Scooters, beers and beaches, Southern Bali.
"What are the road rules in Indonesia?" This was the first thing I asked the fellow working at my hostel, he looked at me, glanced left and laughed, "no road rules."
A scooter is the cheapest and nimblest form of transportation around Bali. Day hire will set you back 60,000 Rupiah, but if you plan of staying for a month you can hire one for 1,000 a day, that is roughly 1$Aud a day. Fuel will cost another 10,000 R if you stop at the local stands, but you are better off filling up at a petrol station and get yourself almost double that for the same price.
Riding does pose a deal of danger, as traffic in built up areas will test your reflexes and awareness as you dodge traffic and mount footpaths to get around cars. Once you break past the busy traffic and get to the outskirts of town, the roads will clear and the beaches will be your next stop.
"I'm so hot, where can I swim?" Thomas beach, or Pantai Thomas, is a beautiful destination, clear blue waters, a short, dangerous ride from your hostel and not busy at all.
It is a small spot, with a few little bars serving up some some beautiful drinks and food for close to nothing. It is a little more expensive than eating on the streets, but for around 40,000 Rupiah you will fill your belly and wash down the deliciousness with whatever your heart desires.
Big tip, do not forget anything at your scooter or you will be hiking back up and down an intense flight of stairs, most of the beaches have at least two hundred steps, remember your key!
The hardest thing about the south of Bali is that there are so many beaches, it is a surfers paradise, a relaxation and adventure get away. Thomas, Padang Padang, Bingin, Ngang Nyang, Pandawa are just a few of the great spots to visit.
Bintang, Bintang, Bintang. Its basically the only beer I have found everywhere. Hostels will have 620ml beers for around 35,000 Rupiah. For an Australian that is more than half price. You can find them almost anywhere, and after your dangerous ride to a beautiful beach, why not top it off with a cool glass of refreshing Bintang. Problem is, if you like anything else, well, you may only find Bintang.
Taxis are a cheap alternative after a few to many drinks, they will set you back around 100,000 Rupiah per half hour, and probably save your life after a big night. Always bargain, whatever your driver offers you cut it by at least half.
Stay alive on the roads out there guys, beers, beaches and scooters are not the best mix, but are just some small luxuries of life in southern Bali.