Beautiful Bali

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
Taman Ayun Royal Temple Statue
Taman Ayun Royal TempleFatherandSonTaman AyunRoyalTempleTaman Ayun Royal Temple StefLuke

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.
Ulun Danu Bratan Temple2Ulun Danu Bratan Temple ElephantsUlun Danu Bratan Temple

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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  1. I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures! Where I saw the most contrast was in Kuta where they had all of those crazy clubs on the Beach - girls on stilts included. It reminded me of when Leonardo Dicaprio went into Kopanang in The Beach after seeing such beauty on the deserted island. Total contrast and insanity.

  2. Thanks for sharing- lovely pictures. I'd like to go someday!

  3. it looks absolutely beautiful and exotic - your photos make me want to visit!

  4. Just stunning. I hope I am lucky enough to go one day.
    It looks beautiful.

  5. OMG....those pictures are wonderful! I've never traveled there but it's ON MY LIST! Thanks for sharing the photos.

  6. Lovely photos, as always. I've been caught wearing inappropriate shoes on tours before - not fun. The worst I ever observed though were women in high heels climbing the pyramids at Teotihuacan in Mexico - not for the faint-hearted. The waterfall looks like it was worth the trek!

  7. Beautiful photos! That second temple you visited looks gorgeous! I would love it. I'm a sucker for ruins and high places (although I'm kind of scared of heights, so go figure) and my boy Ryan is big on animals when we're on vacation. I want to go to Machu Picchu and he wants to go to the Galapagos. Maybe now we'll have to add Bali!

  8. This is such an interesting post (all of your travel ones are!), but fascinating in a different way. I love your insight to these exotic places. I know I've said it before, but your photographs really are amazing. I can't wait to have a decent camera and take horrible by comparison pics!

  9. Beautiful photos, Mrs. L! You can capture the simplest things and make them look incredibly beautiful!

  10. wow, that is so beautiful. and your photos!! i feel like i'm looking at a magazine - you are amazing :)

  11. Anonymous8:04 PM

    I love durian! =D I think you tried the "bitter" version of it, so it didn't tasted as sweet. regardless, I love them both, sweet or bitter!

  12. OH! But what a way you have of capturing it. Stunning photos Stefanie...stunning!

    I have found, for me, the contrasts essential whan I go on a trip to a more economcally challenged country (and which aren't?). The reality is trash on the streets...strange smells...Scary electrical...dogs and kids foraging... Is life. And there is always beauty. Always. And you found it.

  13. I am getting a different sense of Bali through your pictures, which could have something to do with your intro? It looks very beautiful and intriguing and yet not quite what I expected. Looking forward to seeing your next post on this visit. Janell

  14. i just love these recaps and your photos!

  15. mmmmm......durians!

    i love the smell, although when it's stuck in a car under the hot sun for a few hours, that will get a little nauseating!

    (i was born and raised in malaysia -- really close to where you were!)

  16. Time and again, you always impress me with your photography ! I could have kept reading and reading - can't wait till you post more about Bali. You make me want to travel to exotic places again - hey now that the kiddies are older, we're finally talking about it.

    Thanks so much for sharing !


  17. Beautiful!!! Your pictures are divine!

  18. Such gorgeous pictures! I don't think you had a bad shot!

  19. Durian is banned on a lot of public transport on account of the horrendous smell. My dad used to live in Malaysia so we were over there a lot and ate it quite a bit. The only way I find to describe it people who've never eaten/smelt it, is that it's like eating custard out of a toilet.
    Not the nicest analogy, but hey ho! =]

  20. Wow! Thank you for sharing about your trip. Your photos are wonderful. I'm glad you like (or need to) explore. That way we all get to live it.

  21. As beautiful as the pictures were, you lost me at hot and humid. lol I'll just travel through your eyes.

  22. You're always going to the most fantastic places, will you adopt me?

  23. Garlic Mash? lol... I can taste it now;o) Awesome pictures as usual!

  24. Such great photos - looks like an amazing place to visit. Thanks for sharing :)

  25. I am JUST seeing this. Amazing photos!

  26. A little tip to help you avoid getting sunburned on any of your trips (so you can enjoy the beaches)...there's a supplement called astaxanthin. You won't have to worry about a sunscreen washing off either. :)
    Your photos are gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing them!



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