February 22, 2012

Bali, Indonesia

Bali was a little more rough than KL. We were staying in an obviously touristy place (Kuta) and we hadn't really made any plans except for the tour that would take one day. Everywhere you walked people were very pushy about you looking/buying their things. If you sat on the beach women would come up and try to sell you bracelets or massages. Men asked if you needed taxis every 100ft. The good thing about this was a lot of interaction with the locals, for instance one of the bracelets I was wearing looked exactly like some of the bracelets women sold so when they saw me wearing it they would stop pushing me to buy things and sit down and introduce themselves, ask where I'm from and talk to me about whatever was on their mind/ answer my questions about why the beach was so dirty. In Bali I got to spend a lot of down time and time alone. This was when headphones came in handy because I was able to just put them in and tune out the vendors while still being able to look around. There was a lot to see but the area was definitely overwhelming at times.

Something else they sold on the side of the street was petroleum, which they kept in used Absolute bottles in these stands on the side of the street. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them!

Every morning local Hindus would wake up and put offerings outside their shops, on the curbs or in front of statues that were all over the island. We were around before one of the main holidays. People were making these long poles and decorating them with colored palms. On the end of the palms would be a person looking object. A lot of the hotels and shops had these in front of them as an offering to the mountain God.
Here is Esther and Anne standing on the beach
Here we are trying the world's most Expensive Coffee (Luwak Coffee made from the poop of a Luwak. No Joke.)
Paddy's Memorial

Ok, so now let’s talk about the tour we took. Gutti was our tour guide and he met us at the hotel then took us around the island to places that he thought we would like (places he got compensation from if we bought things) such as a place where we watched people make silver jewelry, a wood shop, a weaving shop, a traditional Indonesian dance, a water temple and a place where they make the world’s most expensive coffee (Luwak Coffee). We also saw the layered rice paddy and an active volcano!

Me at the rice paddy
Me at the Volcano
The water temple, there are more offerings on each spout
The tiger in the play

On this trip we spent most of the time wandering the streets around our hostel and the beach. The beach was either clean and full of people pushing things on you or filthy and fully of locals playing soccer. Can you tell which beach is in front of the Hard Rock Café?

offerings that people put in front of their shops

The shops had a lot of cool things and a lot of weird things. Here are some wire chicken egg holders. (Host fam needed it.) There were lots of shirts that had the beer label for Bintang on it. Bintang was pretty good, a lot better than Tiger which was what they served in Malaysia. Other things that were sold were wood products, paintings and jewelry. Below is Esther walking along the road of shops and the chickens


  1. I'm still kind of shocked that Bali was not paradise. Thanks for the posts! I love seeing all the pictures and reading your travelogue. I'm so glad you are traveling.

  2. Are you still teaching?

    What a great opportunity to see all you are seeing.

    think of you often


  3. I'm sorry to here that Bali was so iffy and the beaches dirty. I wonder why all the Australians go there. Must be fairly close and cheap.