Bali was one of the most favourite places I have visited over the past 7 months. Its beautiful terrain, culture and people are second to none.
Arriving at the Airport was a challenge I remembered well. The local taxi drivers were still there waiting for me in abundance as I exited the departure lounge. The new price apparently for a one way taxi to Kuta was 250,000rp. The last time I visited the country I bargained well and managed to pay no mote than 50,000rp, so I knew once again had to have a strong will to succeed in not over paying.
The short story here is NEVER pay 250,000rp to get anywhere. This is ridiculously over priced. You will be told many stories and tales of how the prices have changed due to new laws, but this is simply not true! You are being scammed! But lets remember here guys, these taxi drivers are only trying to make a living to feed their families, so don’t be too harsh on them. Have a laugh, have a joke and play them at their own game with a bit of a haggle. I sure did- Hey, its good fun! Its why we love travel!
I arrived in Kuta, a place I already knew from a holiday with a friend. Kuta is not a relaxing place to be if I’m honest. Its a very touristy place specifically targeting holiday makers and party animals in the main areas.
I spent 3 days here in my old hotel which was lovely. I did this to have a cheap room to myself for three nights, in familiar surroundings and far enough away from the centre to not be noisy at all.
It was so great when I arrived! They remembered me from 2 years ago! I was greeted by “Mr Kyle, Mr Kyle, it is so good to see you again, I remember you, you remember me” as I was paraded around the reception desk saying hello to all the staff- What more can you ask for on returning to a hotel after two years?
From Kuta I decided to travel to Canggu, from the recommendation of a friend, Dan, who I’de travelled with in Malaysia. To make things even better, Nathalie, who I’de also travelled with in Malaysia was still there! So off I went to this new town and new hostel for some new experiences and to see a much needed familiar face!
In Canggu I stayed at ***Hostel. The place was awesome with 2 swimming pools and an amazing cheap but beautiful restaurant a 2 minute walk away! We all ate there- All of the time!
It was so great to see Nathalie again! We organised for a big group dinner before heading on to various bars, pubs and clubs… We ended in a club on the beach partying until the early hours with the sand and ocean beneath our feet- and of course, many many drinks in our hand! That mad night will stay in my memory forever hahaha! A few drunken secrets were shared amongst friends on this night aye Nat!!!
Next, I moved onto Ubud. My favourite place in Bali. Not so much for the town itself but more for the central location and ease of renting a bike and scooting off around the island! In Ubud I managed to stay in the cheapest hostel I have ever found. $1usd a night, thats about 50p! As you can imagine you didn’t get much for your buck on the dorm front but I have honestly stayed in a lot worse places! You cant grumble at a dollar anyway! The positive to such cheap accommodation is that it attracts the real backpackers up for a laugh, up for exploring and up for new experiences!
(Guess who came to join me again in Ubud after her trip to the Gili Island… Nathalie! So I got to spend even more time with this amazing new friend who I hold very dear to my heart. In fact, from here we then moved on to Australia for a month travelling together- But that’s a whole different post yet to come!)
We decided to trek up a volcano together, (as you do) leaving at 2am to ensure we got to the top on time for a beautiful sunrise! I strongly recommend doing this. It was one of the most spectacular sites I have so far seen in my life. Not to mention the hysterical laughter at having to trek up a mountain in the dark while slipping and sliding all over the place- It was harder coming down! One too many times we found ourselves skidding down the loose rocks and ending flat on our asses!
After a day of rest the friends I had made and I, decided to rent scooters together and go on a day tour en mass! I think we had 8-9 bikes and off we went! On our journey we were stopped by a local guy who wanted to take us to places and show us his local town. He wanted to show us places the tourists didn’t always get to see. At first we thought he was a tour guide after payment. This wasn’t the case at all. He was just a lovely local guy who wanted to help himself by practicing english and also help us by spending a few hours with us! What a nice bloody chap!
My month in Bali was awesome for meeting new people and experiencing different places to what I had seen before. I really enjoyed heading off on my own at 6am a few times on my bike to visit tourists stops on my own before the rest of the world woke! One particular day there had been a landslide into the road and it was remarkable to see the local town all out together clearing the roads! What great team spirit! This is what makes me appreciate different cultures!
I could honestly go back and do it all again- And I will! If anyone needs any advice or ideas on what to see, do or how to make the most of their time here… please ask in the comments- I cant talk about this place enough!
My lasting impression of Bali is: Mashed Potatoes! Don’t do what I did and get over excited at an “all you can eat” buffet serving mashed potatoes and gravy! Its wrong, its dirty and you shouldn’t ever allow yourself to eat that much… I looked like Pumba from Lion King with mashed potatoes and gravy dribbling down my chin and corners of my mouth! It was bloody good though 😜