Denpasar is the largest city and capital of the island of Bali, Indonesia.
As of October 2005, departure taxes of Rp 100,000 for international and Rp 30,000 for domestic flights are charged, payable in rupiah cash only.
Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS) is Bali's only airport and the second-busiest in all Indonesia, serving not only domestic destinations but major cities throughout Asia and Australia as well. It's a fairly modern and clean, if not exactly exciting, place and is equipped with most facilities a traveller would need. There are two separate terminals for international and domestic flights, but they're within walking distance of each other. Beware of the porters, who will grab your bags off the belt, accompany you to the money changer and expect to get paid for the "service".
Despite the name, Denpasar airport is actually located south of Kuta, some 20 kilometers away. The most hassle-free way to get from the airport to your destination anywhere on Bali is to either arrange a pick-up or use the prepaid Airport Taxi Service. If you take a normal taxi outside, check the posted fares for an estimate and insist on the meter. Buses to Tegal bus station in central Denpasar take about 50 minutes.
Denpasar is the bemo hub of Bali. Inconveniently, bemo terminals are scattered all around town, and transfers between them can be time-consuming. The major ones are:
- Batubulan, 6 km northeast, for points central and east (Kintamani, Tampaksiring, Ubud)
- Tegal, to the west, for southern Bali (Kuta, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua)
- Ubung, to the north, for points north and west (Gilimanuk, Singaraja)
Taxi fares should run to about 5000 Rup. for the first 2 km and 2000 Rup. per km afterwards. If you have a group of people, you may want to negotiate a bemo (small van) for a set rate to your destination. Remember that pricing is negotiable. Indonesians are great people, however they won't think twice about overcharging you if they can. It is just part of the culture.
Go to the beach! The waves are a lot of fun and quite large.
Be careful when changing money. There are some great cons. Always know exactly how much you should be getting in trade for your currency before you go to exchange. Once you are at the desk make sure that you count the money more than twice, and always be sure that you are the last one to "touch" it and count it. If they see that you are not going to be easily fooled, often they will change the exchange rate and/or act like you are being difficult and call off the transaction. This is fine, as there are hundreds of exchange places. There are very legitimate ones that will do a straight deal. The Central Kuta chain is across the island and is honest and reliable, and have the same rates as the dishonest ones. Tips: Do not let them rush you. Negotiate how much Rp. per your currency before you begin counting. Ask for larger bills. This makes it harder for them to trick you. It can be fun, in a sick sort of way, to see how they were trying to trick you. You can be pretty safe if you know exactly how much you should get in RP before you even walk in the door. Don't accept torn or old bills and remember the RP10.000 notes look very much like the RP100.000 notes. Have fun. If they pull one over on you, do not let it get to you. Just tell yourself with the exchange rate it really wasn't that much. Avoid the money changers down little gangs (alleys), or ones that are a part of another shop, for example a camera shop or leather shop and you will generally be fine. The island is a whole lot of fun.