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Bali-Denpasar International Airport

June 2012
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One of the more interesting airports I have used in my travels is the Bali-Denpasar International Airport. I was not able to take photos when we arrived at the airport as it was already late and our group was already feeling tired from the long flight from Manila via Singapore. We also didn’t expect the long walk from the terminal to the parking lot where the guide who fetched us left his vehicle. Thus, the following photos were taken on our departure when we had some time to explore the nice airport.

Check-in – we were quite early at the airport and were directed to the early check-in counters. I wanted to take more photos but was aware of the tight security at the airport check-in area, and didn’t want to risk being accosted by airport security.

Where to? – Directional signs at one of the junctions inside the airport

Time out – the spot in front of a world map with international times on display seems to be a favorite resting place for airport maintenance staff though I am not really sure about the intended use of the steel poles.

Burning time – travelers exchanging stories near a junction where stands a statue of the mythical figure Garuda, the King of Avians who is the inspiration for the name of Indonesia’s national airline

Shopping mall – inside the airport, the layout reminded me of shopping malls as corridors were lined with shops and restaurants.

Shop and eat – while the prices indicated in the menus of restaurants were reasonable (read: they compare favorably to prices at restaurants outside the airport), the goods in the shops were priced for tourists (read: a bit expensive even considering duty free privileges). You can try haggling with some shops especially for local products like batik or souvenirs but you won’t be able to get prices close to shops elsewhere like, say, Bali Collection.

Must try and must buy – Indonesia chocolates are available at the airport. The Monggo brand has many variants and the prices seem reasonable though I assume they are even cheaper if bought outside the airport. We didn’t have time to go to a regular supermarket and so had to do some quick shopping at the airport.

Ancient and modern – Indonesian national carrier Garuda B737 docked at the airport. Garuda, of course, also refers to the mythical God-king of the birds.

Ancient gateway? – I am reminded of the Sci Fi series Stargate everytime I look at this photo. Such architecture gives the airport a lot of character as it banks on the cultural heritage of the region.

The older wing of the airport with its clay-tiled roofs is shown on the right.

Another look at the Balinese structure with a modern air bridge and the newer wing of the terminal in the background on the left.

Corridor and more shops along the way towards our boarding gate.

Benches – there were few seats near the entrance to the departure lounge. There were only two 4-seaters that were spaced a bit far from the next set of seats.

Airport fee – Bali-Denpasar charges a 150,000 Rp (about 16.20 USD) fee for international passengers that is paid prior to the immigration counters.

No seats? – passengers starting to crowd around benches just across from the door and the final security check to the pre-departure area. Airport staff would not allow passengers early for their flights to enter the area. It seemed to some of us that this was also a ploy for people to patronize the restaurants and shops outside the pre-departure area. There were no concessions inside.

Waiting for the call – fellow passengers waiting for our respective boarding calls

Familiar layout – the layout of the departure lounge including the boarding gates at Bali-Denpasar reminded me of the layout of the old domestic airport in Manila.

Counters – airline ground staff will eventually arrive to process passengers for boarding

Bali-Denpasar is actually constructing an even larger airport. This is necessary given what seems to be hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to Bali mostly for recreation. The current terminal is already congested and the wise investment is for a huge modern terminal for this gateway to Indonesia. The determined push for a new terminal is admirable and seems to be what the Philippines lacks for in terms of critical aviation infrastructure that would be able to handle the projected passenger demand should the country want to attract more tourists.


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