AirAsia ASEAN Pass Review

This is my review entry of my recent ASEAN trip using the AirAsia ASEAN Pass. It has been launched way back 2014. Before I left for the United States, I was eyeing to do an ASEAN tour and has been very interested to use the pass. I’ve been reading a lot of reviews and most of them were negatives so, I am making my own review based on the experiences I had.

AirAsia ASEAN Pass has two different kind of passes, the 10- and 20-credit passes. I bought the AirASEAN Pass for 10 credits costing USD160. Once I purchased the pass, it is valid for 1 year from the date I bought it or 30 days from the day I made my first redemption and 60 days for the 20-credit pass. Since I’ve been to Thailand, VietNam and Cambodia, the choices of countries to visit are cut in half. Thus, making it easier for me to decide since I also have a list of nation that I would love to see. I chose to visit Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore for these reasons;

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Closer image of Petronas Twin Towers

Malaysia – due to the fact that it is the centerpoint of every flight and also the main hub for AirAsia. So, I can get really good flights spending only 1 credit.

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Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Indonesia – for the main reason that my cousin wants to visit the famous tourist attraction, Bali, and;

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Merlion Park

Singapore – because I’ve been wanting to visit this place when I was still working back in the Philippines as a customer service representative.

This is how I allotted my credits to travel those countries.klI flew from Manila to Kuala Lumpur via different airlines since I got a really good deal with Cebu Pacific Air. Once I got to Kuala Lumpur, I spent my 3 credits to get to Bali then 3 credits to Singapore and the last 3 credits back to Cebu, making a total of 9 credits. I just made sure to check my flights early so I can have more choices to choose from. Seats are really limited so the earlier the booking, the better. After I chose my flights, I just pinned my bought credits to the chosen time and date of my flight and it’s automatically booked. The sad thing about it is the credits only pays the airfare so, other fees like travel tax, airline tax and airport fees are not included and it’ll be out of pocket expenses. But those fees are not that expensive.

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I still have 1 credit for AirAsia ASEAN Pass.

As as summary, the pass is really great if you plan your trip ahead of time like 2-3 months. If you’re flexible with changing itineraries, your budget, your accommodation or places to stay then, you can save and have fun traveling the ASEAN countries. It is all about planning. So for my AirAsia ASEAN pass review, it was worth it and I got to save some money while having the trip of my life. Instead of spending those hard earned cash to airline fares and transportation, I got to spend it to tours, souvenirs, foods and etc. and of course, I got to take a photo of these picturesque places.

For full details, check AirAsia website at https://www.airasia.com/en/home.page?cid=1

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Terima Kasih Wonderful Indonesia

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Updated List of Countries That I Would Love to Visit

Fifth on my list of countries that I would love to visit is Indonesia. After my trip in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I headed to another ASEAN country. This time it is touristy and near the beach. The place is also famous to a lot of beach and surf lovers but it is widely popular to most Australians. I went to Bali, Indonesia and I am so grateful that I have decided to come over. It was a great time when I was there and terima kasih wonderful Indonesia.

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Indonesia’s Travel Logo

Indonesia is a Southeast Asian nation made up of an archipelago. It is the world’s largest island country with numerous volcanoes. The capital of the country is Jakarta. Indonesia shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, VietNam, Australia, Palau and the Philippines. It has 34 provinces and Bali is one of those. Bali is the most popular island holiday destination in the country. It has iconic rice paddies, beaches, temples and forested volcanic mountains.

Flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Bali, Indonesia took about 3 hours. I arrived in Bali at 2230H almost midnight. I went directly to the beach resort which I booked in advance. I was staying in Legian Beach area. The trip from the airport to Legian was about 30 minutes. When I got to the resort, finished with check-in procedure at about 2AM. Then, I called it a day and let my feet rest and shut my eyes. I checked-in Fourteen Roses Beach Hotel.

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Fourteen Roses Beach Hotel Street Logo cr. agoda

I woke up early at 0500H even though I only slept for 3 hours but I got to see the sunrise in Bali. It was just a 5-min walk from the beach hotel to Legian Beach. I could say that I’m in Asia because I got to see the same sunrise I used to witness when I was still in the Philippines. The sea breeze was refreshing, the sand were fine to touch, the water was cold to the feet, the waves were relaxing, the view was splendid. It was a well deserved vacation.

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Legian Beach

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Kuta Beach

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Sunrise at the beach

After the watching the sun rising, I headed back to the hotel for a free Indonesian breakfast. I took a rest in my room after that delectable breakfast and after an hour, I went out to explore the place. I was looking for a pair of slippers so, I decided to go to the nearest mall which is the Beachwalk. The Beachwalk was still closed when I got there. They opened at 1000H. To kill the time, I sat and ordered some delicious dessert and drink in Starbucks.

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Purple yam cheesecake and green matcha frappe

Few minutes, the Beachwalk opened and I strolled around. It was a decent mall but what caught my attention were the stores just across the mall. They were a lot of stalls selling Indonesian and Balinese products. Since I am a frugal traveler, I bought some unique Indonesian souvenirs.

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The Beachwalk

After I was done doing my business at the stores, I walked back to the hotel and took a nap. The weather in Bali was humid and warm, it makes you sweat like a dog and makes you tired easily. An hour after I had a nap, I took a dip in their enticing swimming pool.

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Fourteen Roses swimming pool

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Swimming Pool

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Swimming Pool with Bar

I enjoyed swimming that I didn’t notice the time that I forgot about dinner, so, I just had room service sent my supper. Then, I got some zzzs. The next day, I got my tour to the northern part of the island province of Bali. The driver/ tour guide picked us up at 0830H. It was an hour or two drive to Bedugul from Legian.

Bedugul is famous for its picturesque location. Much more added fame to the world is its water temple surrounded by mountains that has been advertised worldwide. Bedugul is a mountain lake resort area in the province. It is located near Lake Bratan and enjoys the mild mountain weather which is cool. Major site in Bedugul is the water temple I was talking about. It is the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan.

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Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan or Pura Beratan is a major Shaivite water temple. Shaivite or Shaivism is one of the major and oldest Hinduism sect that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being. Pura Beratan serves the entire region and the complex is situated on the shores of Lake Bratan. This water temples were built to used as a site for offerings ceremony to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu due to the importance of the lake as a main source of irrigation in Central Bali. Lake Bratan is known as the Lake of Holy Mountain due to its fertile land.

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Within Pura Beratan’s grounds

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Closed gate in Pura Beratan

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The Most Photographed View in Indonesia

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Pura Beratan showing 11 pelinggih meru as the principal shrine of the Balinese temple.

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Pura Ulun Danu Bratan in Bedugul

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Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

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Pura Beratan’s own mouse deer, I guess lol

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Before entering Pura Beratan’s gate

We were in Pura Beratan for an hour. It was an amazing vista. Not only that, the coolness and freshness of the air were awesome. It was the main point of my visit in Bali. After getting some great photos of the water temple, we headed to this restaurant with the view of rice paddies. It was an all-Indonesian food buffet. The name of the restaurant is Pacung Restaurant in Tabanan-Baturiti in Bali.

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Rice Terraces view while dining in Pacung Restaurant

After we had a delectable lunch, our tour guide/ driver sent us to another temple. This temple is situated in Ubud, Gianyar Regency of Bali. It is the Ubud Palace or officially called as Puri Saren Agung which is a historical complex. The palace is the official residence of the royal family. Unfortunately when we were there, the palace was under renovation. We left a little bit early since they were doing some remodeling. The palace usually hosts Balinese dances in the afternoon but Ubud is somehow distant to my hotel and there are more locations to visit so we can’t stay til the cultural dance.

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Under renovation

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Inside Ubud Royal Palace

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Ginormous Gate in Ubud Royal Palace

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Another huge gate in Puri Saren Agung

The next stop was another temple. The temple is located in Batuan. Batuan is a village and is noted for its artwork and style of painting and has since emerged as the major Balinese artistic style known as the Batuan painting. The village is known as the major painting center and contains a number of galleries and cooperative art societies which have played a key role in promoting Batuan art. There are two major temples in the village, the Pura Puseh and Pura Dasar. These temples are built in classical Balinese temple architecture style with elaborate carvings.

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Batuan Temple

The Batuan temple area consists of a meeting hall called Wantilan where visitors can borrow from local people for ‘kamben’ which is a traditional Balinese costume. Every guests has to wear kamben to show respect and honor about the holiness of Puseh Temple of the Batuan village. The entrance is for free but they accept donation for the maintenance of the temple. There are many stunning ancient relics from prehistoric sites that will show how Hindu culture influences Bali and these temples have been a place of worship both to their ancestors and worshiped Hindu Deities.

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Batuan Temple grounds

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Batuan Temple grounds with tourists

Few minutes to almost an hour of touring the temple, we left the temple. We traveled on the road again and we had a few stops while trying to get back to our hotel.

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Stores near Ubud Royal Palace

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Balinese Souvenirs

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The strongest and famous Luwak coffee comes from this furry animal, Luwak.

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Pretty and intricate sculpture statue in the discount store in Kuta

My Bali adventure was outstanding. I got enough rest and relaxation and on top of that, I also got to explore some part of the island. My temple experience was memorable and I took a lot of nice memories while I was there. One thing I can say is terima kasih Wonderful Indonesia. It was indeed a wonderful vacation I got.

Check my YouTube vlog for my Bali adventure at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7bnqMTg3A8

IATA Code: DPS – Ngurah Rai International Airport

International Air Transport Association (IATALocation Identifier uses a 3-letter code to identify locations of airports throughout the world.

Ngurah Rai International Airport with IATA code of DPS is the main airport in Bali, Indonesia which is located south of the capital of the province of Bali, Denpasar. The airport is considered the gateway to Bali. It is the 3rd busiest airport in Indonesia. It also has been awarded as the world’s third best airport during 2016 based on their services. The airport is named after I Gusti Ngurah Rai who was a Balinese hero who died after against the Dutch during the Indonesian Revolution. The airport location is well planned. It is located in Tuban which is between Kuta and Jimbaran and is close to the tourist locations of southern Bali; the resort center of Kuta and its beach as well as the capital of Bali, Denpasar which is located nearby.

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DPS/ Ngurah Rai International Airport

As the traveler enter thru the departure area of the airport, the airport boasts its amazing Balinese architecture. Then, everyone is welcomed with lights that looked like legs of a millipede with flight board information hanging at the middle. Guests walked thru what it appears like the lighted gate and once inside, signs such as check-in counters, promenade, baggage packing area and pick-up zones can be seen.dps04dps03dps02

Departure hall consists of check-in counters, foreign and local stores, and immigration counters. Having flight early in the morning is a plus, a passenger can do the whole check-in, immigration process and boarding within an hour along with security check after immigration.

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Stores

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Check-In Counters

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Immigration Sign

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Immigration Counters

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Security Check

Once a traveler passed thru immigration, it’s the boarding and transfer gates. The boarding and transfer gates have duty free stores and more local and international stores, and of course a wide and spacious boarding gates with decorations and amenities and services for guests while waiting for their boarding call. DPS’ boarding gate area has kids zone, charging stations, flowers and orchids decorations. The boarding area is long but just right to accommodate all flyers coming and going.

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Duty Free Shops

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More Shops

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Departure Gates 2-9

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Flowery Décor

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Long Walkway to Boarding Gates

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Kids Zone

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Charging Station

Airport won’t be complete if it doesn’t have an arrival area. Ngurah Rai International Airport has a spacious arrival hall. A passenger won’t get lost with signs and directions everywhere both in Indonesian and English language. The airport has this big sign welcoming every guests in Indonesia. Right after deplaning, individual will pass thru quarantine, immigration, baggage claim and customs. The whole process was fast even though there were a lot of tourists. Stepping out the arrival hall is the pick-up zone. It was a little bit odd to have a weird-looking sculpture welcoming you outside on the arrival area but it was cool.

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Welcome to Indonesia

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Arrival Hall Directions

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Baggage Claim Area

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Customs Check

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Weird-looking sculpture just outside the Arrival area

DPS or Ngurah Rai International Airport is well maintained, clean, spacious, well lit, well managed. It’s an all praise from me and is indeed worthy to be called a third best airport in the world last year. It is the main gateway to a touristy destination of Bali but they can manage whatever number of tourists thrown at them. DPS is a truly 5-star airport for me.