We were sitting together at the Ginyuu restaurant in Cologne, over Edamame and spring rolls. I stirred in my weird looking passion fruit Ipanema and laughed together with Vita and Sarah. While waiting for the train together with Vita after the dinner, she asked for Bali Tips for her upcoming travel. As soon as I started to think about it, she told me to write a blog post about my time in Indonesia. So my dearest Vita, here you have.
I have to admit: I had a post like that planned. Just after my arrival in Germany, I wanted to write a really organized and well-researched travel diary and everybody should admire my amazing journey. But life happened and by now my travel has ended over 6 months ago, so the diary is not going to happen since I’m sure I forgot a lot of details already. But I still have a lot to tell and tips to deliver.
First of all: I went to Bali after more than 10 months in Australia, where I worked hard and lived the last month together with my best friend in a car. Indonesia was for me a month of pure holiday. I saved money for that trip and didn’t have to look on every penny I spend. But still, the Hotels we stayed at and the restaurants we visited are far from expensive. Indonesia as it is.
Since I started my travel in Bali alone and met my friend from Sydney 10 days later, I booked a tour. 8 days of culture, fun and adventure. A trip from Wanderlands. Although this is a backpacker tour and nothing for couples who want to spend some time on their own, I really recommend this tour to everybody who wants to travel alone (or is not sure if he wants). It’s been 8 amazing days full of fun and we saw so much of Bali. The group was nearly 20 and a Tourguide – a really charming and funny guy from England named Liam, who laughed with you but knew a lot about Bali and even after the tour I texted him a few times to ask some questions. Next to him and a few more people from England there were also people from Argentina, Chile, Germany, Russia, Singapore, and Ireland. All in all – so interesting people who had a lot to tell. Sue from Ireland had been a member of the national woman football team! To find out more about the program and what we did, just visit the Wanderlands Website.
We visited the Tanah Lot and the Uluwatu Temple. which I liked more. Both a directly at the water on cliffs. But on the way to the Uluwatu, I got attacked by a monkey, because they are everywhere. So believe the Guides if they tell you to leave your sunglasses, watches, and cameras in the car. Monkeys are mean. Since we’re talking about monkeys: In Ubud we went to the famous Monkey Forest. Very interesting and if you leave the Monkeys alone, they do the same. But for a bit money, you can have one sit on your shoulder (guess who did not do that).
Just after that, we went to an elementary school, which was super interesting. The children got free time for our visit but had to practice English with us. So we all answered what our name was, where we are from and what our hobbies were. After that, a dancing group of little girls showed us a traditional, Balinese dance and we played and sang together. The school asked for a little donation in the end, which was voluntary. After our visit it was the end of the school day for the kids, in Bali, the school never lasts till the afternoon since it gets so hot and the school doesn’t have any air condition.
Back to the bus, we drove to the famous rice terraces, which are truly beautiful. (Tip: Getting up early is so worth it because then you have the terraces nearly for yourself). Wear good shoes or be prepared to walk barefoot through the dirt. Lunch was with a nice view over the volcano Gunung Agung.
On day 5 we went to Gili Trawangan (Gili T), an Island without cars, just bikes and horse-drawn carriages. The boat trip was amazing, we spend it on the roof of the boot with loud music, saw dolphins and with enough Bintang Radler, I forgot that I am getting seasick pretty fast. (Tip: Traveling by boat can be very adventurous in Indonesia, the boats are rarely made for so many people or aren’t in the best shape. What helps is that you can normally see the island you are going to when you get on the boat). On Gili T we slept in the Gili T Resort which was completely okay, and here comes my first recommendation to go out in Indonesia: The XL Bar. We spent every night in this bar, played life-sized Jenga or the small version and Bierpong, smoked shisha, made smoke bubbles and celebrated life with cocktails for 2,50$. (Tip: Ask for bubbles at the bar). One snorkel tour later, with a huge turtle right next to us and rusty bikes under water, the tour ended and the group separated. My friend from Sydney came and my roommate from the tour stayed with us. We spend one more day on Gili T and went to the famous swing for sunset.
Our way went back to Ubud, until then my favorite place in Bali. We stayed at Pande Permai Bungalow and I really can recommend it. 2 minutes to the monkey forest, so you have some monkey visitors at the pool, the rooms are beautiful and the price completely alright. At the reception is always somebody who helps you with anything and we booked our driver for one day there. (Tip: To get a personal driver for one day is way cheaper than getting a taxi or scooter if you are more than two people.) He drove us to a coffee plantation (there are a lot) where we learned everything about coffee, tea, and the Luwaks , who are needed to make the most expensive coffee in the world. At the same day, we went to the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, which is the temple who is printed on the 50.000 Rupiah bill, which I can recommend to. But be prepared to get asked if people can take photos with you, especially when you are blonde. Asian people posed with us for about 10 minutes, and I have no idea why but they were so happy when we agreed.
Two houses next to Pande Permai is the restaurant Maha, which we went to at least 3 times. Go right through it and to the patio. There you can sit on big pillows and bunnies are running around which you can pet. The food and the service are great and the price is alright for what you get.
You can read what we experienced on the neighbor island Lombok and back in Bali in this post.
PS: Sorry for the photos but I only had my mobile with my in Indonesia.