.
Fortunately it was not true. However our arrival on September 14th was not as smooth as it should have been because I was pulled aside into private offices at customs due to lack of space in my passport for the visa. Eventually they half stuck the visa and let me through.
We got a taxi to Poppies Gang 1, located in Kuta beach right by McDonalds, and is the place where you will find most of the cheap accommodation and thus the place you should head to if you are on a tight budget. Be it as it may we were arriving just a few days after Ramadan had finished, and most hotels and guesthouses were full. But an hour later we found a room in an almost new guesthouse at 10 USD/ night and a 15 minute walk from the beach- a bit too far for my liking but still quite good. Next step was to rent a surfboard, and it did not take me long to find a place were I could get one for 2.5 USD/ day. And food… in a couple of days we had already found the three warungs where we could eat good food for almost 1 USD/ dish: Bamboo Corner, Gong Corner, and Warung Pama, all on or near Poppies Lane I. We enjoyed breakfast at the Arena Hotel, where an awesome buffet only costs 2.5 USD. It closed late, so we had a heavy brunch most of the days.
For the next month we immersed ourselves into the Balinese way of life, at least that of the visitor: plenty of beach, plenty of surfing, a few side trips, eat well, and pretty much relax and save money because this was the place to do it.