Bali, the Island of the Gods
January 1, 1970
Bali, the island of the Gods
Since I was a kid my only dream was to travel to Indonesia. I remember the day I told my mother: “Once I get to see Borobudur, Prambanan and Bali I swear I’ll reach the nirvana.”
So was it. This year me and my mother bought two airplane tickets for Bali.
Things you need to know about the island
- BE AWARE AT MONEY CHANGERS, THEY CAN STEAL!!!
- If you are afraid of dogs don’t go to Bali: there are lots of wild dogs on the streets
- Do not think that something is cheap, you can find yourself without money in a week
- In the temples you must not show your knees
- If you want to eat cheap, good and typical balinese food eat in a Warung: tax free, homemade street restaurant
- Balinese people are very kind, they like to talk about their culture
- Respect their religion
- You have to see the Barong dance: a typical balinese dance
- Please: visit the batik factory, you will not be disappointed
- The day lasts exactly 12 hours, from 6AM until 6PM, so if you want to do things, wake up early!
- Bintang beer, best beer in Bali so far
Kuta was the first village we visited in Bali, since it was the closest to the airport. We stayed in a hotel whose name I can not remember, and it was awful. Be aware if you book a hotel via internet, they could put fake pictures of the hotel on the site.
In Kuta you can see lots of surfers, australians, tourists and shops, since it is one of the most touristic places in Indonesia.
You can book some surf lessons, where they teach you to surf or some tricks to be better at it, you should try too!
We stayed in Kuta for the first few nights and last few days, but there was nothing that really caught our attention.
Ubud, the heart of the island
Some things I will never forget in my life are the people walking around with a frangipane flower in their hair, the incense, the way people behave and help you, their rituals.
I instantly fell in love with that village: the rice fields, the hindu temples, the market, people, atmosphere.
The differences between Kuta and Ubud are that Ubud is a more typical village, where you can chill, go out for a run, drink a cocktail watching the rice fields, and Kuta is the typical sea village: nightclubs, parties, beer, beach, surf. They lost their connection with the nature, this is why I like Ubud more: because of the nature and essence.
Have you seen the movie with Julia Roberts “Eat, Pray, Love”? If you feel adventurous you can go visit Wayan’s place, and if you want she will tell you about your future and will give you strong advices for your health.
In Ubud you can find vegan, balinese, mexican, italian, healthy food bars and restaurants.
Best places to eat or drink
- When I took a yoga class at Radiantly Alive (which I highly recommend if you are a newbie or not), during the break I went to Bali Buda, a café in front of Radiantly Alive. If you want healthy/organic, vegan food this is the right place to visit.
- Abe Do : organic warung, tax free
- Anomali Coffee: a coffee bar in the city centre, the prices are reasonable
- Bali Lotus: a restaurant/café in the middle of the city, you can watch the birds play while you drink your coffee, inside there is a garden with lotus flowers and a temple. It’s more expensive than Anomali coffee
- Near Jimbaran there is a fish market, where you can buy fresh fish, and a warung nearby where you give them the fish you’d bought and they grill it for you.
- Not quite a place to eat but a must: Luwak coffee.
- If you want to eat typical balinese food go eat in a Warung: it will not be the clearest place to eat in but it is very good and cheap for sure.
- Not really in Ubud, but around the Tegalalang rice terraces there is a warung-restaurant, where you can eat and admire the rice terraces.
In Ubud you can book a tour of the island, since it is pretty hard to reach some sites by yourself. If you want some adrenaline you should totally rent a scooter.
Temples and villages you HAVE to see
•Pura Bratan, the lake temple. We had the chance to attend a ritual of their.
•Penglipuran Village, one of the first balinese villages, near you can walk through the bamboo forest
•Pura Besakih, the mother temple: a site with multiple temples
•Pura Tirta Empul, the sacred water temple
•Uluwatu temple, also known as the monkey temple. There you can see lots of monkeys
•Tanah Lot, the most known temple in Bali. We went there in the evening and saw the sunset. It was the most beautiful sunset of my life: all the colours… it was like a fairytale.
•Petulu village: every summer you can see hundreds of birds
•Monkey forest: the forest where most of the Ubud monkeys live.
Caution: they are the best thieves EVER.
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We stayed in Bali for three weeks. The last few days, we decided to go visit the island of Jawa. I really wanted to see the Prambanan and Borobudur temples.
If you book a flight from Bali to another Indonesian island, it will be absolutely be cheaper if you go to the airport and book there. We payed 30eur/person.
So, if you ask me if I liked Bali… I will tell you absolutely yes!
Bali is the island for everyone, if you want to chill or party you can take a cab and for a very cheap price you can go from one side to the other side of the island. I would not recommend going to the beach, since it can be windy and the water is cold, and the currents of the water can drag you underwater.
Since Bali is near Australia, if you feel adventurous you can buy a plane ticket to Australia, and even for a cheap price.
If you like spicy food or are a vegetarian you can easily eat Indonesian food, because it is full of fruits and spices. They also have a very good coffee and tea.
As I said before, we stayed there for two weeks, and since the food and everything was cheap-ish, you really have to know how to use money, because if you go to a change bureau and change, for example, 100euros, you will happen to have in your hands 1.000.000 rupias; and this is why you have to be aware of these bureaus: since the indonesian rupiah are very similiar to each other, people can fool you and give you less money than you asked to.
With no doubt, my vacation in Bali was one of the bestest, I have never had so much fun and never saw so many things without getting bored. I had the chance to talk to balinese people, to know their culture and to fall in love with the island over and over again.
I will never forget the mornings: children going to school by scooter, dogs barking all night, that frangipane smell, the people smiling at you and saying hi, asking how are you doing… the Ubud market: the earlier you go, the cheapest.
Bali is a hindu island, you have to respect the animals, the people and things, because if you do not, Karma will do it’s job.
What can I say… If you want to have fun, know people or simply go to Asia I will tell you to go to Bali, you will not regret it.