There is a lot to be said about Bali.
That being said, I’m sorry if this gets a little lengthy. If you’re interested in going to Bali, I hope you sift through my rhetoric and find this helpful (and funny). Coming from the hustle and bustle of BKK, Bali was a nice break.
We start in Ubud, which is central-y Bali. Rural, rice paddies, and relaxing-ish. Ubud is probably my favorite city in Bali. I discovered this after visiting Kuta. PROTip: I wouldn’t go to Kuta if I were you, that place is SketchVille. Go to Gili Island if you want to see some clear waters. PROTip: There are three Gili Islands.
Let me tell you about the time I cried at the Goa Gajah Temple. Cujean and Tommy made me climb an ant-ridden rock. And these ants must have been given growth hormones. I was not into it. Aside from that though, this place was like the Greenbelt on steroids. Think: lush, green, trails, and rushing waterfalls.
Or let me tell you about the time we climbed Mt. Batur. I cried here too.
From altitude sickness (maybe).
This also could have been from the fact that we woke up at 2AM to climb Mt. Batur.
And it could have also been from the (dark) uphill battle and fibs from our tour guide who kept saying, “only 20 more minutes,” at least 5 times.
I definitely cried a little bit from the sunrise and rolling clouds- that was unreal.
So I cried in Bali. What else did I do? I ate, duh. Did you know Balinese food is delicious? And their sweet iced tea tastes like Texas sorta? Yeah, me neither.
Quick Observations in Bali:
- We had a driver. I know what you’re thinking (maybe), but it was actually the best and reasonable way to get around (especially if you split the cost with 3 people). Our driver’s name was Cash Money.
- Rice paddies have a simplistic, yet complex beauty to them. It’s just rice, but a lot? Does that sound dumb? It’s something that you have to see for yourself.
- Ubud is apparently Bali’s arts and culture center– this explains all of the woodworking shops we passed. Like 10 shops on a lane, all so intricate and wholesome.
- You have to pay to get out* of Bali. So that was something we didn’t know.
- Warung means “little restaurant” or “diner.” There are tons on the streets of Bali, and I preferred going there to eat than an actual restaurant. PROTip: If there is only 1 thing on the menu or if you can’t read it, it’s local and it’s probably great. This tip never failed us.
- On this note, we steered pretty clear of central Ubud, as it tends to get touristy and saturated.
- Balinese people, or the people I encountered, were incredibly kind. Make a small effort to get to know them, it can go a long way.
- Bali is incredibly close to Australia. So, we saw a lot of Aussies on holiday. Lucky bastards.
- I didn’t tell you anything about food, shame on me. There’s a lot of free-range chicken, and it’s prepared deliciously.
- They make a mean babi guling, which is “suckling pig” in Balinese. I have never tried anything like it.
I didn’t know what to expect when I came to Bali, but it wasn’t any of this. I had heard incomplete thoughts about Bali, but only when I physically found myself in Bali was when those thoughts came together. Even as I write, I know I’m not doing Bali justice. While I’m not sure of how or when I’ll go back, I would like to. Back to the Villa, back to the green, back to the warung’s that took my heart and made me cry.