There is a reason why I am writing after so long… I didn’t know how I can put in words the place that opened a whole new world to me… Even though I don’t know where I should start to describe this beautiful island, I will give it my best shot.. and just in case you didn’t know which place I am talking about, let me clear it out, I am talking about Bali… Your Bali experience will start when you land at the Denpasar Airport.. with the ocean (i think) in the background, the airport itself seems like a great picnic spot… get out of the front gate and you will be surrounded by cab drivers, each promising you the best price…
If you are heading to Kuta, you are certainly in for a ride… I headed straight to the Poppies lane which is known for its cheap accommodations… Even though, it is recommended that you book the first night before landing in Bali, I didn’t do so…Remember, most of the good, cheap hotels and hostels don’t have their websites yet… so, booking them online isn’t really an option.. I just took a stroll in the Poppies lane 1 and chose this nice resort named Ayu Beach Resort (even though the place was nice, I think the word “resort” was used loosely.) The Australian Restaurant situated just outside the resort is a great place to watch some good movies while having some delicious food and beer…. The Lonely Planet approved Masa Inn is located a few feet away from the resort… even though they have listed it under budget accommodation, Masa Inn rooms tariffs are almost triple the tariffs of the Ayu Beach resort. The Kuta Beach is probably the most commercialised beach in Indonesia. Surrounded by small eateries and shops alongwith The Hard Rock Cafe, Mc Donalds, shopping malls and various other big brands, Kuta has something to offer to everyone… had some real nice sea food at one of the Japanese Restaurants near the Kritika Plaza.. best shrimp dumplings I have ever had (literally melted in my mouth)….. Also, head to Made’s Warung for some solid Balinese and Indonesian cuisine.. aaahhhhhhhh! If you are looking for some music and dance, head to one of the many bars on Legion Street… the most popular are The Bounty, Paddy’s and the Engine… If you follow the news, I am sure you might have come across the news of bombings in Bali.. there is a memorial dedicated to the people who lost their lives… make sure you visit and pay tribute…
Ubud is referred to as the real Bali… and I will not be if it actually is…. don’t get me wrong, Kuta is nice and super fun, but it isn’t that different from say, Pattaya or Phuket… but Ubud is just magical… it takes about 2 hours to arrive in Kuta via minibus.. I stayed with an Indonesian family… and got the opportunity to see how the Indonesians go about their business… Ubud has a lot of art galleries and museums… Ubud is peaceful and has a small town feel to it with its rice fields and brick roads… but what impressed me the most about Ubud is the food…. Man! I never knew a small place like Ubud can pack in so much varieties of food… I still remember each and every meal I had in Ubud… Loved it all.. Unlike Kuta, Ubud falls asleep quite early… so, don’t be surprised if you find deserted streets at 10pm.. Even though there isn’t a whole lot of things to do in Ubud, the lazy lifestyle, calmness and serenity gets to you..
Things to do in Bali
a. Learn to surf at Kuta Beach and then head to Nusa Dua beach to play with the big boys and big waves
b. Visit the Kintamani volcano and Lake Batur.. Magical!
c. Stay with an Indonesian family in Ubud and learn a few Indonesian words..
d. Visit the Bali Safari and Marine Park and hold a baby Orangutan
e. EAT! DRINK! And REPEAT!
Things to Avoid
a. Drug Trafficking- Carries a death penalty
b. Magic Mushrooms
c. Do not disrespect the local… its the land of Eat, Pray and Love!
So, in short.. Bali is just awesome.. Be it the party scene of Kuta, the killer waves of Nusa Dua, the natural beauty of Ulu Watu or the simple living of Ubud, there is a new facet of Bali waiting for you at every corner… and if you are like me, you will start loving Bali in the most homosexual way possible..