One of my impetus for coming to Bali on such a short trip was the prospect of flying my drone over this beautiful island. In particular, I wanted to take some aerial footage over the iconic temples of Pura Tanah Lot and Pura Uluwatu.
I spent a lot of time researching the drone laws in Indonesia - which were published in 2015 and updated in 2016. Not satisfied with the English summaries put out by a few law firms, I found the original text and asked my friend L to translate the key parts. As Ayana Resorts and Spa, Pura Uluwatu, and Pura Tanah Lot were all somewhat close to Ngurah Rai International Airport, I was desperate to find out the exact definition of Kawasan Keselamatan OperasI Penerbangan - the restricted airspace around an airport. I eventually gave up and decided to fly my drone regardless.
On the first morning, we were picked up by our driver and headed north to Tanah Lot. Upon arrival at the toll gate, I told our driver that I had no intention of going to the actual temple. What I wanted was to find a secluded spot near the temple - somewhere I can use to launch and land my DJI Mavic Pro. Thankfully we managed to find just such a place.
After I recalled my drone, I saw one of Air Bali's choppers come around and hover ave Tanah Lot. At that moment I realised how lucky I was. I could have been on that chopper and gotten a similar view as I just did flying the Mavic Pro... but I would have been subjected to the vibrations of being inside a moving chopper, and would have needed the use of a much bigger and clunky professional gimbal to get any decent shots. The footage I got with my drone was taken while I sat comfortably on a chair, without any noise or vibration.
The next morning, after some delay due to unexpected rain, I decided to go out to Nyang-Nyang Beach to launch my drone. I scoped out the place with my driver from the day before, and the cliff above the beach seemed like the perfect spot - it's where paragliders launch themselves.
It started to drizzle a little, and I didn't want to risk flying the Mavic Pro in the rain, so I called it a day and headed into town for lunch. I'll just have to figure out how to get the shot I want on my next trip to Bali...