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Night buses from Bali usually arrive just before sunrise. Travellers are often deposited bleary-eyed at a travel agency and subjected to the hard sell. Avoid this by hopping in a yellow bemo going to the bus terminal (5000Rp), where onward transport can be easily organized independently.
It is possible to charter a bemo cheaply, haggle for it. Bemos start running at sunrise.
All the bus destinations are written up clearly at the terminal and it is best to deal directly with the bus companies, rather than the tourist office. The Bayuangga bus terminal is on the west side of town, about 5 km from the centre, on the road up to Bromo. Bemos whisk bus passengers into town (2500Rp). Regular connections with Surabaya, 2 hrs, 28,000Rp, Malang 3 hrs, and Banyuwangi, 4 hrs, 50,000Rp. Night buses to Denpasar, 8 hrs, at least 2 a day at 1200 and 1930, US$13, economy buses are every hour. A/c buses to Singaraja (for Lovina), Jakarta, US$23; Denpasar, Yogya and Solo, US$9, are available at regular times. Many buses to Yogya and Solo go via Surabaya, adding considerable time to the journey. Check whether it’s direct.
To Cemoro Lawang, 2 hrs, 20,000Rp, leave when full (15 people). The 1st bus is scheduled to leave at 0700, but there is often a long wait for it to fill up. The last bus to Cemoro Lawnag leaves at 1700. It is possible to charter a minibus for the trip for 180,000Rp. Alternatively, hire an ojek for 60,000Rp, not much fun with a lot of luggage. If you arrive in Probolinggo later than 1600 for Gunung Bromo, the only option is to charter a minibus or hire an ojek (60,000Rp).
TrainThe train station is on the main square or Alun-alun, on Jl KH Mansyur, regular eksekutif and bisnis connections with Surabaya and Banyuwangi. There is a direct economy-class train to Yogyakarta.
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Bank Central Asia, Jl Suroyo. Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Jl Suroyo. BNI, Jl Suroyo.
Jl Suroyo 33.
Wartel, Jl Jend A Yani.
Bali is the original magical isle. From the earliest years after its bloody incorporation into the expanding territories of the Dutch East Indies in the early 20th century, Westerners have been entranced by the heady combination of fabulous landscape and mesmerizing culture. Streams cascade down impossibly green mountainsides from sacred crater lakes, while dance dramas are performed to please the gods. Artists and the artistically inclined settled, worked and died amidst the rice fields and temples, reluctant to leave their Garden of Eden.The advent of cheap air travel has brought increasing numbers of visitors, interested more in the attractions of the beach than of the temple and theatre. Today, hundreds of thousands of people visit Bali, many scarcely aware of the world beyond the sun lounger and the cocktail shaker. But while Bali may have changed – and the notion that the island is on the verge of being ‘ruined’ is a constant motif in writings about the island from the 1930s – the singular magic of the place has not been erased. As tourists continued to pour onto the island the calm was shattered in October 2002 by bombings in Kuta blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah. Many people were killed, and for months afterwards tourists stayed away, savagely damaging the island’s economy. Just as plane-loads of sun seekers were starting to return, a second wave of bombings hit Kuta and Jimbaran in 2005 further decimating the island’s reputation and economy. It has been a rough decade for the Balinese tourism industry, and some places continue to be affected by low numbers of visitors. However, tourists are again returning in droves, particularly tourists from emerging markets such as Russia and China, and the future is looking bright.