South East Asia was finally here.. First stop Bali. Well it was definitely a culture shock, I am so used to living in a westernised society and I have never experienced a place like this but I absolutely loved it. Everyone is so happy and relaxed. I have never been so relaxed before although we travelled to a lot of places in the 10 days we were here.
So I am currently writing this on a hammock on the beach, drinking a cocktail and music in the background – If this isn’t the life then I don’t know what is. This is so nice just chilling, with the breeze going through my hair, the perfect place to write a blog.
Natalia and I spent one night in Densapar – A place where there are no travellers! We arrived at Densapar airport and me being me booked a place to stay in Densapar. So the airport is nowhere near Densapar, it’s like booking a hotel in central London when you land in Heathrow. When we arrived at the airport the amount of people that come up to you asking:
“Do you want a Taxi?”
Most people were saying 250,000 rupees., however it’s handy being with someone who knows how to bargain, so we managed to get it down to 100,000. In our minds we thought we were 5 minutes from the airport, 40 minutes later and we arrived at our accommodation. The place we stayed in was really nice and so cheap. It worked out to be around $10 for both of us for one night. There was no tourists at all which was really nice!
We only stayed the night here and left in the morning to meet my cousin and friend in Kuta so I am not too sure about what there is to do in the area, apart from there is a lot of motorbikes! I have never seen so many, I’m surprised I never saw an accident!
Our next stop was Kuta and I have heard so many mixed reviews about this place. The amount of people who said DON’T GO TO KUTA however there was a handful of people who said to go – I’ve learn’t not to listen to everyone’s opinions. The amount of places I have loved and others have hated is crazy. My cousin Jas and friend Devena was waiting for us at our accommodation in Kuta (Kodja Beach Resort) and I cried! It was like a piece of home came to Bali and it was so emotional.
Kuta is central to a lot of places so its a good place to stay for that. It kinda reminded me of a really shitty clubbing holiday that you would go to if you was 18, however I thought it was cool and you can get some cheap massages and bargain down on clothes etc.
Whilst in Kuta we checked out the local area and the beach. The night we landed we went to Sky Garden (This I loved). You pay 100,000 rupee for all you can eat buffet and unlimited drinks from 5-9 PM. Well I was in heaven. There was around 4 rooms with all different types of music. It was perfect to spend our first night. (NOTE: Don’t get the shisha – They rip you off!).
In Kuta you can hire a private driver for 12 hours to take you around places. We had a driver called Alex and we all wanted to go to Ubud for the day as we knew there was a lot there we wanted to do. We all woke up at 4 AM to check out the sunrise in Sanur and that was beautiful.
From Kuta we went to Ubud and I loved Ubud. There is so much to do including:
When I was in Australia all I kept saying is that I want to go to a waterfall and most people said you will find loads in Asia and this waterfall was amazing. I have no idea but waterfalls always fascinate me. This was definitely a wow moment for me and had a cheeky photo shoot (Has to be done!)
I am not going to lie I was so scared! The monkeys can be quite vicious although they are so little also I was so concerned that I would get bitten. By the end I felt more relaxed and actually wanted a monkey to jump on my shoulder. Check out this great picture when the monkey tried to grab the camera!
I weren’t particularly too excited to see the rice fields but when you see them they are actually really cool and huge! It is definitely something I would advise people to see.
So the area itself was very strange, and I didn’t feel comfortable at all but once we were in the restaurant eating our lunch in front of the volcano I completely forgot about the area. This was one of my breathtaking moments, imagining eating Indonesian food opposite a volcano. It was mental and honestly didn’t think I would be doing something like that.
Tanah Lot temple:
One of the girls wanted to go here whilst we were in Ubud and I understand why! This was just beautiful, it is a temple in the sea! The grounds were amazing and there was markets which were cheap – This made me happy!
From Kuta to Gilli T you catch a fast ferry which costs around 300,000 which includes transport (I think you can get this for much cheaper). The ferry gets to Gilli T within 45 minutes. As soon as I arrived in Gilli T I fell in love instantly, it looked like paradise. The water was so clear! That night we wanted to find the famous swings in the sea – There are quite a few dotted around but we went to the quitest ones! We walked around the Island that took around 3 hours, however by bike its much less. I advise people to hire a bike to get around the island, many places charge around 50,000 rupee however we got it down to 40,000. The island itself is really small but I loved it.
One day we rode our bikes around the island and done a bar crawl which was pretty funny. I would recommend the following bars (For day drinks)
Malu Beach Resort – They have hammocks and bean bags on the beach as well as playing good music (Where I am currently writing this blog).
Julius Villa – You can use there infinity pool however they also have bean bags on the beach. This place is right next to the swings where no one really goes to.
In the evening we went to a Reggae Bar called Suma Suma – Many other blogs will say about going here and I agree. The live reggae music is amazing and it has such a good vibe!
Whilst in Gilli T I drank the local drink – Bintang! Its so cheap and I loved it. All the locals call me noodles – The hair always attracts attention, oh and I was called fat girl… A Indonesian man said I like the fat girl we was like who and he said the one in the black top! I couldn’t help but laugh. Everyone here is so small, I am the jolly green giant over here so it did not surprise me! Ha-ha! Made it worse that a wobbled my belly when he said it!
We hired a private boat between the four of us which took us to Gilli Air. Gilli Air was beautiful and definitely more chilled than Gilli T. Again people hire bikes to go around the Island. We had breakfast at Gilli Air which sits on the beach.
Gilli Air is more for families and Gilli Meno which we passed is more for couples. When we passed Gilli Meno we saw all these little huts on the beach which looked amazing (Perfect for a honeymoon).
So we all wanted to go snorkelling as we heard so much about how good the snorkelling is around the Gilli islands and I was not disappointed. It was so fun! The amount of marine life and coral you see as well as turtles! It was the most amazing thing ever and considering I didn’t see any turtles in Australia this made me so happy! Some of the turtles were huge.
The only embarrassing thing was that I was sick on the boat – How humiliating. I think the heat and how rocky the boat was all got to me and boom! I have never been so embarrassed in my life. After that I still went and snorkeled but as soon as I got home I went to sleep. I knew I would get ill sooner or later.
Whilst in Asia I wanted to try all the local cuisines and we went to the night markets in Gilli T and the food was amazing. You choose as many meats you want which they BBQ for you and then pick what you want with it such as rice. This cost around 100, 000 which is quite pricey for local food but it was so nice.
Near our accommodation (Gili Bong) there is a place which sells cheap local food (Restaurant: Warung Sempurna). I bought a local dish plus a drink for 20, 000 rupee which amounts to around £1.50! Bargain! If you look at the place it looks run down but my gosh it’s the best food I have eaten.
Were staying in a budget hotel called Gilli Bong and I love it! Its close to the beach (Around a 5 minute walk) and the staff are beautiful. We got talking to one of the staff – Idi. He works 7 days a week and lives at the hotel. He was telling us his mother died a few weeks ago and he sends money back to his family in Lombock. He brought his brother over from Lombock who is 14 who also works at the hotel. He would like his brother to attend university however they need to save for this. When Natalia and I were talking to him we both burst into tears. Idi is only 22 years old and he is so happy and always smiling yet he lost his mother, his wages go to his family and looks after his brother who is 14 years old. It made me realise how lucky I am back home, I am so spoilt when I compare myself to someone like Idi. Back home everyone is so unhappy and miserable yet this guy who has barely anything is happy and full of life. If anyone has inspired me, it’s this guy – Idi!
So our time in Bali has now come to an end… Next stop Malaysia.
See below for tips.
Where to stay:
Kuta – Kodja Beach Resort (This is around 10 minutes to the beach and close to everything. The pool was amazing, the rooms were budget but good for the 3 nights we were there. Please bare in mind that my friend and family came over so instead of a hostel we stayed in a budget hotel instead).
Densapar – Dekrishna (This was only for one night but it was really nice and the staff were so friendly).
Gilli T – Gilli Bong (This place is situated down one of the back alleys so the views are not nice but this is such a nice place to stay and includes free breakfast. I loved the staff and your surrounded by the locals which I loved).
What to do:
Kuta – Skygarden and Engine room (For nights out). Kuta Beach, Massage (65, 000 for one hour full body massage – we bartered this). Here is where we hired Alex to drive us around for 12 hours (Cost 300, 000 rupee around £60 between 4 of us).
Ubud – Monkey Forest. Rice fields. Tegenungan waterfall. Tanah Lot temple. Kintamani volcano (The area was weird but having lunch opposite the volcano was amazing).
Gilli T- Snorkelling. Swings in the sea. Night markets. Bike ride around the island. Chill on the beach. Suma Suma (Night life – reggae band/ live music). Boat trip to the other islands.
I found Bali quite expensive and most people say it is compared to other South East Asia countries that it is. Compared to Australia it is really cheap saying that! Many people have told me if I want to buy clothes, to buy them from Thailand (The north). I went over budget but at the same time I am not in a hostel and both my cousin and friend are on holiday so probably done things that I maybe wouldn’t have done but I do not regret this one bit and enjoyed every moment with them! To keep to a budget I would definitely stick to local street food and if you want to drink stick to Bintang – its the cheap local beer!