30 days in Bali

We could write a novel about Bali, but we’ll try to keep it short. The people are friendly, the food is delicious, and the scenery is beautiful.
If you want to escape from life, this is the place to go

 We should clarify. Don’t go to Kuta beach if you want an isolated place to relax. Kuta beach is the most popular tourist spot in Bali, every inch consumed with drunk Australians drinking their weight in the local beer Bintang. It is the place to go if you want to party. The beach is lovely but the prices are the highest here. The vendors will grab your arm and shout in a desperate attempt to get you to buy something as you walk the streets and it can get quite chaotic on the holidays. We had planned to stay here the entire time but changed our mind after 4 days. In our opinion, there are far better places to go in Bali than Kuta.
Kuta beach
After Kuta we drove to Ubud, a city made famous by Eat, Pray, Love. It is a yoga town if you’ve ever seen one and if we were interested in that sort of thing this would be considered heaven. Aside from that, it is more quiet than Kuta in regards to the party scene and definitely has more cultural activities to offer. 

Hindu ceremony in the streets.
It probably didn’t hurt that we were staying at an amazing compound overlooking the rice paddies with a pool that saved us from the sweltering heat. The staff was so accommodating that we felt like we were staying at an all inclusive resort, not a hostel for $25 a night. 
sweet digs!
It is here that we went to a traditional Balinese dance. The outfits were colorful and intricate, and the women danced from their eyeballs to their toes. They moved their eyes so quickly to the music, it looked like they would pop out. I’m curious how long they have to train for this. We tried it for a second and had a headache.  

 We also went on a bike tour of the city. If you’ve ever been to Bali, you know how crazy they drive here and pretty much abide by the motto “I need to get to my destination right now and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen”. Thankfully the ride was mostly down hill, but even then I had my knuckles glued to the brake. We rode through local villages and an endless supply of rice paddies, getting an up close look at how the Balinese people truly live. As we rode our bikes, children would run out to the streets waving their hands and shout “Hello! Hello! Where are you from?!” with adorable beaming smiles. After the ride, we were taken to a compound where his wife cooked us a meal that consisted of an assortment of meat, rice, noodles, and Balinese sauces that was just divine. It ended up being the best meal we had the entire trip. 
Riding through the streets.
Tasting some of the local fruits
Learning about the rice paddies
Enjoying our homemade Balinese dinner.

After Ubud we headed north to Lovina. Lovina is a small town with the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen in my life. Every night the colors that painted the sky were different and would result in us standing in silence watching it disappear. It remains one of our favorite travel moments.

 We spent our first Christmas alone here and had a wonderful seafood dinner by the water. Balinese Santa even showed up!
 For New Years we decided to move again and head to a small surf town called Canggu. We spent our days lying on the beach and riding our motor bike to a small cafe down the street for fresh juice and sandwiches. Looking back, we wish we could have spent more time here.
Fancy my Hello Kitty helmet?!
Last, we headed to the Gili Islands. We decided to avoid the party island and stay at the more quiet one called Meno. (A sign that we’re getting old? Probably.) There is no motorized transportation on the island and you can only travel by horse. AC doesn’t exist and internet is hard to find. Food is sold in open air cabana’s and accommodation is mostly bungalows no western amenities. We couldn’t complain though, right outside our bungalow was a hammock and the pristine ocean. We didn’t need an organized tour of snorkeling because we could just swim right from our front door. This was the highlight of our stay, seeing the most diverse array of fish (and turtles) we have ever seen in our lives. 

 Overall, Bali was a life changing experience and we felt like lottery winners being able to experience multiple cities and an entire month learning about their them. We will forever remember the Balinese smiles and accommodating spirit, always willing to teach us about their culture. It was a great testament about living more simply and enjoying the important things in life such as family, friends, good food, and the nature around us.

2 responses to “30 days in Bali

  1. Pingback: 2013 – A Year in Review | Married Nomads·

  2. Pingback: 20 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit The Philippines | Married Nomads·

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