Bali, Indonesia

Bali Travel Blog

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Tulamben beach

I have to admit my first experience with Bali wasn't the best.  We left Hong Kong very early in the morning, stopped in Malaysia, ate a strange version of a hot dog, used their wireless internet, and ended up in Bali after dinner time.  We first got to their airport, which by the way, has more culture than the whole United States - but anyways so my first experience was wondering around trying to figure out where to get my visa.  Once I had that, I made my way to customs where I was stopped and was not allowed to pass until I agreed to go on a date with the customs officer who then proceeded to write his number on my visa.  Aww thats cute, no. Not at all...  It was actually a little scary and I was wondering in my head if I could outrun the guy with all the luggage I had.

Tulamben beach
..

Then on the way out to the cab our bags were swept out from under us and taken to the cab for us, obviously then with the demand of money in exchange for doing something for us that we didn't ask for.  Oh well, so I tipped him and he kept saying "one more, one more" they are NOT shy!

After the airport experience everything else went well.  The island is absolutely beautiful and is just that, an island.  I didn't see one tall building, the people are extremely warm and are eager to help you, and i swear the whole island just had this great smell to it.  Like incense but I don't know what kind.  We stayed at the Sofitel in Seminyak which was really nice and more of an upscale touristy area vs Kuta beach.

  And their beer is good.  MUCH better than Carlsberg YUK!!  Bintang...where can you get that in the US????

We did a whirlwind tour of Bali, seriously.  We spent one full day getting to Tulamben and back to scuba dive - which was awesome because it was a 2 hour drive so we got to see a ton of the island on the way.  We were the only people on the dive that day so we had the whole van to ourselves and we each took a whole row and slept the whole way back while our driver swerved in and out of traffic around the motorcycles driven by 8 year olds without helmets.  In Bali they honk.  I mean...like every 2 seconds.  Its more of a "hey im here!" honk but they do it EVERY time they pass anyone.

Volcano - taken while driving may be blurry
  I noticed in Thailand they flash their lights to mean the same thing.  In the US we just cut people off - no signaling necessary. 

We were SO spoiled on our dive in Tulamben as we would later find out in Thailand.  First of all - the women carried TWO full air tanks balanced on their heads and walked them down the rocky beach!!!!! now THAT is a real woman!  Then...our dive guide set up ALL of our equipment, put our weight belts on us, walked both of our stuff all the way out into the water (it was a shore entry), and we basically just swam in and put our arms through the BCs.  I know...scuba diving for wusses.  Tulamben was cool but if I could do it again we would go to Nusa Panida - apparently thats the best and you see Mola Mola's.

The next day we did another full day trip but this time to Ubud to see the monkey forest and shop a little and we really wanted to see a Balinese dance.

  We hired a driver for 6 hours and agreed on a set price of 300k Rupiah which is like $30 USD.  He took us to the BEST spots all over the place.  A balinese dance in Sanur, he took us to buy art in the places where he said were quality (apparently some of the art will break down in a few months), he took us to the monkey forest where we managed a few pictures before the sky fell and it was like a monsoon - then he took us to lunch at this place called Indah (I think) which I learned means beautiful in Indo and it sat at the top of a valley with the most incredible view ever and the rain had just cleared - I kept waiting for a rainbow but it never happened :(  Then he took us home and we thought he was our best friend and then he tried to rip us off.
Can't get enough of the sunsets
  You REALLY have to watch out for that - they will make you feel like you can totally trust them and then they pull a fast one!  We ended up using our driver for 7 hours instead of 6....so that would be like an extra $5 USD right?  No he suddenly said we owed him $20 extra!  And he became very demanding about it! See thats where they go wrong.  If he hadn't gotten all shady we would have tipped him awesome and he would have ended up with more anyways.  I mean we still tipped but he just had to go make things sour.  Another thing that happened was Kristen was buying some earrings and we got to the counter and the woman switched the tags and tried to act like that had been the price the whole time...SHADY! Watch out for that!

So we saved the last day for some sun and it poured...oh well - got some sleep that we probably needed :)

 

travnet says:
Nice blog. Yeah Bali is such a great place. I just went there again.
Posted on: Nov 28, 2008
keef_mon says:
i need to stop here on my way to australia!
Posted on: Jul 06, 2008
silverium says:
Your blog date is Dec 15 2008!!!
Posted on: Mar 09, 2008
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Tulamben beach
Tulamben beach
Tulamben beach
Tulamben beach
Volcano - taken while driving may …
Volcano - taken while driving may…
Cant get enough of the sunsets
Can't get enough of the sunsets
Yup, theres a real woman
Yup, there's a real woman
Good luck offerings to the Gods
Good luck offerings to the God's
Ku De Ta - incredible restaurant/b…
Ku De Ta - incredible restaurant/…
Most amazing view from lunch
Most amazing view from lunch
That monsoon I was talking about
That monsoon I was talking about
No traffic laws
No traffic laws
Ubud
Ubud
The dive guide doing everything fo…
The dive guide doing everything f…
Peices of the shipwreck
Peices of the shipwreck
Look at that amazing form
Look at that amazing form
Bali Hotels & Accommodations review
Not incredibly cheap but the hotel was amazing. It was away from the crazyness of Kuta beach yet only a $2 cab ride away. Rooms/bathrooms were very … read entire review
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photo by: mr_shanet