So up to this point I’ve been going day by day and recounting all the things we did. That’s not going to work for Bali, since we spent a good deal of our time not doing much at all. Instead, I’m going to just kind of freeform write about each of our locations and generally what we did/what we liked.
But before I get into all that, Talia is with me again! I last saw her in London my first week away from home. Now that her summer break has started, she’s come to Bali! We’ve had a great time hanging out, even if we weren’t fans of Bali.
Legian – Kuta Beach
We spent 7 days at our hotel at Kuta Beach. Our hotel was a little bit of a walk to the beach, but pretty close. We went to the beach a couple of times, but the waves were pretty strong (lots of surfers) and it tired us out. Most of our time here we spent eating (Australian comfort food, which mainly consists of Italian and sandwiches) and on the roof of our hotel enjoying the amazing pool.
We spent less time in Ubud, which lies in central Bali, but definitely did more. We still managed not to do a lot though, Bali is for relaxing after all.
Our first day in Ubud we visited the Monkey Forest Sanctuary, home of copious amounts of Balinese Long Tailed Monkeys. We didn’t buy the bananas and nuts to feed them, but some ended up climbing on me anyway. We found the larger ones kind of scary, but the babies were cute even when crawling all over you and going through your bag. They were excellent pickpockets. The first thing they did after climbing on someone was check the persons pockets and bags; we even saw one get a zipper open and steal some sunglasses!
The next day we visited the Ubud Palace, which wasn’t much to look at, and took a natural cosmetics class. In the class, we made shampoo, sun lotion, face scrub, and boreh (a local all purpose balm).
That night we went to see a traditional Balinese dance show. They did a bunch of different dances which were nice to watch, but probably would have been more fun if we had any idea why the warriors killed themselves and if the magic bull turned back time or not. I did wish I had earplugs after a while; the music was very bell and chime heavy which started to grate after a while.
Our third day in Ubud, we hired a car and driver from the hotel to take us to the sights out of town. We started at the famous rice terraces then continued for a photo of the volcano and its lovely lake.
We stopped at a coffee plantation on the way back down to Ubud. They let us try 12 different coffees and teas for free and we ended by buying some lemon grass tea and vanilla coffee.
Before heading back to the hotel, we visited two Hindu temples. The first was built over a hot spring and the Balinese people go into the spring once a month at the new moon to prevent nightmares and bad thoughts. We happened to be there on a new moon day and so got to see lots of locals in their traditional dress.
The second temple was actually a cave, called the Elephant Cave. It was a small cave and not so pretty on the inside, but the outside was very intricate.
Don’t take an Uber in Ubud
Apparently, local drivers in Ubud do not like Uber. It was about half the price of the hotel driver (at the “discounted” rate) so we planned to take one to the airport. We had taken one from the beach to Ubud with no problems, but tried calling it about an hour before we needed to leave. The first car started the trip without picking us up and the second one messaged me asking for an additional 300,000 Rupiah (which was the price of the hotel car).
Finally, the third one seemed willing to take us. While on his way, he messaged me and said that the locals don’t like Uber and to not let anyone see my phone. He said he would try to pick us up and to be ready to jump in quickly.
Just as he drove up, one of the local drivers started pestering us, and the uber slowly cruised right by us. We thought he was just leaving us, but he kept going slow so we ran after him. When the locals saw what was going on they started chasing us yelling “Uber! Uber!” I opened the door to the still moving car and had Talia throw her suitcase in and got in after her. One of the locals got the passenger door open and started arguing with the driver, but they let us go since we were already in.
We were pretty shaken up for the rest of the night even after getting safely to the airport and on the plane. I don’t think we’ll be returning to Bali.