As I was wandering the streets of Bali, one thing that blew my mind - other than the crazy way people ride their scooter - was the high amount of old aircooled Volkswagen vehicles. I then started to read about the VW community in Indonesia and stumbled upon Bali Urban Adventures and their Kombi Safaris. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in a 1979 Bay Window Bus, about to go on a Cocktail Safari that would take my girlfriend and I to some of the finest bars and temples the Island of Gods has to offer.
After we were done sipping a bunch of ice cold Bintangs, I caught up with the owner Brett Morgan to find out about his not so common business.
Could you tell us the story behind the VW Kombi Safaris?
It really was too many beers one night sitting in the car park of the office I decided I needed a car for the weekend and thought a Kombi would be cool. My Nephew was in the modified car competitions so we had panel work, sound, lighting , interior covered. As the project grew key players and friends in the travel industry in a few countries suggested we should create more than one and how cool would it be to be picked up in a pimped up Kombi from the airport.
So we set about building a fleet of pimped VW Kombi that have everything that we always wanted in a vehicle when we are travelling for work or fun. Every vehicle has 2 batteries & 2 alternators so that we have power for the double Toyota air-con units bolted under the vehicle, the 1,000 watt 10 speaker sound systems, 220v & 12 v power outlets, WIFI and every vehicle has had soundproofing all the way through the car plus a “L” shaped living room.
The Cocktail Safari actually came as a suggestion from a good friend and travel agent who was bringing friends and wanted a cool trip that went to the best bars across an afternoon. Originally from Brisbane we are home to the long lunch in Australia – where you meet for lunch and maybe graze and have a few drinks at different places over an afternoon traditionally Friday.
The VW Kombi Cocktail Safari – 4 great bars , 4 great beaches, 4 great cocktails and 1 great temple – is just perfect for Bali. It provides 4 beaches all with different outlook so something different to look at, 4 different styles so always a great conversation piece and best of all it offers people a taste of 4 great places that they can go back and enjoy later in their Holiday.
We believe that we must promote culture as this is what Bali is amazing for. We use sneaky tourism as we know these days many people don’t want to just visit a temple or a church and probably are not going to book a tour to see temples and churches. However if we offer a fun day and drop some culture in, our feedback has been incredible. The small temple on a rock in the ocean is such a great place to learn about another culture that is unique in the world.
Was it hard to find Kombi vans and parts in Bali?
We have purchased VW Kombi from both Bali and Java. There is a large VW community and in fact some big meetings are held in Java each year. Parts generally we are ok and source locally and rebuild if we have to.
How many different tours do you guys offer?
We currently have five main tours plus private charters, these tours are great for people travelling who want to meet other people. This will expand greatly within the next 2 months when we bring on private tours more suited to people who just want to be with their friends or Family.
Facebook: Bali Urban Adventures