Southeast Asia

Finding the REAL Bali

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.

Bali Oasis Hotel 5

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.

Kuta Beach, Bali 2

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.

Kuta, Bali

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.

Bali Dragon Carving

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.

Traditional Balianese Dance 6

Traditional Balianese Dance 2

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!

Elephant Temple 2

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!

Elephant Temple 3

Elephant Temple 4 Offerings

Incense offerings, a VERY common site everywhere in Bali.

Bali Jungle Hikers

Jungle Trekking to find the Jungle Temple. XD

Indiana Jones

Lost and Walking...

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!Volcano Nadine and Kristy

Volcano 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.

Bali Rice Paddies

Bali Rice Paddies 2

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!

Monkey Temple 2

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!

Monkey Temple 4

Spot 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.

Kristy Feeding the Monkey

Monkey on my Back

Is that a monkey on your head?

Monkey People?

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.

Us at Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot at Sunset

Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot at Sunset 2

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!

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  • Reply
    Don (dspid2404)
    June 18, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I thought this one is your best yet.

    You would have thought that the beaches would be one of the big selling points for Bali. Its a real shame there not nice.

    I have a friend that was in Bali about 10 years ago and his wife did have her glasses stolen by the monkeys. They also snatch money right out of your hands, so I’ve been told.

    Speaking of monkeys (or apes), I filmed a video that is on my youtube/stonelizard1 site of the apes in the National Zoo in Washington DC. That is my local zoo. Anyway I have to warn you it is pretty disgusting. I was thinking of changing the name to “Two Apes and No Cup”. You may or may not get that.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Love this vlog. The temples look amazing. Its never a place I would av thought of going before but now I just mite. Pity the beaches werent as nice as u thought dey were going to be :) Cant wait for the next vlog. :) x

  • Reply
    June 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Short reply here for me :) I thought that 1st picture of the pool looked really cool and the temples really do look like they just came out a movie or a game or something which is pretty awesome :D

    P.S Your spelling was bad in this post haha :P

  • Reply
    Daniel Johnson
    June 18, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    The volcano scene is super pretty!! Wow. I also liked the monkey temple. I wish I could feed monkeys. lol :P

    Looks like you are having a ton of fun. I can’t wait for the next video. :D

  • Reply
    p tafoya (n8ivejmz)
    June 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    great job again, i like your insight on the places you visit. good stuff. that sucks about all the tourist traps, atleast you were able to cut away from that and enjoy all the good things you’ve heard about Bali. Your pictures were amazing and your video, great vlog!

    good memories huh? again can’t wait for your next blog : ) bye

  • Reply
    Morgan MacIntosh
    June 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    As always your pictures are very enjoyable. How is it that you’ve barely tanned? “Is that a on monkey on your head?” Better than one on your back I suppose. I agree, lots of spelling errors. I expected more from a college (university) graduate. Perhaps it’s this website which keeps moving my cursor as I type and causing me to constantly retype everything in this box?

    Keep yourself safe.

    Eagerly anticipating your next post.

  • Reply
    June 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    @Michael – my spelling is always bad lol

  • Reply
    Nick Adams
    June 18, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    I never really paid attention to spelling until it got pointed out just now!

  • Reply
    June 19, 2010 at 2:57 am

    I thought that was a great post…..this time Nadine. Glad you are having fun out there in the real world….traveling……seeing the sites……arrrggghhhh…..why can’t i be there with you….lol.

    p.s. Still waiting on the postcard i bought from you. Hope you haven’t forgotten. :P

  • Reply
    June 19, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Looks like a great trip! Love your smile!

  • Reply
    June 19, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    @Brutus – send me an email if it’s been over a month. Then I’ll check back into my records and see if anything happened to it .

    p.s Thank you!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2010 at 4:56 am

    I have noticed the travel blogs seem a little less proofread but figured it was because you were traveling. Time, internet connection, computer constraints. For a while I thought the posts may have been from a mobile device but I saw you had a laptop in a video.

    I like reading people’s blogs and the comments others leave. Lately your blog is the most interesting because of the traveling. I like the scenic pictures and use them as wallpaper on my computer and mobile device. You should make a calendar with the pictures you take. :)

  • Reply
    June 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

    These pictures are great! I recognized the Rice Terraces from the postcard you sent. I really liked the picture of the 2 really big monkeys! lol The sunset pictures are beautiful. I think this is one your best blog entries yet!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Hey Nadine! I really enjoy reading your blog and watching your videos, and I think Bali is a great place to visit (except Kutta, this place is really … :shock:) I went there a few years ago and the monkeys had stolen my girlfriends earrings :wink: … but it was still great. Why don’t you stay longer?

  • Reply
    Jonny C
    June 24, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I haven’t really been checking your blog much, have been busy. Happy to see all the updates you have been doing, your photos are great(what camera setup do you have). I would really love to be in your shoes right now, but with life at home it is very very difficult to get out even out the state. Checking out this new post really brings a smile to my face, everything you are experiencing seems soo Fing cool, and seeing you really happy doing it and being there brings joy to me and im sure plenty of others.
    You truly are something else and deserve this awesome experience, and we all get to enjoy them too. Maybe one day you can tell me stories of the trips you took.

    Keep up the amazing work. Thanks for the New Zealand sticker. Its on my motorcycle helmet and I have been getting many compliments on it, mainly when I was there, which I have never been so I have to say it was a gift from a friend.

  • Reply
    Allen Mc Clearnen
    June 27, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I am glad you continued to search for the ‘real’ Bali and away from the street with the Mc Donalds on it. The pictures were great as was the descriptions. It is great that you are traveling around and seeing all these exciting places! keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Seems like anywhere you go there are areas where the tourist are hasled to the point leaving seems like the best option–sounds to me when you finally got a bit of local guidance—the trip really started to blossom. I went down to the Yucatan and experienced very simular events.

  • Reply
    Nick Agus Arya
    May 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Nice post. Hate the tourist traps, crowded South Bali dirty beaches, You need to go to North and East Bali with adi melali team… ( Thank you.

  • Reply
    December 25, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Stumbled upon your blog and now you made me miss Bali. Exactly one year ago I was in Indonesia, really hope to go back one day!

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