Lost in Bali!
Of all the islands I have visited in Indonesia, it was Bali where I had the best experiences! And jet I expected it to be overcrowded and ruined by tourism. That might be the case for Kuta, where I haven’t been due to time limitations but it definitely is not for the rest of Bali.
With international and intercontinental flights arriving to Ngurah Rai International Airport, Kuta is the second most common way to enter Indonesia. If you seek expensive hotels, fancy restaurants, around the clock cocktails and stunning beaches, look no further! Kuta is the place to be. The place is not for everyone, if you are looking for authentic Bali, continue reading.
Thanks to Eat, Pray, Love which was recorded (the movie) and written (the book) here, Ubud now has become a very touristic site. However Ubud still maintains its idyllic atmosphere and it’s a city with a great vibe! I wouldn’t mind spending a few weeks here. There are plenty of yoga classes and massages on offer. You’ll find many affordable restaurants here and local merchandise (made in china, naturally). With it’s central location its also a great place for fieldtrips in Bali. In Ubud, visiting the Monkey Forest is a must. Where you can feed the monkeys with bananas. The park has a beautiful scenery and is featured with many temples. I’m not that fond of macaques though, especially if they are used to tourists and tend to be quite rude. I guess that’s the downside of tourism.
I entered Bali, coming from Lombok, through Padang Bai. From there I took a taxi to Mangis where I stayed at the best homestay ever: Lamung Damuh. Tanja and Lampod host this hippie homestay. Tanja is originally Dutch but has lived everywhere and speaks 6 different languages fluently. The dinners in the evening are for guests and locals and this gives you the opportunity to experience the real Bali.
Or mother temple, is beautiful however the locals here will do their very best to earn as much as possible from you. We couldn’t walk anywhere without being asked for a guide and sometimes we were not allowed in or around certain temples unless we had a guide or pay a certain amount.
For the first time I realised how much work the harvest of rice is! Like many Buddhist in Bali, the hard work inspired me to at least try and finish my rice, always!