Thursday, October 30, 2014

Madeleine's Bali tips

Hola

I thought I would share some traveller's tips on holidaying in Bali which will hopefully make things easier for you if you visit there (and you must go, it is truly unique and beautiful). It also gives me an excuse to post some more photos that I took whilst there!

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Pack light - seriously. Firstly you don't need to take much makeup at all. I just used a tinted moisturiser and a waterproof mascara most days. But don't forget your skin care regime though as a change in weather can make your skin go crazy!!
Secondly, you only need to pack light weight clothing, forget the jeans and the woollen cardigans, you won't wear them. Not only will your luggage be lighter ... you won't be dying in the heat!

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You will need to have cash for entry and exit to Indonesia. You will need an entry Visa when you get there, it's said that you need to bring $35 US but you don't have to bring US currency they will also accept rupiah.
Then there is a departure tax so make sure you have enough rupiah to leave the country! I didn't have quite enough left so I had to wander around the airport trying to find an ATM! It's certainly a lot easier if you leave enough cash for your exit.

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Speaking of money. I find it's easier to have foreign currency before you leave home so that you don't have to worry about changing your money after a long flight. If you find that you do need extra cash whilst in Bali be very wary of money changers as they will try to cheat you if you aren't careful! Also beware of ATMs, a lot have skimming devices. My advice is go to a reputable bank or ATM, your hotel or hostel should be able to tell you where the closest one is. If you do find yourself being ripped off at a money changer let your hotel reception know and they will try to sort it out and hopefully get your money back!

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It's a good idea not to rush out and buy anything on the first day or at least until you are used to the currency and bartering system.
When bartering at markets go 50-60% of the price you are offered. The stall holders are very skilful at bartering and if you are not you could end up paying $30 for something which isn't worth $10!
Also Bali has some fantastic boutiques as well as some really awesome workshops and artisan places so explore beyond the Kuta markets and tourist shops. Seminyak has lots of boutique style shops, try Ubud for jewellery and handmade wares.

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At the beach be careful where you swim as some beaches have a very strong undercurrent. I just put my feet in and almost got carried out to sea! Some beaches are monitored and have flags out to swim between similar to what we do in Australia.
Don't take valuables to the beach. I think that's a given anywhere ... but just in case!!
A lot of beaches in Bali attract local vendors who walk up and down the beach all day long trying to get you to buy anything from bracelets and sunglasses to massages and paintings! Just politely but firmly decline these sellers especially if you just want to relax...they eventually get the message and leave you alone. But do pay the money to rent a chair and an umbrella for the day it's relatively cheap and worth it in my opinion!

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Don't be an arrogant tourist. It's awful how some tourists think that because of the country they come from they can disrespect locals and just be rude for no reason. The lifestyle is much more relaxed in Bali, so you might need to slow yourself down and just go with the flow! You are on vacation just relax and have fun! There's no point in being on a downer because things aren't going your way! If you stay positive you will have a much better vacation. And the thousands of dollars you have spent will be worth it.

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Food in Bali has a bad reputation. Everyone has heard of Bali belly but it shouldn't stop you from enjoying food. (We had one lady come up to us outside some warungs (traditional cafes), asking if we had eaten the food there because she was scared to ... most of the food was packaged). Yes use caution when eating but don't worry to the extreme. Most restaurants are fine, you can eat salads and have ice in your drink without any problems, but use caution if buying food from a street vendor and don't eat the food if you think it may have been sitting there for a while.
Since most restaurants cater towards westerners' tastes there is a lot of variety in the food they offer and you will often find a large range of western style food as well as local cuisine on the menu.

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Another word of warning that may be obvious but if you are offered drugs on the street just ignore them unless you want to end up in jail. Often they are undercover police posing as drug dealers and if you are caught in possession of drugs the sentence is the death penalty. I was walking through a shopping area when I got offered Xanax and Valium, which totally caught me off guard because I was in shopping mode but I just kept walking.

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Just one final tip. Many locals in Bali are quite poor and even the ones that have a job aren't earning very much money by our standards. This means that there are plenty of people trying to take some of the tourist dollar by whatever means they can and scammers abound. Sometimes it feels like everywhere you go there is someone pushing you to buy something! So watch your wallet/purse in crowded areas, be wary of anyone trying to sell you anything and firmly say no to anything you don't like or want.

Take the time to get to know the locals as the majority are friendly and kind but most of all they genuinely want tourists to have a good time so that they will return to Bali for their next holiday!

Feel free to add your own travel tips for Bali in the comments!
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Monday, September 29, 2014

No passengers on my plane




Dress - Mister Zimi
Heels - Sportsgirl
Sunglasses - Roc Eyewear
Hat - Topshop






Hola
I'm back from beautiful Bali. I had a really nice relaxing trip, I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things (not gonna lie I've been a bit lazy over the past week!!). Although it doesn't look like it I even managed to get a slight tan while there ... for me anyway! 

I took lots and lots of photos while in Bali which I am sorting through and will organise them into a photo diary on here within the next few days.

Today I am wearing a dress I picked up in Seminyak from the Mister Zimi store. I'm not sure what attracted me to this dress as it is well and truly something I would never pick up in Melbourne! Definitely out of my comfort zone from what I usually wear but I really love it. I love the colours but I also love how the colourful panels are broken with black stripes. The dress is a thickish material so it's perfect for a nice spring day in Melbourne! I have paired it with plain black accessories.

Have a great week and enjoy the weather wherever you are!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The pool slider - My top 6

Hola

I am currently in Bali! I have been here since last Wednesday, I have been relaxing and just soaking up the sun after being cooped up inside for the majority of winter! I'll fill you in a bit more and do a proper post on my trip when I get back.

Today I am sharing with you my latest obsession..."the pool sliders"!

While they aren't the best looking shoes (I have dubbed them "the ugly shoe") they are everywhere this season and look like they will be a staple throughout summer! But you either love them or you hate them. I have only recently joined the love side myself!!  When I was looking for sandals to take away with me, there was nothing that really drew my eye except for these slider shoes. After looking around I decided to go for the Birkenstocks just because I knew I would be doing a lot of walking and they support your foot a bit more than some of the others. I chose a black pair and I'm so glad I did, I have been walking everywhere in them and they go with just about every type of outfit!

Here a few of my favourite sliders:
Pool Sliders
| 1. Windsor Smith - Yang $99.95 |  2. Betts - Slider $69.99 |  3. Birkenstock Arizona $120 |
| 4. Kate Spade - Attitude Buddle Slide $239 | 5. Sportsgirl - Cross over slide $48.97 | 6. ASOS - Feodore Slides $34.22 |
(Sorry, the ASOS ones are sold out during the making of this post!)

Just about every store that sells shoes are selling their own take on the trend so if none of these are taking your fancy I'm sure you will easily find ones you like! 

Do you love or loathe sliders? 
What is your go to summer shoe?
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

My current playlist

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Hola

I haven't shared a playlist for ages on my blog and well I thought it would nice to share my current playlist with you guys via Spotify. I found it to be the easiest way to show you what I'm listening to without a billion links to click through!

So here is what I have been absolutely loving recently! My playlists change constantly but these songs are keeping me super motivated and inspired at the moment. I listen to these when I'm working out, cleaning, driving and just dancing around the room! Hope you enjoy these too!




Also this song isn't on Spotify and its actually one of my current favourites! Never thought I would be super keen on a Taylor Swift song but this one is perfect!




Let me know what songs you are loving and which ones are on your current playlist! 
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