Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Join our Newsletter
Search Our Site and Blog~ Enter Destination, Activity, or anything you like.
Stay Connected


Featured Indonesia Blog on GO! Overseas


Vacation, Travel & Adventure Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Entries in bali travel tips (4)


Bali Travel Essentials~ Singapore Visa Run

Here is another installment of our Bali Travel Essentials Series. This time we explore The Singapore Visa Run. Balifornian offers an exciting side trip to Singapore and our clients use this in a number of ways. We can help you arrange a layover on your in-bound or out-bound trip. We can also coordinate your stay and tour of Singapore between other destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam or anywhere else you might like to visit. If you plan to stay in Indonesia for a few months you will likely need to do a Visa run and the most popular destination is Singapore. It's close, convinient and offers many wonders for the traveler. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the most out of your South East Asia travel experience.

Bali Singapore travel tipsSingapore's Iconic Merlion Stands Stalwart over the CitySingapore, both a country and a city, is one of the world's most successful examples of city planning. It is perhaps the cleanest city I have ever visited. I don't think I saw a single piece of rubbish on the street and hardly a blade of grass too long. Some may mistake this for sterile, lacking in culture, or unnatural, but it is a welcomed contrast to parts of Indonesia. Lets remember just a few decades ago almost none of this was here. Now it is a thriving international hub and a great example to other countries of what thier govenrment can provide for its people.

Singapore Marina Bay Bali visaThe Infinity Pool at The Marina Bay Sands Hotel provides a spectacular view of Singapore's SkylineThis photo was taken from Ku De Ta Restarant and Club (Yes, Bali has a Ku De Ta as well, but different ownership). It is a shot of the new infinity pool at The Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino.  It is the boat shaped structure sitting atop the three towers as seen in the top photograph.

Bali wellness Singapore vacationOrchids as seen in Singapore's Botanical Gardens

Singapore is a hyper-modern city with one of the best public transport systems in the world. Despite this, the green spaces of Singapore dot the city and provide wonderful places for a walk or picnic. One of the best among them is The Botanical Gardens. It is free to the public but there is a $5 Singapore Dollar charge to enter The National Orchid Garden and it is well worth it. The cool house is a special treat and photos of the pitcher plants housed here are forthcoming in a new post.

Singapore is buzzing with entertainment, fine art and plenty of shopping. There must be more malls per capita than anywhere else on earth. If you are like me and don't care for shopping, you may find yourself in these emmense and highly styled cathedrals to capitolism just to enjoy the air conditioning, um I mean architecture.

But the big draw for us is the food, the glorious, mouthwatering, food. It seems all the great and strange foods of the world all come to Singapore to intermingle and create even tastier versions of themselves. The two not to miss items are the barbeque pork buns and the world famous chili crab. It is some of the very best stuff I have ever tasted. It's not spicy as the name may suggest but the flavor is deep, rich and complex. My mouth waters as I write this blog just thinking about them. Jumbo's Restaurant offers some of the best we had.




Singapore Bali travel tips foodThe Sun Sets on Singapore's Skyline from atop The Marina Bay Sands HotelMore posts and details about where to go and what to do in Singapore are to be featured in upcoming blog posts so join our newsletter to keep updated.

Part 2 of The Bali Travel Essentials~ Singapore Visa Run ~ The Photos has been posted HERE and keep an eye out for Part 3 Singapore Food!


The Best Tips, Tricks and Gear for Travel Photographers

The Best Tips, Tricks and Gear for Travel Photographers

Just announced ~ The Bali Deep Culture Photography Tour ~ Click here to reserve your spot today!

Part 2 of this post has been completed and can be viewed HERE

Here is the list I wish I had 20 years ago when I started traveling the world taking photos.  After years of leading photography tours to Bali and Indonesia, I have had the pleasure (and sheer frustration) of using a myriad of gear, gadgets, cameras, clothing and more. Here I breakdown those that have made the cut and saved me time after time.

A quick disclaimer. I am in no way affiliated with any of these products. I have searched high and low to find the best, most durable, handiest products I could find at the best value and provided them here for you. I encourage you to use the links provided below for items you are interested in. It is easiest to right click and open in a new window or tab so you still have the window with the blog post open. In the new tab or window you can get more information and pricing. If you like what you see, simply click “Add To Cart”. I greatly appreciate you using the links to purchase directly from the blog as I get a tiny percent to help keep the blog alive. I have selected items at the best prices and all are through Amazon so you can trust the seller. Thank you for supporting us! If you want to browse The Balifornian Store at Amazon please click HERE.

I will not cover cameras and lenses, as that is a whole other blog post (and perhaps tome).  I will convey a humorous story I heard the other day from the Morro Bay Photo Group illustrating the importance of the artist behind the camera and not so much the camera itself.  At a dinner party a professional photographer was showing his work and the host was so impressed she said, “My, you must have an amazing camera”. His reply, “The food was incredible this evening, you must have a fantastic oven”.

Prior to any trip, I will start a packing list weeks prior.  By now my gear is pretty much set, but there are always new challenges with every adventure- new gear to try, or leave behind (or smash into a thousand pieces). I find a great way to keep track of this list is the Evernote app It allows you to make lists, capture photos, use voice notes, etc. to remember things and it sync with your iPhone and computer so you have it anywhere you go (even without an internet connection which is crucial in some remote areas we travel to).  Had a great bottle of wine?  Too drunk to write down the name? No problem, just take a photo of the label with Evernote and it will not only keep it for you but it can use automatic character recognition to transcribe the label text for you to make it searchable.  This is great with CD’s, DVDs, even stuff I find on the web and want to remember.

In fact, the iPhone and its millions of apps have replaced many items in my travel bag like an alarm clock, music player, compass, flashlight, etc. Although, I always carry a spare of the last two just in case.   

Now lets get to the fun stuff- The Gear.

A handy item I always include is Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger by Belkin

bali travel photography tips

Its small and it can save your precious equipment from irrecoverable destruction via electricity surges which are a common event in many countries.  The cleverly designed unit also includes two USB ports so you can change your phone and other gadgets at the same time.  This little guy not only comes in handy in other countries but also in that all to familiar airport hunt for an open outlet.  I always chuckle when I see travelers huddled on the floor around one of the few open outlets to charge their laptops and phones during a layover. Become the hero and save the day as you can not only always plug in but allow a couple other people to have access as well. It’s $25 but you can buy it here for only $12!

A product I discovered recently and really love is the iStabalizer

bast tips bali travel photography

Its $30 and is a great mini tripod not only for the iPhone but will fit any camera phone or small camera.  I used to use the gorillapod tripod but now it forces you to use its cumbersome iPhone case and is not usable with other gadgets.  The best part about it is the flexible strong legs that can wrap around many objects to secure the tripod in many otherwise impossible positions.  Wrap it to a fence, sign post, even your rear-view mirror for a great time lapse of your travels. Another cool feature is the mount unscrews ant fits right into your full size tripod when needed.  I love to set it up and do a time-lapse as I set up my big boy gear for a more formal shoot.  They also manufacture a cool video steady cam for $99 but that might be a bit much for iPhone style video shooting. You can buy the tripod here.

Speaking of time-lapse, if you have not tried it yet, do it right away.  Its fun, provides great additional coverage and is so easy to do.  There are many apps out there but I like iTime Lapse best. It’s free and has some good options.  Here is sample of one I created

Thankfully, these days most electronics will work in most countries. The safe voltage required for my iPhone, Canon battery chargers, Mac Book Pro, etc. is found in most destinations so a bulky, expensive and heavy converter is normally not required as it was many years ago.  Now a simple, lightweight and inexpesive adapter is all you need.  Simply search the web for the outlet configuration and order the proper adapter.  Just be sure you do this before you leave as it is often times very hard to find in country and if you can locate it, it will be 500% more expensive.  Most electronics are now universal but check the manufactures web site to be sure.

Pockets, pockets, pockets. I love me some pockets.  The leader in ‘modern pocket technology’ as I call them is -   They offer some great travel pants with tons of storage space and some nifty pockets that even the most skilled pickpocket (or David Blaine) can’t penetrate.  They also offer a fleece jacket with zip off sleeves that can accommodate an iPad, water bottle and tons of other gear. It even comes with a lens cleaner shammy.  The company sponsors people to do an around the world trip with no luggage, only using the pockets in their products.  While that may be a bit extreme, it can offset some of the ridiculous additional costs the airlines shove down our throats for luggage.  The downside of course is the more pockets you have, the more places you need to check so work out a system to remember where your stuff is stashed. I commonly carry pens, lens cleaners, model releases, water, etc.

Bali can get hot so I recommend wicking shirts with lots of pockets like those from North Face but you can find great deals on these at the discount stores.

My backpack is a Tamrac Aero Series Speed gear photographyGreat photographers travel gear by Tamrac It fits my 17 inch MacBook Pro, some gear, a couple lenses (even a 220-400 beast), but the coolest part is the quick access pocket that allows you to get to your camera in seconds without even taking the pack fully off.  This allows me to catch shots that I would otherwise have missed.  It also features weatherproof zippers so the rain or splashing waves wont get in and ruin your gear.  I love it and you can get yours here. Its not fully waterproof so I also carry a rain cover like this one,default,pd.html

In the back I always stash some granola bars, a headlamp, carabineers, etc.  I use a carabineer to clip my Leatherman multi-tool to the front of my pack, not inside, so I always have it handy for many uses including protection.  Obviously you can’t bring it on the plane so remember to always put it in your checked gear so it doesn’t get confiscated or get you locked up in the pokey. Purchase yours HERE

bali indonesia travel photography


Camera gear and lenses are very expensive and heavy so you may want to look into renting gear specific for the type of adventure you are embarking upon.  In some countries you can even rent the cameras, lenses and equipment there so you don't need to lug them back and forth (also saving you some money on those bogus luggage fees).

Of course I also travel with an external hard drive.  Lacie makes good rugged drives that are known thier reliability.  Here is a link to purchase.  I also like Western Digital's drives but they are not as good for traveling. I also carry a card reader, extra batteries, polarizing filter, etc.

A good final tip is too make your expensive gear look as crappy as you can.  Some people are attached to their labels and brands but I don't want to stand out and be a target.  I use a sharpie to cover up labels, brand names, etc.  I also switch out my Canon neck strap for an aftermarket one. It’s more comfortable too.

I hope these tips and tips are helpful and please share your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you. Do you have any gear you cant live without?

Come join us on one of our Photography tours and learn even more tips, trick and ideas.  Please check out some of our tours and we specialize in fully custom tours to see exactly what YOU want.

Aside from Bali, we can take you to Borneo, Papua, Komodo, Tana Toraja, and any other of the 17,000 islands of Indonesia.

We have lead teams of documentary filmmakers and amateur and professional photographers from all over the world. We know many secret spots that most people never see and we have special access to help make the trip as unique as possible.

Part 2 of this series has been completed and can be viewed HERE.  You can EMAIL me to get on our mailing list to be notified for future updates.

You may also like...

Top 10 Experiences Not To Miss on Your Bali Vacation

Strange Brew- Worlds Priciest Drink? Indo's Secret

Great Insider’s Travel Tips to Amed, Bali



Photo of the Day ~ Introspective Cockfighter ~ Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog

While the implications of cockfighting can be debated, the fact is that it is a deep element of Indonesian and Balinese culture.  Some events draw thousands of participants and onlookers and the organized chaos is both fascinating and frightening.  Its not for everyone certainly, but it is an interesting look into the culture and the history of the Balinese people.

I thought this to be an interesting moment. Amist all the chaos, screaming, betting, chanting, fighting, blood spilling, etc., this young man took a contemplative moment to himself (and his fighter) in the moments leading up to battle in Singaraja in Northern Bali.

Singaraja, Bali cockfighterAlthough in 1981 the Indonesian government made cockfighting and gambling illegal, it is deemed as merely a suggestion and the 'sport' continues to this day.

The huge shiny 'Taji' or blade attached to the chicken's foot is readily apparent in this photograph and one can only imagine the damage that this metal talon can inflict.  There is much lore attached to this mysterious and deadly object; menstruating women can not gaze upon it, it can only be sharpened under the moonlight, only very special charcoal from a tree hit by lightning can be used to forge the steel, it can not be handled by a member of a family that has recently had a deceased member, and the lore goes on and on.

Regardless of the views of westerners and other outsiders, cockfighting is tightly entwined into the Balinese culture and even religion. Part of Balinese Hinduism involves sacrifice and offerings and sometimes even blood sacrifice.  The cock and its owner spend a great deal of time together and its owner spends a great deal of money and effort to care for and prep the animal for battle.  A strong bond is formed and for the man to risk his prized pet is considered an offering to the gods.


A Second International Airport for Bali?

If you have traveled to Bali, you know the airport needs some help.  Balifornian tours and travel blog has some secrets for our tour participants to relieve this hassle but most people are just stuck.  This new airport could be a great imporvement. ~ ed


Government Reveals Plans for Multiple City Air Hubs for Jakarta and Bali.

Bali News: A Second International Airport for Bali?
The Indonesian Ministry of Communications is reported to be seriously studying the creation of two new international airports for Jakarta and Bali while, at the same time, optimizing the use of the existing airports in those two destinations.

The plan was announced by the Vice-Minister of Transportation, Bambang Susantono, at a seminar examining opportunities and challenges for the Indonesian economy in 2011 held in Jakarta on Saturday, January 8, 2011.

Said Susantono: "The study that is most advanced at the moment is for multiple airports or one city served by several airports. For example, in New York there are three airports. Well, that's what we want to develop in Jakarta, possibly using the existing (two) airports in the city." He revealed that the government was also reviewing the creation of another international airport in Bali while, at the same time, seeking to optimize the use of the existing facility – the Ngurah Rai International Airport. 

He said no final decision had been made on where to build a second airport for Bali.
The current proposals under government review are based on a public-private partnership (PPP) model in which private enterprise would help build and operate new airports.  The latest resurfacing of the idea of a second airport for Bali, made during the Jakarta seminar, immediately featured as front page news in the Bali Post, rekindling popular long-standing speculation in support a new airport in Bali's north at Buleleng.

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to All images and graphics are copyright protected.