Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Swimmer's ear in Bali

I always end up with "swimmer's ear", in the surf and in swimming pools.
Prevention: ear plugs (Blu-tak works if you don't have the expensive gel ones)


  • 2 drops of vodka in the affected ear, every few hours
  • 2 Panadols every 4 hours
  • Ear drops, if Vodka doesn't work.  After 24 hours of treatment, all good.  Price 55 000 rupiah (50 000 rupiah on Jalan Legian, near Jalan Melasti)  A bargain.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Nusa Dua or Nusa Don't?

Public land adjoining 5 star hotels tends to be used as rubbish dumps. This is particularly noticeable in neighbouring Tanjung Benoa.
View from the beachfront walkway that links Tanjung Benoa to Nusa Dua

Conrad Hotel - front view
Conrad Hotel - side view

Bali tourist spots in 30 words

Tuban - airport, bogans, no accessible surf
Kuta/Legian - bogans, surf
Seminyak -  sunset beach bars, villas, funky shops, dodgy surf
Tanjung Benoa - water sports, petrol fumes
Nusa Dua - sunrises, resorts, weddings
Tanjung Benoa
Nusa Dua

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Bali bodysurfing: Legian vs Seminyak

Legian - near Pullman Hotel

Legian has more consistent surf and fewer red flags. Seminyak seems to be prone to more rips and dangerous currents. Red flags (swimming prohibited) are seen on a daily basis - not that anybody takes any notice of them. Whenever you see surf schools in Legian, you will find medium waves suitable for body surfing with the chance of a long run to the shore.
These comments relate to the April - May period.

Seminyak - Royal Beach Hotel

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Is Jetstar Business Class worth the money?

This post covers Jetstar flights on Dreamliner 787, ex Melbourne, Australia. Flights to Denpasar, Singapore, Bangkok, Osaka (Business Class ex Cairns) and Tokyo (Business Class ex Gold Coast).


  • Cost - Jetstar frequently have International Business sales (e.g. one way MEL-DPS, MEL-SIN, MELB-Bangkok for around $499). This compares favourably to 'cattle-class' for around $199.
  • Small business cabin (3 rows of 7 seats) means speedy service from crew and better ratio toilet to passenger (1:21) than Qantas Dreamliner.
  • Usual perks - priority boarding, express card for immigration (in Australia), handy amenity pack with skin care products, socks, toothpaste, etc.
  • Surprisingly tasty and varied meals (see below). Plunger coffee with cabin attendant circulating with giant selection box of premium chocolates (weird?).
  • Help yourself to snacks in the forward galley.
  • Copious bottles of water.
  • Champagne (Piper-Heidsieck or Henri Laurent) served in tumblers rather than flutes throughout flight - but, hey I ain't complaining - or choice of wines, beers and spirits.
  • Baggage (checked) 30 kg included and generous carry-on. When travelling in Asia for 1-2 weeks, we prefer to just use carry-on only, avoiding that dreaded wait at the carousel.
  • Seating perfect for medium haul/day flights. No need for lie-flat beds.
  • It's "old school" business class seating, so you can chat with your partner over lunch, unlike some newer seating configurations that box you in for privacy.
  • Less kids
  • Champagne/water/juice served before take-off.


  • "Business-lite" and more like Premium Economy on some airlines.
  • Row 1 has the most legroom but you have to use in-flight entertainment stored in armrest.
  • Limited but adequate range of IFE, if you don't mind U.S. television series rather than U.K.
  • Avoid middle seats unless you are want to travel as a trio. Hard to exit middle seat, limited wriggle-room.
  • No guarantee your baggage will come out first.

Starters for Lunch menu
Salmon steak with salsa (tastes better than it looks)

Choice of cheese platter or dessert (or both if you are lucky)
Starters on Melb-Singapore (Lunch)