BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. GO­ING AGAIN

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - WELCOME MOTEL MEXICOLA -

You’ll prob­a­bly curse me the rest of the day for writ­ing this, but here it goes: “Fly­ing kan­ga­roo out of Den­pasar/Left me cam­era in the air­port bar/I’ve been to Bali, I’ve been to Bali too.” Ev­ery time we write about Bali in Es­cape, which is of­ten, the lyrics to Redgum’s 1984 ode to scoot­ers in Kuta, tra­di­tional In­done­sian pup­pet shows, mozzie bites and sun­burn, be­comes an in­ces­sant loop in my head and if you’re my vin­tage you’ll pos­si­bly find it be­comes an ear­worm for you too, so apolo­gies for that. (As a side note, when I sing it, it makes me won­der if there are any other songs that men­tion the top­i­cal an­ti­sep­tic Mer­curochrome. Just cu­ri­ous.)

I’ve per­son­ally been to Bali five times, the first trip just be­fore the afore­men­tioned song was re­leased, when jak­paks were the pur­chase du jour. These colour­ful patch­work jack­ets, con­ve­niently struc­tured to fold into a small, por­ta­ble pouch, ap­pealed to many a tourist – my 14-year-old self in­cluded – and looked quite fetch­ing in the mar­ket stalls of Sa­nur. How­ever, like many a souvenir, the rain­bow, hip­pie aes­thetic failed to have the same ap­peal back home.

My most re­cent es­cape to Bali – an is­land that con­sis­tently ranks in the top five places Aus­tralians go for their an­nual leave – was ear­lier this year. Now, with a few decades of hol­i­day shop­ping un­der my belt, the pur­chases – a sil­ver ring and white cot­ton sun­dress – were more thought­ful.

If you’ve not been to Bali but are head­ing there this sum­mer, our Bali cor­re­spon­dent, Jenny Hewett, has put to­gether a cover story filled with the ba­sics. From the time you land, to the re­turn trip, she’s got the es­sen­tials cov­ered. “Touch down, touch down Tul­la­ma­rine,” you’ve been to Bali too. JANA FRAW­LEY, NA­TIONAL TRAVEL EDI­TOR

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