Introduction: Going diving in the Ring of Fire

Ask any diving enthusiast about Indonesia, and you’ll probably get them started about Lombok and the Gili Islands. I’m no pro, but I always wanted to see what the hype was all about. So early this year, I started working on an itinerary which would take me diving, snorkelling, and surfing in the blue waters around Bali. A week later, my Bali trip from India was all chalked out. On my way back, I chose a long layover at Hong Kong to catch up with a friend over breakfast.Bali trip from India

But the universe had different plans. Just a couple of weeks from my departure, a deadly earthquake rocked the islands, causing significant damage and death. Lombok and surrounding islands were evacuated. As a result, my plans went for a toss. I could have cancelled the plan altogether, but to get a few days off is a luxury that I was not planning to let go off. Now, the idea was to move about mainland Bali possibly go snorkelling near the Nusa Islands.


The complete trip was booked through Jet Airways, though I flew on Jetstar Asia Airways and Hong Kong Airlines metal as well. I could’ve flown directly to Bali on Garuda Indonesia, but booking a one-way international ticket didn’t make much sense from a cost perspective. I travelled economy and here’s the itinerary:

  • 14/Aug 9W12 Mumbai to Singapore on Jet Airways departing Mumbai at 01:15 am and arriving in Singapore at 09:25 am
  • 14/Aug 3K245 Singapore to Bali Jetstar Asia departing Singapore at 3:10 pm and arriving Bali at 6:00 pm
  • 23/Aug HX708 Bali to Hong Kong on Hong Kong Airlines, departing Bali at 01:30 am and arriving in Hong Kong at 06:30 am
  • 23/Aug 9W 77 Hong Kong to New Delhi departing Hong Kong at 12:10 pm and arriving in New Delhi at 3:35 pm

When I travel solo, I prefer staying at hostels. You end up meeting folks from around the world and I love the social aspect of staying at one. Travel hard, party harder – that’s the motto. I used to book my stays. You can also try your luck on OTAs like or Agoda.

Flying coach? Not staying at a branded hotel? Yup this trip report is different. I explored the islands not as a vacationer, but as a backpacker. Believe me, it is an enriching experience. Waking up early, riding all day on a scooter and eating locally. That’s my kind of holiday. And you can supercharge this experience with miles and points.

Stay tuned for more!


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