After our brief stop over in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I sneakingly convinced Kristy that a stop over in Bali, Indonesia was a must! I had heard so much of it from my grandpa of how wonderful it was, and how amazing the people where. So we settled and off we went, but only for 3 quick days!
It was actually a rather funny thing, Bali. We had planned Bali to be a lie on the beach and relax destination. We even insisted on a beach front hotel (it’s was only $55 US a night! a splurge for us) over in Benoa, Bali.
However, we quickly found that the beaches where, well, less then desirable. I found them no different than the ones at home.
So we decided to head into town to Kuta Beach, the most famous beach on the island. However, again, expectations of Bali where, well, shattered a bit.
All we seem to find was a very crowed, very dirty beaches where we where non stopped haggled for photos and to buy products or services! One lady even started giving Kristy a manicure! Though we told her to stop due to the unsanitary measure of which it was being performed.
After a stroll through the busy Americanized shopping streets in Kuta, we returned to the hotel to sleep after a disappointing first day.
Was this the real Bali?
I was determined to prove myself wrong. So that evening I picked up a bunch of travel tour pamphlets and me and Kristy bartered on a great price for a private vehicle for the day to take us around the island.
That was the best decision we had made yet! Although the tour started off very slow, and with a bunch of tourist trap stops to encourage us to buy thing, we finally started see what Bali was really about.
Amazing wood Dragon carving, all done by hand. One of the tourist traps the drivers take you on to get you to purchase something from one of the shops, which they will get commission on.
On our tour we got to see a culture performance and a traditional Balinese dance.
However, around noon is when things started to get good! We headed inland to a more jungle climate in Bali, and we stopped over at our first temple!
Welcome to the Elephant Cave Temple!
I was so excited, now THIS was amazing! It was right out of the movies of Indian Jones and Tomb Raider!
Incense offerings, a VERY common site everywhere in Bali.
Jungle Trekking to find the Jungle Temple. XD
Lost and wondering down the side streets in Bali after Kristy’s wonderful navigation skills!
After our Elephant Cave Temple adventure, we drove to the top of a volcano to have lunch!
However, we actually didn’t buy the lunch since they were asking an outrageous tourist price for it. So instead we ordered drinks and enjoyed the view!
After our lunching, we headed over to the Rice Terraces! Something I have been so excited to see, and this I was definitely not let down.
I insisted on visiting the largest one on the island, since they where suppose to be the most spectacular because of the elevation. I agree :)
Three local girls tagged along side us after seeing our failed attempt at scaling down the terraces! They were wonderful, aside from when they were constantly begging us for cash till they wouldn’t even leave the side of the van when we had to go until we bought more items; one of the downsides to the tourist spots.
When they eventually did leave, we continued our journey on to a place called the Monkey Temple, a definite highlight of my whole trip!
Now, we had read up on this place before going and we were advised of the thieving monkeys. Yes, apparently these monkey have been trained to pick pocket and to steal your glasses. Knowing this we approached with caution, kept our bags closed and our eyes on the monkeys!
Spot the monkeys!
But to our surprise, the “trainers” were very helpful to us, gave us bread and noodles to feed the monkeys and even advised us away from the aggressive ones.
Is that a monkey on your head?
Though, we did find these two monkeys, better stay away from them!
Last, to end off the evening, we sped off to the Tanah Lot cliff temples to catch a highly gossiped about sunset.
After the sun was set we trudged back to the hotel to rest up and fly out the next day. Needless to say, Bali grew on me and now that I actually got some time to see what the real Bali was like, I would have liked to spent more time exploring the island, but definitely not lying on the beach.
Well there is always next year :) Till then, Peace out Bali.
P.S. Leave me a comment below telling me what your opinions are about Bali/my blog or just what you thought in general about this post, and Ill randomly select one to win a postcard from Bali!