It will not come a surprise to anyone who has travelled through Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport that Travel and Leisure magazine has named it one of the “12 Ugliest Airports in the World”.
The magazine's Karrie Jacobs contends that Bali's air gateway has "gone out of (its) way to acquire the uncanny placelessness that typifies the modern airport”.
And according to Bali Update (www.balidiscovery.com) Bisnis Bali reports that despite a total of 26 visa-on-arrival counters at Ngurah Rai International Airport, delays of as much as two hours are being encountered by those landing during peak traffic hours.
The longest queues are between the hours of 2pm and 5pm when as many as 1,200 passengers arrive.
A local political leader complained, “This is like a bad dream, not in keeping with the happiness the tourists seek."
Still, it seems not everyone has to queue. When the Moles were waiting to clear immigration at Ngurah Rai airport recently, an attractive young lady called someone in the immigration office on her mobile phone. She said he was “a friend”.
The man duly appeared and guided her to the front of the queue, stamped her passport and waved her on her way.
Goes to show it’s useful to have friends in Bali Immigration.