BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. GOING AGAIN
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