Bali is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and one of the most dreamed about by drone photographers. The opportunities to capture great Indonesian aerial imagery are plentiful; however, as a result of its massive popularity, many landmarks in Bali have started putting up signs prohibiting the use of drone near the respective properties. Other sites collect a fee if you want to fly your drone, for example, Pandawa Beach and Tanah Lot Temple. Speaking from my experience, I was charged a fee around $20 for flying my drone at Pandawa Beach. There wasn’t a sign indicating the fee, so to me it seemed to possibly be a tourist scam. I’d recommend talking to the authorities first before you fly.
Possibly the primary reason Bali is many people’s favorite travel destination is because of its natural beauty. Bali is an island located on the far East of Indonesia that still has an active volcano which draws million of tourists each year. The beautiful seascape also draws tourists for its water sports including surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling. There’s also a good balance between beautiful beaches, mountains, and waterfalls. Therefore, no matter what kind of nature activity you’re into, Bali always has something to offer. One unique thing about Bali is it’s vertical terrace farming, the most popular being the Tegallalang and Jutiluwih rice terraces.
If you head up north on the the main land island, you will enter the mountain and forest zone where there are several ancient Hindu temples, many beautiful waterfalls, and rice terraces. Bali has a uniquely beautiful mountainous terrain on which its farmers grow abundant rice. There are also many beautiful waterfalls in the northern part of Bali; however, traveling to some of the waterfalls can require a hike. I brought along my DJI Phantom 4 Pro, and it was definitely a hassle having to carry a drone all the way to the location.
Apart from the main island, Bali is also known for its beautiful small island called Nusa Penida. The island is about a ninety-minute ferry ride away from the main Island. There are many beautiful landmarks on the island and each location is quite far apart, so plan to spend at least a night there. Some of the main attractions at this location are Kelingking beach, Broken beach, Angel’s Billabong, and Atuh beach. These spots are quite popular and frequently crowded. If you want to avoid the rush, I’d recommend getting there early in the morning. Keep in mind that Bali sits on a tropical climate weather where it rains pretty often even during summer time, so plan your trip accordingly.
Wind is always a nuisance when it comes to filming drone video. The weather on Nusa Penida island can be very windy and even so strong that it can be hard to walk. I was very hesitant about flying due to the very strong winds; However, I saw a group of photographers flying their DJI Mavic Pro. I had brought along my Phantom 4 Pro, so I figured if their Mavic can withstand the wind, then so could my Phantom. Taking off and landing was definitely extremely difficult. Unlike Mavic or other small drones, you can land your Phantom mid air because of it’s extended leg space. I wouldn’t recommend it, but the technique can come in handy when it’s hard to find an even and flat surface to land or takeoff, and in this instance, I had a hard time flying my drone back to the land as it was so windy. No matter how hard I pushed control, my drone didn’t seem to move and inch. Looking at the wind direction before flying is very essential. My trick is when you takeoff, fly against the wind direction first so that when you return the wind will be in your favor. Sometimes I find it easier to bring your drone back when the altitude isn’t too high. Finding a spot where there’s a wind blocker is also another good trick.
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