By Ryan Ver Berkmoes, Adam Skolnick
”The mere point out of ‘Bali’ inspires innovations of paradise. It’s greater than a spot it’s a temper, an aspiration, a tropical nation of mind.”—Ryan Ver Berkmoes, Lonely Planet author writer
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Extra resources for Bali & Lombok
Never ride on the backs of turtles. Learning to Dive If you’re not a qualified diver and you want to try some scuba diving in Bali, you have several options, including packages that include lessons and cheap accommodation in a pretty place. Introductory/orientation courses (US$60 to US$100) are perfect for novices who want to see if diving is for them, or you can learn the basics on a three- to four-day limited course (US$300) – these are popular at resorts. A PADI open-water certification, which is recognised everywhere, costs between US$350 and US$400.
One Week Bali Day Trips This is for the traveller who wants to unpack only once, seeing what’s possible on Bali during a series of relaxed day trips. Start with a beachside hotel in Sanur, such as Hotel La Taverna or Tandjung Sari, both of which have a refined yet relaxed charm. Day trip one starts with the short drive to the markets and museums of Denpasar, followed by a visit to the shops of Seminyak and Kerobokan. Finish up with a sunset seafood grill at Jimbaran. Day trip two heads to Ubud for a half-day strolling the streets, looking at the shops, galleries and museums.
As a guide, smell the air: open a tank valve a small way and breathe in. Smelling dry or slightly rubbery air is OK. If it smells of oil or car exhaust, that tells you the operator doesn’t filter the air correctly. »When the equipment is put together, are there any big air leaks? All dive centres get some small leaks at some time; however, if you get a big hiss of air coming out of any piece of equipment, ask to have it replaced. »Is it conservation-oriented? Good dive shops explain that you should not touch corals or take shells from the reef, as well as work with local fishers to ensure that certain areas are protected.