If you like sand and sea, Bali is definitely the place for you. I was a bit surprised that being a SE Asian resort, there were many more Caucasians there than Asians. Our flight from Singapore to Bali was approximately 80% Caucasian with passports and languages being hailed from both sides of the plane, ranging from Russian to Australian. There were quite a few Europeans – Britons and Spaniards, but didn’t hear too much French that trip. We were perhaps one of four American families.
Everything in Bali is based off the U.S. dollar. And practically every native is there to make a U.S. dollars worth. USD $1 = $10,000 Indonesian rupiah. I was unfortunate enough to have USD$150 stolen from my hotel room on the last day I was in Bali. Literally, I think I put some poor Indonesian kid through college as it was over $1,000,000 rupiah. The saddest part was that I had hid it in an old prescription packet, thinking that when i take it out on trips, if we were to get mugged, they were least likely to take my prescription pack as opposed to my wallet. However, the last day, I rushed out of the room grabbing my camera but forgetting my secret holder. I didn’t think they would go through things, but apparently they do. For a 4-star hotel, I was pretty surprised. Guess some things don’t change…FYI, put EVERYTHING in the safe if you ever stay in Bali.
Day One: Some volcano and some lake hahaha. To be honest, I really don’t quite remember the name. On the way up the mountain, we stopped by to check out some of the local industries like batik cloth making, wood carving, and silver processing. Batik cloth is probably the most interesting and most gruelsome. First of all, batik cloth is made up of very intricate designs that cover the entire cloth itself. The patterns are colored into white cotton cloth by first drawing with a pencil, and then outlining and dyeing each layer with a different color after blocking out certain parts with wax. After each dye sequence, the wax is removed by boiling all the cloths in hot water. Then after the cloths are dried, the wax is re-applied to block out certain areas for a new “coat” of dye. I was dying to get a silk batik scarf or sarong but unfortunately, the prices in Bali are ridiculously expensive. Balinese people know how to fully exploit the tourist market, especially the Caucasian visitors who have no real idea of the actual value of some of these items.
Day Two: This was perhaps my most favorite day. Originally momma Lim did not want to partake, but luckily for me she finally caved in. Otherwise I probably would’ve felt like this whole trip would’ve been a horrible waste. Turtle Island is not really where real sea turtles come and waddle their slow butts up the sand and lay eggs. We all know that there is a season for these things. Somehow, the Balinese have managed to cultivate a turtle farm and collect the eggs of nesting turtles. After 3 months, the baby turtles (and these things are smaller than the palm of your hand) are released back into the ocean, probably to die. They do keep some sea turtles there though for tourist reasons. I got to wade and pick up green turtles (vegetarian turtles) in a small pool. It reminded me of the time that I went to Jamaica on my D1 dental cruise during spring break and got to swim and feed live stingrays.
There are tons of water sport activities to do in Bali, particularly surfing. Kuta beach has tons of surfers (and natives that peruse the beach looking for tourists to harass for either local handmade items or foot massages or tattoos or manicures). However, there is another beach located about 30-45 minutes away that is teeming with sports like jet-skiing, parasailing, banana-boating, and whatnot. You can hire some of the local agencies to take you out snorkeling, but after taking the glass-bottom boat (which is literally a 4 x 6 pane of glass (only!) stuck in the middle of a boat, there’s not much to see at the bottom of the reefs in Bali. I would probably recommend other places like the smaller islands off Vietnam.
Until next time!
R/g, the Traveller