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Do You Remember When?

An Old Bali Travel Brochure Brings Back Fond Memories.

(12/22/2003) An Australian reader recently discovered a Garuda Indonesia Bali travel brochure from the year 1980.

We suggest you hum a chorus of "Those Were the Days My Friends" while you contemplate the following "travel facts" from just 20 years ago:

∙ Visas were required for a visit to Bali and cost AUS$ 3.20 - valid for 30 days. Today, discussions are underway in Jakarta that might reintroduce a visa fee costing the equivalent of AUS$ 85.

∙ Vaccinations against cholera and smallpox were compulsory. Typhoid and paratyphoid vaccinations were recommended.

∙ The Australian dollar fluctuated between Rp. 595 and Rp. 610 to one Australian Dollar. (It now stands at approximately Rp. 5,220.)

∙ In 1980, the airport departure tax cost AUS$ 1.10. Today's equivalent is AUS$ 19.20.

∙ Tipping was not compulsory but "was always" appreciated and ranged from AUS$ 0.08 to 0.12 for each bag carried by a porter or bellboy. That's about Rp. 692 in today currency and you'll need nearly three times that to pay the official rate for each bag carried by an airport porter.

∙ The 1980 brochure recommended "Summer clothes, open neck short sleeved shirts, slacks are recommended. Formal wear is usually a dark lounge suit." Today, "Lounge Suits" are rarely seen, replaced by something called "smart casual."

∙ The same brochure cautioned: "Indonesia is a highly photogenic country. Those interested in photography should bring their own supply of film." 20 years later, 60-minute photo shops abound on almost every corner offering processing, film, and digital image services.

∙ In 1980, a taxi for sightseeing cost about AUS$ 0.80 per hour, that's about Rp. 4,000 in today's Rupiahs the amount of the "flag fall" the moment you engage a metered Bali Taxi today.

∙ Australian travelers were also given the sage advice that "Changes in food sometimes results in minor stomach upsets." Two decades later, that remains a concern, but for somewhat different reasons: Trying to cram into a single holiday visits to Balinese, French, Greek, Indian, Mediterranean, Italian, Thai, Chinese, and McDonald's restaurants will likely cause gastro-intestinal distress.

∙ In 1980 Garuda operated three weekly DC-8 flights from Sydney to Bali.

Believe It or Not!!!