From sharks to crocodiles to luxury, this trip had it all

Our 12 days aboard Silversea's newest expedition vessel, Silver Discoverer, were adventurous and memorable. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Our 12 days aboard Silversea’s newest expedition vessel, Silver Discoverer, were adventurous and memorable. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

On Saturday, May 24, I disembarked Silverseas Silver Discovererin the port of Bali after a 12-day journey through Australia’s Kimberley Coast and the remote islands of Indonesia. A local cultural performance was organized for passengers pierside, and traditional music filled the air as I disembarked and made my way to the Money Changer in the Passenger Terminal to change some cash into Indonesian Rupiah for my journey home.

The Balinese two-step

The arrivals and departures courtyard at Bali Denpasar International Airport. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The arrivals and departures courtyard at Bali Denpasar International Airport. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

At Bali Denpasar International, they have an interesting little…system…going on. You have to have 200,000 Indonesian Rupiah (about US$20) in-hand, in-cash, in order to leave the country. It’s not a departure tax. They call it a “Passenger Services Charge”, which I have to admit I have an issue with, not least because you have to have all-cash and correct change only. I asked for a receipt when I paid mine and was told, ‘No receipt.’

To complicate matters, there’s no currency exchange bureau at the airport, which puts Denpasar Bali on a rather small list of international airports that lack even the most basic facilities. But once you clear security (where they’re more concerned with seeing the “Passenger Services Charge” sticker on the back of your boarding pass), you’re treated to every conceivable brand of high-end shopping known to man. It’s a pity there’s only a coffee shop and a small restaurant once you get through security. Seems they forgot about the food, too…

Before long, I was on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport, and from there, homeward bound.

Transiting through Hong Kong International Airport on my journey home. Reportedly, Terminal 1 (shown here) is the third largest airport terminal in the world. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Transiting through Hong Kong International Airport on my journey home. Reportedly, Terminal 1 (shown here) is the third largest airport terminal in the world. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The full Live Voyage Report in its entirety:

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Our Live Voyage Report from Silversea’s adventurous Silver Discoverer has sadly come to a close. Be sure to follow along with our upcoming Live Voyage Reports on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

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