Ello~!

Wow firstly i must say i’m kinda surprised to receive this email from you. Den again, we all go thru various phases in life – and actually i am currently reading this book, “Eat, Pray, Love” – so haha I’m in the mood for advocating the taking of chances.

I interned at Atlantis Bali, living in Sanur (15 mins from Denpasar Airport) for 2 months (though i had to return to SG after a month for a visa run – we can only stay there for 1 month at a time). I lived in a “homestay” kinda outfit, with a 1 room aircon bungalow to myself, diving daily, twice to four times daily. Life is good, but you must be prepared to slow down the pace of life – it is REALLY slow. hahahaha… but the waiting / travelling time (which can clock up to 2 hours each way when you travel from one end to another end of the island for different dive sites on the dive resort’s bus) is solved with either iPod videos / your DiveMaster (DM) books which you have to mug anyway.

I never regret those 2 months, and i still look back at them very fondly – the people i met, the dive experience (i like love EVERY SINGLE dive site!!! from the USS shipwreck @ tulamben to giant manta rays @ nusa penida, to turtles at gili, the sunfish at crystal bay and the occasional guest submarine with tourists that gawk at us divers at padangbai), the night life, the individual freedom and space, the carefreeness of it all… really, living there was like a dream, in what call the land of the smiles and others call the land of the gods. I loved the cheap drinks from the pubs, the SUPER cheap seafood restaurants, the cool authentic Italian gelato and intriguing local supermarkets. Other cool activities that Bali offers are surfing (the waves are legendary there), white water rafting, treking, the cool massages (just avoid the sleazy ones) and good nightlife (juz avoid drugs, for gdness sakes – though they are prevalently available). Should you want to go to church on Sundays (or your days off – yes, you are considered an employee during your DM internship despite being a paying customer yourself), I could recommend The Rock, which is 15 mins off Sanur.

My opinion is that you as an adventurous gal would fit perfectly fine there.. I’ve had female neighbours / dive buddies from France, Sweden, the US, and even Singapore who travelled alone and stayed in Bali for months on end too. Just do your research well, settle your accommodation preferably with a recommended place that your dive resort offers, and check that it is not too far from the resort if you do not know how to ride a motorbike/scooter. Should you choose to ride, it is another ball game playing cat and mouse with the local police (which is super fun!).

On this note, Atlantis is a good outfit, but its office is not too accessible to those who do not know how to ride a scooter/ motorbike. I rented a scooter for those 2 months i was there (despite not having a license, it posed no problems whatsoever the whole time. grinz) – but I recommend you to check out Crystal Divers on top of Atlantis – it is another 5 star PADI Instructor Development Center, with its own in house pool and accommodation, unlike Atlantis (dun get me wrong, i dun get commission for advocating Crystal). A quick check online would get you more info on how customers rate Crystal. ( the only reason i chose atlantis over crystal is cuz i felt it was slightly cheaper, but in retrospect crystal seems to provide a more comprehensive package)

I am glad to hand out more information should you have any further queries, and do keep me posted if you’re really going there to do your DM internship!!! =) Would love to visit you there man… so cool!!! =)I’m planning my own IDC (instructor course) as well for this December during my NIE term break – but this time it has to be in Thailand (Khao Lak) cuz of the availability of courses. So looking forward to that 1 month break of daily diving once again… oooo hahaha so exciting.

Good luck, and hope this email is of some use to you! =)

Best Rgds
Jeff H.