Ngurah Rai is the local name for Bali’s International Airport located in the part of the island known as Denpasar. Don’t let all the names confuse you, this is the main operation for commercial flights onto and off of the island. Given Bali’s well deserved fame it is right to assume this is a busy port of entry, yet current and ongoing upgrades make it a pleasant place to enter into the spirit of the paradise island.
Upgrades just in the last year have seen the opening of a new International terminal in addition to the original terminal building. There are some parts like the outside fascade and check in area that are sparkling new. Other areas of the interior are undergoing current transformation in order to have a more modern space, still other parts are completely new additions to develop the entire complex. Overall it is not too confusing, just inconvenient, places are fairly well marked and where they are not many staff and personnel circulate and answer directional questions.
Due to the limited nature of the runways and ongoing construction many flights will have loading and unloading on the tarmac with buses or walking into the terminal. In our experience the luggage came out pretty quickly. Many of the luxury hotels have good shuttle services, either affordable or complimentary depending on the practice. There are many, many services for bike, motorbike and taxi, so one will not have problems getting around on the island.
The departure area works efficiently due to a paid toll cars must submit to access the area. This means it won’t be a jam of other traffic or cabs waiting for passengers. The drop off area displays a gorgeous terminal that is built with traditional Balinese architecture, part in the open air, part covered by massive traditional roofing. sculptures, plants and walls mark off a relaxing space that is unparalleled in any airport drop off area we’ve seen. Our driver saw us through the basic first line of security up until the check in. Reminder that there is a departure tax whether flying internationally or nationally, so be sure and have local cash available.