Friday, March 1, 2013

Bali in a Nutshell, Indonesia

1 night in Denpasar
4 nights in Ubud
3 nights in Seyminak
9 days worth of pictures

Bali was our first introduction to Asia. Now we told people we were going to Indonesia, but when they found out we were going to Bali, some would say, "Oh, that's different." Well after our trip, I'd like to say that this is very much Indonesia. I'm sure this island may have some conveniences that cater to tourists, but it was still very different from what we were used to. All very new and exciting.

We learned about:
Language - Each island has a different language, but most people also speak the national language. Most in Bali speak balinese and some English.

Religion & Tradition - Offerings put out in front of shops many mornings. Pandan leaves are delicious in food but also used in a traditional ceremony of slicing each other to bleed, then helping heal each others wounds. The significance? Not quite sure, I think it might have a boy to man and a war training aspect to it. We saw a traditional Legong dance.

Food - Delicious. Banana leaves are good with everything. Our first night, we stayed in the city of Denpasar. We went out looking for dinner and really didn't find anything familiar or geared towards tourists. We also did not want to cross the street as there was a constant flow of cars and we did not know how to cross the street (no cross walks in sight). So we decided to pick the first restaurant we came across that was busy. The place was all pink, nothing on the menu was in english so we just asked for 1 chicken and 1 vegetarian dish. They seemed to understand. We made sure to not eat any uncooked vegetables on the plate and got through our first meal. After a few meals under your belt, you start to gain confidence in eating at the local joints.

Road Conditions and Driving - Controlled chaos. Honk when you're passing. Honk to warn somebody. Honk when you're turning. Honk while slowly pulling out in front of traffic and someone will eventually let you through. Helmets are optional for short distances. Motor bikes can be used to carry as little or as much as you like.

Rice - Many rice fields at different stages and some nearly ready to harvest. Typical harvest is twice a year, though it used to be once a year before genetically modified seeds. Some say they are trying to go back to the pre-genetically modified seeds.

Currency - The exchange rates are favourable to "westerners" to travel, eat, and live cheaply, however, this also means that it is very difficult to make an Indonesian wage for a higher quality of living and to travel off the island. Also a consequence of their wages is not being able to get the education that wealthier Indonesians and "westerners" have access to. But with all that said, the people are very nice and seem happy. It makes you wonder if everything that wealthier countries have is worth it, debate amongst yourselves.

Travel - Almost everybody we met that was from Bali had never been to any other part of Indonesia or off the island. We only met 3 people that had been off the island, 2 worked on cruise ships and 1 that had moved from another part of Indonesia.

 These guys (Kopi luwak) are fed coffee beans.

Then they poop them out.

Then the make coffee with it.

Then people drink the poop coffee.

We stayed at 4 different places in Bali and this is by far the best deal starting at USD 30 a night.

Rice paddies adjacent to our place.

Monkey forest.

Hey, good lookin'!

Um...get a room.

Breakfast just outside our bed.

Random tropical downpour.

Everbody rides bikes.

Food on a bike.

Supplies on a bike with a helmet.

Family on a bike without helmets. Helmets just weigh the bike down even more, why bother.

Chocolate brick, can be used for eating, building, or defending.

Traditional Legong dance.

Balinese cooking class. Ask us when we get home and we'll make you some.

Art from local Ubud artist Tono W.


This place was a surprise for Alicia. This place also gave us free entry to a club with a gym and a few other things. We also went to a popular restaurant and bar called Potato Head that the hotel gave us free transportation to, but we didn't bring our camera.

Rice about ready to harvest.

Another villa we stayed at for night before our flight to Singapore.

Alicia loved this painting.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, its not easy but we were inspired by our predecessors.

  2. i thought you guys were roughing it through Asia... i guess not!! lol :D