I've been back almost a month so its high time I shared some photos from Bali!
Overall it’s a very fascinating place. Bali was likely the most hyped destination for me because so many people had told me it was their absolute favorite place in the world. That alone set the bar really high but then the research beforehand really got my expecatations in overdrive. The reality was a bit different than the picture I had painted in my mind - in both good and bad ways. And since experiencing a different reality is the whole point of traveling - it was a great trip. In terms of scenery, culture and feel, it’s a hard place to describe. There is a lot of contrast here. Imagine alluring sun, sand and sky dotted by stunning ancient temples everywhere you turn. And then along side all of that add great mounds of garbage, dogs running wild, an army of motorbikes whizzing by and roosters crowing all hours of the day. My photos don't really capture the true Bali but I'll do my best to describe it. Judge for yourself.
After a few days in Hong Kong, it was back to the airport for a 4 hour flight to Bali.
Coming from a few days in hot and humid Hong Kong, I didn't expect to be quite so overwhelmed with the heat. Its hot! Really hot. And humid.
We stayed in the Tanjung Benoa region. The resort was gorgeous but we didn't spend that much time there. Bali is pretty spread out and you spend a lot of time in the car going from place to place. (Unless you chill at the beach all day which, if you've seen my photo, you know I could never do. Think bacon on a frying pan.)
Our first full day there, we let our tour guide set the itinerary. He took us North. I wouldn't have minded a little more explanation of where we were going or why - but the car was cool and we were on vacation. We just let him take us wherever he thought would be interesting.
First stop was the Taman Ayun Royal Temple
More driving and we stopped on the side of the road to see a sweeping view of rice fields. Its easy to forget just how much work goes into every single grain of rice we eat.
Another temple awaited us next - this one was the Ulun Danu Bratan.
More driving followed until our guide pulled over to the side of the road and told us we were going to see a waterfall. Well, that sounded pretty good. Where was it? As he lead us to a parting it the trees, I glimpsed this.
Oh. (While I realize 500 meters isn't that far really - I was tired and grumpy and hot and getting rained on and slipping on moss. Trust me on this, it felt like we were walking back home.)
Nothing like a surprise stroll in the vegetation on slippery rocks, in treadless flipflops to wake us up! It was worth the risk to life and limb but word to the wise: wear sneakers.
Before we called it a day, we made a couple if stops on the way back for fruit. The fruit here is a bit different than what I can buy at home so I was very interested in all the exotic varieties.
The most unusual is probably the Durian. World renowned for its bad smell. So we pulled over at one of the many roadside stands selling them and had a taste test.
They were really heavy and those little points are pretty sharp. It doesn't smell as bad as I expected although I'm told it gets a lot worse with time. The taste is really creamy - not especially sweet but not offensive either. Kind of like garlic mashed potatoes. Definitely an acquired taste.
I think that’s enough to swallow for one post. I'll post more about our trip later. (continued here)
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